Gabriele Dara

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Gabriele Dara
Gavril Dara.jpg
Born 8 January 1826
Palazzo Adriano, Province of Palermo, Sicily, southern Italy
Died 1885 (aged 59)
Agrigento, Sicily, Italy
Occupation lawyer, publisher, politician, and poet
Nationality Italian
Period 1856–1880
Genre Poetry
Literary movement Albanian National Awakening
Notable works The last lay of Bala (Albanian: Kënka e sprasme e Balës)

Gabriele Dara (1826–1885) commonly known as Gavril Dara Junior (Albanian: Gavril Dara i Ri, Italian: Gabriele Dara il Giovane[1]) was an Arbëreshë politician and poet of the 19th century. He is regarded as one of the early writers of the Albanian National Awakening.


Gabriele Dara on a 1989 Albanian stamp

Gabriele Dara was born on 8 January 1826 in Palazzo Adriano, a town in Sicily, southern Italy. His family was one of the first to migrate from Albania to Italy after Skanderbeg's death.[2] His grandfather Gabriele Dara the Elder was among the first collectors of Arbëreshë folklore, while his father Ndre or Andrea published a dictionary of folkloric terms.[3]

At an early age he learned Latin and ancient Greek. In Palermo he received a degree in law and practiced in Agrigento. After the unification of Italy he held a variety of offices in Sicily.[4] At first he served as the first councilor of the prefecture of Palermo and from 1867 to 1869 as governor of Trapani, a town in western Sicily. From 1871 to 1874 he was the director of the liberal political magazine The Reform (Italian: La Riforma). He died in 1885 in Agrigento.[5]


His early works include verse in the Italian language and a poem in Arberesh dedicated to Saint Lazarus. Dara's best-known work is Kënka e sprasme e Balës (The last song of Bala) originally written in Arbëresh language and later translated into Italian.[4] Kënka e sprasme e Balës is a four-part epic romantic ballad containing nine cantos and recounts the adventures of Nik Peta and Pal Golemi, two Albanian heroes that lived in the era of the League of Lezhë.[4] It was first published in 1887 after his death in installments in the periodical Arbri i ri (Young Albania), published by Giuseppe Schirò. In July 1900 it was fully published in Arbëresh and Italian in the journal La Nazione albanese (The Albanian Nation).[4]


  1. ^ Lingua. Vaccarizzo Albanese website
  2. ^ Pynsent, Robert (1993). Reader's encyclopedia of Eastern European literature. HarperCollins. p. 81. ISBN 0-06-270007-3.
  3. ^ Minni, Dino (1990). Writers in transition: the proceedings of the First National Conference of Italian-Canadian Writers. Guernica Editions. p. 62. ISBN 0-920717-26-8.
  4. ^ a b c d Elsie, Robert; Centre for Albanian Studies (2005). Albanian literature: a short history. I.B.Tauris. pp. 56–7. ISBN 1-84511-031-5.
  5. ^ Qosja, Rexhep (1984). Historia e letërsisë shqipe: romantizmi. Historia e letërsisë shqipe: romantizmi (in Albanian). 2. Botimet Toena. p. 459.