The development of education in medieval Albania

AuthorNikollë Loka
PositionExecutive Director of the Institute of Albanistic Studies 'John Gazulli'
European Journal of Economics, Law and Social Sciences
IIPCCL Publishing, Graz-Austria
Vol. 1 No. 1
January 2017
ISSN 2519-1284
Acces online at
The development of education in medieval Albania
Nikollë Loka
Executive Director of the Institute of Albanistic Studies “John Gazulli”
In the Middle Ages education in Albanian territories had sort of the same development
with other regions of the eastern Adriatic coast. In that period the education had religious
character and as elsewhere in Europe, it was the monopoly of the church, especially of some
religious orders that were dedicated to education, initially to the Benedictine and then to the
Dominicans, the Franciscans and the Jesuits. A part of northern Albania during the middle
Ages was included in the European cultural space, where the Latin language was taught. The
northern Albania had many Benedictine monasteries that were the main centers of learning
in that period. Some of them are the monastery of St. Serdio and Bacho in Shirq and Saint
Mihal of Rotec. Of great importance were the monasteries of Fan (Mirdita today) that were
recognized as the center of the life of the province.
In the Albanian lands occurred the same developments as in other countries of Western
Europe. Schools were established at cathedrals in towns and parishes in the villages. With
the development of cities, along with the religious education, the secular education gradually
developed for the needs of the city and its economy. The secular education created conditions
for the country’s use of the language spoken by the population, which was introduced
gradually as a language of instruction.
New religious orders: the Dominicans and the Franciscans increased the quality of
education. The Dominicans, who lived in cities, developed the secondary education and
higher education a lot. They founded a university in Durrës and Franciscans, which acted
mainly in rural areas, were engaged with the elementary education.
Because of the O omans, the Dominicans le , while the Franciscans stayed in the country,
su ering the consequences of O oman conquest. They are the founders of the rst Albanian
The process of the development of the Albanian education followed the same path as in
the West, with the change that it developed with a delay of one to two centuries, due to the
conditions that were set a er the O oman conquest of the country. Just like the Western
countries, even in Albania, the church played a role in the beginnings of the education in the
national language.
Keywords: development, education, medi eval. Albania.
The history of the development of education shows the development trend of
the society, expressing its ideals and objectives in each certain period. School and
education projects represent the dominant intellectual and social objectives of that
time. Although politically under the Byzantine, Illyrian territories were dependent
on Rome (Shu aj, 2013:31). Just around the year 732, Leo Izaurasi passed Illyrian
territories to Patriarchate of Constantinople, but the in uence of the West went even
further, because the Albanian territories remained a gate linking East and West.

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