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The Siege of Shkodra: Albania's Courageous Stand Against Ottoman Conquest, 1478 (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Marin Barleti , David Hosaflook

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Présentation de l'éditeur

The first English translation of an eyewitness account of the Ottoman sieges of Shkodra (Albania) in 1474 and 1478-79, written by a besieged Shkodran citizen who fought in the battles and would later become a priest in Italy. The book is considered both history and literature, written in classical Latin in 1504 for a Western audience concerned about the advance of the Ottomans into the heart of Europe. It is considered by scholars to be a seminal source of history providing significant details about the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Venice, the Albanians, Sultan Mehmed II "The Conqueror," religious conflict, late-medieval siege tactics, and the development of weaponry. Though the account is history, it unfolds as a gripping story with all the human drama and pathos that accompanies warfare. Inside are rousing speeches, intense battle scenes, passionate prayers, and counsel for future generations. Barleti and his contemporaries considered Shkodra to be the shield of Europe (indeed this was the final great battle before the Ottomans attacked Otronto in 1480). Barleti's work comprises only 50% of the work, as this edition includes supplemental material such as a foreword by Prof. David Abulafia, Prof. Aleks Buda's historical introduction, "The War of Shkodra" ("Bellum Scodrense") by George Merula, a panegyric to the Venetian Senate by Marin Beçikemi, passages from Ottoman chroniclers about the siege (A. Pashazade, Tursun, Kivami, Idris-i Bidlisi, K. Pashazade), and new maps and historical commentary by translator-editor David Hosaflook.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2102 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 344 pages
  • Editeur : Onufri Publishing House (26 décembre 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  19 commentaires
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Good story! 26 novembre 2012
Par Fan - Publié sur Amazon.com
At first this seems like a very specialized work. But it's gripping reading for anyone who likes history, whether as a professional or an amateur, or anyone who likes a good story. The significance of the siege of Shkodra in the history of the conflict between Islamic Asia and Christian Europe is central to a story that continues in some form to this day. This work represents the first time these historical accounts have been available in English, and that's a major step forward in understanding our times as well as theirs. It's a gripping read.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A gift to christianity and albanian people 11 janvier 2013
Par Arben Cukaj - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
The translation of the Siege of Shkodra is a rare gift for every true albanian. This translation brings to light a legendary moment in the history of albanian people. We have always expressed our concern among friends how we have a lot to tell to the world about our resistance and courage to saving and maintaining our true identity, and yet not much was written or made available, so this translation comes at a perfect and much needed time. Today in Albania you have a variety of religions among people living in harmony, that's great, and to a great extend this book answers the question behind the existence of these religions. From this perspective this book could serve as a source of reflection for many albanians who may still have unanswered questions about their true identity. The reader of this book will find out what people of Shkodra went through to preserve their honor, identity, faith and loyalty. An albanian reader will be filled with pride reading the responses to Sultan's ultimatum by Petrus Pegnanus or the words of hope and encouragement by Fr. Bartolomeo. Several times was the castle assaulted, for several months and years was it sieged and yet not taken. Where did the people find all that courage? The answer is they found it in Christ they were fighting for. Shkodrans were brave and just people, this bravery is emphasized by the otoman soldiers response who wen asked why did they retreat, and what terrified them the most? their reply was; The faces! The faces of Shkodrans terrified us, their eyes were like lightning, blazing like amber. Very grateful to the translator for this translation. This is a great book not only for albanians but for every historian who wants to learn more about the struggle between the Christianity and the tentative of Islam to spread in Europe.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very High Quality Book 11 décembre 2012
Par J. Simpson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
My wife and I are very impressed by the quality of the printing and binding of the book -- and it even comes in a protective box cover. That quality could not have been printed in GB or USA and still sell at the asking price.

The book itself is a great record, of the invasion of Albania by the Ottoman empire. As a result of the resistance by the Christians of Albania at Shkodra, the moslem expansion into Europe was stopped. This book is worth ready by anyone interested in history.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An enriching addition to any library 16 juillet 2013
Par Shkodrani - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
I am usually a hard judge on items I review and I give this book five stars without reservation.

