The Albanians are likely descended from the ancient Illyrians who first saw their lands invaded by the Romans in 229 BC. The Roman wars were long, arduous and destructive and the Illyrians remained rebellious throughout the occupation.
Throughout the Middle Ages the Bulgarians, Normans, Venetians and Serbs all had designs on Albania. In the 14th century the Turkish occupation of the Balkans began. At this time Albania was divided into three principalities; the Ballshas in the North, the Tropias in Central Albania and Cameria in the South.
The Turkish occupation of Albania lasted for almost 500 years and the domination was met with uprisings, lawlessness and violent oppostion. However it wasn't until the 1880s that the Turkish grip on Albania began to loosen as the days of the Turkish Ottoman Empire came to an end.
The Albanians declared independence in 1912. It was established as a Principality by the Great Powers under Prince (Mbret) Wilhelm zu Wied who arrived in 1914, and lasted until the outbreak of the Great War. In 1925 the country became a Republic under President Zogu. He became King (Mbret) in 1928 when the country became a Kingdom.