Giovanni Treccani (1877-1961) was an Italian textile industrialist, publisher and cultural patron. He sponsored the Giovanni Treccani Institute, established 18 February 1925 to publish the Enciclopedia Italiana (currently best known with his own name, Enciclopedia Treccani).

The foundation of the Institute of the Italian Encyclopedia took place in 1925, on the initiative of Giovanni Treccani degli Alfieri and Giovanni Gentile. Over time, Treccani has accompanied the history of Italy by following its events closely, becoming a systematic testimony of Italian cultural identity, but also a sure guide in the discovery of the contemporary world, with updates that have closely followed the most recent achievements in all fields of knowledge.

A tireless work of interconnection of the most disparate fields of Italian excellence – and of them to the identity of Italians and Italians – which also continues in initiatives linked to the digital world: tradition and innovation at the service of culture.

from Institute of the Italian Encyclopedia founded by Giovanni Treccani SpA ©

MIRDITI  –  They are a large tribe of Northern Albania (Gheharest), divided into five sub- tribes or flags ( bajrak ), each having its own banner, which represents the radiant sun, and its chief ( bajraktar ) and called: Orosh, Fani, Spatshi, Kusnin and Dibri. It is located in the Drin basin, especially the villages scattered in the mountains overlooking the city of Alessio. Its borders are the Dukagini mountain to the north, Matia to the south, the Dibri mountain to the east, and Zadrima to the west. According to a 1922 census it included 17,000 souls.

The Mirditi profess the Catholic religion of the Latin rite and are religiously governed by an Abbot nullius who resides in Oroshi, on which 14 parishes, run by Franciscans, depend. They recognize a Chief ( prênk ) to whom they give the title of Captain (Kapidan ), whose authority is limited by the council of elders who under his presidency do justice and deal with business. In short, it is a kind of aristocratic republic that always enjoyed its own autonomy under the Ottoman regime and that even in war took place and a standard distinct from the other Albanians.

Regarding their origin, the hypothesis of a provenance from the East and of their presence in the region at the time of the Byzantines or of the first occupation by the Turks should be discarded, because historians and chroniclers have never mentioned them. Most likely they are Albanians, who at the death of Scanderbeg, to preserve their freedom, took refuge on the mountain forcing the Turks to grant them autonomy, except for the performance of military service, on the basis of one man per family and under the orders of a chief of the tribe. This thesis basically responds to the indigenous tradition that makes the Mirditi the descendants of Lek (Alexander) of the Dukagini tribe ( Dukagjin ) who is considered their legislator (see Albania). The genealogy of the family, from which the captain of the Mirditi comes, dates back to Gjon Marcut (18th century), from whom descended the various captains Lek Doda, Lesh i Zii, Bib Doda, who are at the fore in the history of the tribe and help Alì Pasha of Giannina in his rebellion against the Sultan; they fight against Mustafà Pasha of Scutari and induce him, after seven years of guerrilla warfare, to peace; they fight against the Greeks in Morea during the war of independence; always jealous of their autonomy in the face of the various attempts at centralization that Turkey tried to make during the 19th c, always ready to defend their autonomy with rebellion. The most famous revolts were that of 1880, when they refused to yield to Montenegro Gusinje and Plava (in exchange for which they later received Ulcinj) and that of 1910, in opposition to the Young Turks who wanted to unify the region; after the Balkan war they formed a provisional government on the initiative of Bib Doda. At the end of the Europan war their Prince Bib Doda was killed in Lezhe in 1919, and his cousin Marcu Gjon, with residence in Oroshi, inherited the leadership and title of Kapidan. At the suggestion of Yugoslavia, a Mirdite republic was proclaimed in Prizren in 1921, but it fell immediately.

The constitution that Albania had from King Zogu did not take away the autonomy from the Mirditi, regarding the customs of the tribe, especially on blood revenge and sworn faith ( besa ), v. albania (II, p. 105).

Bianca Gjomarkaj

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