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The Ruling Families of Albania in the pre-Ottoman Period

Hotrrea Familii din Albania, n pre-otoman Perioada

O vedere de ansamblu este necesar de diviziunile politice n Albania, n


An overview is required of the political divisions within Albania in the
cea de-a paisprezecea i a cincisprezecea secole pentru a nelege i
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in order to understand and properly
evalua corect cursul evenimentelor n timpul i dup Turkish cucerire a
evaluate the course of events during and after the Turkish conquest of the
rii.
country.
At the death of Stephan Dushan in 1355, the empire he created, the
regnum serborum et romanorum, disintegrated into virtually independent
realms because the centralizing force of his personality was now missing.
His insignificant successors lacked not only his resolve and energy, but
also the prestige inherent in this most important son of the Nemanid
dynasty.

La moartea lui Stephan Dushan n 1355, el a creat imperiului, de regnum


serborum et romanorum, dezintegrat practic n domenii independent
deoarece centralizarea vigoare a personalitatii sale a fost acum lipsete.
Nesemnificativ succesorii lui nu au nu numai sa rezolve i energie, dar
de asemenea, de prestigiu, inerent, n acest cel mai important fiu al
Nemanid dinastie.

Ar fi, totui, s fie eronat s se cread c domenii care au luat natere din
ruinele bizantin i Nemanid imperiile au fost, de la nceput, real, care a
It would, however, be erroneous to believe that the realms which arose
avut Principatelor organizat pe teritoriul lor, cu un veritabil guvern i
from the ruins of the Byzantine and Nemanid empires were, from the
administraie. A fost destul de cazul n care noii conductori a preluat
start, real principalities which had organized their territory with a
diferite orase, in domeniile lor de a extins influena n mprejurimi i, cu
genuine government and administration. It was rather the case that new
timpul, a adus n regiune sub control. Ei niciodat nu a creat complet
rulers took over the various towns, expanded their spheres of influence in independent kingdoms. Numai Imperiul Bizantin i Imperiul de Stephan
the surrounding area and, with time, brought the region under control.
Dushan pot fi considerate ca atare.
They never created fully independent kingdoms. Only the Byzantine
Empire and the Empire of Stephan Dushan can be regarded as such.
De la cderea Bizan n minile a Latin Crusaders n 1204, la est Roman
Since the fall of Byzantium into the hands of the Latin Crusaders in
1204, the eastern Roman emperors were no longer in a position to ensure
their hold on the country. For Albania, this meant the start of a period of
division into various realms, and the Serb Nemanids held the greatest
part of the country.

imparatilor nu mai erau n msur s le asigure inei de ar. Pentru


Albania, acest lucru a nsemnat nceputul unei perioade de divizare n
diverse domenii, precum i cea srb, Nemanids a avut loc cea mai mare
parte a rii.

nainte de regul srbi i dup ce sa sfrit, au existat, totui, dou centre


de putere din Albania, care strduit s-i uneasc ara, fiecare pe propriul
su i la un alt timp, i au atins acest obiectiv ntr-o anumit msur.
Before Serb rule and after its end, there were, however, two centres of
Primul a fost de Despotate de Janina sub suzeranitate bizantin. Apoi, subpower in Albania that endeavoured to unite the country, each on its own napolitan italian influen i, ca succesor al regnum Albaniae de Anjou,
and at a different time, and they achieved this goal to a certain extent.
a fost la rndul su, de familie Thopia n portul albanez Durres. Apariia
The first was the Despotate of Janina under Byzantine suzerainty. Then, unor astfel de domenii nu este special pentru aceast perioad de
under Neapolitan-Italian influence and as a successor to the regnum
albanezi istorie. Aceste lucruri au fost ntmpl pentru ultimele dou mii
Albaniae of Anjou, it was the turn of the Thopia family in Durrs. The
de ani. Ori de cte ori de unificare domniei lui o mare putere dezintegrat
rise of such realms is not particular to this period of Albanian history.
i sa disipat prestigiu n Europa de Sud-Est, Italia-ar privi spre teritoriul
Such things had been going on for the last two thousand years. Whenever albanez a rspndit influena acestuia.
the unifying reign of a major power disintegrated and its prestige
dissipated in the Balkans, Italy would look towards Albanian territory to Cnd a czut Imperiul macedonean, romanii invadat Albania. n cazul n
spread its influence.
care puterea de Bizan a fost sapped de Crusaders, de Angevin Regatul
Neapole, i Veneia, extins pe domenii albanez sol. De fiecare dat cnd
When the Macedonian Empire fell, the Romans invaded Albania. When puterea de Constantinopol sau Italia a sczut, de nord popoare inundate
n dezarmat teritorii din Albania: germanii, Hunii, slavi, de Bulgars, din
the power of Byzantium was sapped by the Crusaders, the Angevin
Kingdom of Naples, and Venice, expanded their realms on Albanian soil. nou i din nou, de-a lungul secolelor i pn n prezent.
Every time the power of Constantinople or Italy declined, northern
peoples flooded into the undefended territories of Albania: the Germans, De Despotate de Janina i a statului de la casa de Thopia avut o facilitate
special n comun. Acestea au fost create de ctre ambele strine influen
the Huns, the Slavs, the Bulgars, again and again, throughout the
i putere i a infuzat ar strin, cu cultura, dar de asemenea au strduit
centuries and up to the present day.
s-i uneasc Albania i oamenii si. Acest proces de unificare, care a
dus la creterea din prezent zi oamenii albanez i limba sa, a nceput n
The Despotate of Janina and the rule of the house of Thopia had one
jurul anului 800 i a fost completat de aproape 1200.
particular feature in common. They were both created by foreign
influence and power and infused the country with foreign culture, but
they also endeavoured to unite Albania and its people. This process of
unification, which has led to the rise of the present-day Albanian people
and its language, began around the year 800 and was almost completed
by 1200.

1. De Despotate de Janina
1. The Despotate of Janina
The Despotate of Janina existed under Byzantine rule from 1015 on.
Around 1204, it attained a certain autonomy under Michaelangelos
Comnenos (a scion of the imperial family of the same name) and was
henceforth known as the Despotate of Epirus. The Despotate was ruled
for over one hundred years, with varying success, by the descendants of
this Byzantine dynasty until in 1318-1430 it came under the sway of
various Italian dynasties. Central Albania, for its part, was under the rule

De Despotate de Janina existat sub bizantin regul de la 1015 la. n jur de


1204, aceasta a atins o anumit autonomie n Michaelangelos Comnenos
(un descendent al familiei imperiale cu acelai nume) i de aici nainte a
fost cunoscut sub numele de Despotate din Epirus. De Despotate a fost
condus de peste o sut de ani, cu diferite de succes, de descendeni ai
acestei Bizantin dinastia pn n 1318-1430 a venit sub imperiul diferite
dinastii italian. Centrale Albania, la rndul su, a fost n regul, de la
regii din Sicilia i Napoli, 1271 - 1368.

of the kings of Sicily and Naples from 1271 to 1368.


If one considers that Greek was the official language of the Despotate of
Janina and that Latin and Italian were the official tongues of the Angevin
regnum Albaniae and later of the realm of the Thopias in Durrs, it seems
quite inconceivable that these two realms would contribute to an
awakening of Albanian nationalism and not do damage to the Albanian
language and the Albanian way of life. On rare occasions, these realms
indeed promoted the latter. (1)

Dac se consider c greac a fost limba oficial a Despotate de Janina i


c Latin i italiene au fost de limbi oficiale ale Angevin regnum
Albaniae i mai trziu, de pe trmul de Thopias n Durrs, se pare destul
de neconceput c aceste dou domenii ar contribui la o trezire a
naionalismului albanez, i nu face pentru a daunelor de limb albanez
i cea albanez mod de via. Pe Rareori, aceste domenii, ntr-adevr, a
promovat aceasta din urm. (1)

