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ALBANENSES
ALBANIA
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of Auxerre, written about 480. But the further details there given about the opening of St. Alban's tomb and the taking out of relics are later interpolations, as has recently been discovered (see Livison in the "Neues Archiv", 1903, p. 148). Still the whole legend as known to Bede was probably in existence in the first half of the sixth century (W. Meyer, "Legende des h. Albanus", p. 21), and was used by Gildas before 547. It is also probable that the name Amphibalus is derived from some version of the legend in which the cleric's cloak is called an amphibalus; for Geoffrey of Monmouth, the earliest witness to the name Amphibalus, makes precisely the same mistake in another passage, converting the garment called amphibalus into the name of a saint. (See Ussher, Works, V, p. 181, and VI, pg. 58; and Revue Celtique, 1890, p. 349.) From what has been said, it is certain that St. Alban has been continuously venerated in England since the fifth century. Moreover, his name was known about the year 580 to Venantius Fortunatus, in Southern Gaul, who commemorates him in the line:—

Albanum egregium fecunda Britannia profert.

("Lo! fruitful Britain vaunts great Alban's name.") ("Carmina", VII, iii, 155). His feast is still kept as of old, on 22 June, and it is celebrated throughout England as a greater double. That of St. Amphibalus is not now observed, but it seems formerly to have been attached to 25 June. In some later developments of the legend St. Alban appears as a soldier who had visited Rome, and his story was also confused with that of another St. Alban, or Albinus, martyred at Mainz.

Martyrdom of St. Alban.Acta SS., 22 June. V; Stanton, English Menology (London, 1892), 281–282; Dict. Christ. Biog. s.v.; Dict. Nat. Biog., Supplem., I, 27; Bright, Early Eng. Ch. Hist. (London, 1897), 6–7; Hardy, Descriptive Catalogue, I, 3–24; Plummer, Bede (Oxcord, 1896), II. 17–20; Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, I, 7; Atkinson, French Legend of St. Alban (Dublin, 1876); Allard, Histoire des persecutions (Paris, 1800), IV, 41; Narbe), Supplément aux Acta Sanctorum (Paris, 1902), II, 104; but especially Meyer, Die Legende des h. Albanus in the Abhandlungen d. K. Gesellschaft d. Wissenschaften, (Göttingen, 1904), new series, VIII.

Albanenses, Manichæan heretics who lived in Albania, probably about the eighth century, but concerning whom little is known, except that they were one of the numerous sects through which the original Manichæism continued to flourish. (See Bogomilæ, Cathari, Paulicians.) They appear to have professed a very strict and uncompromising form of the heresy, rejecting all doctrinal modifications as to the eternity of the evil principle, and its absolute equality with the good principle.

Hemmer in Dict. de théol. cath., I, 658.

Albania, the ancient Epirus and Illyria, is the most western land occupied by the Turks in Europe. Its extreme length is about 290 miles, and its breadth from forty to ninety miles. On the west and southwest it is bounded by the Adriatic and the Ionian seas. It is generally divided into three regions: Upper Albania, from the Montenegrin frontier to the river Shkumbi; Lower Albania, or Epirus, from the Shkumbi to the Gulf of Arta; and Eastern Albania, to the east of the Schar-Dagh chain. It is a mountainous and rugged territory, some of its peaks reaching a height of 8,500 feet, and has only one plain of note, that of Scutari (the ancient Scodra, ἠ Σκόδρα), which holds the lake of the same name and is watered by its affluent, the Drin. Many rivers flow from savage, inaccessible heights to the Ionian Sea: the Mati, Shkumbi, Ergent or Devol, Voynassa, Kalamas. Among them are the celebrated Acheron and Cocytus of antiquity. Albania shares with Greece the peculiar phenomenon of subterranean rivers; the waters of the lake of Jamina flow through one of these underground channels into the Gulf of Arta, and this gave rise to the myth that here was the entrance to the infernal world of the ancient Greeks. The surrounding country is covered with Cyclopean ruins. In the region of Lakes Ochrida and Presba there are passages through the mountains, which facilitates communication between Albania and Macedonia; and the Turkish mail post actually follows the old Via Egnatia of the Romans from Durrazzo (the ancient Dyrrachium) to Salonica, passing by Bitolia. Further down, between the Grammos and the Pindar chains, a defile allows communication with the road from Jamina to Larissa. The Mavropotamas, or Acheron, formerly received the affluents of the Cocytus and Phlegeton, which have now disappeared. The soil is barren from want of cultivation and the exports are few, consisting principally of hides, bark for dyeing, and tobacco. If the Boyana river were made navigable, Scutari would be connected with the sea, and trade would assuredly lead to progress of all kinds; but Mussulman rule precludes the attempt.

The Albanians (more of an ethnographic than a geographic term) are called Arnauts (Arnaoots, Arnaouts) by the other peoples of the Balkan peninsula; they give themselves the name of Skipetars or "mountaineers". They claim descent from the Epirots and Illyrians, and, like the latter, have always been distinguished by their warlike spirit. After having been conquered in the Illyrian wars by Rome, the tribes of this region furnished the best soldiers of the empire, several emperors were of Illyrian stock (Freeman, The Illyrian Emperors, Historical Essays, London, 1892, III, 22-68). Christianity probably penetrated these mountain fastnesses through the Roman soldiers and traders from Epirus and Macedonia; it is doubtful whether any traces of the original apostolate survived the ruin of the Roman State in the West. After the dismemberment of the Roman Empire, the Illyrian population, gradually driven southward by the invading Slavs, became known as Albanians, were long subject to schismatic Constantinople, then fell under the sway of the Serbs, and finally became (1336–56) a province of the medieval Servian Empire under Tsar Stephen Duschan. (See Servia.) On its dismemberment, after the battle of Kosovo which took place (1389), the victorious Turks overran the country, but Prince George Castriota, the famous Scanderbeg who was known also as Iskander Bey, or Prince Alexander, maintained an independent rule in Upper Albania for a quarter of a century (1443–67). This hero, whose feats of valour are almost legendary, was bred as a Moslem at the court of Murad II to whom he had been given as a hostage by his father, an Albanian chief; but after having won fame and honour in the Sultan's service, his race asserted itself, and he broke away to place himself at the head of his own people and embrace Christianity. He defeated the Turkish army in several engagements and secured an honourable peace on his own terms. But, encouraged by the Pope and the promise of help from the Venetians, he again attacked the Turks and gained numerous victories. On his death at Alessio (1467), the Sultan exclaimed: "Now that the infidels have lost their sword and buckler, who can save them from my wrath?" The Albanians became disorganized and were finally subjected (1479) to Mussulman dominion. They have, however, never been subdued, and are, even to-day, treated more like allies than subjects. They now supply the Turkish army with its best soldiers as they once did the legions of Rome, and are exempted from taxes and from compulsory military service. As volunteers, they receive high pay and many privileges. While several tribes have embraced Islam and others belong to the Greek schism, the best of the population is Catholic, and while guarding traditional