(8/15/00 11:39:24 am)
Enciklopedia Katolike mbi Shqiperine



The ancient Epirus and Illyria, is the most western land occupied by the Turks in
Europe. Its extreme length is about 290 miles, and its breadth from forty to
ninety miles. On the west and southwest it is bounded by the Adriatic and the
Ionian seas. It is generally divided into three regions: Upper Albania, from the
Montenegrin frontier to the river Shkumbi; Lower Albania, or Epirus, from the
Shkumbi to the Gulf of Arta; and Eastern Albania, to the east of the Schar-Dagh
chain. It is a mountainous and rugged territory, some of its peaks reaching a
height of 8,500 feet, and has only one plain of note, that of Scutari (the ancient
Scodra, `e Skódra), which holds the lake of the same name and is watered by its
affluent, the Drin. Many rivers flow from savage, inaccessible heights to the Ionian
Sea: the Mati, Shkumbi, Ergent or Devol, Voynassa, Kalamas. Among them are
the celebrated Acheron and Cocytus of antiquity. Albania shares with Greece the
peculiar phenomenon of subterranean rivers; the waters of the lake of Jamina flow
through one of these underground channels into the Gulf of Arta, and this gave
rise to the myth that here was the entrance to the infernal world of the ancient
Greeks. The surrounding country is covered with Cyclopean ruins. In the region of
Lakes Ochrida and Presba there are passages through the mountains, which
facilitates communication between Albania and Macedonia; and the Turkish mail
post actually follows the old Via Egmatia of the Romans from Durrazzo (the
ancient Dyrrachium) to Salonica, passing by Bitolia. Further down, between the
Grammos and the Pindar chains, a defile allows communication with the road
from Jamina to Larissa. The Mavropotamas, or Acheron, formerly received the
affluents of the Cocytus and Phlegeton, which have now disappeared. The soil is
barren from want of cultivation and the exports are few, consisting principally of
hides, bark for dyeing, and tobacco. If the Boyana river were made navigable,
Scutari would be connected with the sea, and trade would assuredly lead to
progress of all kinds; but Mussulman rule precludes the attempt.

The Albanians (more of an ethnographic than a geographic term) are called
Arnauts (Arnaoots, Arnaouts) by the other peoples of the Balkan peninsula; they
give themselves the name of Skipetars or "mountaineers". They claim descent
from the Epirots and Illyrians, and, like the latter, have always been distinguished
by their warlike spirit. After having been conquered in the Illyrian wars by Rome,
the tribes of this region furnished the best soldiers of the empire, several
emperors were of Illyrian stock (Freeman, The Illyrian Emperors, Historical
Essays, London, 1892, III, 22-68). Christianity probably penetrated these
mountain fastnesses through the Roman soldiers and traders from Epirus and
Macedonia; it is doubtful whether any traces of the original apostolate survived
the ruin of the Roman State in the West. After the dismemberment of the Roman
Empire, the Illyrian population, gradually driven southward by the invading Slavs,
became known as Albanians, were long subject to schismatic Constantinople,
then fell under the sway of the Serbs, and finally became (1336-56) a province of
the medieval Servian Empire under Tsar Stephen Duschan. (See SERVIA.) On
its dismemberment, after the battle of Kosovo which took place (1389), the
victorious Turks overran the country, but Prince George Castriota, the famous
Scanderbeg who was known also as Iskander Bey, or Prince Alexander,
maintained an independent rule in Upper Albania for a quarter of a century
(1443-67). This hero, whose feats of valour are almost legendary, was bred as a
Moslem at the court of Murad II to whom he had been given as a hostage by his
father, an Albanian chief; but after having won fame and honour in the Sultan's
service, his race asserted itself, and he broke away to place himself at the head
of his own people and embrace Christianity. He defeated the Turkish army in
several engagements and secured an honourable peace on his own terms. But,
encouraged by the Pope and the promise of help from the Venetians, he again
attacked the Turks and gained numerous victories. On his death at Alessio
(1467), the Sultan exclaimed: "Now that the infidels have lost their sword and
buckler, who can save them from my wrath?" The Albanians became
disorganized and were finally subjected (1479) to Mussulman dominion. They
have, however, never been subdued, and are, even to-day, treated more like allies
than subjects. They now supply the Turkish army with its best soldiers as they
once did the legions of Rome, and are exempted from taxes and from
compulsory military service. As volunteers, they receive high pay and many
privileges. While several tribes have embraced Islam and others belong to the
Greek schism, the best of the population is Catholic, and while guarding
traditional customs and a primitive manner of life, practise their religion devoutly.
The purity of their morals is proverbial throughout the Balkan peninsula, and the
zealous Austrian and Italian missionaries have met with conditions most
favourable for their teaching. Schools have been opened in all the villages of note
by Franciscan and Jesuit Fathers, but the spread of education is hindered by the
lack of a gramatically organized language. Many attempts have been made to
decide upon an alphabet, but none has yet succeeded owing to the difficulty of
expressing the oral sounds by any known combination of European letters. A
cultured Albanian, therefore, takes Roumanian, Greek, Servian, or Italian, for his
medium of intercommunication. An Albanian journal is published in Bukarest and
another in Belgrade. In the country itself there is no attempt at a newspaper, and
the periodicals most prevalent in the towns are Italian publications of a religious
tone. The tribes which have resisted Mussulman rule successfully and retained
their creed have, notwithstanding this, adopted many Moslem customs.