Short review: If you are fascinated with names like Thermopylae, Masada, Alamo, Dien Bien Phu, Chosin, Mogadishu, or any heroic fight of a few against many, you will love this book. If you are a historian, you will love this book. If you are a person of faith, you will love this book. If you are a militaria enthusiast, you will love this book (snipers are used here three hundred years before the American Revolution). If you are Albanian, especially Shkodran, it behooves you to own this book. The defenders, outnumbered approximately 200:1, fight fiercely to defends their city, fatherland, families, and faith. Shakespeare could easily have said that men will think themselves accursed and hold their manhoods cheap for not being at the second Siege of Shkodra.

Longer review: I should disclaim that I am probably unable to suppress all bias regarding this book (my eponymous username would probably betray me anyway) since I took some of my first steps inside the walls of Shkodra's castle. That said, my rating is consistent with the majority of the reviewers and easy to support.

On the original work: It is a rare, wonderfully recorded episode of the struggle between East and West, Islam and Christianity, Turks and Albanians. After you read this book and fully understand the importance of this event, you will wonder why it took so long for for someone to translate into English. It is a uncommon account of large-scale siege told by one of the besieged. It is a galvanizing, epic story of the stubborn, proud resistance of few against many, of freedom against tyranny, of patriots against invaders. A humbling, spiritual journey filled with heroic, superhuman feats that is uplifting and, at the same time, makes one question his self-worth.

For academics, this book brings to light an untapped source of military history and tradition. It is descriptive in technical and sociological details.

On the translation: First off, this is a lot more than just a translation. The translator has meticulously researched details and also reached out to experts, both Eastern and Western, to provide a full picture of understanding for the modern reader. Abulafia's introduction sets the perfect stage for the story that follows. The additional translated materials from contemporary Ottoman chroniclers were an unexpected bonus that support the main story told by Barleti.

I think, the translation itself is masterful. While I did not use my 1962 Albanian translation to verify every word, I looked for words that I commonly see translated inadequately, such as besa. Besa is more than just a word meaning faith, promise, loyalty, given word. It's all of them and more. It's a sacred tenet of Albanian life. Simply transliterating it does not fully convey its meaning. Hosaflook did an exceptional job in conveying these ideas. There are abundant notes clarifying translation, dates, and other details.

In an effort to suppress bias, I tried hard to find things I did not like. It is likely that Marin Barleti drew the details for the book from his diary, possibly complimented by other diaries and interviews from contemporary Albanian exiles in Venice. This can probably be detected in the book in some cases where the story climbs to a captivating climax and then plummets with minor details. Perhaps not a fair criticism against a XVI century author who may have chosen to stop with verifiable information, instead of filling in the story with apocryphal information.

Alex Buda's introduction, while accurate and scholarly, may not fully stress the factor of faith in this conflict. This should not be taken as an accusation of bias toward him. In communist Albania, books were heavily reviewed and redacted. Religion was banned and clergymen were imprisoned, killed, or persecuted. It is possible that Buda tried to not bring unwanted attention to the book or ding his professional career.

Another thing I did not like is that the Albanian words were not given in Gegnisht, which may take away some authenticity for those who understand them. Kipling's poetry may be a good example; he stays true to the spoken language.

However, none of this takes away from the fact that the book is an amazing, captivating story of human resolve, faith, and sacrifice that would be an enriching addition to everyone's library.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A captivating true story against the Turks 14 janvier 2013
Par Sara - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
The books itself includes old maps and facts about a siege that lasted for many years. The historian, Marin Barleti, writes from within the castle's walls. While he writes about the siege, he describes the horror of the citizens who die from disease, hunger, and wounds. It explains the turks' weaponry of the time, their army formation, their war plans. There were thousands ottomans against hundreds of citizens. The book is enriching and it portrays a frightening period,the Otoman Empire, its wars and conquests. Albania's was the last castle that held its ground for 15 years. Hosaflook's translation is so accurate in that it has captured the true meaning of the siege of Shkodra, the Albanians' spirit and desire for survival. Moreover, many historians, linguists, Albanologists, well-known writers, translators have participated in the making of this book. Finally, it is also a prestigious publishing, with its fine paper quality, hard cover, and photographs. It should, therefore, be in anyone's library. The Siege of Shkodra is a classic.
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