En or Enji ([ɛɲi]) is the reconstructed name of the fire god in the Albanian pagan mythology, who is thought to have been worshiped by the Illyrians in antiquity and to have been the most prominent god of the pantheon in Roman times.[1][2] The name continues to be used in the Albanian language for Thursday (e enjte).[3][4] Another name of a fire god worshiped in Northern Albania until recent times is Verbt, while the name hyj, "burn, glow" is used uncapitalized to refer to the deities and the stars, and capitalized to refer to the Supreme Being.


In his work Speculum Confessionis (1621) Pjetër Budi recorded the Albanian term tegnietenee madhe for the observance of Maundy Thursday (S.C., 148, vv. 26, 89). In his Latin-Albanian dictionary (Dictionarium latino-epiroticum, 1635) Frang Bardhi recorded dita ehegnete as the Albanian translation of Latin dies Iovis. In 1820, the French scholar François Pouqueville recorded two old Albanian terms: e igniete and e en-gnitia.[5] Modern dialectal variations include: Gheg Albanian: e êjte, e ẽjtë; Tosk Albanian: e enjtë; Arbëreshë Albanian: e ègn'te, e énjite, e ente, e engjte, e ínjte.

The Albanian term enjte descends from Proto-Albanian *agni-, ultimately from the archaic Indo-European word for 'fire' (PIE [[:wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h1n̥gwnís|*h1n̥gwnis]]). The names of week days in Albanian are calques of Latin names, so the term dita e enjte must correspond to Latin lovis diem, and in the Albanian pantheon Enj- must be the equivalent of Roman Jupiter.[6]


According to Karl Treimer, Illyrians worshiped a fire god named *Enji, related to the Vedic fire god Agni,[4] descending from the root *Hxn̩gwnis, the Proto-Indo-European divinised fire.[7] In the Illyrian pantheon the fire deity expanded his function considerably, therefore ousted the cosmic-heavenly deity, and was the most distinguished Illyrian god in Roman times, when the weekday names were formed in the Albanian language. Indeed, the Latin Jovis dies was translated with the Illyrian fire god Enj rather than with the Illyrian Sky father, thought to have been Zot, from Proto-Albanian *dźie̅u ̊ *a(t)t (a cognate of PIE *Dyḗus ph2tḗr),[1] or Dei-pátrous. With the coming of Christianity En was demoted to demonic status,[3] although his name has been preserved in the Albanian language to refer to Thursday (enj-te).[3][4] Very strong beliefs in the demon of fire have persisted among Albanians until today.[8] The cult of the mystic fire and the fire ritual practices played an important role in the lives of the pre-industrial Albanian people.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Treimer 1971, p. 32.
  2. ^ Poghirc 1987, p. 178.
  3. ^ a b c Lurker 2005, p. 57.
  4. ^ a b c Tagliavini 1963, p. 103.
  5. ^ Yochalas 1980, p. 417.
  6. ^ Orel 1998, p. 88.
  7. ^ Mallory & Adams 1997, p. 203; West 2007, p. 266
  8. ^ Novik 2015, p. 268.
  9. ^ Tirta 2004, pp. 68–69, 135, 176–181, 249–261, 274–282, 327.


  • Lurker, Manfred (2005). The Routledge Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses, Devils and Demons. Routledge, Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-203-64351-8.
  • Mallory, James P.; Adams, Douglas Q. (1997), Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, London: Routledge, ISBN 978-1-884964-98-5
  • Novik, Alexander (2015). "Lexicon of Albanian Mythology: Areal Studies in the Polylingual Region of Azov Sea". Slavia Meridionalis. 15: 261–273. doi:10.11649/sm.2015.022. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  • Orel, Vladimir (1998). Albanian etymological dictionary. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-11024-3.
  • Poghirc, Cicerone (1987). "Albanian Religion". In Mircea Eliade (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Religion. Vol. 1. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co. pp. 178–180.
  • Tagliavini, Carlo (1963). Storia di parole pagane e cristiane attraverso i tempi. Brescia: Morcelliana.
  • Tirta, Mark (2004). Petrit Bezhani (ed.). Mitologjia ndër shqiptarë (in Albanian). Tirana: Mësonjëtorja. ISBN 99927-938-9-9.
  • Treimer, Karl (1971). "Zur Rückerschliessung der illyrischen Götterwelt und ihre Bedeutung für die südslawische Philologie". In Henrik Barić (ed.). Arhiv za Arbanasku starinu, jezik i etnologiju. Vol. I. R. Trofenik. pp. 27–33.
  • West, Morris L. (2007). Indo-European Poetry and Myth. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199280759.
  • Yochalas, Titos (1980). Το Ελληνο-Αλβανικόν Λεξικόν του Μάρκου Μπότσαρη [The Greek-Albanian Dictionary of Markos Botsaris]. Academy of Greece.