Albanian literature stretches back to the Middle Ages and comprises those literary texts and works written in the Albanian language. It may refer to literature written by Albanians in Albania and the Albanian diaspora in Italy; the Albanian language occupies an independent branch within the Indo-European family and does not have any other related language. The origin of the Albanian language is not known, but it may be a successor of the ancient Illyrian language; the earliest preserved text in Albanian might be a 208-page manuscript produced by Theodor of Shkodra in 1210. The Archbishop of Antivari Guillaume Adam wrote a report in 1332 in which he said that Albanians used Latin letters in their books although their language was quite different from the Latin language. Theodor of Shkodra or Theodor Shkodrani was an Albanian scholar of late 12th - early 13th century, of whom little is yet known. In 1998, a 208-page parchment written by Theodor of Shkodra discovered in the archives of Vatican dated to the year 1210.
The work is a manuscript decorated with golden miniatures and colored initials, divided in three parts. Pages 1–97 deal with theology, 98–146 with philosophy, pages 147–208 with a history of the known world from AD 153 to 1209. On the final page of the manuscript we find a note by the author "With the assistance and great love of the blessed Lord, I finished this in the year 1210 on the 9th day of March.". The expansion of the Ottoman Empire pushed many Albanians from their homeland during the period of the Western European Renaissance humanism. Among the Albanian émigrés that became known in the humanist world are historian Marin Barleti who in 1510 published in Rome a history of Skanderbeg, translated into all European languages, or Marino Becichemi, Gjon Gazulli, Leonicus Thomeus, Michele Maruli, Michele Artioti and many others who were distinguished in various fields of science and philosophy; the cultural resistance was first of all expressed through the elaboration of the Albanian language in the area of church sacrifices and publications of the Catholic confessional region in the North, but of the Orthodox in the South.
The Protestant reforms invigorated hopes for the development of the local language and literary tradition when cleric Gjon Buzuku brought into the Albanian language the Catholic liturgy, trying to do for the Albanian language what Luther did for German. Meshari by Gjon Buzuku, published by him in 1555, is considered to date as the first literary work of written Albanian; the refined level of the language and the stabilised orthography must be a result of an earlier tradition of writing Albanian, a tradition, not known. But there is some fragmented evidence, dating earlier than Buzuku, which indicates that Albanian was written at least since the 14th century AD; the first known evidence dates from 1332 AD and deals with the French Dominican Guillelmus Adae, Archbishop of Antivari, who in a report in Latin writes that Albanians use Latin letters in their books although their language is quite different from Latin. Of special importance in supporting this are: a baptizing formula of 1462, written in Albanian within a text in Latin by the bishop of Durrës, Pal Engjëlli.
Albanian writings of these centuries must not have been religious texts only, but historical chronicles too. They are mentioned by the humanist Marin Barleti, who, in his book The Siege of Shkodra, confirms that he leafed through such chronicles written in the language of the people. Despite the obstacles generated by the Counter-Reformation, opposed to the development of national languages in Christian liturgy, this process went on uninterrupted. During the 16th to 17th centuries, the catechism E mbësuame krishterë by Lekë Matrënga, Doktrina e krishterë and Rituale romanum by Pjetër Budi, the first writer of original Albanian prose and poetry, an apology for George Castriot by Frang Bardhi, who published a dictionary and folklore creations, the theological-philosophical treaty Cuneus Prophetarum by Pjetër Bogdani, the most universal personality of Albanian Middle Ages, were published in Albanian. Bogdani's work is a theological-philosophical treatise that considers with originality, by merging data from various sources, principal issues of theology, a full biblical history and the complicated problems of scholasticism, astronomy, etc.