For four centuries the Catholic Albanians have defended their faith with bravery,
greatly aided by the Franciscan missionaries, especially since the middle of the
seventeenth century, when the cruel persecutions of their Mussulman lords
began to bring about the apostasy of many villages, particularly among the
schismatic Greeks. The College of Propoganda at Rome was especially
prominent in the religious and moral support of the Albanian Catholics. During the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, particularly, it educated young clerics for
service on the Albanian missions, contributed then as now to their support and to
that of the churches, in which good work it is aided by the Austrian Government,
which gives yearly to those missions about five thousand dollars, in its quality of
Protector of the Christian community under Turkish rule. The Church legislation
of the Albanians was reformed by Clement XI, who caused a general
ecclesiastical visitation to be held (1763) by the Archbishop of Antivari, at the
close of which a national synod was held. Its decrees were printed by
Propaganda (1705), and renewed in 1803 (Coll. Lucensis Conc. Recent., I, 283
sq.). In 1872, Pius IX caused a second national synod to be held at Scutari, for
the renovation of the popular and ecclesiastical life. Apropos of the Austrian
interest in Albania, it may be stated that it is the Austrian ambassador who
obtains from the Sultan the Berat, or civil document of institution for the Catholic
bishops of Albania (Neber, in K. L., XI, 18, 19).

Albania is divided ecclesiastically into several archiepiscopal provinces: (1)
Antivari (since 1878 a part of the principality of Montenegro (q.v.); since 1886,
without suffragans, and separated from Scutari, with which it had been united in
1867 on terms of equality); (2) Scutari, with the suffragan Sees of Alessio, Pulati,
Sappa and (since 1888) the Abbatia millius of St. Alexander of Orosci; (3)
Durazzo; (4) Uskup. The latter two are without suffragans, and depend
immediately on the Holy See. A seminary, founded in 1858 by Archbishop
Topich of Scutari, was destroyed by the Turks, but was later re­established on
Austrian territory and placed under the imperial protection. In Scutari the Catholic
women, as well as the Mohammedan, go veiled. The Albanian woman works
unceasingly in the field and in the home; so that every houselhold care devolves
upon her in the frequent absence of the men who are either regular or irregular
fighters in the Albanian or Turko­Albanian bands. The women are dressed in tight
skirts of light colour striped with black, and their heads and shoulders are
covered on feast days with masses of gold and silver coins. In the Catholic
churches, the women appear unveiled, and the humbler class generally remove
their shoes at the entrance. The service in the Cathedral of Scutari is most
impressive, although primitive to an extreme degree. There is little quiet, for the
congregation rasps out the responses with a fervour that precludes either
modulation or rhythm, and the incessant rattle of the coins on the women's
breasts and heads as they bend forward and again kneel upright accompanies
every intonation. The scarlet colour predominates in the altar decorations, as well
as in the clothes of the worshippers. It is impossible to witness the attitude of the
Catholic Albanian at worship and remain unmoved at his simple, whole­hearted
demonstration of living faith. The admirable work of the friars in dispelling the old
vendetta custom is one of the chief factors in the evolution of this semi­barbaric
race. The Albanians of to­day give the same promise of a vigorous Christian
development as the Franks of the time of Clovis, and it is characteristic of their
steadfastness that no bribes or threats have succeeded in drawing them from
their first allegiance. While every other race in the Balkans, with the exception of
the Western Serbs, called Hroats (Croats), went over to schism, the Roman
Catholic faith remained secure in the fastnesses of northern Albania.