Situaia a fost diferit n mici kingdoms care a aprut dup cderea


imperiului sau srbe, care a derivat de la mai devreme de zile. Ei s-au
interesat numai de propria lor de profit i consolidarea lor locale de
The situation was different in the small kingdoms which arose after the
influen. I-au fcut mult pentru a promova divizare intern n ar i
fall of the Serb empire or which stemmed from earlier days. They were
only interested in their own profit and strengthening their local influence. dezintegrare. Aceasta servete pentru a explica de ce nu a existat nici un
generale comune i de rezisten la nceputul celei de-a invaziei otomane
They did much to promote internal division within the country and its
din Albania.
disintegration. This serves to explain why there was no general and
common resistance at the start of the Ottoman invasion of Albania.
Puterea de a Despotate de Janina, nfiinat la nceputul celei de-a
dousprezecea-lea, a avut mult timp a trecut la amiaz, cnd turcii au
The power of the Despotate of Janina, founded at the start of the twelfth invadat. Ea a fost mprit n sus n diverse domenii i, prin urmare, nu a
century, had long passed its zenith when the Turks invaded. It was
jucat un rol semnificativ n aprarea rii. Milos sa rmne a avut toate
divided up into various realms and therefore played no significant role in atributele unui stat grec toate c au pierdut contactul cu ei albanez
the country's defence. Its pitiful remains had all the attributes of a Greek subiecte, de exemplu, n Chameria i n Acarnania.
State that had lost all contact with its Albanian subjects, for instance in
Chameria and in Acarnania.
La amiaz, de Despotate de Janina intins sud la Lepanto, precum i n
At its zenith, the Despotate of Janina stretched southward to Lepanto,
and in the northeast from Kastoria and Monastir to Prilep and the
Adriatic Sea, and from 1204 to 1300 it ruled over an almost exclusively
Albanian-speaking population.
The power of the Despotate was severely shaken by disputes over
succession, by enemy attacks, of which the temporarily restored
Byzantine Empire was no doubt a significant part, in particular the
hostility of Emperor Constantine Palaeologus (1264), by the advance of
the Serbs and by the insubordinate behaviour of some rising Albanian,
Byzantine and Serb families. The final blow came, however, with the
advance of the Albanian mountain tribes southwards. From 1356 on, the
despots of Janina were no longer descendants of the imperial family of
Byzantium. Marital and military alliances had brought other families to
the fore in what remained of the Despotate.
The sphere of influence of these Italian and Byzantine families who had
settled in Janina stretched over the region in a triangle made up of
Janina, Preveza and Arta. On the eastern side, it was subject to attacks
from the Serbs and on the northern side to attacks by Albanian mountain
tribes. These tribes had begun migrating in the thirteenth century. In
1220 they appeared for the first time in Thessaly, in 1265 on the plain of
Monastir (Bitola), in 1315 in the area south of Gjirokastra (Zitza,
Dhuljana), and by 1360 they had reached the region of Janina. They had
no set goal and were in search of new pastureland and a friendlier
environment than the harsh mountain terrain they stemmed from. Of
course they depended on theft to ensure their survival. The individual
groups were no more than one hundred man strong, but whenever
important action was to be taken, they would gather under a courageous
leader of their choice. One such leader was Gjin Bua Shpata (2), who
seized the town of Gjirokastra from the Despote of Janina in 1356 and
who, in a document in 1375, is referred to as the Lord of Arta and
Lepanto. With his descendants, he set up a reign at the expense of the
Despot of Janina which lasted until the Turkish conquest.
When the Serbs attacked from Thessaly, and Janina was under threat,
Shpata's Albanians joined Leonardo Tocco, the Count of Cephalonia and
Duke of Leucada (1357), and were able, thanks to Italian support, to
maintain themselves in this region and indeed extend their rule down to
Lepanto in Acarnania. In 1370, the Serbs conquered Janina but were
repelled five years later by the Albanians and the Italians who had once
again come to their assistance. Gjin Bua Shpata then gave his niece in
marriage to Esau di Buondelmonte of Florence, a relative of the Tocco
and Acciauli families and thus reinforced his position internationally.
Gjin's successor, Mauritius Bua Shpata (Sguros) took Janina in 1403 but
was unable to hold it. He died in 1418 in his capital Arta.

nord-est de la Kastoria i Monastir Prilep i de la Marea Adriatic, i


1204 - 1300 el a domnit peste un albanez aproape exclusiv vorbitoare de
populaie.
Puterea de a Despotate a fost grav afectat de dispute peste succesiune,
de atacurile inamice, care a restaurat temporar Imperiul Bizantin a fost,
fr ndoial, o parte semnificativ, n special, cu ostilitate de mpratul
Constantin Palaeologus (1264), de avans al srbilor i de rebel
comportament al unor cretere albanez, srb, bizantin i familii.
Rezultatul final, lovitur a venit, cu toate acestea, cu avans de triburi
albaneze de munte spre sud. De la 1356 de pe, de despots de Janina nu
mai erau descendeni ai familiei imperiale din Bizan. Marital aliane
militare i alte familii au adus n prim plan n ceea ce a rmas din
Despotate.
Sfera de influen a acestor familii de italieni si bizantine, care au stabilit
in Janina intins peste regiune ntr-un triunghi format din Janina, Preveza
i Arta. Pe partea de est, a fost supus la atacurile de la srbi i pe partea
de nord a atacurilor de albanez de munte triburi. Aceste triburi
migratoare a nceput n secolul al treisprezecelea. n 1220 au aparut
pentru prima data in Thessaly, n 1265 pe Cmpia Monastir (Bitola), n
1315 n zona de sud a Gjirokastra (Zitza, Dhuljana), precum i de 1360
au ajuns la regiunea de Janina. Ei nu a avut nici un obiectiv stabilit i au
fost n cutare de noi puni i un mediu mai prietenos fa de dure de
munte a derivat din terenul ei. Desigur, au depins de furt, pentru a
asigura supravieuirea. Individuale de grupuri au fost nu mai mult de o
sut brbat puternic, dar ori de cte ori este important de aciune a fost de
a fi luate, s-ar reuni sub un curajos liderul de la alegerea lor. Un astfel de
lider a fost Gjin Bua Shpata (2), care au capturat oraul Gjirokastra de la
Despote de Janina n 1356 i care, ntr-un document din 1375, este
cunoscut sub denumirea de Domnul, de Arta si Lepanto. Cu
descendenilor si, el a creat un imperiu pe cheltuiala a Despot de Janina
care a durat pn la cucerirea turc.
n cazul n care srbii au atacat din Thessaly, i Janina a fost sub
ameninare, Shpata lui de albanezi au aderat Leonardo Tocco, Contele de
Cephalonia i Duce de Leucada (1357), i-au putut, datorit italian de
sprijin, pentru a menine n aceast regiune i, ntr-adevr, i extind
regul n jos pentru a Lepanto n Acarnania. n 1370, a cucerit Janina
srbi, dar au fost repelled cinci ani mai trziu, de albanezi i italienii care
au avut, din nou, pentru a veni lor de asisten. Gjin Bua Shpata apoi i-a
dat nepoat n cstorie pe Esau di Buondelmonte din Florena, o rud a
Tocco i Acciauli familiile i, astfel, sa ntrit poziia internaional. Gjin
succesorul lui, Mauritius Bua Shpata (Sguros) a luat Janina n 1403, dar
nu a putut s le pstrm. A murit n 1418 n capital Arta.

Mauritius Bua Shpata Dup moartea lui, de conductori de Cephalonia


luat controlul a Despotate i de Janina, dei Gjirokastra au fost deja luate
departe de albanezi, de Charles Tocco n 1405. n 1407, a luat Venetians
orasul de la Lepanto Shpatas, astfel, posibilitatea de a mpri puterea de
After Mauritius Bua Shpata's death, the rulers of Cephalonia took control a succesorilor de Gjin Shpata. De terenuri din Mauritius Bua Shpata au
fost aproape toate acum n minile a Considerat de Cephalonia, care,
of the Despotate and of Janina, although Gjirokastra had already been
astfel, a preluat rolul de a Despots de Janina.
taken away from the Albanians by Charles Tocco in 1405. In 1407, the

Venetians took the town of Lepanto from the Shpatas, thus breaking the
power of the successors of Gjin Shpata. The lands of Mauritius Bua
Shpata were almost all now in the hands of the Counts of Cephalonia,
who thus took over the role of Despots of Janina.
With the Turkish conquest, these realms disappeared. The
Buondelmonte, Tocco and Shpata dynasties thus vanished from Albanian
history. According to local tradition, one descendant of the Shpata
family, Peter Bua, was founder of the Albanian settlement of Piana degli
Albanesi in Sicily, and in the sixteenth century, another one, Mauritius
Bua (Shpata), made a name for himself as a military leader in the service
of Franois I of France.

Cu Turkish cucerire, aceste domenii disprut. De Buondelmonte, Tocco


i Shpata dinastii, astfel, a disprut de la albanezi istorie. n conformitate
cu tradiia local, un descendent al familiei Shpata, Peter Bua, a fost
fondator al albanez de decontare a PIANA degli Albanesi n Sicilia, i n
a aisprezecea-lea, un altul, Mauritius Bua (Shpata), a fcut un nume
pentru el ca o militare lider n servicii de Franois I din Frana.
Ijasolos, pe de alt parte, un nedemn descendent din casa de
Buondelmonte (Considerat de Cephalonia) a ncheiat cariera ntr-un mod
lipsit de glorie, fiind prima albaneze de a ncheia un pact cu turcii i d
Janina i Despotate la Sultan.

