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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #1
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Shqiptarė tė Famshėm | Famous Albanians


Constantine the Great

Flavius Valerius Constantinus

-Roman Emperor of Illyrian Origin

Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus[1] (February 27, 272–May 22, 337), commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or (among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic[2] Christians) Saint Constantine, was a Roman Emperor, proclaimed Augustus by his troops on July 25, 306 and who ruled an ever-growing portion of the Roman Empire until his death.

Constantine is best remembered in modern times for the Edict of Milan in 313, which fully legalized Christianity in the Empire, for the first time, and the Council of Nicaea in 325; these actions are considered major factors in the spreading of the Christian religion. His reputation as the "first Christian Emperor" has been promulgated by historians from Lactantius and Eusebius of Caesarea to the present day; although there has been debate over the veracity of his faith because he was baptized only on his death bed.[3]

Early life
Bronze statue of Constantine I in York, England, near the spot where he was proclaimed Emperor in 306 Constantine was born at Naissus (modern Niš, Serbia, ancient Illyria) in the province of Moesia Superior on 27 February 272 or 273, to Roman general, Constantius Chlorus, and his first wife Helena, an innkeeper's daughter who at the time was only sixteen years old. His father left his mother around 292 to marry Flavia Maximiana Theodora, daughter or step-daughter of the Western Roman Emperor Maximian. Theodora would give birth to six half-siblings of Constantine, including Julius Constantius.

Young Constantine served at the court of Diocletian in Nicomedia, after the appointment of his father as one of the two caesares (junior emperors) of the Tetrarchy in 293. In 305, both augusti (senior emperors), Diocletian and Maximian, abdicated, and Constantius succeeded to Maximian's position of western augustus. Although two legitimate sons of emperors were available (Constantine and Maxentius, the son of Maximian), both of them were ignored in the transition of power. Instead, Severus and Maximinus Daia were made caesares. Constantine subsequently left Nicomedia to join his father in Roman Gaul. However, Constantius fell sick during an expedition against the Picts of Caledonia, and died on July 25, 306 in Eboracum (York). The general Chrocus, of Alamannic descent, and the troops loyal to Constantius' memory immediately proclaimed Constantine an augustus.

Under the Tetrarchy, Constantine's succession was of dubious legitimacy. While Constantius as senior emperor could "create" a new caesar, Constantine's (or, his troops') claim to the title of augustus ignored the system of succession established in 305. Accordingly, Constantine asked Galerius, the eastern augustus, to be recognized as heir to his father's throne. Galerius granted him the title of caesar, confirming Constantine's rule over his father's territories, and promoted Severus to augustus of the West.

Ruler of the West
Constantine's share of the empire comprised of Britain, Gaul, the Germanic provinces, and Spain. He therefore commanded one of the largest Roman armies, stationed along the important Rhine frontier. While Gaul was one of the richer regions of the empire, it had suffered much during the Crisis of the Third Century. Many areas were depopulated, the cities ruined. During his years in Gaul, from 306 to 316, Constantine continued his father's efforts to secure the Rhine frontier and rebuild the Gallic provinces. His main residence during that time was Trier.

Immediately after his promotion to emperor, Constantine abandoned his father's British campaign and returned to Gaul to quell an uprising by Franks. Another expedition against Frankish tribes followed in 308. After this victory, he began to build a bridge across the Rhine at Cologne to establish a permanent stronghold on the right bank of the river. A new campaign in 310 had to be abandoned because of Maximian's rebellion (below). The last of Constantine's wars on the Rhine frontier took place in 313, after his return from Italy, and saw him again victorious. Constantine's main goal was stability, and he tried to achieve that by immediate, often brutal punitive expeditions against rebellious tribes, demonstrating his military power by conquering the enemies on their own side of the Rhine frontier, and slaughtering many prisoners during games in the arena. The strategy proved successful, as the Rhine frontier remained relatively quiet during the rest of Constantine's reign.

In the interior conflicts of the Tetrarchy, Constantine tried to remain neutral. In 307, the senior emperor Maximian (recently returned to the political scene after his abdication in 305) visited Constantine to get his support in the war of Maxentius against Severus and Galerius. Constantine married Maximian's daughter Fausta to seal the alliance and was promoted to Augustus by Maximian. He didn't interfere on Maxentius' behalf, though. Maximian returned to Gaul in 308 after he had failed to depose his son. At the conference of Carnuntum, where Diocletian, Galerius and Maximian met later that year, Maximian was forced to abdicate again and Constantine reduced to caesar. In 309, Maximian rebelled against his son-in-law while Constantine was campaigning against the Franks. The rebellion was quickly quelled, and Maximian was killed or forced to commit suicide. Both Constantine and Maximinus Daia were disappointed over their relegation to caesar and Licinius' appointment, and subsequently defied that ruling and styled themselves Augustus, which was granted to them by Galerius in 310, thus officially creating four Augusti. With Galerius' death in 311, the last ruler with enough authority interested in continuing the tetrarchy left the stage, and the system rapidly declined. In the struggle for power that ensued, Constantine allied himself with Licinius, while Maximinus approached Maxentius, who was still officially regarded as an usurper.

