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Jani Vreto, a writer, publisher, important figure of the National Renaissance.

  • 11/6/2020 8:38 PM
Jani Vreto, a writer, publisher, important figure of the National Renaissance.

Jani Vreto was a writer, publisher, important figure of the National Renaissance. He was born in Postenan, in the Vilayet of Ioannina on January 14, 1822. He attended his first lessons in a Greek school near Konica, and in 1843-1847 he attended the well-known gymnasium "Zosimea" in Ioannina. In 1847 he wrote a poem about Skanderbeg in the Greek alphabet and began collecting Albanian proverbs and folk songs. In 1854 he moved to Constantinople.

In 1866 he published a Greek grammar translated into Albanian. In the early ‘70s he became known and associated with the leading figures of the Albanian national movement, such as: Hasan Tahsini, Sami Frashëri, Pashko Vasa and Ferid pasha Vlora. He corresponded with prominent Albanian figures in Egypt, such as: Thimi Mitko, Spiro Dine and Thimi Thoma Kreji and Dhimitër Kamarda and Jeronim De Rada in Italy. In 1877 he became a founding member of the Central Committee for the Protection of the Rights of the Albanian Nationality and actively worked to fulfill its goals.

In 1878, he published the work "Apology" in Greek, in which he discusses the origin of the Albanians, the language, the territories inhabited by them and their rights. At the beginning of 1879 he was appointed a member of the commission set up by the Central Committee to decide on the final Albanian alphabet. On October 12, 1879, he participated in the founding of the Shkronja Shqip Printing Society, which would dedicate its energies to the publication of Albanian books, especially textbooks, as well as the opening of schools in the Albanian language.

He was the author of a statute (canonism) of society. In 1881 he went to Bucharest to arouse interest in the national movement among many Albanians living in Romania, and founded a section of the Albanian Letter Printing Society there. After returning to Istanbul, Vretoja worked hard for the publication of the periodical "Drita" (later "Dituria"), which was published in Constantinople from August 1884 to July 1885. Two books were published with the "Drita" Society of Bucharest. In 1888 he adapted the work "Erveheja" by Muhamet Kyçyk with the Istanbul alphabet, clearing it of some orientalism. A year later he published a 158-page work entitled "Radhuashkronjë", Bucharest 1889 (Calculations), for Albanian merchants and businessmen in Romania.

In 2012 he was awarded (posthumously) the Order "Honor of the Nation" with the motivation: "Prominent figure of the nation, one of the bright activists of the Renaissance, who saw the national issue as linked to the creation and development of national education and efforts he considered the creation of the Albanian alphabet and the publication of the first Albanian primer as great battles for the victory of independence and the creation of the Albanian state. Jani Vreto passed away on July 9, 1900 in Athens.

/Klara Ruci/