Dup aceste observaii cu privire la statul de la sud Shpatas n Albania,


un cuvnt sau dou trebuie s fie consacrate unui lider albanez tipic
Llosha Peter, care a avut loc n putere Arta i mprejurimi, chiar nainte
de Shpatas a fcut-o. Llosha, probabil, a derivat de la una dintre cele mai
importante familii de albanezi care au condus la unele 10000 albanezi
cmpiile din Thessaly ntre 1220 i 1235. n ciuda afirmatia de profesor
Jorga c a fost o Llosha valah (aromn), credem c este mult mai
After these remarks on the rule of the Shpatas in southern Albania, a
probabil ca el a fost un albanez. (3) Profesorul Jorga nu ofera dovezi
word or two must be devoted to a typical Albanian leader Peter Llosha,
pentru afirmatia lui. Poate c el a fost indui n eroare de faptul c
who held power in Arta and the surrounding area just before the Shpatas regiunea din care a fcut primul albanez triburi modul lor n Grecia, i
did. Llosha probably stemmed from one of the leading Albanian families anume zona (4) din cursul superior al rului Vjosa i Metsovo Pass, a
that led some 10,000 Albanians to the plains of Thessaly between 1220
fost locuit n momentul de aromni, i nc mai este. Dar, din cele mai
and 1235. Despite the assertion of Professor Jorga that Llosha was an
vechi timpuri, de Vjosa vale i Metsovo Pass au fost utilizate de ctre
Vlach (Aromanian), we believe it much more likely that he was an
albanezi, n drum spre Thessaly. Llosha pare s fi fost o impresionanta
Albanian. (3) Professor Jorga offers no evidence for his assertion.
rzboinic. De ani de zile, a luptat mpotriva greci i srbi, n cele din
Perhaps he was misled by the fact that the region from which the
urm soluionarea n cel mai bun i mai prospere zone din Despotate de
Albanian tribes first made their way into Greece, i.e. the area (4) of the
Janina, i a stabilit un scurt-a trit n trmul Arta / Rogos (5) (1356upper course of the Vjosa river and the Metsovo Pass, was inhabited at
1375), care apoi a sczut la de Shpatas. Ar fi nepotrivit de a vorbi de o
the time by Aromanians, and still is. But, since ancient times, the Vjosa
bun guvernare i o normal cu frontiera de stat, atunci cnd referindu-se
valley and the Metsovo Pass were used by the Albanians on their way to la domenii de guvernmnt de familii care sa stabilit n ruinele de la
Thessaly. Llosha seems to have been an impressive warrior. For years, he Despotate de Janina nainte i n timpul invaziei turc. n urmtor haos,
fought against the Greeks and Serbs, eventually settling in the best and
domenii aprut practic peste noapte, i a disprut la fel de repede, ct mai
most prosperous area of the Despotate of Janina, and established a short- curnd adventuresome alte persoane fizice sau familii stabilit n orae i
lived realm in Arta/Rogos (5) (1356-1375), which then fell to the
n regiunile n cauz.
Shpatas. It would be inexpedient to speak of a proper government and a
normal State with border when referring to the realms of the ruling
n luptele ntre mai mici i mai mari tirani a ncetat niciodat. Ori de cte
families that settled in the ruins of the Despotate of Janina before and
ori o putere strin (fie c este vorba de srbi, bulgari sau italian) a
during the Turkish invasion. In the ensuing chaos, realms arose virtually artat dispus s sprijine n sine locale de a susine o familie, aceasta din
overnight, and vanished just as quickly as soon as other adventuresome
urm nu ar ezita s intre ntr-o alian cu el mpotriva foes de familie,
individuals or families settled in the towns and regions in question.
chiar dac aceste foes interne au fost relaii strnse.
Ijasolos, on the other hand, an unworthy scion of the house of
Buondelmonte (Counts of Cephalonia) ended his career in an inglorious
manner by being the first Albanian to conclude a pact with the Turks and
deliver Janina and the Despotate to the Sultan.

The struggles among the smaller and larger tyrants never ceased.
Whenever a foreign power (be it Serb, Bulgarian or Italian) showed itself
willing to support the local claims of one family, the latter would not
hesitate to enter into an alliance with it against the foes of the family,
even though these domestic foes were close relations.

Exist puine surse istorice detaliate pentru a furniza dovezi cu privire la


ncoace i ncolo de astfel de puterea de lupta. Norul ridic doar atunci
cnd afectate de conflicte interne de istorie a rii vecine.

Este interesant de observat c sudul albanez sagas si legende apel aceast


perioad, koha e zallamatahijes, la vrsta de conflict de prisos, sau
perioad de haos. Este caracteristic de albanezi, atunci cnd vorbim de
There are few historical sources to provide detailed evidence of the to
nebulos amintirile pe care le-au pastrat din aceste perioade din istoria lor,
and fro of such power struggles. The cloud lifts only when the domestic pe care le vorbesc despre koha e romakvet (perioada roman), atunci
conflicts affected the history of the country's neighbours.
cnd se face trimitere la ruinele antice, de koha e kaurit (Byantine
perioad ), adic perioada de necredincioilor, i apoi mai sus menionate
It is interesting to note that southern Albanian sagas and legends call this koha e zallamatahijes (perioad de haos). De domnete de Angevin,
period the koha e zallamatahijes, the age of superfluous strife, or period veneian i alte italian dinastii sunt prevzute cu totul ca koha e Vendikut
(veneian perioad), n regul turc este cunoscut sub numele de koha e
of chaos. It is characteristic of the Albanians when they speak of the
turkut (Turkish perioada). Se poate presupune c n condiii de siguran
nebulous memories they have kept of these periods of their history, that
a memoriei istorice a poporului nu este nel i c decenii nainte de
they talk about the koha e romakvet (Roman period) when they are
cucerire turc au fost ntr-adevr, cei de lipsit de bun-sim skirmishes i
referring to ancient ruins, the koha e kaurit (Byantine period), i.e. the
period of the infidels, and then the aforementioned koha e zallamatahijes btlii.
(period of chaos). The reigns of the Angevin, Venetian and other Italian
Unul dintre dinastii care a luat natere n ruinele de la Despotate de
dynasties are referred to altogether as the koha e Vendikut (Venetian
Janina a fost casa de Zenebishi.
period), whereas Turkish rule is known as the koha e turkut (Turkish
period). One can safely assume that the historical memory of the people
is not mistaken and that the decades before the Turkish conquest were
indeed ones of senseless skirmishes and battles.
One of the dynasties that arose in the ruins of the Despotate of Janina
was the house of Zenebishi.
2. De Zenebishis
2. The Zenebishis

Turc istorici i chroniclers susinem c aceast familie a fost de la


Zagoria n apropierea regiunii Gjirokastra i permite. A fost att de

Turkish historians and chroniclers maintain that this family was from the
Zagoria region near Gjirokastra and Prmet. It was so influential in the
fourteenth century that it was able to establish itself permanently in
Gjirokastra. Subordinate to it were the tribes of Kurvelesh, Lunxhria
and Zagoria.

influent n cea de-a paisprezecea-lea, care a fost n msur s se


stabileasc definitiv n Gjirokastra. Subordonate acesteia au fost triburile
din Kurvelesh, Lunxhria i Zagoria.

n 1400, un anumit Gjin Zenebishi a fost numit prefect al Sebastocrator


sau Vagenetia n apropierea Delvina. El a fost, de asemenea, domnitorul
Pyrgo i Sayada. El a depus la turci dupa invazia iniial i le-a dat fiului
In 1400, a certain Gjin Zenebishi was appointed Sebastocrator or prefect
su ca un ostatic pentru a fi trimise la Adrianopol (Edirne) la instana de
of Vagenetia near Delvina. He was also ruler of Pyrgo and Sayada. He
sultan (1410). n istoriografia turc, aceasta a devenit cunoscut ca fiul
submitted to the Turks after the initial invasion and gave them his son as
Hamza Bey, un lider militar. La scurt timp dup depunerea sa, Gjin
a hostage to be sent to Adrianople (Edirne) to the court of the sultan
revolt i confiscate de cetatea de Gjirokastra, a ncurajat, fr ndoial,
(1410). In Turkish historiography, this son became known as Hamza Bey,
de atac la Janina de albanezi din Acarnania. Curnd infrant de turci, el a
a military leader. Shortly after his submission, Gjin revolted and seized
fugit la veneian insula Corfu, dar a fost numit spate cu doi ani mai trziu
the fortress of Gjirokastra, encouraged no doubt by the attack on Janina
(1416) de ctre o revolt a muntelui triburi. Cu sprijinul din Veneia, el
by the Albanians of Acarnania. Soon defeated by the Turks, he fled to the
din nou set sale atracii pe Gjirokastra, dar a fost urmarit mai departe, o
Venetian island of Corfu, but was called back two years later (1416) by
dat de turci i a murit n Corfu, n 1418.
an uprising of the mountain tribes. With the support of Venice, he again
set his sights on Gjirokastra, but was chased away once more by the
n acelai timp, Venetians ocupat Sayada. Gjin Zenebishi descendenii lui
Turks and died in Corfu in 1418.
a continuat s triasc deranjate in muntii din Zagoria i, eventual, au
suferit n istorie. n 1455, un anumit Zenebishi Simon, care a fost
domnitorul Kastrovillari (Castro i Vivarit apropiat Butrint) a fost activ la
In the meanwhile, the Venetians occupied Sayada. Gjin Zenebishi's
Curtea de regele din Napoli i Aragon n numele Scanderbeg pentru a
descendants continued to live undisturbed in the mountains of Zagoria
ctiga napoi napolitan sprijin pentru terenurile din Albania. n 1455,
and eventually faded into history. In 1455, a certain Simon Zenebishi,
Veneia, singura putere pentru a sprijini cererea sa, el a amintit de
who was ruler of Kastrovillari (Castro i Vivarit near Butrint) was active
at the court of the king of Naples and Aragon on behalf of Scanderbeg in angajament de credin n Republica, dar nu a fost capabil de a-i
schimba orientarea politic, adic relaiile sale cu Napoli. Un fiu al
order to gain back Neapolitan support for his land in Albania. In 1455,
Venice, the only power to support his claim, reminded him of his pledge Zenebishi aceasta a fost de asemenea un ostatic la Curtea de la sultan, de
aceast dat de sultanul Mehmed de cuceritor, dar a fugit la Neapole,
of allegiance to the Republic but was not able to change his political
unde regele Alphonso avut el botezat i l-a fcut s su vasal. Soarta
orientation, i.e. his ties with Naples. A son of this Zenebishi was also a
acestui Alphonso Zenebishi a fost de a fi strns legat de cea a
hostage at the court of the sultan, this time of Sultan Mehmed the
Scanderbeg.
Conqueror, but fled to Naples where King Alphonso had him baptized
and made him his vassal. The fate of this Alphonso Zenebishi was to be
closely linked to that of Scanderbeg.