When one recalls that to adopt Islamism meant to become a lord and a
recognized warrior, while to remain Christian meant to become a slave, deprived
of the right to carry weapons, it is easily seen why so many Albanian tribes fell
away. The chief tribes of Upper Albania, the Shoshi and the Mirdites, are at once
the pioneers of nationality and Catholicity. Long ago the Mirdites were wont to
carry off Turkish girls of good family and, after baptizing them, made them their
wives, so that there is a strong strain of Turkish blood in the Catholic Mirdites of
to­day. This tribe has special privileges, such as the place of honour in the
Sultan's army under the command of its own chieftain. In accepting a
comradeship of arms with Mussulman troops it guards the creed and nationality
with the same fidelity with which it serves the Sultan when called upon. The
Mirdites, about 40,000 in number, and with a chief town of some four hundred
houses, Orosci, treat on equal terms with the Porte. The force of circumstances
has driven the Albanian into fierce espousal of one or other of the causes which
are being periodically fought out between antagonists whose success or defeat
leaves his own condition almost unchanged. It was an Albanian who led the
Greeks in the War of Independence, and again an Albanian who commanded the
Turkish troops sent to quell the rebellion. The Kings of Naples kept an Albanian
regiment styled the Royal Macedonian, and the famous resistance of Silistria in
1854 is due to dogged Albanian bravery. Courage and heroism are inborn
qualities of this singular and gifted race. The revival of the national aspirations of
Albania dates from the Congress of Berlin (1878), when Austria, in order to
compensate Servia and Montenegro for her retention of the Servian lands of
Bosnia and Herzegovina, thought to divide the land of Albania between them. The
Turks secretly fostered the opposition of both Mussulmans and Catholics, and
the Albanian League was formed "for the maintenance of the country's integrity
and the reconstitution of its independence". The territories alloted to Servia were
already occupied by her troops when resistance broke forth, and the idea of
dislodging them had to be abandoned; but Montenegro was unable to obtain
possession of her share, the rich districts of Gusinie and Plava. The Albanians,
undaunted by the unexpected opposition of their former allies, the Turks, now
forced by Russia to assist Montenegro, made face against all their enemies with
a determination that baffled and dismayed Europe. Mehemet- Ali was routed, his
house at Diakovo burned down, and himself massacred. The Albanians had
much to avenge. They had not yet forgotten the war of a century before when
their women precipitated themselves by hundreds over the roads near Yamina to
escape Ali-Pasha's soldiers. The Turks finally relinquished their efforts to quell
the movement they had themselves helped to precipitate, and Montenegro had to
content herself with the barren tracts of the Boyana and the port of Dulcigno. She
could not have aspired even to these, had not Russia, anxious to spread the
doctrines of "Orthodoxy", advocated the dismemberment of Catholic and
Mussulman Albania in favour of the Servian race.

After Scutari, Yanina is the largest and most interesting town of modern Albania.
Near it are the ruins of the temple of Dodona, the cradle of pagan civilization in
Greece. This oracle uttered its prophecies by interpreting the rustling of oak
branches; the fame of its priestesses drew votaries from all parts of Greece. In
this neighbourhood also dwelt the Pelagic tribes of Selles, or Helles, and the
Graiki, whose names were afterwards taken to denote the Hellenes, or Greeks.
The plateau of Tanina is fertile and favourably situated for defence, and the
inhabitants of the city have been able to develop many industries, such as the
inlaying of metal, weaving gold-threaded stuffs, and the fabrication of fire­arms. It
is difficult to get the exact statistics of any province of the Turkish Empire; the
population of Albania is variously estimated, from 1,200,000 to 1,600,000, of
which 1,500,000 are strictly Albanian. In the Kirchenlex. (Freiburg, 1899), XI, 18,
Father Neher estimates the population at about 1,400,000, one million of which is
made up of Mussulmans. There are 318,000 members of the Greek schismatic
church, and about 120,000 Catholics. It must be added that there are in Greece
proper about 250,000 Albanians, and in Italy about 100,000, the latter being all
Catholics. In summing up the characteristics of the race, there are two points on
which travellers invariably agree: the chivalry toward the weaker sex of even the
unreclaimed Albanian, and the spotless chastity of their women. For the rest,
human life is as cheap as in all lands where individuals must reckon on
themselves for its preservation. (See ANTIVARI, SCUTARY, DURAZZO, and the
other dioceses of Albania.)

LEAKE,Travels in Northern Greece (London, 1835); ELISÉE RECLUS,The Earth and
its Inhabitants (New York, 1895, Eng. tr.): Europe, I, 115-126; NIOX, Péninsule
des Balkans; DURHAM'S Travels; WILKINSON, Dalmatia and Montenegro; HERDER,
Konvers. Lex., s. v.; BONÉ, Turquie d'Europe (Paris, 1889); DEGRAND, Souvenirs
(Paris, 1901); PORTAL, Note Albanesi (Palermo, 1903).–The documents of the
medieval religious history of Albania are best found in the eight volumes of
FARLATI, Illyricum Sacrum (Venice, 1751- 1819). See also THEINER, Vetera
Monumenta Slavorum meridionalium historiam illustrantia (Rome, 1863 sqq.).
Recent ecclesiastical statistics may be seen in O. WERNER, Orbis Terrarum
Catholicus (Freiburg, 1890), 122-124, and 120; also in the latest edition of the
Missiones Catholicę (Rome, Propaganda Press, triennially).

Transcribed by WGKofron
In memory of Agnes Bojaxhiu, Mother Teresa

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I
Copyright © 1907 by Robert Appleton Company
Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight
Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor
Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

Registered User
(8/15/00 11:42:00 am)
Reply Nje Pape me origjine arbereshe



A distinguished Italian family, said to be descended from Albanian refugees of
the fifteenth century. It soon divided into two branches, those of Bergamo and
those of Urbino. They gave to the Church one Pope (Clement XI, 1700-21) and
several well-known cardinals.

