Marin Barleti’s Masterpiece, The Siege of Shkodra: A Historical Review
“The Siege of Shkodra” is regarded by Albanians as the first work of Albanian history by the first known Albanian author.
The book was written in Latin in 1504 and was finally translated into English in 2012. The work describes the 1478–9 Ottoman siege of
Shkodra, described by Franz Babinger as “one of the most remarkable episodes in the struggle between the West and the Crescent”
(363). The work is organized into three large chapters called “books”: Book One is introductory with attention to the situational
background and the origins of the Turks; Book Two describes the massive Turkish attack and the heroic Albanian and Venetian defense;
Book Three describes the sultan halting the attack, conquering smaller nearby citadels, and returning to Istanbul, where he soon would
sign an accord with Venice, which ceded Shkodra to him as a prerequisite for peace.
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