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Marin Barleti, a prominent humanist, historian, the first known writer of the old Albanian literature

  • 12/11/2020 10:38 AM
Marin Barleti, a prominent humanist, historian, the first known writer of the old Albanian literature

Marin Barleti, a prominent humanist, historian, the first known writer and one of the greatest of the old Albanian literature. Very little is known about his life. Barleti was born in 1460 in Shkodra. He experienced the first Ottoman siege of the city, while in the second siege, in 1478-79, he participated with weapons in hand in the defense of his homeland. After the fall of Shkodra he lived in exile as a priest in the Venetian territories. Here he complemented his humanist culture studies and became a profound connoisseur of classical literature and Latin, in which he wrote his works. Living with many Albanian emigrants, he gained extensive knowledge about the era of the Albanian hero Skanderbeg and the great struggle of the Albanian people for freedom, which he expanded with the data of literature. “The siege of Shkodra” is one of the works of Marin Barleti, giving the dramatic story of the struggle for life or the death of the inhabitants of the city besieged for a year by the Ottomans. Based on his memoirs as well as those of other participants, the book gives an accurate account of the political-military events, but especially of the internal aspect, of the high patriotic consciousness of the inhabitants of the city. The work had three Latin reprints and 5 translations into other languages. Marin Barleti's major work is “The History of Skanderbeg”( Rome between 1508 and 1510). It shows the author as a high-level writer and as a historian, who tries to build the exact framework of the hero's life and, despite the objective difficulties in securing the sources, gives extensive knowledge of «What happened in the XV century and what development our society, the Albanian peasantry, had at that time, not only historically, but also culturally, economically and in other directions.

All the works of Marin Barleti stand as a first-hand source and irreplaceable for the history of the XV century of Albania, as well as of Southeast Europe. Marin Barleti's high concept of history confirms him as a prominent thinker, in whom the clergy disappears behind the humanist; history for him was the fruit of the action of men and not of divine powers. Barleti's "History of Skanderbeg" became the most important source, from where Albanian patriots learned the history of the glorious wars of our people under the leadership of Skanderbeg and inspired by their efforts for the salvation and freedom of Albania. “The History of Scanderbeg” is considered an Albanian cultural treasure, vital to the formation of Albanian national self-consciousness.

/Klara Ruci/