The term for a people located in the area of Albania is first encountered in the works of Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates.
He referred to them as "Albanoi" having taken part in a revolt against the Byzantine Empire in 1043 and to the "Arbanitai" as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium (modern Durrës).
At the beginning of the 15th century these principalities became stronger, especially because of the fall of the Serbian Empire.
Some of these principalities were united in 1444 under the military alliance called League of Lezha.
If the dating of Grujic is accepted, which is based primarily upon the contents of the text as a whole, this would be the earliest written document referring to the Albanians as a people or language group.
It can be seen that there are various languages on earth.
A large Albanian population lives in Greece, Italy, the Republic of Macedonia, with smaller Albanian populations located in Serbia and Montenegro.
Albanians produced many prominent figures such as Skanderbeg, leader of the medieval Albanian resistance to the Ottoman conquest, and others during the Albanian National Awakening seeking self-determination.
Three of these have Orthodox alphabets: Greek, Bulgarian and Iberian.
Outside the southwestern Balkans where Albanians have traditionally been located, Albanian populations through the course of history have formed new communities contributing to the cultural, economic, social and political life of their host populations and countries while also at times assimilating too.
Between the 11th and 18th centuries, sizeable numbers of Albanians migrated from the area of contemporary Albania to escape either various sociopolitical difficulties or the Ottoman conquest.
While the exonym Albania for the general region inhabited by the Albanians does have connotations to Classical Antiquity, the Albanian language employs a different ethnonym, with modern Albanians referring to themselves as Shqip(ë)tarë and to their country as Shqipëria.
It was discovered in a Serbian manuscript dated 1628 and was first published in 1934 by Radoslav Grujic.