3. n cel al Vlora
3. The Realm of Vlora

Pe trmul Vlora i Kanina, oraul i zona cetate, au fost parte a


Imperiului Bizantin. Acesta a fost condus de un Sebastocrator care,
The realm of Vlora and Kanina, town area and fortress, were part of the probabil, a locuit n castel de Ploa Sevaster n apropierea Kudhs. n
Byzantine Empire. It was ruled by a Sebastocrator who probably resided 1205, regiunea a sczut, pentru o perioad de timp pentru a nou creat
Despotate de Janina. Vlora, este menionat adesea n cele dou rzboaie
in the castle of Ploa Sevaster near Kudhs. In 1205, region fell for a
time to the newly created Despotate of Janina. Vlora is mentioned often efectuate de ctre mpratul Alexius I Comnenus (1081-1118) mpotriva
Robert Guiscard i Beomund, cnd oraul a fost ocupat de Normands
in the two wars conducted by the Emperor Alexius I Comnenus (1081dup aproape apte sute de ani de bizantin regul. Norman regul numai
1118) against Robert Guiscard and Beomund when the town was
a durat patru ani, dup care a czut din nou n ora la Despotate de
occupied by the Normands after almost seven hundred years of
Byzantine rule. Norman rule only lasted four years, after which the town Janina. Reconquered de bizantini n 1315-1320, a fost condus de ctre
Sebastocrator Demetrius Ganzas, urmat de fiul su Nicola. Acest Nicola
fell again to the Despotate of Janina. Reconquered by the Byzantines in
a extins influena Bizan n jurul regiunii de luptele care au avut-l n jos
1315-1320, it was ruled by the Sebastocrator Demetrius Ganzas,
pentru a Janina, n cazul n care a fost slbit Despotate se lupt s
followed by his son Nicola. This Nicola expanded the influence of
Byzantium in the surrounding region by battles which took him down to supravieuiasc. Dar la fel de bulgar, srb i napolitan regul, a fost
de scurt durat n Vlora, aa a fcut domniei lui Bizan nu dovedi
Janina, where the weakened Despotate was struggling to survive. But
just as Bulgarian, Serb and Neapolitan rule had been short-lived in Vlora, durabil n aceast regiune instabil. Re-stabilite de ctre mpratul
so did the reign of Byzantium not prove enduring in this unstable region. Michael VIII Palaeologus (1259-1282) i care au forat o pan ntre srbi
i Neapolitans 1274 - 1281, a nceput s se cltina Bizan, din nou, n
Re-established by the Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus (1259-1282)
1341 i a fost obligat s dea un fel de srbi n 1345.
and having forced a wedge between the Serbs and Neapolitans from
1274 to 1281, Byzantium began to falter once again in 1341 and was
Ioan Asen Comnenus, de frate al regelui Alexander din Bulgaria, de
forced to give way to the Serbs in 1345.
asemenea, sa stabilit atracii pe Vlora, dar nu a fost n msur s le
pstrm. El a fost urmrit n 1372 de ctre Balshas i Muzhakas.
John Asen Comnenus, the brother of King Alexander of Bulgaria, also
set his sights on Vlora but was unable to hold it. He was chased out in
Dup moartea lui Balsha a II-a, regiunea a fost preluat de ctre fratele
1372 by the Balshas and the Muzhakas.
su este vduv, Comita Muzhaka-Comnena, fiica de Despot de Berat i
After the death of Balsha II, the region was taken over by his brother's
widow, Comita Muzhaka-Comnena, daughter of the Despot of Berat and
Vlora. She twice offered the Venetians the region of Vlora and the
fortress of Kanina for a pension of 9,000 ducats, but in vain. Comita
endeavoured to maintain her rule not only against foreign foes, but also
against the claims of her brother-in-law and his relatives who had forced
her to settle in Berat and let them deal with the defence of Vlora.

Vlora. Ea ofer de dou ori pe Venetians regiunea de Vlora i cetatea de


Kanina pentru o pensie de 9000 galbeni, dar n zadar. Comita strduit s
menin o regul, nu numai mpotriva foes strine, dar i fa de
preteniile ei cumnat i rudele sale, care au forat-o s se stabileasc n
Berat i-i lasa sa se ocupe de aprare a Vlora.

Pe Comita moartea lui n 1396, Vlora, a sczut de la fiica ei Rugina, care


n 1391 a avut mritat cu un nobil srbilor de la Zeta numit Mrksha
Charkovich. Cuplul a locuit in cetatea de Kanina (u kuli kaninskoj) n
cazul n care unele dintre Charkovich scris scrisori au fost scrise. Numele
On Comita's death in 1396, Vlora fell to her daughter Rugina who in
lui apare n registrele de Dubrovnik pentru ultima dat n 1412. El,
1391 had married a Serb nobleman from Zeta called Mrksha Charkovich. probabil, a murit n 1414. Chiar i astzi exist legende i amintiri legate
The couple resided in the fortress of Kanina (u kuli kaninskoj) where
de numele de ultima amanta a Vlora.
some of Charkovich's letters were written. His name occurs in the
registries of Dubrovnik for the last time in 1412. He probably died in
Dup moartea soului ei, ea rudele de la Balsha i Muzhaka familii

1414. Even today there are legends and memories linked to the name of
the last mistress of Vlora.
After the death of her husband, her relatives from the Balsha and
Muzhaka families invaded Vlora, but Rugina did not surrender. She fled
overnight to the fortress of Kanina and, crossing the Shushica mountains,
she reached the Archondia of Erika, the present-day region of Dukat.
The ruins of her settlement and fortress can still be seen today below the
village of Tragjas, which was founded later. This archondia included
seven settlements: Dukat, Gjomoar (Tragjas), Radhima, Ravena,
Shngjergj, Erika and Kongjorufa. (6)

invadat Vlora, dar Rugina nu preda. Ea a fugit peste noapte la Cetatea de


Kanina i, de trecere de Shushica munte, ea a ajuns la Archondia de
Erika, prezent zi de Dukat regiune. Ruinele ei de decontare i de cetate,
pot fi vzute astzi de mai jos, satul Tragjas, care a fost fondat mai trziu.
Acest archondia incluse apte localiti: Dukat, Gjomoar (Tragjas),
Radhima, Ravena, Shngjergj, Erika i Kongjorufa. (6)
Rugina pretins motenit aceste sate i de la ea Himara mare Matusa
Helen, fiica de Despot Michael a II-a Janina. Marele mtu, de-o parte,
le-a primit ca zestre i au fost, astfel, o proprietate. (7) Oamenii din zon
au fost consacrate i credincioi Rugina. Ei au luptat timp de peste un an
cu curaj exemplar, mpotriva tuturor acestora amanta lui foes.

Rugina allegedly inherited these villages and Himara from her great aunt
Helen, the daughter of the Despot Michael II of Janina. The great aunt,
for her part, had received them as a dowry and they were thus her
property. (7) The people of the area were devoted and faithful to Rugina.
They fought for over a year with exemplary courage against all of their
mistress's foes.

Frica de turci se apropie de final, ceea ce a fost mutat Rugina s fug. Cu


un an nainte de cderea definitiv Vlora, n iulie 1417, ea a stabilit
naviga din Himara, in apropierea castelului de Gjomoari (Gjon Boari),
la bordul unei "strini", probabil Ragusan navei. Conform legendei,
Rugina a navei, umplute cu albanez pmnt, pentru c ea nu a vrut s vii
pe nimic, dar albanez sol. A murit n Corfu.

Fear of the approaching Turks was finally what moved Rugina to flee.
One year before the definitive fall of Vlora in July 1417, she set sail from
Himara, near the castle of Gjomoari (Gjon Boari), on board a
"foreign," probably Ragusan ship. According to legend, Rugina had the
vessel filled with Albanian earth because she did not want to live on
anything but Albanian soil. She died in Corfu.