(1) Gian Girolamo

Solder, statesman, and canonist, b. at Bergamo, 3 January, 1504 d. 25 April,
1591. For services to the Venetian republic he was rewarded with the office of
inquisitor at Bergamo, where he made the acquaintance of Cardinal Ghisliero.
When the latter became Pius V, he invited Albani to Rome, made him a cardinal
(1570), and employed him on diplomatic missions, among them being the
formation of an alliance of Christian princes against the Turks Gian Girolamo was
a distinguished canonist, and was accounted by his contemporaries a man of
"solid judgment rare erudition and eloquence, free and firm in his decisions,
pleasant and temperate in speech, in every way a grave and reliable person".
Among his often reprinted works are "De donatione Constantini" (Cologne, 1535),
"De cardinalatu" (Rome, 1541) "De potestate papae et concilii" (Venice, 1544)
"De immunitate ecclesiarum" (Rome, 1553): cf Hurter, "Nomencl. Lit." (2d ed.), I,

(2) Francesco


(3) Annibale

Cardinal Bishop of Sabina (1711), cousin of Clement XI, b. 15 August, 1682, at
Urbino; d. 21 September, 1751 patron of ecclesiastical literature; he left a
valuable library, a gallery of paintings and sculpture, and a cabinet of coins that
eventually was added to the Vatican collection. He edited, in two volumes, the
letters, briefs, and bulls of Clement XI (Rome, 1724), the "Menologium
Gręcorum" (3 vols., Urbino, 1727), and historical memoirs of Urbino (Rome

(4) Alessandro

Brother of Annibale, b. at Urbino, 19 October, 1692, d. 11 December, 1779. He
entered the priesthood at the earnest insistence of Clement XI, but gave no little
trouble to that Pope because of his worldly and undisciplined life. In 1721
Innocent XII made him cardinal. He was a friend of Austria during the delicate
negotiations of his own time, and sided with the opposition in the reign of
Clement XIV (1769-74). He was also an enlightened patron of art and artists,
helped to reconcile with the Church the sculptor and art-historian Winckelmann,
built the Villa Albani (1760) and filled it with treasures of antique sculpture and
other precious relics of Greek and Roman art (dispersed by Napoleon I; the
famous Antinous is there still). His coins went to the Vatican Library, over which
he presided as bibliothecarius from 1761 (Strocchi, "De vitā Alex. Albani," Rome,

(5) Giovanni Francesco

Born at Rome, 26 February, 1727; died September, 1803; a nephew of Clement
XI, and Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia at the age twenty-seven.

(6) Giuseppe

Nephew of the preceding, b. at Rome, 1750, made cardinal 1801 he shared the
habitual devotion of his house to Austria, took refuge in Vienna, 1796-1814,
returned to Rome after the downfall of Napoleon, and occupied offices of
distinction in the papal administration until his death (1834). He left his fortune
partly to the Holy See, partly for religious purposes. With his brother Filippo the
family died out; its name and part of its possessions passed to the Chigi.

Mazzuchelli, Scrittoi d'ltalia; TIPADDO, Biografia ltaliana; Litta, Famiglie celebri
Italiane; Düx in Kirchenlex. For the Palazzo Albani and the Villa Albani, see
Létarouilly, Les édifces de Rome moderne (Brussels, 1855-66).

Transcribed by Brother Fred Dillenburg (Christian Brothers)

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I
Copyright © 1907 by Robert Appleton Company
Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight
Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor
Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

Registered User
(8/15/00 11:46:32 am)
Reply Durresi i lashte



The Archdiocese of Durazzo in Albania, situated on the Adriatic, has a good port,
and is the chief town of a sandjak in the vilayet of Scutari; the population is about
9000. According to Appian it was founded by a barbarian king, Epidamnus, after
whom it was called Epidamnum; it then took the name of Dyrrachium, from
Dyrrachus, nephew of a daughter of Epidamnus, to whom was due its port.
According to Thucydides and Strabo it was more probably a colony of Coreyra. It
was one of the causes of the Peloponnesian War. Conquered by the kings of
Illyria, when attacked by the Romans, it surrendered to the latter and received
from Rome many privileges. Its port was important for communication with
Greece. Cicero and Pompey in their disgrace took refuge at Dyrrachium. When
towards the end of the fourth century the empire was divided into two parts, the
city fell to the Eastern empire. The Byzantine emperors made it a strong fortress,
and Anastasius I, was born there. After the seventh century it was the centre of a
theme; in 1011 its governors received the title of dukes. Under Michael the
Paphlagonian (1034-1041) it was occupied by the Bulgarians; in 1042 it was
retaken by the Greeks. In 1082 it was captured by Robert Guiscard, who
defeated Alexius Comnenus under its walls; at the death of Robert it fell again
into the power of the Greeks, who held it till the capture of Constantinople by the
Latins (1204). From 1206 to 1294 it belonged to the despots of Epirus. It was
then conquered by the Angevin kings of Naples, who gave it as a fief to princes of
their family; the descendants of these rulers kept the title of "Duras" even when
they no longer held the city. The effective lordship passed to the Thopias about
the middle of the fourteenth century. In 1373 the city was occupied by the Balsas
of the Zetta, in 1386 by the Venetians, and finally, in 1501, by the Turks.

