Jani Vreto

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Jani Vreto
Vreto.jpg
Born 1822
Postenan, (Kolonjë District, Korçë County in modern Albania), then Ottoman Empire
Died 1900 (aged 78)
Occupation writer, publisher
Ethnicity Albanian
Literary movement Albanian National Awakening
Notable works Histori e Skënderbeut

Jani Vreto (1822–1900) was an Albanian writer, publisher and important figure of the Albanian National Awakening.

Life[edit]

Jani Vreto was born in Postenan, a village near Leskovik, southern Albania in 1822.[1] He went to the local school where he took his first lessons from Nikolla Ikonomi, who would teach him both Greek and Albanian.[2]

In 1878, he represented the Albanian population of the Ottoman Empire alongside Abdyl Frasheri at the Congress of Berlin. [3]

In 1879 he became one of the founders of Society for the Publication of Albanian Writings, (Albanian: Shoqëri e të shtypurit shkronjavet shqip), an organization responsible for publishing Albanian textbooks and opening Albanian schools.[1] Vreto transferred its headquarters from Istanbul to Bucharest after the organization was banned by the Ottoman authorities. As a member of this society Vreto set up and operated the Albanian printing house of Bucharest playing an important role in the advancement of the Albanian movement.

At the same time he was excommunicated by the Orthodox metropolitan of Gjirokastër, who accused him of having committed heresy by "creating an Albanian question".[1] Many of the works of Naim Frashëri, national poet of Albania were published by this organization. Vreto was also a member of the Central Committee for Defending the Rights of the Albanian People along with Pandeli Sotiri, Hasan Tahsini, Pashko Vasa, Koto Hoxhi, Sami Frashëri and Abdyl Frasheri.[4]

Works[edit]

Jani Vreto's most known work is an epic poem titled Histori e Skënderbeut (English: History of Skanderbeg), dedicated to national hero of Albania Skanderbeg. In 1888 he edited and published the poem Erveheja of Muhamet Kyçyku transliterating it into Latin script completely removing all Turkish or Arabic words Kyçyku had used.[5] Part of Vreto's own work was published in Spiro Dine's work Valët e Detit (English: Waves at the Sea), a collection of Albanian history and literature.[1]

Vreto together with Sami Frashëri supported the idea that the Albanian alphabet should be based on the Greek alphabet, since according to them, Albanians and Greeks have the same ancestors, the Pelasgians.[6]

Recognition[edit]

On 13 January 2012 the President of Albania, Bamir Topi decorate Jani Vreto after death Honor of Nation Order of Albania.[7]

There is a statue of him in the town of Leskovik.[8]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Cornis-Pope, Marcel; John Neubauer (2004). History of the literary cultures of East-Central Europe: junctures and disjunctures in the 19th and 20th centuries. History of the Literary Cultures of East-central Europe. 2. John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 44,290,337. ISBN 90-272-3453-1. 
  2. ^ Shuteriqi, Dhimitër S. (1978). Shkrimet shqipe në vitet 1332-1850 (English: Albanian writings in the years 1332-1850). Rilindja. p. 216. Retrieved 2010-06-20. 
  3. ^ Glenny, Misha. The Balkans. Page 142.
  4. ^ Elsie, Robert, Centre for Albanian Studies (London, England). Albanian literature: a short history. p. 76. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Norris, H.T (1993). Islam in the Balkans: religion and society between Europe and the Arab world. University of South Carolina Press. p. 80. ISBN 0-87249-977-4. 
  6. ^ Michael Kreutz. Modernismus und Europaidee in der Östlichen Mittelmeerwelt, 1821-1939. p. 166
  7. ^ Presidenti Topi dekoron Jani Vreton (pas vdekjes) me Urdhrin “Nderi i Kombit”, president.al, 2012-01-13 (in Albanian)
  8. ^ Jance, Anesti. Panoramio http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer#view=photo&position=10138&with_photo_id=34061656&order=date_desc&user=3120562.  Missing or empty |title= (help)