Chiar i astzi, exist un clugr ortodox acolo, care cu mare mister va


arta indiferent de vizitatori celula de acum abandonat de mnstire de
clugrie Pontikonissi, pardoseala din care este facut din dale de piatra
cu o cruce n ele. Cu emoie veritabil sau artificial, n vocea lui, el a
opot s-i: "Aici se afla Rugina, slujitor al Domnului, n propriul ei sol."

Even today, there is an Orthodox monk there, who with great mystery
will show indifferent visitors the cell of the now abandoned nunnery of
Pontikonissi, the flooring of which is made of stone slabs with a simple
cross in them. With genuine or artificial emotion in his voice, he
whispers to them: "Here lies Rugina, servant of the Lord, in her own
soil."

Ce suferine umane, ce tragedii de oamenii nostri ecou n aceste cuvinte!


Rugina a fost ultima pre-otoman domnitorul Vlora. Oamenii din Dukat
amintesc cu compasiune la ea chiar n aceast zi. Denumiri de locuri sau
n apropierea Pashaliman Porto Ragusaeo (langa Erika), cum ar fi
kanali i Rugins (Rugina de Canal), precum i Shkmbi i Rugins
(Rugina lui Cliff) aminti-o si ea soarta tragic. (8)

What human suffering, what tragedies of our people echo in these words!
Rugina was the last pre-Ottoman ruler of Vlora. The people of Dukat
remember her with compassion to this very day. Place names near
Pashaliman or Porto Ragusaeo (near Erika) such as the Kanali i
Rugins (Rugina's Channel) and the Shkmbi i Rugins (Rugina's Cliff)
recall her and her tragic fate. (8)

4. De Muzhakas
4. The Muzhakas
Historians and chroniclers hold varying views on the origins of the house
of Muzhaka. Some assert that the plain along the Albanian coastline
called Myzeqeja bears this name because it was in the possession of that
pre-Ottoman dynasty. Others are of the view that the Plain of Myzeqeja
gave the dynasty its name. We are of the opinion that the plain bore the
name long before the Myzeqeja family appeared in history. We believe
that the real name of the dynasty is Muzhaka, the name used by a number
of Albanian families today. It was Italian chroniclers who adapted the
name of this well-known dynasty to the Italian form Muzaqja of the
Albanian name Myzeqeja, i.e. the name of the coastal plain, when Gjon
Muzhaka achieved prominence. John (Albanian Gjon or Gjin) Muzhaka,
a prominent member of that family, derived the word from Molassaqje
(9), an Albanian form of the term for the Molassians. He also, rather
eccentrically derived the word Epirus from the Albanian pylloria (forest
area). At any rate, there is still a village called Muzhaka in the Polis
mountains near Elbasan and the aga of the place calls the people there
the "house of Muzhaka." In support of this view, one may note that
according to Gjon Muzhaka's family chronicle, part of his family came
into possession of land in the Shpat mountains, i.e. in the area of Polis.
Be this as it may, tradition has it, without a doubt, that the Muzhaka
family in Polis was Christian and of "princely blood." Perhaps related to
this family is another branch of the Muzhakas in Berat. They owned the
village of Remanica near Berat. Both of these families are now Muslim.

Istoricii i chroniclers dein diferite opinii cu privire la originile din casa


de Muzhaka. Unii afirma ca de campie-a lungul litoralului albanez numit
Myzeqeja poart acest nume, pentru c a fost n posesia c pre-otoman
dinastie. Alii sunt de prere c Cmpia Myzeqeja dinastie a dat numele
su. Suntem de prere c numele simplu plictisesc cu mult nainte de
Myzeqeja familie a aparut in istorie. Noi credem c numele adevrat al
dinastiei este Muzhaka, numele folosit de un numr de familii de
albanezi azi. A fost chroniclers italian, care a adaptat numele acestui
cunoscut dinastie de forma italian Muzaqja de albanezi numele
Myzeqeja, adic numele de coast i simplu, atunci cnd Gjon Muzhaka
realizat importan. John (albanez Gjon sau Gjin) Muzhaka, un membru
proeminent al familiei care, derivat de la cuvntul Molassaqje (9), o
form de albanezi termenul pentru Molassians. El, de asemenea, destul
de eccentrically derivat cuvntul Epirus de la albanezi pylloria (zona de
padure). n orice caz, nu exist nc un sat numit Muzhaka n Polis munte
lng Elbasan i aga de la locul apeluri de oameni acolo "Casa de
Muzhaka." In sprijinul acestei vedere, se poate nota c, n conformitate
cu Gjon Muzhaka cronica de familie, o parte a familiei sale a intrat n
posesia unor terenuri n Shpat munte, de exemplu n domeniul Polis.
Fie ca acest lucru s-ar putea, tradiie a acestuia, fr ndoial, c
Muzhaka de familie n Polis a fost cretin i de "domneasca de snge."
Poate legate de aceast familie este o alt ramur a Muzhakas n Berat.
Ei deinut de sat de lng Remanica Berat. Ambele familii sunt acum
musulmane.

Avnd n vedere toate acestea, se pare evident, ntr-adevr, aproape sigur,


c numele adevrat al dinastiei a fost Muzhaka i nu Muzakja. Nu exist
In view of all of this, it would seem apparent, indeed almost certain, that ndoial c n jur de 1450, acest Muzhaka familii aflate n proprietatea
the real name of the dynasty was Muzhaka and not Muzakja. There is not aptezeci-optzeci sate n Myzeqeja (10), dei nu se poate trage nici o
doubt that around 1450, this Muzhaka family owned seventy to eighty
concluzie n legtur cu numele din regiune. La acea vreme, Mataranga
villages in Myzeqeja (10) though one cannot draw any conclusion about

the name of the region. At that time, the Mataranga family owned just as
much land as the Muzhaka, and the Araniti also had large stretches of
territory in Myzeqeja, without either of them taking over the name of the
plain as their own.
There is no doubt that in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the
Muzhaka family had attained a status of nobility and military honour. It
was in the good graces of the Emperor of Byzantium, as can be evinced
by its family ties to the imperial dynasty.

proprietatea familiei la fel de mult teren ca Muzhaka, i Araniti avut, de


asemenea, de mare se ntinde pe teritoriul n Myzeqeja, fr s le fie de
preluare numele de campie ca al lor.
Nu exist nici o ndoial c, n a treisprezecea i a patrusprezecea secole,
a avut Muzhaka familie atins o stare de noblete si militare de onoare. A
fost n bun graces de Imparat din Bizan, ca poate fi evinced prin
legturi de familie pentru a dinastiei imperiale.

Nu avem nevoie de fantastic genealogie prezentate de Gjon Muzhaka,


nici alte s tii c Andrea Muzhaka, care a domnit de la 1280 la 1319, a
We do not need the fantastic genealogy presented by Gjon Muzhaka nor fost ntr-adevr "Doamne de Berat i Marshal din Albania" si sef de
dinastie. Dei nu dovedit n documente scrise, n regul Muzhaka Berat
any other to know that Andrea Muzhaka, who ruled from 1280 to 1319,
este nregistrat n tradiia oral, dup cum rezult din timpul invaziilor
was indeed "Lord of Berat and Marshal of Albania" and head of the
dynasty. Though not proven in written documents, Muzhaka rule in Berat Norman n jur de 1200. Titlul "ef de poliie din Albania", a dat de
Andrea Muzhaka de ctre Charles I, Regele din Napoli, se dovedete, n
is recorded in oral tradition as deriving from the time of the Norman
plus, c familia a avut legturi cu Napoli, n 1280.
invasions around 1200. The title "marshal of Albania," given to Andrea
Muzhaka by Charles I, King of Naples, proves, in addition, that the
La moartea lui Andrea, de aezri a sczut de la fiul lui Theodor I.
family had ties with Naples in 1280.
Theodor stnga doi fii. De un soc, Andrea I, ef de poliie i despot din
Albania i din Kastoria Domnului (1319-1372), care a avut loc pe Berat
On the death of Andrea, the estates fell to his son Theodor I. Theodor left si si-a trait in cetatea acolo. Chroniclers de asemenea, vorbi de Theodor
two sons. The elder one, Andrea I, marshal and despot of Albania and
fiul lui mai tineri, numit Mentuli sau Mentori. n aceste cronici, el este
Lord of Kastoria (1319-1372), held onto Berat and lived in the fortress
cunoscut sub numele de Contele de Klissania (nici o ndoial n prezent
there. Chroniclers also speak of Theodor's younger son, called Mentuli or Klissura sau Klcyra), care a fost supus n perioada bizantin la
Mentori. In these chronicles, he is known as the Count of Klissania (no
Sebastocrator de Berat i n turc perioad a aparinut de Sanjak de
doubt the present Klissura or Klcyra), which was subject in the
Vlora, cu sediul n Berat.
Byzantine period to the Sebastocrator of Berat and in the Turkish period
belonged to the Sanjak of Vlora, with its seat in Berat.
Andrea II este amintit n istorie pentru lupta mpotriva lui militare de
Andrea II is remembered in history for his military struggle against the
weakened Despotate of Janina. In such endeavours, he was allied to the
Balsha family which resided in Ballsh in the Mallakastra region and to
the Gropa family, Lords of Ohrid.

slbit Despotate de Janina. n astfel de eforturi, a fost aliat la Balsha de


familie care a locuit n Ballsh n Mallakastra regiune i de la Gropa de
familie, Lords de la Ohrid.
Andrea II Muzhaka a fost urmat de Theodor II, Domnul Berat, Kastoria
i Stoja.

