Year III, July – December 2018, 3 – 4

Johannes Koder

Illyrikon dhe Illyrios. Emra gjeografikë dhe etnikë të familjes së fjalës *illyr në burimet bizantine

Illyrikon and Illyrios. Geographical and ethnic names in the word family *illyr in Byzantine documents

Keywords: Illyrikon, Illyrios, Illyr, Albanians, Byzantium, Dalmatia, Macedonia, Thrace.

The etymology of the word *illyr has never been cleared up. On the other hand, the adjectives illyrikos/n and illyrios deriving from this word have over time had different geographical and ethnic meaning and connotations. Visible semantic differences appeared since the times of emperor Justinian. Eustathius of Thesalonica, for instance, asserts that Illyris is situated behind Dalmatia starting from the south, to the right of the Ionian sea; Historian Procopius of Ceasarea not only distinguishes Illyrian territories from those of the Thracians but also from those of the Dalmatians.
Other chronicians such as Anna Comnena and Joannes Zonaras asserted that Illyricum is in the north of Macedonia and Thrace. In addition to the usage of the names stemming from *illyr, Prof. Koder believes that also the nominal adjectives illyrikos, illyrios and illyrikons were used indifferently by different historians and chronicians.


Arben Ndreca

Emni “Kastriot” në një letër serbisht të vjetit 1368

The name Kastriot in a letter in Serbian from 1368

Keywords: Castriot, Valona, Aleksandar Valonski, Scanderbeg.

In the letter sent by Alexander of Valona to the Republic of Ragusa in 1368 is mentioned the name of kephale Kastriot. This is so far the earliest document in which this name appears. From the context it stands to reason that Kastriot here is a first name, not a surname as in the case of the Albanian hero Gjergj Kastrioti-Scanderbeg. This letter helps to shed light on the fact that later on this name was used as a surname in at least one case, that of the household of Scanderbeg. Although it is impossible to assert that this Kastriot is an ancestor of Scanderbeg, the name Kastriot helps imagine the connotations it conveyed to the average Albanian listener and speaker when it was used as a surname.
The letter was first published by F. Miklosich and later on by other well-known scholars of Slavic studies.


Jovan Radonić

Disa dokumente rreth Skënderbeut

A handful of documents about Scanderbeg

Keywords: Jovan Radonić, Gjergj Kastriot Scanderbeg, Šufflay, Slavic studies, Albania.

A student of Prof. K. Jireček and friend of M. Šufflay, Dr. Jovan Radonić's collection of documents Ћураћ Кастриот Скендербег и Арбанија у XV веку (En. Gjergj Kastriot - Scanderbeg and Albania in the 15th century), remains to this day an invaluable source of information on the Albanian Hero. Most of these letters have long been neglected, little known or completely unknown to historians interested in the period of the wars of the Albanians against the Ottomans.
Published in 1942, the collection includes documents from different archives and in different languages. Not only did Radonić published the letters from the archives of Barcelona and Milan which M. Šufflay passed on to him, but he also reproduced in this collection letters, notes and chronicles mentioned or published by other historians.


Mikel Pllumaj

Dy përvjetorë

Two anniversaries

Keywords: Franciscans, National identity, Slavisation, Hellenisation, the Ottoman conquest, Balkans, Scanderbeg.

Focusing on the 550 anniversary of the death of the Albanian National Hero Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu and on the 770 anniversary of the settling of the Franciscan order in Albania (1248), the essay highlights the invaluable contribute of the Franciscans to the preservation of cultural and national values of the Albanians. The settling of the Franciscans in the Albanian territories occurred when hellenisation and slavisation had gain momentum the author believes.
When the Ottomans appeared in the Balkan Peninsula in an attempt to overrun Albania and reach Italy, the Franciscans never stopped working for the defense of the Cristian faith. In fact, their aid to Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu in his activity and struggle against the Turks is widely acknowledged. Some of the Franciscan friars would be emissaries of Skanderbeg to the European courts, others would even exhort or participate in the battles of the Albanians against the Ottomans.

Evalda Paci

Çështje të studimit të disa varianteve të botimit të veprave të Marin Barletit

Questions on the study of different editions of Marin Barleti’s works

Keywords: Renaissance humanist literature, historiography, critical editions, early Albanian literature, the art of writing.

Critical editions of early Albanian literature works constitute interesting topics as to the study of text patterns reverberating with them. There is a consolidated tradition of the study of the authors who published liturgical and pocket prayer books and catechism booklets in the 16th-18th centuries. Of no less importance are the authors who published in Latin, as their works are ranked among the most important with reference to the history of the early Albanian literature. From this viewpoint, the works of Marin Barleti as well have come into the focus of specific in-depth studies, with rich commentaries and footnotes. The translations and the various adaptations of Barleti’s works bear witness to the importance that they represent for Albanologists.


