A Tale of Two Albanias

Historically known as a mountainous, isolated place with independent minded, war-faring, clan-based and tribal people, known for practicing animal husbandry, while having heavily colonized another land across the sea at one point. On the border with and at times part of a world renowned empire. Maligned by said empire. Invaded by people from the northeast in the middle ages. 

Today this region is called Scotland.

It was Ptolemy who first committed to the record the name of Albania. In that same document, he called the region we know today as Scotland, Alba or Albion. This led to both regions being referred to as the same name, Albania, for a lengthy period in the middle ages. Both these words came from the same root, meaning white, in reference to mountains and/or people. Albany, New York is so-named for a later adaptation of this name for Scotland.

While 45 miles separate Albania from Italy, and only 12 separate Scotland and Ireland, making the Illyrian presence throughout southern Italy more impressive, Scotland and Ireland are well known for having tremendous crossover, culturally, genetically and linguistically, notably due to the Kingdom of Dal Riata.

Kingdom of Dal Riada/Dal Riata    

                Ireland bottom left, Scotland top right                  

Ancient Kingdom of Illyria

Mainland on right, Iapygia on left

The Slavic migrations and the Viking raids and subsequent colonies are well documented in either place respectively, and even these people groups have a link through the Kievan Rus, among others such as the Varangians.

There are lessons to be learned from the Scottish. Of all ethnic groups present in colonial America who made up the Revolutionary Continental Army, it was Scotsmen in the majority. Treated as second class citizens by the English for centuries while narrowly avoiding the third rate status of the Irish, they finally threw off the English monarchy, even if it took crossing an ocean, starting a new country and spilling blood in the process to do it. Today, the word "Scottish" refers to an individual, more than a moniker noting the land he came from.

While the Irish and the Italians basically have the same flag, and intermarried especially in the New World as they were both Catholic and attended the same churches while undergoing similar persecutions from White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, their respective neighbors in Scotland and Albania have more in common than one might think. 

Hadrian's Wall was the northernmost boundary of the Italic Roman Empire for the longest time, and was so-named for Emperor Hadrian, who acquired that name via Adria, now known as Atri, in Abruzzo, Italy. Hadrian's Wall was colloquially known as the historic Anglo-Scots border, and Adria/Atri Italy is known by historians as having quite possibly an Illyrian name, and owing a significant part of its existence to the Illyrians, the predecessors of the modern nation of Albania.

"Flag of the United Albanian Republic" 

(If Kosovo ever decides they need a new flag, have at it)

High Resolution J-L283 Samples 

(J-L283 being well known as an Illyrian haplogroup)






phylogeographer.com, https://hras.yseq.net/?dna_type=y&map_type=alpha 

Room, Adrian Brewer's Dictionary of Names (1993), Room, Adrian Placenames of the World (2006)

Stillwell, Richard; MacDonald, William; McAlister, Marian Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (1976)

Published 6/20/23