ISBN 10: 9995687771 / ISBN 13: 9789995687779
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Inhaltsangabe: 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.

Vom Autor: When I remembered ... the great calamity of my beloved fatherland ... and when I remembered also the glorious triumph reaped by the Shkodrans against the fury of all those heartless barbarians, I concluded that I could not allow the related virtues to be forgotten. To do so would be ingratitude. In fact, these merits give us, above all, brilliant material to write about, and unquestionably deserve to be brought to light. So I decided to give myself wholeheartedly to this grand endeavor. My purpose was to attempt to fulfill my obligation to my fatherland as an honorable citizen and to bestow honor and glory upon those patriots ever-faithful.
--MARIN BARLETI, 1504

This book was an international bestseller in the sixteenth century. The Ottoman Turks were on the move, and Europeans were fearful as one Christian city after another fell to Ottoman conquest. Marin Barleti, a Shkodran priest who witnessed the events of the siege of Shkodra, wrote this work in Latin in 1504. It was soon translated into Italian, Polish, and French, providing a graphic inside look at an Ottoman invasion. My first intention in translating this work was to serve the Shkodran and the greater Albanian diaspora, a generation who may never become fluent enough in Albanian (or Latin) to read Barleti, but who nonetheless should be proud of their heritage. They need readable classics of Albanian history such as The Siege of Shkodra. My next purpose was to serve English readers, both casual readers of history and careful researchers of Albania, the Balkans, Ottoman expansion, Venice, siege warfare, religious conflict, and medieval weaponry. My third intention was to convey the passion with which Barleti relayed these accounts. Finally, I aimed to take pleasure in the endeavor. Shkodra's fortress is my favorite place in the world.
--DAVID HOSAFLOOK, 2012

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