312-324
Early in 312, Constantine crossed the Alps with his army and attacked Maxentius. He quickly conquered Northern Italy in the battles of Turin and Verona and then moved on to Rome. There he defeated Maxentius in the Battle of Milvian Bridge, which resulted in his becoming Western Augustus, or ruler of the entire Western Roman Empire. During the next years, he gradually consolidated his military superiority over his rivals in the crumbling Tetrarchy.

In 313, he met Licinius in Milan to secure their alliance by the marriage of Licinius and Constantine's half-sister Constantia. During this meeting, the emperors agreed on the so-called Edict of Milan, officially granting full tolerance to all religions in the empire, especially Christianity. The conference was cut short, however, when news reached Licinius that his rival Maximinus Daia had crossed the Bosporus and invaded Licinian territory. Licinius departed and eventually defeated Maximinus, gaining control over the entire eastern half of the Roman Empire. Relations between the two remaining emperors declined, though, and either in 314 or 316, Constantine and Licinius fought gainst one another in the war of Cibalae, with Constantine being victorious. They clashed again in the Battle of Campus Ardiensis in 317, and agreed to a settlement in which Constantine's sons Crispus and Constantine II, and Licinius' son Licinianus were made caesars.

In the year 320, Licinius reneged on the religious freedom promised by the Edict of Milan in 313 and began another persecution of the Christians. It became a challenge to Constantine in the west, climaxing in the great civil war of 324. Licinius, aided by Goth mercenaries, represented the past and the ancient faith of Paganism. Constantine and his Franks marched under the Christian standard of the labarum, and both sides saw the battle in religious terms. Supposedly outnumbered, but fired by their zeal, Constantine's army emerged victorious in the battles of Adrianople, the Hellespont, and at Chrysopolis. With the defeat and death of Licinius a year later (he was accused of plotting against Constantine and executed), Constantine then became the sole emperor of the entire Roman Empire.[4]
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:28 AM   #2
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Justinian I
Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus
-The Greatest Byzantine Emperor of All Times is of Illyrian Origin-

Justinian Family Data: An Illyrian, Justinian was born Petrus Sabbatius in A.D. 483 in Tauresium, Dardania Near Shkup. Justinian's childless uncle became the Roman Emperor Justin I in A.D. 518 and adopted Justinian.
Death : Justinian died on November 14, 565, in Constantinople.

Justinian's Claims to Fame: Justinian is known for his reorganization of the government of the Roman Empire and his codification of the laws, the Codex Justinianus in A.D. 534.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #3
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Skanderbeg
Gjergj Kastrioti

-The Greatest Albanian National Hero-



The Builder of the Albanian identity!

Skanderbeg , c.1404-1468, Albanian national hero. His original name was Gjergj Kastrioti, but the Ottomans called him Iskender Bey with an inference to Alexander the Great, and this was corrupted into Skenderbe. The son of a prince of Northern Albania, he was educated in the Muslim faith as a hostage at the court of Sultan Murad II . The sultan showered favors on him and gave him the title bey and an army command. In 1443, when the Ottomans indicated they would attack Albania, Skenderbe escaped to his homeland, abjured Islam, and formed a league of princes among the Albanian chieftains. He proclaimed himself prince of Albania. To resist the Ottomans under Sultan Muhammad II , Scanderbeg received aid at various times from Venice, Naples, Hungary, and the pope. He had success in these wars partly because of the rugged Albanian terrain and partly because he employed a mobile defense force using guerrilla methods. He withstood repeated attacks and forced the sultan to conclude a 10-year truce in 1461 and never lost a battle. Skenderbe broke the truce in 1463 when Pope Pius II called for a new crusade. The pope's death (1464) forced abandonment of the crusade; Skenderbe, left without allies, had to retreat to his fortress of Kroia. After his death the league dissolved, resistance collapsed, and Albania fell to the Ottomans. Skenderbe's life is the source of many Albanian tales. He created a nation that captured the imagination of the world.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:31 AM   #4
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Pope Clement XI
Giovanni Francesco Albani
-Albanian Pope in the Vatican-


Pope Clement XI (July 23, 1649 – March 19, 1721), born Giovanni Francesco Albani, was Pope from 1700 to 1721. He was from an eminent family of Urbino that had estabilished itself there from northern Albania in the 15th century.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:33 AM   #5
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Francesco Crispi
-Italian/Arberesh Politician-
Francesco Crispi (October 4, 1819ā€“August 12, 1901) was a 19th century Italian politician. He was instrumental in the formation of the united country and was its Premier from 1887 until 1891 and again from 1893 until 1896.