Andrea II Muzhaka was succeeded by Theodor II, Lord of Berat,


Kastoria and Stoja.

Descendeni ai Gjon I, care a avut loc de putere n interiorul i n jurul


Berat, au meninut pn n momentul n regul de Andrea III, care au
luptat pe turci ntre 1394 i 1396 cu acest frai i veri Biagio, Matarango
i Laldi. n jur de 1400, a Muzhakas depuse la sultan, cel puin n
The descendants of Gjon I, who held power in and around Berat,
aparen. Ei, totui, meninut secret legturi cu Veneia i Ragusa.
maintained their rule until the time of Andrea III, who fought the Turks
Chroniclers raport c un reprezentant al Republicii Ragusa contactat
between 1394 and 1396 with this brothers and cousins Biagio,
Theodor II Muzhaka n 1412 s-l ntreb de a media cu Porte n numele
Matarango and Laldi. Around 1400, the Muzhakas submitted to the
unei anumite Count Nikita Popia, care au fost capturai de ctre turci.
sultan, at least in appearance. They nonetheless maintained secret ties
Muzhaka de familie ar fi, astfel, se pare c s-au bucurat de amiabil n
with Venice and Ragusa. Chroniclers report that an envoy of the
Republic of Ragusa contacted Theodor II Muzhaka in 1412 to ask him to general, relaiile cu turcii, dei se plnge cu amrciune Gjon despre ele
n cronica lui.
mediate with the Porte on behalf of a certain Count Nikita Popia, who
had been captured by the Turks. The Muzhaka family would thus seem to
Dei aceste relaii bune s-au agitat de furie a Araniti la Porte de familie
have enjoyed generally amicable relations with the Turks, even though
(de Aranitis de asemenea, a venit din partea regiunii de Berat i
Gjon complains bitterly about them in his chronicle.
Mallakastra), precum i de avans al Turkish guvernator, Turhan Bey, din
Grecia, au rmas acceptabil pn la natere a lui Scanderbeg i amar
Although these good relations were shaken by the fury of the Araniti
lupta mpotriva turcilor, pentru c ei nii Muzhakas aliate cu Castriotas
family at the Porte (the Aranitis also came from the region of Berat and
i a rmas fidel la aceast alian pn n ultima Muzhaka, Gjon, a fost
Mallakastra), and by the advance of the Turkish governor, Turhan Bey,
obligat s fug n Italia, n 1476 sau 1501. Buna data de exodul lui 1501
from Greece, they remained acceptable until the rise of Scanderbeg and
este, probabil, i a fost cel mai probabil n 1476 c a abandonat Berat i
his bitter struggle against the Turks, because the Muzhakas allied
Myzeqeja regiune pentru Durrs, unde a continuat s triasc pentru ceva
themselves with the Castriotas and remained faithful to this alliance until timp. De altfel, nota din cronica lui c "el nu a fost capabil s ia soia i
the last Muzhaka, Gjon, was forced to flee to Italy in 1476 or 1501. The copilul nou-nscut cu el sa scape din Durres i stnga-le cu prietenii n
proper date of his exodus is probably 1501 and it was most likely in 1476 Durrs care le-am mai trziu, n Italia" este de neneles.
that he abandoned the Berat and Myzeqeja region for Durrs, where he
continued to live for quite some time. Otherwise, the note in his
Este de conceput c nu au existat ali membri ai dinastiei care a trit i a
chronicle that "he was not able to take his wife and newborn child with
luptat n acel moment, dar, deoarece nu exist nici mai trziu de o
him on his escape from Durrs and left them with friends in Durrs who meniune Muzhaka n cronici. Toate acestea sunt uitate. Nu este o casa in
later got them to Italy" is incomprehensible.
Ururi (Aurona din Campobasso, Italia), care azi apartine descendeni ai
familiei Muzhaka.
It is conceivable that there were other members of the dynasty who lived
and fought at the time, but since there is no later mention of a Muzhaka
in the chronicles. They are all forgotten. There is a house in Ururi
(Aurona in Campobasso, Italy) which today belongs to the descendants
of the Muzhaka family.

5. The Gropas

5. De Gropas
Mentiune trebuie de asemenea s fie fcut de Gropas printre albanezi

Mention must also be made of the Gropas among the Albanian ruling
families of the age. They seem originally to have stemmed from the area
of Gora where there is a valley and village bearing their name. In the
thirteenth century, chroniclers called Paul Gropa of Ohrid a "feudatario
della corona di Napoli" and referred to him as the "Lord of Dibra." In
1242, Charles I of Sicily, who was Lord of Durres and the surrounding
region (regnum Albaniae) invested Paul with seven villages in the Devoll
valley and other property in the Ohrid and Dibra area "con una bolla
d'oro." The Great Zhupan Andrea Gropa, probably the son of Paul
Gropa, makes his appearance in the chronicles in 1284. A Zacharia
Gropa is also mentioned during Scanderbeg's wars against the Turks in
connection with Moisi Dibra (the Battle of Tumenisht on 7 September
1457).

guvernmnt familii de vrst. Ele par s aib iniial a derivat din zona
de Gora n cazul n care exist o vale i satul care poart numele lor. n
secolul al treisprezecelea, chroniclers numit Paul Gropa de Ohrid o
"feudatario della corona di Napoli" i la care se face referire la el, ca
"Domnul Dibra." n 1242, Charles I din Sicilia, care a fost Domnul
Durres i din jurul regiunii (regnum Albaniae) a investit Paul, cu apte
sate din Devoll vale i alte bunuri de la Ohrid i n zona Dibra "con una
bolla d'Oro". Marea Zhupan Andrea Gropa, probabil fiul lui Paul Gropa,
i face apariia n cronicile din 1284. Un Zacharia Gropa menionate
este, de asemenea, n timpul rzboaielor Scanderbeg lui mpotriva
turcilor n legtur cu Moisi Dibra (batalia de la Tumenisht la data de 7
septembrie 1457).

Sfera de influen a Gropas a fost, fr ndoial, concentrat n regiune


ntre Pogradec, Ohrid i Dibra. Acestea par a fi hotrt n acest domeniu
The sphere of influence of the Gropas was no doubt concentrated in the
timp de dou secole, i, cu legturi la Muzhaka n Berat, la Vuksani n
region between Pogradec, Ohrid and Dibra. They seem to have ruled in
Prizren i la Lords din Kastoria, nu au fost de mic importan. Acest
that area for two centuries and, with their ties to the Muzhaka in Berat, to
lucru poate fi vzut ntr-o (Serbian) inscriptie de la poalele castelului de
the Vuksani in Prizren and to the Lords of Kastoria, were of no little
la Ohrid. Nu exist nc o moned minted de Gropas.
significance. This can be seen in a (Serbian) inscription at the foot of the
castle of Ohrid. There still exists a coin minted by the Gropas.
Ultimul fiu de aceast dinastie stnga Albania cu familia sa n 1467 i
toate urmele de familie disprea n Italia.
The last son of this dynasty left Albania with his family in 1467 and all
traces of the family fade in Italy.

6. The Thopias
With regard to its significance and influence, to the extent of its
possessions and to the importance attached to its relations with ruling
dynasties abroad, the Thopia family is no less important than the branch
of the imperial family of Byzantium that founded the Despotate of
Janina.
The homeland of the Thopias was probably within the triangle between
Durrs, Kruja and Elbasan, but at certain times it expanded northward to
the Mat river and southward to the Vjosa river.
The name Thopia occurs initially in documents around the year 1260.
There is also an inscription discovered in Elbasan which dates from the
same period.
The family soon split into two branches: the northern branch simply
called the Thopia, and the southern (which in our view was the older of
the two) in the Berat region which called itself (Topia) Araniti-Comnena,
no doubt as the result of a marriage with a princess from the house of
Comnena. The northern branch acquired a prominent state from a marital
tie with the Angevin house of Naples. The individual who laid the
foundations for the definitive rise of the Thopias was Tanush (Tanusio)
Thopia, upon whom, in 1327, the pope bestowed the title Count of
Matja, a designation which King Robert of Naples recognized in 1338.
At approximately this time, however, the Thopia family fell victim to a
Serb invasion. In 1343, the Serbs occupied the lands of the Thopia under
their leader Tsar Stephan Dushan. Fortunately, they did not succeed in
conquering central and northern Albania completely. Shkodra and Durrs
held out and, in the latter town which was placed under the protection of
the King of Naples, the Thopias managed to maintain their sphere of
influence. Andrea Thopia, the son of Tanush, married the daughter of the
King of Naples, a relationship that has remained alive in song and legend
due to its idyllic and tragic nature. Robert of Naples had promised his
daughter to a prince in the Peloponnese. Andrea caught sight of the
maiden while her ship stopped over briefly in Durrs and the young
couple fell madly in love. The maiden was able to escape from her
guards and married her arduous lover Andrea. This happened in 1346.
King Robert initially put on a good face and, even though the Thopia
ruler had lost much of his wealth and territory, he promised to forgive
them under the condition that they both present themselves
ceremoniously in Naples. Three years later, Andrea sent sail for Naples
with his young wife, but the moment the couple arrived, they were
executed.

