Demetrio Franco

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Demetrio Franco
Born 1443
Died 1525
Occupation scholar, soldier and Catholic priest
Known for author of the biography of Skanderbeg
Notable work Comentario de le cose de' Turchi, et del S. Georgio Scanderbeg, principe d' Epyro

Demetrio Franco (Albanian: Dhimitër Frëngu; 1443–1525) was an Albanian scholar, soldier and Catholic priest. His foremost work is considerered to be Comentario de le cose de' Turchi, et del S. Georgio Scanderbeg, principe d' Epyro, a biography of the national hero of Albania Skanderbeg.


Franco was born in Drivasto (Drisht), Venetian Empire (modern northern Albania) in 1443. Through his mother he was member of the Angelus noble family and a cousin of Paulus Angelus, the Archbishop of Durrës and a close collaborator of Scanderbeg.[1] In 1466 he accompanied Skanderbeg in Rome as a scribe.[2] In 1479 after Shkodër was conquered by the Ottoman Empire he migrated to Italy, where he served as vicar until his death in Trevi in 1525.[3]


The Latin work Commentario del le cose de' Turchi et del S. Georgio Scanderbeg, principe di Epyrro, con la sua vita et le uittorie per lui fatte (1539),[1] a biography of the national hero of Albania, Skanderbeg, has been ascribed to Franco. Some scholars consider the work to be more critical towards foreign allies of the League of Lezhë than that of Marin Barleti, while others view it more as a summary of Barleti's biography than an original work.[3] Some scholars in the past disputed Franco's authorship, because the first edition of the work had no authorship information.[3] Originally published in Venice in 1545, in 1584 it was translated to Italian by Catholic priest Giovanni Maria Bonardo with the title Gli illustri e gloriosi gesti e vittoriose imprese fatte contro i Turchi dal Signor Don Georgio Castriotto detto Scanderbeg, principe d' Epiro.[3][4] The work has also recently been ascribed to his cousin, Paulus Angelus.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Elsie 2012, p. 147
  2. ^ Shuteriqi, Dhimitër (1978). Shkrimet shqipe në vitet 1332-1850 (in Albanian). Rilindja. p. 42. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d Prenushi, Mikel. "Dhimitër Frangu, Skanderbeg's historian and soldier". Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Sarrocchi, Margherita; Russell, Rinaldina (2006-10-01). Scanderbeide: the heroic deeds of George Scanderberg, King of Epirus. University of Chicago Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-226-73508-5. Retrieved 1 April 2011.