The church of Durazzo is the most ancient in Albania. According to local tradition
the first bishop of the country was St. Caesarius, one of the Seventy Disciples.
St. Astius, his successor, is said to have suffered martyrdom under Trajan about
A.D. 100. A list of the Greek bishops is in Lequien (Oriens Christianus, II,
240-247), but it is very incomplete. Durazzo is even yet a metropolis for the
Greeks. Under Eucharius, who attended the Council of Ephesus, 431, it was the
metropolis of Epirus Nova or Illyria Graeca. The see, long disputed between the
Greeks, the Bulgarians, and Serbs, remained finally in the hands of the first
named. Its bishops, who as early as 519 had sided with Acacius, Patriarch of
Constantinople, against Pope Hormisdas, followed the schism of Michael
Caerularius in the eleventh century. At the beginning of the thirteenth century,
after the Latin conquest of Constantinople, a Latin see was established there
(1209). The Latin succession was often interrupted, on account of political
changes; the actual (1908) archbishop is the fifty-second of the list (Lequien, III,
950-954; Gams, I, 407; II, 87; Eubel, I, 241; II, 164). The episcopal residence was
likewise subject to several removals; after the Turkish conquest the archbishops
transferred it to Corbina (1509), then to Canovia; to-day they reside at Delbenisti.
Durazzo had originally but one suffragan, Cernicum or Tzernicum, site unknown.
Later it had Prisca, Croia, Alessio, and Canovia. To-day Alessio only is subject
to the Archbishop of Durazzo, but his power over it has been so limited by
Propaganda that he may be considered an archbishop without a suffragan.

There are in the archdiocese about 250,000 inhabitants, of whom about 140,000
are Mussulmans (Turks and chiefly Albanese), 95,000 Greeks or Graecized
Albanese, 14,000 Catholics (Albanese, except a few Italians and Austrians).
There are also at Elbassan about 150 recently converted Greeks. the diocese
has no seminary, but some students are sent to the seminary of Scutari. It has
20 priests, of whom 13 are secular priests, 22 parishes, 46 churches or chapels,
39 stations, 5 schools for boys and 1 for girls (the latter conducted by Sisters of
Charity of Agram). Franciscan friars have charge of several parishes.

Transcribed by Gerald M. Knight

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume V
Copyright © 1909 by Robert Appleton Company
Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight
Nihil Obstat, May 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor
Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York

Registered User
(8/15/00 11:51:20 am)
Reply Mbi historine e qytetit te Lezhes


(Lissus, Alexiensis).

Diocese in European Turkey, since 1886 suffragan of Scutari. It is one of the
principal seaports of Albania, is favourably located near the mouth of the Drin,
was founded by Dionysius of Syracuse, and was an important and beautiful city
in the time of Diodorus Siculus. It is now known as Alise, Lesch, Eschenderari,
or Mrtav. Like all the cities of Albania, it frequently changed masters in the
Middle Ages until the Venetians took possession of it in 1386. It still belonged to
them when Skanderbeg died, but shortly afterwards it fell into the hands of the
Turks. In 1501 the inhabitants again returned to the Venetian domination, but in
the year 1506 Sultan Bajazet obtained the restitution of the city, after it had been
evacuated and deprived of its ramparts. To-day it is a poor straggling hamlet of
about 2,000 people, on third of whom are Catholics. In it, however, the
mountaineers hold a weekly bazaar where very large transactions take place.
The Acrolissus or citadel is interesting for the well preserved Roman cisterns and
medieval arches it still holds. The first known Bishop of Alessio is Valens, who
attended the Council of Sardica in 340. It does not figure prominently in
ecclesiastical history until the sixth century, when it is mentioned as a see in the
correspondence of St. Gregory the Great (590-604). Since the end of the
fourteenth century, when it came under Venetian rule, it has had again a series
of Latin bishops.

Alessio had formerly five churches. The cathedral was dedicated to St. Nicholas
and once held the mortal remains of the patriot George Castriota, the immortal
Skanderbeg, who died in 1467. Local tradition relates that when the Turks took
the town they opened his grave and made amulets of his bones, believing that
these would confer indomitable bravery on the wearer. Transformed into a
mosque, the cathedral was abandoned by the Ottomans after three dervishes
had successively committed suicide from one of its towers. Two other churches
dedicated to St. George and to St. Sebastian still survive as mosques. The
population is mostly Catholic (about 14,000), attended by fifteen secular priests.
The present bishop, elected 24 May, 1870, is Monsignor Francis Malczyinski, an
alumnus of the Propaganda. He resides at Calmeti, a little distance from Alessio.

At the summit of a group of rocky hills, on the west bank of the Drin, facing the
town, are the church and convent of St. Anthony of Padua under the care of the
Franciscan friars, a last remnant of the thirty convents they once possessed in
Albania. The site is said to have been chosen by the saint himself, and is greatly
venerated, especially by the mountaineers of Scutari who make an annual
pilgrimage to it on 13 June, and exhibit on that occasion a very striking piety. The
Mussulmans themselves respect the church and confide their treasures to the
friars whenever they have reason to fear the rapacity of their pashas.

Within the diocesan limits of Alessio is the quasi-episcopal abbey (abbatia
nullius) of St. Alexander Orosci or Orochi, the mountain stronghold of the small
but brave body of the Catholic Mirdites of Albania. Since 1888 it enjoys an
independent jurisdiction over this faithful and warlike people which in 1894
obtained from the Porte, through the good offices of Leo XIII, a civil jurisdiction for
its abbot, and thereby freed itself from the irksome protectorate of Austria. The
abbot had jurisdiction over about 18,000 Catholics, with 16 churches, 13 chapels,
11 secular priests, and 2 Franciscans. The present abbot, elected in 1888, is
Monsignor Primo Dochi, an alumnus of the Propaganda.

