By: Sokol Jakova
(Thoughts about the book with historical values “Dodona, the ancient temple of Albania” of Rasim Bebo’s author)
The problem of the origin of our people has been and remains an important issue among big issues that are object of study of Albanian’s historiography. Lots of discussions and debates were held today to find and prove scientifically that from what origin are our people that by the researchers it is considered as one of the most ancient peoples, if not the most ancient, of Balkans. Unfortunately, in the Albanian’s archives are missed the documents that definitely have been lost in the whirlpool of centuries and millenniums.
It is known the today’s political and social situation in Albania, where science, culture and art are passing a crisis, and the major problem of the origin doesn’t have that interest that is needed by Albanian scientists and researchers, but that paradoxically, has raised even more the interest and curiosity of foreign researchers.
The first in this context, “Dodona, the ancient temple of Albania” (Dodona, tempulli i lashtë i Shqipërisë) book, of the old researcher in age and profession, Rasim Bebo, brings a valuable contribution on the origin of the Albanians, but simultaneously it unfolds to Greeks, our southern neighbors, their history, which has been the true model of Albanian or Arvaniti, as they call us, what antiquity have had these people that in a sense it also excels its antiquity, by educating to the young generation of our people the sense of national pride, dignity, non humility and submission toward the Greeks, in whose land today work about 600 thousand immigrants and where above all is an “eagle’s broken wing”, Cham province with its countless riches. Arvanit known researcher who has been for several years chairman of “Arvanite League of Greece”, writes: “The Greek before returning into Greek was Arbanit, namely Pelasgian. Our language, Arbanit, is the earlist of the Greek ancient language that is said Homeric language. (Aristidh P.Koljas “Proklamata” “Dritero” editions, p.40, Tirana)
The symbolic title of the book of Rasim Bebo, is explained since in the beginning: “Dodona’s ancient temple is in the south of Janina, 22 km, in the valley between the Tomara and Monalisa mountain. Prehistoric date tells that this place was baptized as the Earth God. There went the Cham’s Pelasgian clergy and performed their religious duties to the Empire of the Sun- Zeus. This cult has been brought in Dodona by Selloi of the Thesprot (Cham) tribe between 19-14 centuries BC. The clergy of that time had as a duty to inform the people who lived at the foot of the mountains with a gong, which was stroked several times to inform all the inhabitants that the sun came out.
It is said that by the rhythmic stroke of the gong “don, don, don…” even the liturgy took the name Dodone”. Relying on the known thesis of the Pelasgian origin of people that live today in the Balkans land and beyond, Rasim Bebo starts the analyses in his writings to prove the authenticity of this thesis, which is now spread. According to Herodoti, Dodona was the most ancient oracle in Pelasgian. This important evidence, served the author that later in his summary writings in this book, exploiting a wide and rich literature by many Albanian and foreign researchers and scholars, to come in the prominent conclusion that Albanians, descendants of the Illyrians, that have had the root at the old Pelasgian people, to be the most ancient grandchildren of the Balkan.
Indeed Rasim Bebo’s book summarizes a series of special writings and articles, many of which the author has published in the periodic press. However, this abundant material is ranked in the book according to a prominent compositional axis which has left the path that the writings and the articles have between them a sort of connection.
After an evaluation of the work titled “Book of an age with the author”, sympathetically written by Dalan Luzaj, today resident in Chikago of US, the first chapter of Rasim Bebo titled “Dodona” widely develops, through numerable citations and references, the history of Dodona ancient temple. In this chapter, according to numerous historical data, the author Rasim Bebo answers the questions “What about the Greeks? Where did they come from? Around 2000 BC a Greek-speaking uncivilized people slowly broke from the Russian step toward the south, passing through the Danube to the Balkan Peninsula, along with herds and cattle herd. About the year 1500 BC until 1100 the newcomers began to spread in the southern area of the peninsula”.
Then, in the second chapter of the book, chapter that is titled “The eagle”, Rasim Bebo after a long analyses, relying on evidences and documents of many researchers, comes in conclusion, even according to Homer, that the “Brunette brown eagle of Pelasgian Zeus, of Epiri’s Dodona was the most loving poultry, the courier messenger, constant companion of Zeus Pelasgian, who was the Sun God in the Pelasgian Ancient Dodona of Epirus called Pellazgjia”. (Watch Herodoti 2:56; Eskil 658-62; Dodona, today’s Kastrica town not too far from Janina).
Of particular interest in the book is the analysis that the researcher Rasim Bebo makes to Zaharia Majami’s book “Etruscans began to speak”. Using historical and linguistic data in the bud of the book, it is concluded that the Etruscans used to speak a similar language with Albanian. Then to prove his thesis of Pelasgian origin of the Balkan peoples, Rasim Bebo refers to the book “The enigma”, in seven volumes of French researchers Roberto d’Angeli. Rasim Bebo simultaneously refers even to the book “The Albanians” of George Fred Williams. For these valuable historical books, in his voluminous work, the author makes a brief description, focusing on historical data that are in favor of the thesis of Pelasgian origin of the today’s Balkan peoples.