Crispi's family came originally from the small agricultural community of Palazzo Adriano, in south-western Sicily. It had been founded in later fifteenth century by Eastern Orthodox Albanians (later Arbƫreshƫ) fleeing from the Turks.[1] Crispi himself was born in Ribera, Sicily and baptized in the Byzantine Rite. He assumed an active role in the Sicilian uprising against the rule of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies at Palermo in 1848. The uprising ended in failure and the government was restored in May 1849. Unlike many, Crispi was not granted amnesty and was forced to flee the country. He lived next in Piedmont where he worked as a journalist. He was implicated in the Mazzini conspiracy at Milan in 1853 and was expelled from Piedmont. He took refuge first on Malta, then in Paris and, even he had not done so before, met up with Giuseppe Mazzini in London.

In 1860 he, alongside Giuseppe Garibaldi, led the "expedition of the thousand" which disembarked on Sicily on 11 May 1860. On the 13th, Crispi drew up the Proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy. After the fall of Palermo, Crispi was appointed minister of the interior and of finance in the Sicilian provisional government, but was shortly afterwards obliged to resign on account of the struggle between Garibaldi and the emissaries of Count Camillo Benso di Cavour on the question of timing of the annexation of Sicily by Italy.

Appointed secretary to Garibaldi, Crispi secured the resignation of Agostino Depretis, whom Garibaldi had appointed pro-dictator, and would have continued his fierce opposition to Cavour at Naples, where he had been placed by Garibaldi in the foreign office, had not the advent of the Italian regular troops and the annexation of the Two Sicilies to Italy brought about Garibaldi's withdrawal to Caprera and Crispi's own resignation.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:34 AM   #6
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Pavlos Kountouriotis
-First President of Greece-

Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis (1855-1935) (Greek: Παύλος Κουντουριώτης) was a Greek naval hero of Arvanite origin, and twice President of Greece.

Pavlos Kountouriotis was a member of the historical Kountouriotis family which originated from the island of Hydra, Saronic Islands; many members of the family took part in the Greek War of Independence. The original family name was Zervas but was changed to Kountouriotis, since one of their ancestors lived for a while in the village of Kountoura, Megarida.

He joined the navy in 1875, being promoted to Rear Admiral in 1912, on the outbreak of the First Balkan War. During the Balkan Wars, he led the Greek Navy scoring major victories against the Turkish fleet in December, 1912 (Battle of Elli) and in January 1913 (Battle of Limnos), liberating most of the Aegean islands. His victories, due in large part to his daring but successful tactics, earned him the status of a national hero.

In 1916, he became a minister in the Stephanos Skouloudis government, but, in disagreement with the pro-German feelings of King Constantine I of Greece, he followed Eleftherios Venizelos to Thessaloniki were he was assigned the ministry of Naval Affairs in Venizelos' National Defence government. He subsequently retired from the navy, and when King Alexander I of Greece died in 1920, he became Regent of Greece until the elections that took place in November 1920 and brought King Constantine back.

In March 1924, after King George II of Greece was deposed, he was elected as the first President of the Second Hellenic Republic, but resigned the post in March, 1926 in opposition to General Pangalos' dictatorship. He was reelected president in May 1929, but due to serious health complications he resigned in December of the same year. He died in 1935.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:35 AM   #7
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William G. Gregory
-Astronaut-


DETAILS: Albanian American Women Organization (AAWO) organized this event to honor mothers and their contribution to our community. A special guest at this event was the first Albanian astronaut, William Gregory.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:36 AM   #8
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Muhammad Ali Pasha
-Builder of Modern Egypt-

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali in Cairo, Egypt.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:38 AM   #9
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Mother Theresa
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu
-The Most Famous Catholic Nun in the World-


Mother Theresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje*, Macedonia, on August 27, 1910. Her family was of Albanian descent. At the age of twelve, she felt strongly the call of God. She knew she had to be a missionary to spread the love of Christ. At the age of eighteen she left her parental home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India. After a few months' training in Dublin she was sent to India, where on May 24, 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun. From 1931 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta, but the suffering and poverty she glimpsed outside the convent walls made such a deep impression on her that in 1948 she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. Although she had no funds, she depended on Divine Providence, and started an open-air school for slum children. Soon she was joined by voluntary helpers, and financial support was also forthcoming. This made it possible for her to extend the scope of her work.