Farlati, Illyr. Sacr. (1817), VII, 384-394; Gams, Series episc. Eccl.cath. (1872),
392; Hecquard, La haute Albanie (Paris, 1859); Battandier, Ann. pont. cath.
(1905), 322, sq.

Transcribed by William D. Neville

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I
Copyright © 1907 by Robert Appleton Company
Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight
Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor
Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

Registered User
(8/15/00 11:58:54 am)
Reply Perandoria Osmane dhe Ballkani

Registered User
(8/15/00 12:00:56 pm)
Reply Historia e qytetit te lashte te Krujes

A titular see of Albania. Croia (pronounced Kruya, Albanian, "Spring") stands on
the site of Eriboea, a town mentioned by Ptolemy (III, xiii, 13, 41). Georgius
Acropolites (lxix) mentions it as a fortress in 1251. A decree of the Venetian
senate gave it in 1343 to Marco Barbarigo and his wife. In 1395 it was held by the
Castriots (Mas-Latrie, Trésor de chronologie, 1773), and it was the birthplace of
the Lion of Albania, the national hero, George Castriota or Scanderbeg (d. 17
Jan., 1468). It was captured by Mohammed II 14 June, 1478, and the whole
population was slaughtered together with the Venetian garrison, except the few
who embraced Mohammedanism. Since the thirteenth century Croia has been a
Latin suffragan of Dyrrachium (Durazzo). Farlati (Illyricum sacrum, VII, 411-432)
mentions fourteen bishops from 1286 to 1694 (Gams, 404; Lequien, III, 955,
incomplete); Eubel (I, 224; II, 156) adds four names and corrects some data.
Croia is to-day the chief town of a kaimakamlik in the vilayet of Scutari, with
about 10,000 inhabitants, all Mussulmans. The Venetian citadel, 1500 feet above
the sea, is still preserved together with Turkish guns and bells dating from the
days of Skanderbeg. Croia is renowned among the Bektashi dervishes for the
tombs of many of their saints.

HOPF, Chroniques gréco-romanes; DEGRAND, Souvenirs de la Haute-Albanie
(Paris, 1901), 215-227.

Transcribed by Anthony J. Stokes

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IV
Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company
Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight
Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor
Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York

Registered User
(8/15/00 12:05:36 pm)
Reply Qyteti i Vlores ne lashtesi


Titular see, suffragan of Dyrrachium, in Epirus Nova. The ancient name was
Aulon, mentioned for the first time by Ptolemy (Geographia, III, xii, 2). Other
geographical documents, such as Peutinger's "Tabula" and the "Synecdemus" of
Hierocles, also mention it. Among the known bishops are Nazarius, in 458, and
Soter, in 553 (Farlati, "Illyricum sacrum", VII, 397-401). The diocese at that time
belonged to the Patriarchate of Rome. In 733 it was annexed, with all eastern
Illyricum, to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and yet it is not mentioned in any
"Notitiae episcopatuum" of that Church. The bishopric had probably been
suppressed, for, though the Bulgarians had been in possession of this country for
some time, Aulon is not mentioned in the "Notitiae episcopatuum" of the
Patriarchate of Achrida. During the Latin domination a Latin see was established,
and Eubel (Hierarchia catholica medii aevi, I, 124) mentions several of its
bishops. Valona, or Vlora, in Albania, is now a caza of the sandjak of Berat in
the vilayet of Janina. The city, which has a port on the Adriatic, has about 10,000
inhabitants; there is a Catholic parish, which belongs to the Archdiocese of
Durazzo. Several of the Latin bishops mentioned by Le Quien (Oriens
christianus, III, 855-8), and whom Eubel (op. cit., I, 541) mentions under the See
of Valanea in Syria, belong either to Aulon in Greece (now Salona) or to Aulon in
Albania (Valona).

Transcribed by Michael T. Barrett
Dedicated to JoAnn Smull

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV
Copyright © 1912 by Robert Appleton Company
Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight
Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor
Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

Registered User
(8/15/00 12:09:30 pm)
Reply Bylis (Ballsh)

A titular see of Epirus Nova (Albania), whose title is often added to that of
Apollonia among the suffragans of Dyrrachium (Durazzo). It was situated west of
Avlona, on the coast, near the modern village Gradica, or Gradiste, a Slav name
substituted in later episcopal "Notitiae" for the old Illyrian name Byllis (Not.
episc. III, 620; X, 702). Hierocles (653, 4) knows only of Byllis. Felix, Bishop of
Apollonia and Byllis, was present at the Council of Ephesus, in 431. At
Chalcedon in 451, Eusebius subscribes simply as Bishop of Apollonia; on the
other hand, Philocharis subscribes as Bishop of Byllis only in the letter of the
bishops of Epirus Nova to the Emperor Leo (458).

LEQUIEN, Oriens Christ., II, 248; FARLATI, Illyricum sacrum, VII, 395; GAMS,
Series episcop., 394.