Very interesting is even the third chapter of the book which is titled “On the expedition of Alexander the Great”. Draws the attention the fact in this chapter when the author says: “Olympia, Alexander’s mother was Epirotic, so Alexander’s mother tongue was Albanian”. In “Enigma” book its author insists that the word “Epiriot” means Albanian nothing “Helen”, “Epiriotika lingua” is always understood “Albanian language” and never “Ellonikn lingua”. King Philip of Macedonia, Alexander’s father was born in Argos (pelasgian place) bordering Epirus. (Alexander the Great p.14. G. Rado 1931) Alexander the Great with Hellenistic and Albanian origin thanks to education in the Greek language followed the studies from Aristotle, an Albanian from the town Stagire. Through the mother tongue, Albanian or Epirotic, Alexander gave courage and commanded his generals during his military expedition. With this language he spoke to his fellow and soldiers of his extraordinary army, language that was understood by all. Most of the population was illiterate and Modern Greek was unknown, because it began to form about ten centuries later. “(Salang d’Angeli, translated by L.Rama).
Further the author of the book makes a striking description of the commander and the legendary leading, Pyrrhus of Epirus. The portrait of Pyrrhus of Epirus – he says – in the emblem of the association Cham, is the symbol for the respect of the ancestors by his Thesprot’s ancestors – Cham of Illyrian land. According to E. Jasques in his work “Albanians” p.14 “Albanians, a ten-year population, are descendants of the Pelasgians prehistoric and of the closest Illyrian ancestors”.
To more deeply discuss the above thesis, the author entitles the fourth chapter of his book “Who are the Albanians?” referring to many Albanian and foreign authors and researchers, he makes a detailed description of Epirus Despotate and identify historical figures such as Cham head Lord Gjin Bue Shpata, Mërkur Bua etc.
The next chapter of the book entitled “The Albanians in the Balkans” deals with the history and the framework of placement of these people in Balkan as Illyrians and old Pelasgians descendants. As for arvanitas Rasim Bebua refers to the historian A. Llalla who says: “Arvanitas of Greece are not predecessors, they are not a minority. They were and are still in Greece. Huge wave of Arberia in the direction of Greece that has had in centuries 4-7 and 14 that we know from some historians are nothing more but the evacuations of some Arberi’s principalities of the north toward the south because of their land’s invasions in the north of Arbanas by Slavs and later by the Ottoman Turks. Arbanët or Arvanitas who left their land in the north of Arbëria, as in Slovenia, Croatia, till in Kosovo fields when they came in today’s Greece, they weren’t welcomed by war by those people, which indicates that they descended from north to south to their arbanit (arvanite) brothers, who lived in their millennium lands”.
In the book the author does not sit without mentioning some characteristic feature of the Albanian nation as religious tolerance, trust, hospitality etc. He makes portraits drawn with lines, to the captains that he call Arberesh like: Teodor Kollokotronit, Laskarina Bubulinës, Kostandin Kanarit, Andrea Miaulit, Llambro Xhavellës, Marko Boçarit, Gjergj Karaiskaqit, Odhise Andrucios, Dhimitër Palputës, Teodor Grivës, Athanas Shkurtaniotit, Nikolla Kryezotit, Gjon Kapodistrias, Haxhi Mehmet Dalianit.
The author of “Dodona, the ancient temple of Albania” (Dodona, tempulli i lashtë i Shqipërisë) book, being of Cham origin, in addition to the work a separate chapter “Chams” he dedicates Cham population, which has unjustly remained beyond the borders of Albania. In a special bud of this chapter is narrated with living marking the life and the famous deeds of one of the most famous warriors in our history, Ali Pashë Tepelena.
In this bud, among others, are described Suli’s land and the famous family of Boçarë. Further, the researcher Rasim Bebo reveals in the book the considerations for Albanians by George Fred Williams.
After some evaluations are made for the Arberesh of Italy, for some features of the Cham population as Cham dance and kilt, for Cham manhood and loyalty in the work “Erveheja”, in the continues chapter is portrayed a familiar figure of Albanian origin Dora D’Istria or Elena Gjika. Such a portrayal is made in the book, in chapter seven, to another familiar figure of Cham origin, Abedin Pashë Preveza.
Rasim Bebo’s book continues with a long article devoted to one of the most prominent and glorious sons of Chameria, the writer and the poet extremely talented, well-known dissident Bilal Xhaferri. It is well known the contributions of this personality and the magazine’s “Eagle’s Wing” which he established in exile in the U.S., in the benefit of the Albanian question, fighting and debunking communism, which managed to cruelly persecute the Albanian people for a dozen years, eliminating among others also a lot of the best Cham sons as Hilmi Seiti, Teme Sejkon, Tahir Demin, Jonuz Purizon, Taho Sejkon etc.
In the book are portrayed other historical figures of Cham origin.
As seen from the preface of the book, historian Rasim Bebo has tried to create a compositional structure for his work, a kind of compositional axis, that the book’s writing and articles create continuity from the ancient years until today. However, in this work has been focused the argumentation with diverse and different historical sources, from Albanian and foreign researchers and historians, of the thesis of the origin of the Balkan people of a very old nation, prehistoric, Pelasgians, who are congested and have occupied these lands for at least ten years ago. This thesis is still in the historical center of scientific debate. But it is worth mentioning that, in most occasions, today’s Greek historiography not only accepts the scientific findings regarding the origin Pelasgian thesis, but tries to interpret in the wrong way, and, as moreover, it can conceal them. However, as the talented researcher Aristidh P. Koljas expresses (Aristidh P. Koljas – Proclamation, Dritero editions, p.67, Tirana) “Many Greek and foreign historians have expressed the view that Albanians make representation in the highest degree of very old Pelasgians, from whom derives the origin of the ancient Greeks.”
By closing these notes I express confidence that the book “Dodona, the ancient temple of Albania” with historic and patriotic values will be read with interest by the readers who will benefit a lot of it and they will expand the knowledge about the Albanians origin.
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