Albania (i/ælˈbeɪniə/, al-BAY-nee-ə, or sometimes /ɔːlˈbeɪniə/, awl-BAY-nee-ə; Albanian:Shqipëri/Shqipëria; Gheg Albanian:Shqipni/Shqipnia, Shqypni/Shqypnia), officially known as the Republic of Albania (Albanian:Republika e Shqipërisë; Albanian pronunciation:[ɾɛpuˈblika ɛ ʃcipəˈɾiːs]), is a country in Southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than 72km (45mi) from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which connects the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea.
The toponymAlbania may indicate several different geographical regions: a country in the Balkans; an ancient land in the Caucasus; as well as Scotland, Albania being a Latinization of a Gaelic name for Scotland, Alba. This article will cover etymology, as well as trace the usage of the toponyms and related toponyms and ethnonyms from their earliest known occurrence down to present times.
Albania as the name of Caucasian Albania, a state and historical region of eastern Caucasus, that existed on the territory of present-day republic of Azerbaijan (where both of its capitals were located) and partially southern Dagestan.
However, unlike the names of the other two European countries, this name was an exonym given to them by the Romans, as no one knew what these inhabitants called themselves. Compare also the land in Caucasus called Iberia, with the Iberian peninsula in Europe.
Albania as the name of a region in the Balkans attested in Medieval Latin. It may derive from an ethnonym, Albanoi, the name of an Illyrian tribe.
Some linguists propose a derivation from the Proto-Indo-European root *albho-, which meant 'white'; referring perhaps to the snow-capped mountains of Albania.
Others think the source may be a non-Indo-European root *alb-, meaning "hill, mountain", also present in alp "mountain pasture".