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Traveler, Scholar, Political Adventurer

A Transylvanian Baron at the Birth of Albanian Independence: The memoirs of Franz Nopcsa

Translated and edited by Robert Elsie

Publication Year: 2014

The Austro-Hungarian aristocrat of Transylvanian origin, Baron Franz Nopcsa (1877-1933), was one of the most adventuresome travelers and scholars of Southeast Europe in the early decades of the twentieth century. He was also a paleontologist of renown and a noted geologist of the Balkan Peninsula : many of his assumptions have been confirmed by science. The Memoirs of this fascinating figure deal mainly with his travels in the Balkans, and specifically in the remote and wild mountains of northern Albania, in the years from 1903 to 1914. They thus cover the period of Ottoman Rule, the Balkan Wars and the outbreak of the First World War. Nopcsa was a keen adventurer who hiked through regions of northern Albania. With time, he became a leading expert in Albanian studies. He was also deeply involved in the politics of the period. In 1913, Nopcsa even offered himself as a candidate for the vacant Albanian throne. The Introduction also tells of Nopcsa’s tragic death: he shot his Albanian secretary and partner before killing himself. The memoirs themselves reveal some references to his homosexuality for those who can read between the lines.

Published by: Central European University Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-xiii

The Austro-Hungarian aristocrat, Baron Franz Nopcsa (1877–1933), was one of the most adventuresome travelers and scholars of southeastern Europe in the early decades of the twentieth century. Together...

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Part I: Initial Tracels (1903-1904)

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pp. 1-10

I was in Constantinople in November 1903. Our consul Para, whom I had got to know earlier, arrived while I was staying with Louis Drašković and, as I intended to go to Skopje, he invited me to accompany him on his return journey. I willingly accepted...

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PART II Research in Albania (1905–1910)

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pp. 11-78

I began my travel for my Albanian research projects in 1905. At the end of August, I journeyed to Cetinje where I met our envoy, Kuhn von...

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PART III Between the Annexation and the Balkan War (1910–1912)

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pp. 79-146

Consul General Kral was transferred away from Shkodra in January 1910. He told me before he left that I would have greater difficulty traveling in Albania under his successor. I myself left Shkodra in mid- January, not knowing that it would be a long time before I could return....

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PART IV From the Balkan War to the World War (1912–1914)

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pp. 147-204

The Balkan War spread slowly, like a gnawing disease. Skopje was taken by the Albanian rebels in the period before the war. The conflict broke out in Berane with an exchange of fire between Turkish and...


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pp. 205-216

Index of Names

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pp. 217-225

Glossary of Place Names

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pp. 226-227

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9786155225819
Print-ISBN-13: 9786155225802

Page Count: 252
Illustrations: 8 pages photo gallery
Publication Year: 2014

Edition: first

OCLC Number: 884854925
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Traveler, Scholar, Political Adventurer

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Subject Headings

  • Balkan Peninsula -- History -- War of 1912-1913.
  • Albania -- History -- 1878-1912.
  • Balkan Peninsula -- History -- 20th century.
  • Nopcsa, Ferencz, báró, 1877-1933 -- Travel -- Albania.
  • Nopcsa, Ferencz, báró, 1877-1933 -- Travel -- Balkan Peninsula.
  • Albania -- Description and travel.
  • Balkan Peninsula -- Description and travel.
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Balkan Peninsula.
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