Frang Bardhi (Latin: Franciscus Blancus, Italian: Francesco Bianchi, 1606–1643) was an Albanian Catholic bishop and writer. Bardhi is best known as an author of the early eras of Albanian literature. He served as Bishop of Sapë (1635–1644).
|Bishop of Sapë|
Frang Bardhi on a 1993 Albanian stamp
|Consecration||30 Mar 1636|
by Ciriaco Rocci
Kallmet or Nënshat in the northern Albanian Zadrima region near Lezhë
Bardhi was born in Kallmet or Nënshat in the northern Albanian Zadrima region near Lezhë. He came from a family consisting of many figures high in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and state officials or military commanders of the Republic of Venice. His uncle was Bishop of Sapa and Sarda. He studied theology in Italy. On 17 December 1635, Francesco Bianchi was appointed during the papacy of Pope Urban VIII as Bishop of Sapë. On 30 March 1636, he was consecrated bishop by Ciriaco Rocci, Cardinal-Priest of San Salvatore in Lauro, with Giovanni Battista Altieri, Bishop Emeritus of Camerino, and Ottavio Broglia, Bishop of Asti, serving as co-consecrators.
Bardhi is remembered as the author of the first Albanian dictionary Dictionarium latino-epiroticum (Latin-Albanian dictionary) published in Rome in 1635, comprising 5,640 entries. Its appendix contains a list of 113 proverbs, phrases, and idioms, some of which are translations from other languages into Albanian with the vast majority being collected from the Albanian folklore.
Bardhi also wrote a biography of George Kastrioti Skanderbeg, called The Apology of Scanderbeg published in Venice in 1636. The Apology of Scanderbeg was a polemic against Slavic Catholic priest Ivan Tomko Mrnavić, who claimed that Kastrioti was of Slav origin. Bardhi also complained that the Albanian language "was being lost and degenerating" under the blows of foreign occupiers, and in order to preserve it he saw himself contributing to the missing of rising the national pride between Albanians.
From 1637 on, Bardhi submitted reports in Italian and Latin to the Congregation of the Propaganda Fide in Rome which contain a mine of information about his diocese, about political developments, about Albanian customs and about the structure and position of the Catholic Church in Ottoman-occupied Albania.
- Pipa, Arshi (1959). "Communism and Albanian Writers". Robert Elsie. Archived from the original on 2012-01-27. Retrieved 2017-10-14.
- Elsie, Robert (2005). Albanian Literature: A Short History. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9781845110314. Retrieved 2017-10-14.
- Gauchat, Patritius (Patrice) (1935). Hierarchia catholica medii et recentioris aevi. Vol. IV. Münster: Libraria Regensbergiana. p. 305. (in Latin)
- Cheney, David M. "Bishop Francesco Bianchi". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
- Bihiku, Koço (1980). A history of Albanian literature. Tirana: 8 Nëntori Publishing House. pp. 14, 15. OCLC 9133663.
- Georgius Castriotus Epirensis, vulgo Scanderbegh. Per Franciscum Blancum, De Alumnis Collegij de Propaganda Fide Episcopum Sappatensem etc. Venetiis, Typis Marci Ginammi, MDCXXXVI (1636).
- Bartl, Peter (2007). Bardhyl Demiraj (ed.). Pjetër Bogdani und die Anfänge des alb. Buchdrucks. Nach Vier hundert fünfzig Jahren (in German). Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 273. ISBN 9783447054683. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- Pipa, Arshi (1959). "Communism and Albanian Writers". Robert Elsie. Archived from the original on 2012-01-27. Retrieved 2016-02-15.
He also raised his voice to defend the Albanian identity of Scanderbeg against a Slavic Catholic priest who claimed that our national hero was a Slav.
- "Description and information on the state of the bishopric and parish churches of the Diocese of Sapa, subjected to the tyranny of the Turks"
- Albanian Literature, Section 1.6, by Robert Elsie, pages 24–27
- Dictionarivm Latino Epiroticvm per R. D. Franciscvm Blanchvm
- Cheney, David M. "Diocese of Sapë". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. Retrieved June 16, 2018. (for Chronology of Bishops)
- Chow, Gabriel. "Diocese of Sapë (Albania)". GCatholic.org. Retrieved June 16, 2018. (for Chronology of Bishops)
|Catholic Church titles|
| Bishop of Sapë