“By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus. ”Small of stature, rocklike in faith, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was entrusted with the mission of proclaiming God’s thirsting love for humanity, especially for the poorest of the poor. “God still loves the world and He sends you and me to be His love and His compassion to the poor.” She was a soul filled with the light of Christ, on fire with love for Him and burning with one desire: “to quench His thirst for love and for souls.”
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:39 AM   #10
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Vasile Lupu
-Ruler of the Romanian Province of Moldavia in 1634-1653-

Basil the Wolf , Romanian Vasile Lupu ambitious and enterprising prince of Moldavia (1634–53) who introduced the first written laws and printing press to his principality. Albanian in origin, Basil acceded to the throne of Moldavia in the spring of 1634. He intrigued throughout his reign to acquire the Walachian throne as well, and in 1637 and 1639 led unsuccessful expeditions against the ruling prince…
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/55016/Basil
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:41 AM   #11
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Diocletian
Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus
-Roman Emperor of Illyrian Origin-

Diocletian, Roman emperor 284-305 AD, is said to have been born at Dioclea, near Salona, in Dalmatia. His original name was Diocles. Of humble Illyrian origin, he served with high distinction and held important military commands under the emperors Probus and Aurelian, and accompanied Carus to the Persian War. After the death of Numerian he was chosen emperor by the troops at Chalcedon, on the 17th of September 284, and slew with his own hands Arrius Aper, the praefect of the praetorians. He thus fulfilled the prediction of a druidess of Gaul, that he would mount a throne as soon as he had slain a wild boar (aper). Having been installed at Nicomedia, he received general acknowledgment after the murder of Carinus. In consequence of the rising of the Bagaudae in Gaul, and the threatening attitude of the German peoples on the Rhine, he appointed Maximian Augustus in 286; and, in view of further dangers and disturbances in the empire, proclaimed Constantius Chlorus and Galerius Caesars in 293. Each of the four rulers was placed at a separate capital -- Nicomedia, Mediolanum (Milan), Augusta Trevirorum (Trier), Sirmium. This amounted to an entirely new organization of the empire, on a plan commensurate with the work of government which it now had to carry on. At the age of fifty-nine, exhausted with labor, Diocletian abdicated his sovereignty on the 1st of May 305, and retired to Salona, where he died eight years afterwards (others give 316 as the year of his death). The end of his reign was memorable for the persecution of the Christians. In defense of this it may be urged that he hoped to strengthen the empire by reviving the old religion, and that the church as an independent state over whose inner life at least he possessed no influence, appeared to be a standing menace to his authority. Under Diocictian the senate became a political nonentity, the last traces of republican institutions disappeared, and were replaced by an absolute monarchy approaching to despotism. He wore the royal diadem, assumed the title of lord, and introduced a complicated system of ceremonial and etiquette, borrowed from the East, in order to surround the monarchy and its representative with mysterious sanctity. But at the same time he devoted his energies to the improvement of the administration of the empire; he reformed the standard of coinage, fixed the price of provisions and other necessaries of daily life, remitted the tax upon inheritances and manumissions, abolished various monopolies, repressed corruption and encouraged trade. In addition, he adorned the city with numerous buildings, such as the thermae, of which extensive remains are still standing.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:42 AM   #12
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Aurelian
Lucius Domitius Aurelianus
-One of the Greatest Roman Emperors of Illyrian Origin-