Bogdani brought into Albanian culture the humanist spirit and praised the role of knowledge and culture in the life of man. Another important writer of the Early Albanian Literature was Jul Variboba. During 17th and 18th centuries, the literature of Orthodox and Muslim confessional cultural circles witnessed a greater development. An anonymous writer from Elbasan translated into Albanian a number of sections from the Bible; these efforts multiplied in the following century with the publication in 1827 of the integral text of the Dhiata e Re by G. Gjirokastriti and with the big corpus of religious translations by Konstandin Kristoforidhi, in both main dialects
National symbols of Albania
The national symbols of Albania are the symbols that are used in Albania to represent what is unique about the nation, reflecting different aspects of its culture and history. The symbols may be used in the Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and by the Arbëreshë in Italy. Albanian culture & Albanian people List of World Heritage Sites in Albania
Bektashi Order or Shī‘ah Imāmī Alevī-Bektāshī Ṭarīqah is a Sufi dervish order named after the 13th century Alevi Wali Haji Bektash Veli from Khorasan, but founded by Balım Sultan. The order, whose headquarters is in Tirana, Albania, is found throughout Anatolia and the Balkans, was strong in Albania and among Ottoman era Greek Muslims from the regions of Epirus and Macedonia. However, the Bektashi order does not seem to have attracted quite as many adherents from among Bosnian Muslims, who tended to favor more mainstream Sunni orders such as the Naqshbandiyya and Qadiriyya; the order represents the official ideology of Bektashism. In addition to the spiritual teachings of Haji Bektash Veli, the Bektashi order was significantly influenced during its formative period by the Hurufis, the Qalandariyya stream of Sufism, to varying degrees the Shia beliefs circulating in Anatolia during the 14th to 16th centuries; the mystical practices and rituals of the Bektashi order were systematized and structured by Balım Sultan in the 16th century after which many of the order's distinct practices and beliefs took shape.
A large number of academics consider Bektashism to have fused a number of Shia and Sufi concepts, although the order contains rituals and doctrines that are distinct. Throughout its history Bektashis have always had wide appeal and influence among both the Ottoman intellectual elite as well as the peasantry; the Bektashi Order is a Sufi order and shares much in common with other Islamic mystical movements, such as the need for an experienced spiritual guide—called a baba in Bektashi parlance — as well as the doctrine of "the four gates that must be traversed": the "Sharia", "Tariqah", "Marifa", "Haqiqah". Bektashism places much emphasis on the concept of Wahdat-ul-Wujood وحدة الوجود, the "Unity of Being", formulated by Ibn Arabi; this has been labeled as pantheism, although it is a concept closer to panentheism. Bektashism is heavily permeated with Shiite concepts, such as the marked reverence of Ali, The Twelve Imams, the ritual commemoration of Ashurah marking the Battle of Karbala; the old Persian holiday of Nowruz is celebrated by Bektashis as Imam Ali's birthday.
In keeping with the central belief of Wahdat-ul-Wujood the Bektashi see reality contained in Haqq-Muhammad-Ali, a single unified entity. Bektashi do not consider this a form of trinity. There are many other practices and ceremonies that share similarity with other faiths, such as a ritual meal and yearly confession of sins to a baba. Bektashis base their practices and rituals on their non-orthodox and mystical interpretation and understanding of the Quran and the prophetic practice, they have no written doctrine specific to them, thus rules and rituals may differ depending on under whose influence one has been taught. Bektashis revere Sufi mystics outside of their own order, such as Ibn Arabi, Al-Ghazali and Jelalludin Rumi who are close in spirit to them. Bektashis hold that the Quran has two levels of meaning: an inner, they hold the latter to be superior and eternal and this is reflected in their understanding of both the universe and humanity. Bektashism is initiatic and members must traverse various levels or ranks as they progress along the spiritual path to the Reality.
First level members are called aşıks عاشق. They are those who, while not having taken initiation into the order, are drawn to it. Following initiation one becomes a mühip محب. After some time as a mühip, one can become a dervish; the next level above dervish is that of baba. The baba is considered to be the head of a qualified to give spiritual guidance. Above the baba is the rank of halife-baba. Traditionally there were twelve of these; the dedebaba was considered to be the highest ranking authority in the Bektashi Order. Traditionally the residence of the dedebaba was the Pir Evi, located in the shrine of Hajji Bektash Wali in the central Anatolian town of Hacıbektaş, known as Hajibektash complex; the Bektashi are the disciples of some of his descendants. The Bektashi order was widespread in the Ottoman Empire, their lodges being scattered throughout Anatolia as well as many parts of the southern Balkans and in the imperial city of Constantinople; the order had close ties with the Janissary corps, the elite infantry corp of the Ottoman Army, therefore became associated with Anatolian and Balkan Muslims of Eastern Orthodox convert origin Albanians and northern Greeks.