6. De Thopias
Cu privire la semnificaia i influena, n msura n posesiunile sale i la
importana ataat la relaiile sale cu hotrre dinastii din strainatate,
Thopia de familie nu este mai puin important dect ramura a familiei
imperiale din Bizan, care a fondat Despotate de Janina.
Patria de Thopias a fost, probabil, n triunghi ntre Durrs, Kruja i
Elbasan, dar n anumite momente este extins spre nord la sud i rul Mat
la Vjosa rau.
Numele iniial Thopia apare n documente n jurul anului 1260. Exist,
de asemenea, o inscriptie descoperit n Elbasan, care dateaz din aceeai
perioad.
Familia curnd mprit n dou ramuri: ramura de nord, pur i simplu a
numit Thopia, i de sud (care n opinia noastr a fost mai n vrst dintre
cele dou), n care Berat regiune numit n sine (Topia) AranitiComnena, fr ndoial, ca rezultat dintr-o cstorie cu o prines de la
casa de Comnena. Ramura de nord a achiziionat un stat de la starea
civil o cravat cu Angevin casa din Napoli. Individuale, care au pus
bazele pentru definitive de natere a Thopias a fost Tanush (Tanusio)
Thopia, la care, n 1327, papa bestowed titlul Contele de Matja, o
denumire care regele Robert din Napoli, a recunoscut n 1338. La
aproximativ acest moment, cu toate acestea, Thopia de familie a czut
victim un srb invazie. n 1343, a terenurilor ocupate de srbii din
Thopia sub lider Tsar Stephan Dushan. Din fericire, acestea nu a avut
succes n cucerirea central i de nord Albania complet. Shkodra Durrs
i a avut loc i, n acest din urm ora, care a fost plasate sub regimul de
protecie a Regelui din Napoli, a Thopias reuit s i menin sfera de
influen. Andrea Thopia, fiul lui Tanush, cstorit cu fiica regelui din
Napoli, o relatie care a rmas n via n cntec i legenda datorita
idilizant tragic i natura. Robert din Napoli a promis fiicei sale la un prin
n Peloponnese. Andrea prins din vedere fat n timp ce nava a oprit-o pe
scurt n Durrs i cuplu de tineri a sczut madly n dragoste. De debut a
fost n stare s scape de ea i de paz cstorit grele iubitul ei Andrea.
Acest lucru sa ntmplat n 1346. Regele Robert iniial pus pe o fa i,
chiar dac Thopia domnitor au pierdut o mare parte din avere i de pe
teritoriul su, el a promis s le iart cu condiia ca ele s se prezinte
ambele ceremonios din Neapole. Trei ani mai tarziu, Andrea trimis
pentru naviga Neapole tineri cu soia lui, dar n momentul n care cuplul
a sosit, ele au fost executate.

De fructe de acest romantic de legtur au fost doi fii, George i Charles.


Charles a fost capabil de a revigora i a patrimoniului su Thopia de
1365 au extins pe teritoriul su pentru a acoperi nu numai fostul Thopia
teren, dar toate de sud Albania i, pentru o perioad scurt de timp,
dreptul de a Janina teritoriu. El a fost n stare s se elibereze de el nsui
toate celelalte prezentare. Cu sprijinul credincioilor din locuitorii
The fruit of this romantic liaison were two sons, George and Charles.
Charles was able to revive his Thopia heritage and by 1365 had extended oraului, el chiar aventurat s resping veneian suzeranitate ntr-o
campanie de succes pentru a se mpotrivi Neapole, astfel avenging

his territory to cover not only former Thopia land, but all of southern
Albania and, for a short time, territory right to Janina. He was able to
free himself of all other submission. With the faithful support of the
townspeople, he even ventured to reject Venetian suzerainty in a
successful campaign to repel Naples, thus avenging the murder of his
parents. With this deed, Angevin influence in Albania seems to have
waned for good. In fact, Angevin influence had never really included
possession of territory, it was more in the form of a protectorate.
It was at the time of these events that national awareness among the
Albanians first made itself felt, in particular in that remarkable period of
change that paved the way for the resistance led by Scanderbeg. In
Durrs, Petrela and Elbasan, where Charles Thopia had constructed
castles and monasteries, one can find inscriptions describing him for the
first time as a prince of Albania (princeps Albaniae).
Charles Thopia was Catholic. Pope Gregory XI sent him two letters in
which he addressed him as the Duke of Albania and Croatia (dux
Albaniae et Croatiae) and beseeched him to make the Archbishop of
Sarda (a town of 100 churches near Shkodra) pay the dues he owed to
Rome. The letters show that the Thopias were able to make their
influence felt in the Shkodra area, too, i.e. in virtually all of western
Albania.
Charles Thopia died in 1388 and was succeeded by his son George, a
weak leader, who went over to the Patriarch and persecuted the
Catholics, thus being branded by the Pope as a Son of Iniquity (filius
iniquitatis). (11) Rome did not leave it at words and got the Balshas to
attack George Thopia with arms. The Balshas actually robbed George of
part of his possessions while Venice took Durrs and installed a governor
for the Republic there (1391). With Venetian support, Durrs withstood
attacks from the Balsha and the Turks for a hundred years.
Despite their losses, the Thopia remained lords of much of central
Albania. George's children, Tanush and Helen, lived in Kruja and Petrela.
Helen married Constantine Balsha and was given Kruja and the
surrounding region as a dowry. However, the Turkish invasion which
began in 1420 deprived her of her inheritance.
In 1432, Tanush's son Andrea, who continued to resist the Turks with his
cousin George Araniti, became the first major Albanian figure to defeat
the Turks in open battle. However, he was soon thereafter so weakened
by domestic foes that in 1436 he was obliged to accept the position of a
paid vassal of the Venetians, with a monthly salary of 50 ducats.

asasinarea prinilor si. Cu acest act, Angevin influena n Albania pare


s se fi waned de bun. De fapt, Angevin influen a avut niciodat cu
adevrat incluse posesia teritoriu, a fost mai mult sub forma unui
protectorat.
A fost la timp a acestor evenimente care naionale de contientizare n
rndul albanezi prima fcut simit n sine, n special n aceast perioad
de schimbare de remarcat faptul c sa pregtit terenul pentru rezisten
condus de Scanderbeg. n portul Durres, Petrela i Elbasan, n cazul n
care Charles Thopia au construit castele si manastiri, o pot gsi inscripii
care descrie el, pentru prima dat ca un prin din Albania (princeps
Albaniae).
Charles Thopia a fost catolic. Papa Grigore XI-l trimis dou scrisori n
care i-a adresat-l ca pe Duke din Albania i Croaia (Dux Albaniae et
Croatiae) i beseeched-l pentru a face Arhiepiscop al Sarda (un ora de
100 de biserici n apropierea Shkodra) s plteasc taxe datorate el la
Roma . Scrisorile arat c Thopias au fost capabili s i fac simit
influena n Shkodra zona, de asemenea, i anume, n aproape toate din
vest Albania.
Charles Thopia a murit n 1388 i a fost urmat de fiul lui George, un lider
slab, care a mers la Patriarhul i persecutat de catolici, fiind, astfel, de
marc de ctre Papa ca Fiul Demonologie (filius iniquitatis). (11) Roma
nu-l lsa la cuvinte i-a Balshas George Thopia la atac cu arme. De
Balshas de fapt George a jefuit o parte din posesiunile sale n timp ce
Veneia a avut Durrs i instalat un guvernator pentru Republica acolo
(1391). Cu sprijinul veneian, Durrs withstood atacurile de la Balsha i
turcii de o suta de ani.
n ciuda pierderilor lor, a rmas Lords Thopia de mult de centrale
Albania. George's copii, Tanush i Helen, a trit n Kruja i Petrela.
Helen Constantin Balsha cstorit i a fost dat Kruja i din jurul regiunii
ca o zestre. Cu toate acestea, Turkish invazie care a nceput n 1420
lipsit-o de-o motenire.
n 1432, Tanush fiul lui Andrea, care a continuat s reziste pe turci cu
vrul lui George Araniti, a devenit prima majore albanez cifra de a
nvinge pe turci n lupt deschis. Cu toate acestea, curnd dup aceea, el
a fost att de slbit de interne foes faptul c, n 1436, el a fost obligat s
accepte funcia de pltit vasal al Venetians, cu un salariu lunar de 50 de
galbeni.
Ali membri din casa de Thopia Placi si a disparut de la Analele de istorie
n timpul mare Scanderbeg de lupt mpotriva turcilor, pn cnd toate
acestea au fost cucerit de ctre victors.

