National Geographic : 1918 Aug
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Drawn by A.H.Bumstead SKETCH MAP OF ALBANIA AND ITS BORDER COUNTRIES OF THE BALKAN PENINSULA The sector of Albania now occupied by Italian troops runs north of the river Viosa from the bend of the river Semini to the Adriatic on the west and the French Armee d'Orient on the east (see pages 90 and 91). The more attractive part of southern Albania lies, of course, near the Adriatic. Fruits and grain are profitably grown along the seacoast, with its sunlit inlets shut in by pleasant hills and with a cli mate which resembles that of Sicily. Excellent grazing lands extend up the mountain sides, affording pasturage in times of peace for large flocks and herds, the people's chief source of livelihood, while fish from the sea and the rivers and game from the hills-deer, wild boar, hares, game birds, bear, and even the chamois-are important resources. THE STRANGE RUMANI Among the Albanians lives a fragment of a strange people who call themselves Rumani, said to be descendants of the Romans - of that fifth Roman legion which dispersed and was scattered along the old highway stretching from Durazzo to Constantinople. This great road of ancient Rome (Via Egnatia), called at its beginning the Appian Way, passes south east through Italy to Brindisi; begins again at Durazzo, runs thence through Elbasan by Lake Ochrida to Krusha, and on to Monastir and Vodena; thence to Saloniki and beyond to Constantinople. The Rumani are very proud of their origin, and answer the question of race by saying, "I am a descendant of the Romans." They are a simple, pastoral people, not given to robbery or brigand age. Their primitive little villages of stone are frequently seen in the moun tains, often perched near high summits. A large colony of them, known as Vlachs, live on the slope of the Pindus Moun tains in sight of Liascoviki, but far away across valley and gorge.