Matteo Mandalà

La kalimera di Lazzaro: Varianti testuali siculo-arbëreshe

The Kalimera of Lazarus: Textual versions of Sicilian-Arbëresh poetry

Keywords: Albanian philology, Albanian literature, archetypical myths, cultural anthropology.

This kalimera forms part of an ancient pagan rite of agricultural fertility, which due to syncretism is conserved in the paraliturgical practices still existing in the Arbëresh communities in southern Italy.
Belonging to the cycle of commemoration of the dead, Lazarus’ Saturday is the second of the four Saturdays (the first is that of the carnival – in Alb. E shtuna e shpirtravet), during which participants sing the ballad of Constantine and Doruntina; the second Saturday, as mentioned, is that of the Resurrection of Lazarus, featuring liturgical hymns known as the hymns of the Holy Week; the third is the Saturday on the Easter’s Eve when the bells were untied; the fourth Saturday is that of the Pentecost, in Alb. E shtunia e shalës, (Christi rosalia), during which the famous song Moj e bukura More was performed, chiming in the approaching of the Spring and that of the Great Era (in Alb. Moti i madh).
The essay to which a second part is being written, reconstructs and displays handwritten and typewritten traditions witnessing different stages of how the cult of Lazarus was conveyed over the centuries through different elaboration of the lyrics. It especially reflects certain peculiarities of the elaboration and adaptation of a pagan tradition, considered as heretical by bishops, to the official one based on the Holy Gospel.

Italo Sarro

Una scuola laica a Scutari nel 1781

A lay school in Shkodra in 1781

Keywords: Giorgio Radovani, mons. Kryezezi, famiglia Vladagni, Scuola albanese, Propaganda Fide, Scutari.

The education of the Albanian clergy was a problem close to the heart of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide. In fact, soon after its foundation, the Congregation, using abundant financial resources, promoted Colleges in Italy for the ecclesiastic education of young Albanians as well as for schools in Albania. Such schools, which had their ups and downs, proved useful for basic education for the clergy but also for the offspring of the local merchants.
Scholar Italo Sarro focuses in this paper on this particular aspect of education in Albania in the second half of the 18th century. This initiative, which calculated to be funded also locally, did not have a happy end. In fact, it was not appreciated by Msgr. Gjergj Engjëlli Radovani, who, following in the footsteps of his predecessor Msgr. Pal Kamsi, relied on this initiative which he did not hesitate to label as saint.

Marco Moroni - Ariana Hoxha

I Collegi Illirici di Loreto e Fermo e la cultura albanese: le dispore del passato e quella di oggi

The Illyrian College in Loreto and Fermo and Albanian culture. Diaspores in the past and in the present

Keywords: Albanian schools; Illyricum, diaspora, Loreto, Fermo.

This is a further relation on the report introduced at the Seminari XIV Mbarëkombëtar “Për mësimin plotësues në gjuhën Shqipe në Diasporë held in Tirana, 31 July-3 Aug. 2018.
There have been several diaspores in the history of the Albanians. In the diaspores from the past, especially those from the 15th, 16th and the 17th centuries, little known schools played a key role in the defence of the national identity. Such schools were promoted by bishops, vicars, and missionaries who had been educated at the Illyrian colleges of Loreto and Fermo, in Italy. In the following centuries as well schools founded by either lay or religious authorities served as a vehicle of national identity besides acting as an active body of liberation.
A similar role nowadays is being played by the schools of Albanian language set up abroad over the past decades serving the present-day Albanian diaspora. Because of this, as emerged from the Seminari XIV mbarëkombëtar, political authorities in Tirana and Kosovë should support actively their mission.

Leonardo M. Savoia - Majlinda Bregasi

Gjuha shqipe dhe identiteti i emigrantëve shqiptarë në Itali

Albanian language as a fondamental ingredient of identity of the Albanians in Italy

Keywords: Ethnic identity, Albanian language, discrimination, emigration.

The essay sees language as the most important element of the identity of the Albanians in Italy starting with the first Arbëresh emigration in the second half of the 15th century, to the most recent one at the beginning of the 1990s.
The first part of the essay is a historic description and focuses on the foundation of the first Arbëresh settlements in southern Italy; the most meaningful elements shaping Arbëresh identity; the major role which the Arbëresh played during the National Awakening; socio-stilistic status of the Arbëresh language in the framework of the languages and dialects spoken nowadays in Italy until the meeting point with the “brothers coming from overseas”  when awareness of distinction between Arbëresh and Shqiptar identities arose.
The second part of the essay deals with the status of the Albanian language; the recent Albanian emigrants to Italy; their discrimination; the main factor influencing the process of the language assimilation marking the beginning of the process of the identity assimilation. Data attained from a questionnaire of 70 individuals interviewed display a wavering and brittle ethnic identity of the Albanians residing in Italy nowadays.


Mustafa Kruja

Dinastij’ e Kastriotvet dhe betej’e parë e Kosovës (1389)

Mustafa Kruja

Historij’ e Skënderbegut