Gjirokastër alphabet

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Veso Bey script

The Gjirokastër alphabet, also known as Veso Bey alphabet, is one of the original Albanian language alphabets of the 19th century.[1] It is named after the town of Gjirokastër in South Albania where it was first encountered by the scholar Johann Georg von Hahn, also after Veso Bey, a rich local bey from the influential Alizoti family who provided it to Hahn. Hahn published in 1854 in his "Albanesische Studien", in Jena.[2]


According to Hahn, the alphabet was given to him by Veso bey, and had been used that far within Alizoti family circles.[2]

"Finally, another alphabet from southern Albania must be recorded here, one which the present author owes the discovery of to Veso bey, who is one of the most prominent chiefs of Gjirokastër, from the family of the Alisot Pashalides. Veso Bey learned it in his youth from an Albanian hodja as a secret script which his family inherited, and used it himself for correspondence with his relatives.


The alphabet, probably cryptic,[3] contains 22 letters.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Münchner Zeitschrift für Balkankunde". Münchner Zeitschrift für Balkankunde (in German). München: R. Trofenik. 4: 204. 1984. ISSN 0170-8929. OCLC 5784326.
  2. ^ a b The Elbasan Gospel Manuscript (Anonimi i Elbasanit), 1761, and the struggle for an original Albanian alphabet by Robert Elsie
  3. ^ David Diringer; Reinhold Regensburger (1968). The alphabet: a key to the history of mankind. Hutchinson. p. 284. ISBN 9780090676408.
  4. ^ Old Albanian Scripts