Marinus Becichemus Scodrensis

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Marinus Becichemus Scodrensis[a] 1468–1526) was a Venetian-Albanian[1][2][3] humanist, orator, and chronicler.


Becichemus was an Albanian[4][5][6] born in Scutari (Shkodër), then part of Venetian possessions.[7] His father Marino was a secretary of the Republic of Venice at the Ottoman court[7] for about 30 years.[8] His grandfather Pietro was, together with Stefano Ionina, an Albanian ambassador serving in Venice.[7] His mother Bianca Pagnano likely hailed from a Milanese merchant family in Dalmatia.[7]

After 1477, with the Ottoman conquest of Scutari, during which his parents were captured by the Ottomans,[8] Becichemus found refuge with his relative[8] in nearby Dulcigno (Ulcinj).[7] He then moved with his relative to Brescia (in Italy), where he learnt Latin and Greek.[9] In 1484, at only 17 years of age, he held a speech in the city in honour of mayor Marco Antonio Morosini.[9] Shortly after this he returned to Dulcigno where he married Caterina, the daughter of Pasquale Dabro, a member of a notable family in that city.[9] The couple had many children.[9] According to Šime Ljubić (1822–1896), the Senate of the Republic of Ragusa in 1492 sent for him and he was appointed the public school rector (at Dubrovnik).[9] At Dubrovnik, he worked with poetry and rhetorics.[8] He wrote a work in 1495 dedicated to the Ragusan Senate.[9] During his year-long stay, he befriended Ragusan humanist and poet Ivan Gučetić (1451–1502).[8] He was since October 1496 the secretary of Venetian patrician Melchiorre Trevisan, when the latter was provvedittore of the Venetian fleet based in the polity of Ferdinand II of Naples, and later provvedittore generale in the Duchy of Milan (fl. September 1499).[9] After receiving Venice citizenship in 1500, he opened a humanist school.[9] In 1501 he went to Brescia where he worked at the university and printed his first works in Latin, such as Observationum collectanea in primum Historiae naturali librum (1504–1506).[7] In 1503 he published a panegyric to the Venetian Senate concerning the siege. He wrote commentaries on Cicero, Pliny the Elder and other classical philosophers. Couple of years later, he became a professor of rhetoric at the University of Padua.[9]

In 1962 his 1503 panegyric was translated into Albanian and English and included with Marin Barleti's work, The Siege of Shkodra.[10]


  • Castigationes ad Apuleium Victorinum et Ciceronis opus de Oratore etc. necnon praeceptiones de componenda epistola, funebrique et nuptiali oratione (1495)
  • Praelectio in C Plinium … (1503)
  • Panegyricus serenissimo principi Leonardo Lauretano … (1504)
  • Variarum observationum Collectanea (27 August 1504)[11]
  • Observationum collectanea in primum Historiae naturali librum (1504–1506)


  • ^ His name is spelt as Italian: Marin Becichemo, Marino Becichemi da Scutari, Albanian: Marin Beçikemi, Serbo-Croatian: Marin Bečić/Марин Бечић. His surname is also spelt Becicco, Bezicco, Bicichemo, Becichio.[12]
  • References[edit]

    1. ^ Malcolm 2015, p. 419.
    2. ^ Downey 2014, p. 339.
    3. ^ Signaroli 2009, p. 59.
    4. ^ Paolo Preto (2010). I servizi segreti di Venezia. Spionaggio e controspionaggio ai tempi della Serenissima. Il Saggiatore. p. 240. ISBN 978-88-565-0164-3.
    5. ^ Simone Signaroli (2009). Maestri e tipografi a Brescia, 1471-1519: l'impresa editoriale dei Britannici fra istituzioni civili e cultura umanistica nell'Occidente della Serenissima. Edizioni Torre d'Ercole. p. 59. ISBN 978-88-96755-00-6.
    6. ^ Atti e memorie, Volume 56. University of Padova. 1941. p. 315.
    7. ^ a b c d e f Clough 1970.
    8. ^ a b c d e HBL.
    9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Clough 1970, HBL
    10. ^ Aleks Buda (1985). Fjalori Enciklopedik Shqiptar. Akademia e Shkencave e RPSSH. p. 81. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
    11. ^ Paul Oskar Kristeller; Ferdinand Edward Cranz; Virginia Brown (1980). Mediaeval and Renaissance Latin Translations and Commentaries. Catholic University of America Press. pp. 352–354. ISBN 978-0-8132-0547-2.
    12. ^ Vincenzo Fera; Giacomo Ferraù; Silvia Rizzo (2002). Talking to the text: marginalia from papyri to print ; proceedings of a conference held at Erice, 26 September-3 October 1998 as the 12th course of International School for the Study of Written Records. Centro interdipartimentale di studi umanistici. p. 696.