With the abolition of Janissaries, the Bektashi order was banned throughout the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Mahmud II in 1826. This decision was supported by the Sunni religious elite as well as the leaders of other, more orthodox, Sufi orders. Bektashi tekkes were closed and their dervishes were exiled. Bektashis regained freedom with the coming of the Tanzimat era. After the foundation of republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk banned all Sufi orders and shut down the lodges in 1925; the Bektashi leadership moved to Albania and established their headquarters in the city of Tirana. Among the most famous follower
The Albanians are an ethnic group native to the Balkan Peninsula and are identified by a common Albanian ancestry, culture and language. They live in Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia as well as in Croatia and Italy, they constitute a diaspora with several communities established in the Americas and Oceania. The ethnogenesis of the Albanians and the Albanian language is a matter of controversy among the historians and ethnologists, they appear for the first time in historical records from the 11th century mentioning a tribe of people living in the area which today constitutes the mountainous region around the Mat and Drin. The Shkumbin splits the Albanians into two cultural and linguistical subgroups, the Ghegs and Tosks, though both groups identify with a common ethnic and national culture; the history of the Albanian diaspora is centuries old and has its roots in migration from the Middle Ages established in Southern Europe and subsequently on across other parts of the world. Between the 13th and 18th centuries, sizeable numbers of Albanians migrated to escape either various social, economic or political difficulties.
One population who became the Arvanites settled Southern Greece between the 13th and 16th centuries assimilating into and now self-identifying as Greeks. Another population who emerged as the Arbëreshës settled Sicily and Southern Italy constituting the oldest continuous Albanian diaspora. Smaller populations such as the Arbanasis whose migration dates back to the 18th century are located in Southern Croatia and scattered across Southern Ukraine. In the 13th century, the Ghegs converted to Roman Catholicism from Eastern Orthodoxy as a means to resist the Slavic Serbs. In the 15th century, Skanderbeg led the medieval Albanian resistance to the Ottoman conquest. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Albanians in large numbers converted to Islam, in part due to the privileged legal and social position of Muslims in the empire and coercion by Ottoman authorities in times of war. Albanians attained important political and military positions within the Ottoman Empire and culturally contributed to the wider Muslim world.
Following the Albanian National Awakening, during the Balkan Wars, in 1912, Albanians were partitioned between the newly-formed Independent Albania and Serbia and Montenegro. From 1945 to 1992, Albania was ruled by a communist government. Albanians in neighbouring Yugoslavia underwent periods of discrimination that concluded with the breakup of that state in the early 1990s and the independence of Kosovo in 2008; the Albanians and their country Albania have been identified by many ethnonyms. The most common native ethnonym is "Shqiptar", plural "Shqiptarë". From these ethnonyms, names for Albanians were derived in other languages, that were or still are in use. In English "Albanians"; the term "Albanoi" is first encountered twice in the works of Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates, the term "Arvanitai" is used once by the same author. He referred to the "Albanoi" as having taken part in a revolt against the Byzantine Empire in 1043, to the "Arbanitai" as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium; these references have been disputed as to.
Historian E. Vranoussi believes, she notes that the same term in medieval Latin meant "foreigners". The reference to "Arvanitai" from Attaliates regarding the participation of Albanians in a rebellion around 1078 is undisputed. In Byzantine usage, the terms "Arbanitai" and "Albanoi" with a range of variants were used interchangeably, while sometimes the same groups were called by the classicising name Illyrians; the first reference to the Albanian language dates to the latter 13th century. The ethnonym Albanian has been hypothesized to be connected to and stem from the Albanoi, an Illyrian tribe mentioned by Ptolemy with their centre at the city of Albanopolis. Linguists believe that the alb part in the root word originates from an Indo-European term for a type of mountainous topography, from which other words such as alps are derived. Through the root word alban and its rhotacized equivalents arban and arbar, the term in Albanian became rendered as Arbëneshë/Arbëreshë for the people and Arbënia/Arbëria for the country.
The Albanian language was referred to as Arbërisht. 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 Shqiptarë and to their country as Shqipëria. Two etymologies have been proposed for this ethnonym: one, derived from the etymology from the Albanian word for eagle. In Albanian folk etymology, this word denotes a bird totem, dating from the times of Skanderbeg as displayed on the Albanian flag; the other is within scholarship that connects it to the verb'to speak' from the Latin "excipere". In this instance the Albanian endonym like Slav and others would have been a term connoting "those who speak [intelligibly, th
Albanian is an Indo-European language spoken by the Albanians in the Balkans and the Albanian diaspora in the Americas and Oceania. It comprises an independent branch within the Indo-European languages and is not related to any other language in Europe. Gheg and Tosk constitute the major dialects of the Albanian language with Gheg spoken in the north and Tosk spoken in the south of the Shkumbin. Standard Albanian is a standardised form of spoken Albanian based on the Tosk dialect, it is the official language of Albania and North Macedonia as well as a minority language of Italy, Montenegro and Serbia. Centuries-old communities speaking Albanian dialects can be found scattered in Croatia, Italy as well as in Romania and Ukraine; the language is spoken by 7 million people in Albania, Greece, North Macedonia and Montenegro. However, due to the large Albanian diaspora, the worldwide total of speakers is much higher than in Southern Europe; the Albanian language is the official language of Albania and Kosovo, co-official in North Macedonia.