One of the greatest of the Roman soldier emperors, born at Sirmium in Pannonia between AD 212-14. He was of humble Illyrian origin, but nothing definite is known of his family. He had always shown great enthusiasm for a military career, and so distinguished himself in the campaigns in which he took part that on one occasion he received a public vote of thanks. At the same time he was proclaimed consul elect, and adopted by Ulpius Crinitus, military governor of Illyria and Thrace. On the death of the emperor Claudius II Gothicus (270), Aurelian was proclaimed his successor with the universal approval of the soldiers. His first task was to continue the war which had been begun by Claudius against the Goths. He drove them out of Moesia across the Danube, where he left them in possession of Dacia, which he did not think himself able to retain; the name was transferred to Moesia, which was then called Dacia Aureliani. The chronology, however, of Aurelian's reign is very confused, and the abandonment of Dacia is placed by some authorities towards its close. He next entered upon campaigns against the Juthungi, Alamanni, and other Germanic tribes, over whom, after a severe defeat which was said to have imperilled the very existence of the empire, he at length obtained a complete victory. Having thus secured the Rhine and Danube frontiers, he turned his energies towards the east, and in 271 set out on his expedition against Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra. At the same time he crushed two pretenders to the throne -- Firmus and Tetricus. Firmus, a wealthy merchant of Seleucia, had proclaimed himself emperor of Egypt. Aurelian, who was at the time in Mesopotamia, hastened to Egypt, and ordered him to be seized and put to death. Tetricus, who had been proclaimed emperor in the west after the death of Gallienus, and left undisturbed by Claudius II, still ruled over Gaul, Spain and Britain. A decisive battle was fought near the modern ChĆ¢lons, in which Tetricus was defeated. The restoration of the unity of the empire was thus complete. In 294 a brilliant triumph, adorned by the persons of Zenobia and Tetricus, was celebrated at Rome.

Aurelian now turned his attention to the internal affairs of the empire. He introduced sumptuary laws; relieved the poor by distributions of bread and meat, proceeded with great severity against informers and embezzlers; began the construction of various public works and buildings; and proclaimed a general amnesty for political crimes. The restoration and enlargement of the walls of Rome, commenced by him, was not completed until the reign of Probus. An attempt to restore the standard of the coinage is said to have caused a revolt of the workmen and officials connected with the mint, which was only put down with the loss of 7000 soldiers. It has been suggested that this was really an attempt at revolution incited by the senate and praetorian guards, the opportunity being found in disturbances resulting from opposition to the attempted reform, which by themselves could hardly have assumed such serious proportions. Aurelian's restless spirit was not long able to endure a life of inaction in the city. Towards the end of 274, he started on an expedition against the Persians, halting in Thrace by the way. While on the march between Heracleia and Byzantium, at the beginning of the following year, he was assassinated through the treachery of his secretary Eros, who, in order to escape the discovery of his own irregularities, incited certain officers against the emperor by showing them a forged list, on which their names appeared as marked out for death.

Aurelian well deserved the title of restorer of the empire, and it must be remembered that he lived in an age when severity was absolutely necessary. He was a great soldier and a rigid but just disciplinarian. In more favorable circumstances he would have been a great administrator. He displayed a fondness for pomp and show on public occasions; he was the first Roman emperor to wear the diadem, and assumed the title of Lord and God on medals.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:43 AM   #13
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Probus
Marcus Aurelius Probus
-Roman Emperor of Illyrian Origin-

Marcus Aurelius PROBUS (b. 232), an Illyrian, was saluted by the eastern armies (276). He repelled from Gaul the Franks and Alamanni and other peoples, who had inflicted great devastation. He also strengthened the Danube frontier, quieted Asia Minor, and suppressed pretenders in Gaul. When the praetorian prefect Carus was proclaimed emperor by the troops in Raetia, Probus was murdered in Pannonia.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:44 AM   #14
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Claudius II Gothicus
Marcus Aurelius Valerius Claudius II Gothicus
-Roman Emperor of Illyrian Origin-

Claudius II, Roman emperor from 268 to 270 AD, belonged to an obscure Illyrian family. On account of his military ability he was placed in command of an army by Decius; and Valerian appointed him general on the Illyrian frontier, and ruler of the provinces of the lower Danube. During the reign of Gallienus, he was called to Italy in order to crush Aureolus; and on the death of the emperor (268) he was chosen as his successor, in accordance, it was said, with his express desire. Shortly after his accession he routed the Alamanni on the Lacus Benacus (some doubt is thrown upon this); in 269 a great victory over the Goths at Naissus in Moesia gained him the title of Gothicus. In the following year he died of the plague at Sirmium, in his fifty-sixth year. He enjoyed great popularity, and appears to have been a man of ability and character
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:45 AM   #15
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Carus
Marcus Aurelius Carus
-Roman Emperor of Illyrian Origin-