Transcribed by Herman F. Holbrook
A solis ortu usque ad occasum laudabile nomen Domini.

Registered User
(8/15/00 12:11:48 pm)
Reply Iliria

A district of the Balkan Peninsula, which has varied in extent at different periods.
To the Greek geographers Illyria (he Illyris or to Illyrikon) connoted the eastern
shore of the Adriatic Sea and the adjoining mountainous territory stretching into
the interior, all of which was the abode of Illyrian tribes. One section of the Illyrian
people had migrated to Italy, first to central Italy, where there are traces of them
in Picenum and Umbria; later, towards the middle of the eighth century B.C., the
Japyges crossed to Apulia and Calabria, and, at the beginning of the seventh
century B.C., the Veneti to northern Italy and what is now Carinthia. Even the
Illyrians who remained behind never achieved national unity. The kingdom of
Bardylis and his son Kleitos, who settled in Macedonia, rose to some
importance in the fourth century B.C., until they were subdued by King Philip in
357 B.C. and Alexander the Great in 335 B.C. About 250 B.C. the tribes known
as the Ardriaii and Antariates, under the princes Pleuratos and Agron, terrorized
the sea with their fleets and preyed on the Greek colonies on the eastern coast
of the Adriatic and the neighbouring islands (Pharos, Corfu, etc.). Rome when
called on by Issa, one of these Greek cities, took a hand in Illyrian affairs for the
first time, and put an end to this peril. When Genthius, the Illyrian king, took
sides with Perseus during the last stand of the Macedonians against Rome
(171-168 B.C.), he was banished by the Romans, his kingdom left to disintegrate
and later converted into a Roman province (59 B.C.). Part of the remaining Illyrian
tribes submitted voluntarily, and the rest were brought under the Roman yoke by
Augustus (23 B.C.). From the time of Augustus the name Illyria was applied not
only to the present Province of Illyria, since 11 B.C. a province of the empire and
called Dalmatia (embracing the Dalmatia of to-day, Montenegro, the western part
of Croatia, and the northern part of Albania), but was made to include the
districts of Rhaetia, Noricum, Pannonia, Moesia, and Macedonia.

At the time of the division of provinces under Hadrian, it was subdivided into
seventeen provinces, comprising also Thrace. When Constantine the Great in
A.D. 324 divided the entire Roman Empire into four prefectures, Illyricum, as one
prefecture, was assigned to Western Rome, the residence of the praetorian
prefect being Sirmium. On the accession of Theodosius I (379), the prefecture
was divided into Eastern and Western Illyricum, the former embracing the two
civil dioceses of Macedonia, including Epirus, Thessaly, and Greece, and Dacia,
under the jurisdiction of a praetorian prefect residing at Thessalonica (Saloniki).
Western Illyricum vas placed as a civil diocese under the authority of a vicar of
the prefect of Italy residing at Sirmium. In 379, or more probably, not until 395,
Eastern Illyricum became a part of the Eastern Empire (cf. Rauschen,
"Jahrbücher der christlichen Kirche unter dem Kaiser Theodosius dem Grossen,"
Freiburg, 1897, 469-73).

Ecclesiastically, the whole of Illyricum, which had first received Christianity from
St. Paul the Apostle, and Titus, his disciple, was from the first under the Bishop
of Rome, as the Patriarch of the West, and, after the division of the empire,
formed the eastern part of the territory subject to the pope, as Patriarch of Rome,
although politically a part of Byzantium. As the patriarchs of Constantinople
endeavoured to extend their patriarchal authority over Eastern Illyricum, the
popes sought to preserve intact their jurisdiction over the eastern part of Illyria by
appointing the bishops of Thessalonica papal vicars for Illyricum. The first of
these vicars is said to have been Bishop Acholius or Ascholius, (d. 383 or 384),
the friend of St. Basil. His successor, Anysius, was confirmed by Pope
Damasus and his successor, Pope Siricius, as representative of the Roman See.
In like manner, the succeeding popes, Anastasius I and Innocent I, extended the
powers of the bishops of Thessalonica over Illyria. The authority vested in the
bishops of Thessalonica over the metropolitans and other prelates of Illyria was
substantially that usually enjoyed by a patriarch, except that patriarchal power is
ordinary and attached to a definite see, while the jurisdiction of the vicars of
Thessalonica was delegated; they exercised the patriarchal authority belonging
to the pope, as his special commissary. The papal Vicariate of Thessalonica
persisted for a century with practically no interruption until the connection was
weakened by the first Greek schism, brought about by Acacius, Patriarch of
Constantinople (471-89), and Petrus Mongus of Alexandria over the "Henoticon."
The bishops of Illyria withdrew from communion with Rome, without attaching
themselves to Constantinople, and remained for a time independent. Not until
Dorothea, Bishop of Thessalonica, declared for the intruded patriarch, Timotheus,
did forty Illyrian bishops renounce allegiance to him (515) and proclaim to Pope
Hormisdas their loyalty to Rome.

