Albanian Language

The name “Albania” is the Medieval Latin name of the nation. It may be derived from the Illyrian tribe of the Albani (Albanët) recorded by Ptolemy, the geographer and astronomer from Alexandria, who drafted a map in 150 AD, that shows the city of Albanopolis located northeast of the city of Durrës. The name may have a continuation in the name of a medieval settlement called Albanon or Arbanon, although it is not certain that this was the same place. In his History written in 1079 to 1080, the Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates was the first to refer to Albanoi as having taken part in a revolt against Constantinople in 1043 and to the Arbanitai as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium. During the Middle Ages, the Albanians called their country “Arbëri” or “Arbëni” and referred to themselves as “Arbëreshë” or “Arbëneshë”.

Albanians today call their country “Shqipëri” or “Shqipëria”. As early as the 17th century the placename Shqipëria and the ethnic demonym Shqiptarë gradually replaced Arbëria and Arbëresh. The two terms are popularly interpreted as “Land of the Eagles” and “Children of the Eagles”.