Albanian is a recognised minority language in Croatia, Montenegro, Romania and in Serbia. Albanian is spoken by its Minority in Greece in the Thesprotia and Preveza regional units and in a few villages in Ioannina and Florina regional units in Greece, it is spoken by 600,000 Albanian immigrants in Greece. Albanian is the third most spoken language in Italy; this is due to a substantial Albanian immigration to Italy. Italy has a historical Albanian minority of about 500,000, scattered across southern Italy, known as Arbëreshë. 1 million Albanians from Kosovo are dispersed throughout Germany and Austria. These are refugees from Kosovo who migrated during the Kosovo War. In Switzerland, the Albanian language is the sixth most spoken language with 176,293 native speakers. Albanian became an official language of the Republic of North Macedonia on January 15, 2019. There are large numbers of Albanian speakers in the United States, Chile and Canada; some of the first ethnic Albanians to arrive in the United States were Arbëreshë.
Arbëreshe have a strong sense of identity, are unique in that they speak an archaic dialect of Tosk Albanian called Arbëreshë. In North America there are 250,000 Albanian speakers, it is spoken in the eastern area of the United States in cities like New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Ohio and Detroit. Greater New Orleans has a large Arbëresh community. Oftentimes, wherever there are Italians, there are a few Arbëreshe mixed with them. Arbëreshe Americans, therefore are indistinguishable from Italian Americans due to being assimilated into the Italian American community. In Argentina there are nearly 40,000 Albanian speakers in Buenos Aires. 1.3 million people of Albanian ancestry live in Turkey, more than 500,000 recognizing their ancestry and culture. There are other estimates, that place the number of people in Turkey with Albanian ancestry and or background upward to 5 million. However, the vast majority of this population is assimilated and no longer possesses fluency in the Albanian language, though a vibrant Albanian community maintains its distinct identity in Istanbul to this day.
In Egypt there are around 18,000 Albanians Tosk speakers. Many are descendants of the Janissary of Muhammad Ali Pasha, an Albanian who became Wāli, self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. In addition to the dynasty that he established, a large part of the former Egyptian and Sudanese aristocracy was of Albanian origin. In addition to the recent emigrants, there are older diasporic communities around the world. Albanian is spoken by Albanian diaspora communities residing in Australia and New Zealand; the Albanian language has two distinct dialects, Tosk, spoken in the south, Gheg spoken in the north. Standard Albanian is based on the Tosk dialect; the Shkumbin river is the rough dividing line between the two dialects. Gheg is divided into four sub-dialects, in Northwest Gheg, Northeast Gheg, Central Gheg, Southern Gheg, it is spoken in northern Albania and throughout Montenegro and northwestern North Macedonia. One divergent dialect is the Upper Reka dialect, however classified as Central Gheg.
There is a diaspora dialect in Croatia, the Arbanasi dialect. Tosk is divided into five sub-dialects, including Northern Tosk, Labërisht, Çam, Arbëresh. Tosk is spoken in southwestern North Macedonia and northern and southern Greece. Cham Albanian is spoken in North-western Greece, while Arvanitika is spoken by the Arvanites in southern Greece. In addition Arbëresh is spoken by the Arbëreshë people, descendants of 15th and 16th century migrants who settled in southeastern Italy, in small communities in the regions of Sicily and Calabria; the Albanian language has been written using many different alphabets since the earliest records from the 14th century. The history of Albanian language orthography is related to the cultural orientation and knowledge of certain foreign languages among Albanian writers; the earliest written Albanian records come from the Gheg area in makeshift spellings based on Italian or Greek. The Tosk dialect was written in the Greek alphabet and the Gheg dialect was written in the Latin script.
Both dialects had been written in the Ottoman Turkish version of the Arabic