Marcus Aurelius Carus, Roman emperor from 282 to 283 AD, was born probably at Narbona (more correctly, Narona) in Illyria, but was educated at Rome. He was a senator, and had filled various civil and military posts before he was appointed prefect of the praetorian guards by the emperor Probus, after whose murder at Sirmium he was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers. Although Carus severely avenged the death of Probus, he was himself suspected of having been an accessory to the deed. He does not seem to have returned to Rome after his accession, but contented himself with an announcement of the fact to the senate. Bestowing the title of Caesar upon his sons Carinus and Numerianus, he left Carinus in charge of the western portion of the empire, and took Numerianus with him on the expedition against the Persians which had been contemplated by Probus. Having defeated the Quadi and Sarmatians on the Danube, Carus proceeded through Thrace and Asia Minor, conquered Mesopotamia, pressed on to Seleucia and Ctesiphon, and carried his arms beyond the Tigris. But his hopes of further conquest were cut short by his death. One day, after a violent storm, it was announced that he was dead. His death was variously attributed to disease, the effects of lightning, or a wound received in a campaign against the Huns; but it seems more probable that he was murdered by the soldiers, who were averse from further campaigns against Persia, at the instigation of Arrius Aper, prefect of the praetorian guard. Carus seems to have belied the hopes entertained of him on his accession, and to have developed into a morose and suspicious tyrant.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:46 AM   #16
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Numerianus
Marcus Aurelius Numerianus
-Roman Emperor of Illyrian Origin-

Marcus Aurelius Numerianus (d. November, 284), known in English as Numerian, was a Roman Emperor (December 283 – November, 284)

Numerian was the son of the Roman Emperor Carus and brother of Emperor Carinus, and was proclaimed caesar in Fall 282, short after his father's accession.

After marrying the daughter of the prefect of the Praetorian Guard, Lucius Flavius Aper, Numerian and his father-in-law followed Carus on his expedition against the Sassanid Empire (Carinus had been proclaimed Augustus in Gaul). When Carus suddenly died in December 283, Numerian, proclaimed Augustus, had to bring the army back to its bases.

In March 284, the year of his consulship, Numerian was in Emesa. He fell ill, and Aper told the Emperor he had an inflammation to his eyes, and needed to travel in a closed coach. When, several days later, the guards sensed a bad smell coming from the coach and opened it, they found the dead body of the young emperor.

It was probable that Numerian had died naturally, and that the officers wanted to keep his death secret to avoid a turmoil in the army. The commander of the imperial bodyguard, Valerius Diocles, accused Aper of the death of the Emperor, and killed him; Diocles was acclaimed emperor by the army, and took the power with the name of Diocletian.

According to Historia Augusta, Numerian was a man of considerable literary attainments, of remarkably amiable character, and known as a great orator and poet. However, no other sources, apart the unreliable Historia, report anything about his personality.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:48 AM   #17
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Leka Dukagjini
-Princ of Arbƫria-



Leka Dukagjini (1410-1481) is an Albanian historical figure, contemporary of Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg, who fought against the Turks and is known for the code of law instituted in northern Albania and still applied today in some remote areas known as Kanuni.

Leka is though to have been born in Ulpiana near modern Prizren, Kosova in 1410. The County of Dukagjini had its center in Lezhƫ, and included Zadrima, the areas North and East-north Shkodra, and expanded far north up to the territories of what today constitutes Serbia, having as the second center the town of Ulpiana. Until he took over the ruling of his county from his father Pal in 1446, Leka Dukagjini had gained an overall knowledge, inspired by the European Renaissance humanism, in towns such as Venice, Raguza and Shkodƫr; meanwhile Skenderbeg had done a very rapid and excellent military career in the court of Sultan Murad II.

Leka was an Albanian prince that inherited his father's, Pal Dukagjini, princedom when he died in 1446. His lands stretched in the north and northeast of Shkodƫr, with Lezhƫ as its capital. They included lands in present-day Kosova, such as Zadrima and Ulpiana.

Leka was educated in Venice and Shkodƫr. He led the League of Lezha in 1444. He fought side-by-side Skanderbeg against the Turks, but they also fought against each other at times. However Lekƫ continued to fight against the Ottoman Empire until his death in 1481, sometimes besides the Venetians with the blessing of the papacy.

