"She spoke an elegant Italian", Pëllumb Xhufi reveals unknown details from Skanderbeg's life: Why he didn't manage to become king

2024-01-17 18:04:02Histori SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX
Gjergj Kastriot Skenderbeu - Painting

January 17 marks the anniversary of the death of the National Hero, Gjergj Kastriot Skënderbeu. The well-known historian Pëllumb Xhufi has revealed some interesting details in a television interview. Among other things, he says that Skenderbeu was big, but there was no ferocity in the portrait as we have seen in the statues.

Pëllumb Xhufi: I am starting from Fan Noli's book, from 1921 "Historia e Skënderbeu", which he wrote based mainly on the chronicles of the time, firstly written by Marin Barleti and then on other chroniclers who are based mainly in Barleti. In '47, Fan Noli was forced to write again the "History of Skanderbeg", which is quite another thing.

So we have two versions from Fan Noli?

Pëllumb Xhufi : There are two versions, one that is informative, the first and the second that is really a scientific work because it is already based on archival works that came out in the meantime, archival documents about Skenderbeu were published which give a completely different image of Skenderbeu , not only that warrior with a sword on the basis of which the portraits of Skenderbeu were made, even engraved.

Maybe-maybe, not the big guy we know?

Pigeon Xhufi: No, Skanderbeg was big, but he was not as wild as we see in the bust of Pascal.

The historian adds that Skenderbeu was an exceptional diplomat, strategist and cultured. The documents of the principality of Milan say that he also spoke Italian.

Juffy Pigeon: She spoke elegant Italian.

Italian, Skanderbeg?

Pigeon Xhufi: Yes, he was speaking elegant Italian, at that time medieval Italian was today's English, the international language of the time.

Where did you learn Italian?

Pigeon Xhufi: Look, we say that it was formed in the Sultan's court. Remember that the Sultan's court taught Arabic to children. The sultan himself was surrounded by Italian painters, Italian teachers.



Why did he fail to become king?

Good relations with the Papacy would have secured him the title of king but for an unfortunate coincidence. The historian also talks about Skenderbeu's change of religion and his diplomatic and strategic skills.

Sometimes he was called prince and sometimes he was called king.

Pigeon Xhufi : He could not become a king.

Unfortunately, it could not be done and it was foreseen as Pope Pius II says, who was a contemporary and strong supporter of Skanderbeg. The crusade would take place in 1464, it would leave from Ancona and the fleet arrived, it was ready and unfortunately the Pope died, he was the organizer and the Pope had promised Skenderbeu two things, that: you will become king of Albania and the second, you will assumed that Skenderbeu's state, which was quite wrinkled, let's say a state of Ismail Qemali, after 500 years, would expand to other Albanian territories in Macedonia, in the north, etc., but this case was lost due to a fatal coincidence, the death of the Pope did not complete the crusade and Skenderbeu it didn't happen, but it always remained Dominus Albanie, meaning "God of the Albanians".

Meanwhile, you say that Skenderbeu changed three religions?

Pellumb Xhufi: Not only Skanderbeg, his father also changed three religions. Skenderbeu was also innovative in this because he loved religion, but he did not say "religion and homeland" but "fatherland and religion". He brings this out very well in a letter he takes to the prince of Tarentum, of Southern Italy, that he tells him "what to do with me" because he was at war with the king of Naples, "do with me because I am even more Catholic than the king of Naples" and says "we are all Catholics, all of us who are baptized are equally Catholics and there are no better or worse Catholics. The problem is that the king of Naples helps me against the Turks, while you fight against the one who helps me against the Turks, that is, you are my enemy, here is the calculation I make".