National Geographic : 1931 Feb
EUROPE'S NEWEST KINGDOM Not gold, but countless bits of base metal, met their gaze. Curses! But hold! What strange characters on those tiny wedges? Conjurations, assuredly! Deal ings with the Devil! The superstitious gang fled, leaving Theodore, his throat cut, surrounded by-printers' pi. Thus befell the introduction of type into Albania. A RIVER DIVIDES ALBANIA'S Two PEOPLES From Elbasani westward to Duressi (Durazzo) we followed the course of the Shkumbini (see map, p. 133), that natural dividing line between Albania's two peo ples, the Ghegs to the north thereof, the Tosks to the south. Now, Strabo writes of the Illyrians and the Epirotes as living, respectively, to northward and to south ward of a boundary that practically corre sponds to the Shkumbini's course; hence it is reasonable to infer that the Ghegs descend from the former and the Tosks from the latter. Contrasts in speech and characteristics, as between northerners and southerners, are to be found in most countries. Moun tains breed one kind of man, plains an other. Whatever differences in dialect and character exist between Gheg and Tosk, these are certainly less referable to a re mote genealogy than to existent topo graphical conditions. The differences as between Scotsman and Englishman offer a perhaps not too strained comparison to those distinguishing Albania's two peoples. It is the Via Egnatia that Strabo names as the Tosk-Gheg boundary, and it was over that Roman military route to Asia that we motored from Elbasani to sea-set Duressi, the Dyrrachium of Rome's hey day. Many a little Illyrian boy who beheld her splendid legions on the march grew up to serve in the Praetorian Guard. One such native youngster, named Diocletian, little thought that he would one day wear the imperial purple. Yet another of Illyria's embryo emperors, small Constantine, des tined to be named "the Great," may have yelled "Here they come!" as the legions swung through his home town of Nish, now the Serbian Nis. Cyclopean structures have been un earthed near Gjinokastra, Greek remains have been excavated at Himara, Pojani (Apollonia), and near Saranda; but the tale of the Roman period, when togaed Wide World Photograph KING ZOG OF ALBANIA His Majesty came to the throne in 1928, when Albania changed its form of government from a republic to a monarchy. He heads a nation of more than 8oo,ooo subjects.