Overshadowed by Skanderbeg, Lekƫ Dukagjini is most well known for the set of laws ruling the highlands of northern Albania, known as the Kanuni. While identifying Skenderbg as the dragon prince who dared to fight and always win against any foe; cronicles portrayed Leka Dukagjini as the angel prince who, with dignity and wisdom, ensured the continuity of the Albanian identity. The set of laws was active in practice for a long time, but it was not gathered and codified until the late 19th century by Shtjefƫn GjeƧov. The most infamous laws of Kanuni are those regulating blood feuds. Blood feuds have started once again in lawless northern Albania after the fall of communism in the early 1990s, having been outlawed for many years during the regime.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:50 AM   #18
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Joseph DioGuardi
Former U.S. Congressman, and President of AACL-


Joseph J. DioGuardi (b. September 20, 1940) is an American Republican politician of Arberesh origin from the state of New York.
Born in the Bronx, New York, Joseph J. DioGuardi moved to Westchester County with his immigrant parents, brother, and sister in 1957. He is a 1958 graduate of Fordham Preparatory School, and in 1962 he graduated with honors from Fordham University. His parents were of Arbƫreshƫ origin.
DioGuardi served for twenty-two years, twelve of them as a tax partner, with the international accounting firm of Arthur Andersen & Co., one of the first public advocates of governmental fiscal responsibility. In November 1984, he brought his extensive professional and volunteer experience to Congress, when he became the first practicing certified public accountant ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He was re-elected in 1986, and served in Congress in 1985-89.
In Congress, DioGuardi authored the Chief Financial Officer's Act, a later version was passed by Congress and into law signed by President George Bush in 1990 -- two years after DioGuardi left office -- which mandated the assignment of a CFO to each major department and agency of the U.S. government.
DioGuardi founded and cochaired the Congressional Long Island Sound and Hudson River Caucuses, which secured increases in federal support for those waterways. In 1986, with the late Democratic Congressman Mickey Leland, DioGuardi initiated legislation to confer Congressional Medals of Honor on Black World War I and World War II military heroes. More recently, he cofounded with Congressman Jerrold Nadler the New York Task Force for Port, Rail, and Industrial Development in order to restore lost jobs to New York's manufacturing and transportation industries.
DioGuardi was defeated for re-election in 1988. In the years that followed, DioGuardi made a series of failed campaigns to return to Congress. DioGuardi won the Republican primary in 1992 but then lost in the general election. He performed even worse in later races, losing Republican primaries for Congress in 1994 and 1996. After losing the 1994 GOP primary, DioGuardi continued his campaign for the seat as the nominee of the Conservative Party and the Right-to-Life Party. In 1996, DioGuardi also lost the Conservative Party primary for Congress. He was the unsuccessful Right-to-Life Party nominee for Congress in 1996 and 1998. He briefly flirted with running again in 2000, but decided against entering the race. In December 2006, DioGuardi expressed an interest in running for Congress in 2008 against newly-elected Congressman John Hall (D). Source: Office of the Clerk, US House.
DioGuardi is an advocate for the human rights and self-determination of oppressed peoples in the Balkans. After leaving Congress in 1989, he has made fifteen trips to the region. As president of the Albanian American Civic League, he and Congressman Tom Lantos made the first official trip to Albania in fifty years, and he helped open the doors to democracy in this former Communist dictatorship. In August 1990, DioGuardi persuaded Bob Dole and six other U.S. Senators to visit the two million Albanians in Kosovo. In September 1996, he returned to Albania with Congressman Benjamin Gilman, chairman of the Committee on International Relations, to meet with President Sali Berisha to discuss Albanian national security and minority rights for the ethnic Greeks in southern Albania. In June 1997, DioGuardi led a delegation to monitor the national elections in Albania and in August, 1998 he traveled to northern Albania to assess the humanitarian crisis emanating from the war in Kosovo, at the request of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. In March 2007, he and his wife Shirley Cloyes went to The Hague to stand by Ramush Haradinaj as his war crimes trial begins at the ICTY.
Since leaving Congress in 1989, DioGuardi has established a nonpartisan foundation, Truth In Government, through which he continues his crusade for federal fiscal reforms. The author of Unaccountable Congress: It Doesn't Add Up, DioGuardi is a frequent speaker on fiscal responsibility and public accountability. In August 1994, as a keynote speaker at the annual conference of the American Accounting Association, DioGuardi persuaded professors of accounting to play an active role in federal budgeting and financial management. In May 1996, he returned to Washington as a keynote speaker on federal financial management reforms before the Institute of Management Accountants (formerly the National Association of Accountants). In April 1997, the Texas Society of CPAs published an article by DioGuardi in Today's CPA on the real magnitude of the national debt.
DioGuardi is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including investiture as a Knight of Malta in 1979, the International Humanitarian Award The Boys Towns of Italy in 1986, the Outstanding CPA in Government Award from the New York State Society of CPAs in 1986, the Torch of Liberty Award from the New York State Conservative Party in 1987, the Outstanding Public Service Award from the Westchester County Republican Committee in 1987, the Westchester Irish Committee's Dedication to Peace and Justice Award in 1988, the Paul Harris Fellow Award of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in 1988, and the Annual Achievement Award of the Association of Government Accountants, Boston Chapter, in 1992.
He has a daughter, Kara DioGuardi, a songwriter, record producer, and singer; and is married to Shirley Cloyes DioGiardi, Balkan Affairs Advisor and his co-founder of the Albanian American Civic League.