After the suppression of the Acacian Schism, the vicarship of the bishops of
Thessalonica does not seem to have been immediately restored, owing to the
policy of the Byzantine emperors, Zeno and Anastasius; still they enjoyed a
certain precedence over the other Illyrian bishops. When, in 541, Justinian I, to
increase the prestige of his native city, Scupi, the present Skoplje or Uskup)
raised the bishop of that city to the rank of Archbishop of Justiniana Prima, and
placed him over the ecclesiastical provinces of the civil diocese of Dacia, the
vicarship was restored without consulting Pope Agapetus, but was divided
between the Metropolitan of Thessalonica, for the provinces in which Latin was
spoken, and the Metropolitan of Justiniana Prima, for those in which Greek was
the native tongue. Pope Vigilius (c. 545) was the first to give his approbation to
this arrangement. The title of papal vicar was henceforth almost an honorary title,
as the popes, in the exercise of their patriarchal power, now dealt, for the most
part directly with the individual bishops. At first the political situation was in their
favour, Italy and Illyricum being both under the Eastern Empire. But even after a
large part of both lands had been lost to the Byzantine Empire, Illyricum
remained entirely under the jurisdiction of the Western patriarchs, the popes, as
for example Gregory the Great and Martin I, who exercised their metropolitan
authority, without any objections on the part of the Eastern emperors or the
patriarchs of Constantinople. As late as the middle of the eighth century, the
ecclesiastical Provinces of Eastern and Western Illyricum were undoubtedly
within the Patriarchate of Rome. Soon afterwards, however, they began gradually
to withdraw from communion with Rome, and the patriarchs of Constantinople
succeeded in bringing Illyria under their jurisdiction. Even Pope Nicholas I
attempted in vain to recover the ancient privilege of the Roman See to appoint the
Bishop of Thessalonica as his vicar. From the end of the ninth century Eastern
Illyria appears in the "Notitiae episcopatuum" as wholly within the Patriarchate of
Constantinople, with which it was involved in the Great Schism.

Meanwhile political changes of a far-reaching nature were taking place. Towards
the end of the sixth century Eastern Illyria was overrun by Avars and Slavic
tribes, and at the beginning of the seventh century was occupied by Croats and
Serbs. These gradually developed into the Slavic kingdoms of Dalmatia and
Croatia, whose history was one of varied fortunes until at last they came under
the authority of the Hapsburgs. Nothing but the eastern coast and the islands of
the Adriatic remained under Byzantine control, and these only until the eleventh
century, when the rising Republic of Venice began to establish her authority
there. The Byzantine rule was of longer duration in Eastern Illyria, but even there
was frequently threatened and weakened by Serbs and Bulgars, until in the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the Osmans conquered the whole Balkan
Peninsula. The name of Illyria then disappeared from history, only to acquire new
significance through the modern history of Austria. Under Leopold I (1636-1705)
the Serbs or Raizi, who had been established on Hungarian territory since 1690,
were designated as the Illyrian nation; to provide for their protection against
Magyar incursions a special office was created at the Court of Vienna, known as
the Illyrian Court Deputation, which was abolished in 1777, and in 1791 enjoyed a
brief revival as the "Illyrian Imperial Chancery." Napoleon united the territories on
the Adriatic Sea, ceded by Austria in the Peace of Schoenbrunn, in 1809, with
Croatia and Ragusa, under the title of the "Seven Illyrian Provinces," made them
a part of the French empire, and placed their administration in the hands of a
governor general (Marmont, Funot, and Fouqué). After his fall the territories
reverted to Austria, and were constituted, together with the islands, a kingdom of
Illyria (1816), with two seats of government. In 1822 the civil district of Croatia
and the littoral were separated and united with Hungary; the organization of the
year 1849 did away entirely with the Kingdom of Illyria, resolving it into the
crownlands of Carinthia, Carniola, and the coast lands (Görz and Gradiska; Istra;
and Triest).

FALATI, Illyricum sacrum (8 vols., Venice, 1751-1819); vols. V to VIII, ed.
COLETI); OCTAVIANI, De veteribus finibus romani patriarchatus (Naples, 1828);
DUCHESNE, L'Illyricum ecclesiastique in Byzantinische Zeitschrift, I; IDEM,
Eglises separees (2nd ed., Paris, 1905); NEHER in Kirchenlex. The authenticity
of the twenty-six papal Briefs concerning the Church of Thessalonica, and
testifying to the papal vicariate of the fourth and fifth centuries, has been attacked
by J. FRIEDRICH in Sitzungsberichte der bayerischen Akademie der
Wissenschaften, philos.-philol.- historische Klasse (Munich, 1891), 771-87, and
partially supported by MOMMSEN in Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft fuer altere
deutsche Geschichtskunde, XVIII (1893) and XIX (1894); cf. DUCHESNE, op.cit.
supra and NOSTITZ-RIENECK, Die paepstlichen Urkunden fuer Thessalnike in
Zeitschrift fuer kath. Theol., XXI (1897), 1-50. A critical list of the bishops of
Thessalonica, which is found in LE QUIEN, Oriens Christ., II, 27-66, has been
corrected in many points and published by PETIT in Echos d'Orient, IV and V
(Paris, 1900-03).

Transcribed by John Fobian
In memory of Christopher Johnson

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII
Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company
Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight
Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor
Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York