The Official Web-Site of the Albanian-American Civic League (AACL)
http://blog.aacl.com/

Milosevic Vs. DioGuardi - A 15 year battle
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...15449884430390
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:51 AM   #19
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Ali Pasha Tepelena
-Lion of Janina-

Ali Pasha Tepelena was born in 1740 at Tepelenƫ in southern Albania, and in his youth was a leader of brigands. Later he entered the service of the Sultan and managed to achieve his ambitions: he created the largest pashaluk (a territory ruled over by a Pasha) in the Ottoman empire. His ambitions were to amass a great fortune, to avenge himself on his private enemies, and to become the independent ruler of Albania and part of Greece. Ali Pasha established and maintained contacts with all the great powers of Europe at that time. He maintained contacts with Napolean, the English Admiral Lord Nelson, and the Russian Tsar. He also gave support to the Greek struggle for liberation from Turkish rule. His pashaluks harboured organizations dedicated to winning independence from Greece. He would also have liked to secede from the Ottoman empire.
Ali Pasha's ruthlessness, cunning, and diplomatic skills earned him the title "Lion of Janina", and his court was visited by many Europeans, including in 1809 Lord Byron, who was thus inspired to devote a canto of Childe Harold to Albania and the Albanians.*
Rival feudal lords, both Albanian and Turkish, whom Ali Pasha had ousted from their holdings in Albania, Epirus, and Thessaly, as well as the Greek patriots fighting for their own liberation, put pressure on the (Turkish) Porte to get rid of Ali Pasha. Turkish forces attackled Janina, and Ali Pasha found himself deserted by his sons and allies. He fought to the bitter end and was killed in 1822. His head was sent to Constantinople and publicly displayed.
Under Ali Pasha, Janina was the most advanced centre in the Western Ottoman empire. Although the great powers did not recognize the Janina and Shkodƫr pashaluks as independent principalities, they treated them as separate states as relations with the Porte deteriorated.
The great pashaluks created the conditions for a faster economic development of the Albanian regions. At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, the Ottoman empire entered a new phase of decline. Its downfall came from within and not from without, through the successful struggle of the subjugated peoples in the European part of the empire -- a struggle in which the Albanians played a prominent part. A strong national independence movement took root in Albania which was not satisfied with concessions such as the creation of semi-autonomous pashaluks, but which demanded full national and cultural rights. It soon became a well-organized movement. PP 18 and 19, Albania and the Albanians, Ramadan Marmullaku, C. Hurst & Company, London, 1975
(Ali Pasha) was rather soft and mild in appearance. He spoke both Albanian and Greek, plus a little Turkish, but was illiterate. Short in stature (about five feet five inches), an excellent shot and fearless, he remained active, ambitious, and vigorous until old age. He ruled over both Greeks and Albanians, but his main power rested with the latter (although his worst vengeance was also directed against the Albanians). He carried out considerable construction in both Epirus and Albania, including road building and the draining of marshes, while the merciless punishments curtailed crime. Despite repellent traits of behavior and the violence and ruthlessness of his rule, in official historiography he is regarded as a patriot and a fighter for Albanian independence. It is remarked, too, that Ali's death was the immediate precursor to the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence. PP 21 and 22, Historical Dictionary of Albania, Raymond Hutchins, The Scarecrow Press, Lanham, MD and London, 1996
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:52 AM   #20
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Pashko Vasa
-Governor of Lebanon, and Albanian Nationalist-

In the 19th century, the Ottoman dominion of Mount Lebanon, i.e. the later country of Lebanon, which had a large Christian population, was divided and governed by Christian Maronites and Druzes, the latter being members of an esoteric religion derived from Shia Islam. In 1861, the Ottomans agreed to a reunification of the country under a non-Lebanese Christian governor. How could this take place if Muslim-Christian relations were uniformly oppressive? One of the most famous governors of Lebanon was an Albanian Catholic, Pashko Vasa Shkodrani.

Para se t'hupet keshtu Shqypnia,
Me pushke n'dore le t'dese trimnia!
Coniu, shqyptare,prej gjumit coniu,
Te gjithe si vllazen n'nji bese shterngoniu,
E mos shikoni kisha e xhamia:
Feja e shqyptarit asht shqyptaria!
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