Other members of the house of Thopia surfaced and disappeared from


the annals of history during great Scanderbeg's struggle against the Turks
until they were all conquered by the victors.
7. De Dukagjinis
XV-lea Turkish chroniclers numit Dukagjinis "principi de origine
german." Dac acest lucru este adevrat sau nu este dificil s se
stabileasc. Ragusan surse, publicat de Makushev n "Cercetare privind
Cronica de Ragusa," (12) susin c Dukagjinis au fost cunoscute sub
Fifteenth-century Turkish chroniclers called the Dukagjinis "princes of
numele de Dukagjinis de Arbania n cea de-a aptea-lea i a domnit peste
German origin." Whether this is true or not is difficult to ascertain.
Ragusan sources, published by Makushev in "Research on the Chronicle albanez parte din Muntenegru (Piperi, Vasojevich, Podgorica i Kuchi ,
of Ragusa," (12) claim that the Dukagjinis were known as the Dukagjinis adic Zeta). Acestea se pare c a crescut n revolta mpotriva slav
invadatori, dar au fost puse de bosniac chieftains. n 695 ei au ncercat s
of Arbania in the seventh century and ruled over the Albanian part of
intervin n problemele interne Ragusan dar repulsed din nou i au fost
Montenegro (Piperi, Vasojevich, Podgorica and Kuchi, i.e. Zeta). They
depuse la liderii locali slave. Mndria lor i de ncredere n sine
apparently rose in revolt against the Slavic invaders but were put down
impiedicat-le de la crearea de legturi de familie cu slavii care au
by Bosnian chieftains. In 695 they attempted to interfere in domestic
Ragusan issues but were repulsed again and submitted to the local Slavic considerat ca fiind sub demnitatea lor. Avnd n vedere c l pune
Cronica: "compari per sempre che non accattarono infra loro." (13)
leaders. Their pride and self-confidence hindered them from creating
family ties with the Slavs whom they regarded as below their dignity. As
n testamentul su, Gjon Muzhaka scrie cu mare fantezie cu privire la
the Chronicle puts it: "compari per sempre non accattarono che infra
originea a Dukagjinis, susinnd c acestea a derivat din Troia i a
loro." (13)
emigrat n Frana. Doi frati de la aceast dinastie, pe de alt parte, sunt de
a crezut ca au emigrat n Italia n timpul Cruciada. Unul dintre ei se
In his testament, Gjon Muzhaka writes with great fantasy on the origins spune c a fost fondator al dinastiei Este, celelalte au revenit i sa stabilit
of the Dukagjinis, alleging that they stemmed from Troy and emigrated
n Zadrima apropiat Shkodra i fondat Dukagjinis.
to France. Two brothers from this dynasty, on the other hand, are thought
to have emigrated to Italy during the Crusades. One of them is said to
Cel mai aproape de adevr n aceast ncurcat net de scorneli i legende
have been the founder of the Este dynasty, the other returned and settled este, n opinia noastr, n raport de un cronicar bizantin din cea de-a
in Zadrima near Shkodra and founded the Dukagjinis.
7. The Dukagjinis

Closest to the truth in this tangled net of fables and legends is, in our
view, the report of a Byzantine chronicler of the seventh century. He
states that at the end of the fifth century, a tribe of Goths under their
leader Duke Gentius (or Genusius or Gjin) penetrated into the Shkodra
region from Dalmatia and settle there. Compelled to react to this new
reality, the Byzantine Emperor made Gjin his Sebastocrator, also calling
him a magister militum from Dalmatia. This Gentius is said to have set
up a realm between Shkodra and Durrs, (14) which proved to be to the
liking of the rural population because it adapted Gothic laws to those of
the local tribes. The connection of the name Dukagjini to the code of
customary law in the Albanian mountains, the so-called Canon or Kanun
of Lek Dukagjini, would seem to derive from this, such that the Goth in
question may be regarded as the ancestor of the Dukagjinis. This, at
least, would seem more likely than the above-mentioned legends.
The title duke (dux) with no reference to any particular region appears
for the first time in 1281, the year in which Gjin Tanushi appeared as
"ducem Ginum Tanuschu."
The territory of the Dukagjini family stretched from the left bank of the
Drin river near Lezha (Alessio) to the source of the Fan river. In the
fifteenth century, there were two well-known branches of this family: a
northerly one under Paul Dukagjini had expanded beyond the abovementioned border to become lords of the tribal region of Gashi, Krasniqi
and of the lands of Peja (Ipek) and Gjakova. Paul's son was Lek
Dukagjini who resided in Vulpiani or Ulpiana (near Prishtina). The
southern branch of the family were rulers of the regions of Lezha,
Zadrima, Puka, Selita, Zhuba and Mirdita. They resided in the castle of
Lezha which was peacefully handed over to Venice in 1393.
In the thirteenth century, we come across the tribal leader, Tanush
Dukagjini, who had two sons, Gin and Progon, lords of Zadrima.
In the fourteenth century, chroniclers also mention the two sons of
Progon, Paul and Leka as lords of Zadrima. Two of their descendants,
George, Lord of Zadrima, and Tanush, Lord of Fan (who was perhaps an
ancestor of the Gjonmarkaj?), left many sons at the time of Scanderbeg,
who all played roles in the national resistance against the Turks. The
Dukagjinis and the neighbouring Balshas, fought many a battle with one
another for power and land until the Balshas lost out and their common
foe, the Ottomans, seized the country.

aptea-lea. El afirm c, la sfritul celui de-al cincilea secol, un trib de


Goths sub lider Duke Gentius (sau Genusius sau Gjin) ptruns n
regiunea Shkodra din Dalmaia i stabili acolo. Obligat s reacioneze la
aceast nou realitate, imparatul bizantin a fcut Gjin lui Sebastocrator,
de asemenea, apel el un maestru militum din Dalmatia. Acest Gentius se
spune ca a creat o lume ntre Shkodra i Durres, (14), care sa dovedit a fi
de simpatie din populaia rural, pentru c adaptate gotic legi cu cele ale
triburilor locale. Conexiunea de numele Dukagjini la Codul de drept
cutumiar albanez n muni, aa-numitul Canon sau Kanun de Lek
Dukagjini, pare a deriva din aceasta, astfel c barbar n cauz pot fi
considerate ca strmo al Dukagjinis . Aceasta, cel puin, ar fi mai multe
anse dect cele de mai sus-menionate legende.
Titlul Duke (Dux) cu nici o referire la o regiune apare pentru prima dat
n 1281, anul in care a aparut ca Gjin Tanushi "ducem Ginum Tanuschu."
Teritoriul de Dukagjini familie se ntindea de la malul stng al rului
Drin apropiat Lezha (Alessio) la sursa de Fan ru. n a cincisprezecealea, au existat dou bine cunoscute ramuri ale acestei familii: un nord sub
un Paul Dukagjini au extins dincolo de cele de mai sus-menionate de
frontier de a deveni Lords de triburi din regiune Gashi, Krasniqi i a
terenurilor din Peja (Ipek) i Gjakova. Paul a fost fiul lui Lek Dukagjini
care au locuit n Vulpiani sau Ulpiana (langa Prishtina). n sudic al
familiei au fost domnitori din regiunile Lezha, Zadrima, Puka, Selita,
Zhuba i Mirdita. Au locuit n castelul de Lezha pace care a fost predat la
Veneia n 1393.
n secolul al treisprezecelea, ajungem dincolo de lider de trib, Tanush
Dukagjini, care a avut doi fii, Gin i Progon, barba lui de Zadrima.
n cea de-a paisprezecea-lea, de asemenea, menionm chroniclers cei
doi fii ai Progon, Paul i Leka ca barba lui de Zadrima. Dou dintre
descendenii acestora, George, Domnul a Zadrima, i Tanush, Domnul
Fan (care a fost, probabil, un strmo al Gjonmarkaj?), A plecat de multe
persoane, n momentul de Scanderbeg, care a jucat toate rolurile n
naional de rezisten mpotriva turcilor. De Dukagjinis i vecine
Balshas, a luptat muli o lupt cu o putere i pentru un alt teren, pn la
Balshas pierdut i duman lor comune, turcilor, capturate din ar.

Chiar i dup ce a Turkish cucerire a rii, descendeni din aceast


dinastie a continuat s se bucure de faima de Dukagjinis. Din pcate, nu
tim prea multe despre diversele ramuri ale dinastiei care a rmas n
Albania. Ce este sigur este, dup cum sa menionat, c n casa de
Dukagjini avut mprite n dou ramuri de timp de la invazie. Turcii se
Even after the Turkish conquest of the country, the descendants of this
pare c au avut contact cu 1433 de ctre filiala sa stabilit c n Zadrima.
dynasty continued to enjoy the fame of the Dukagjinis. Unfortunately,
"n zona de nord a judetului, (15) Sultan Hasan numit Bey de a privi
we do not know much about the various branches of the dynasty that
peste albanez Lords veneian i teritorii", a spus chroniclers turc de la
remained in Albania. What is for sure is, as mentioned, that the house of timp. "n cazul n care albanezii au crescut n revolta mpotriva turcilor n
Dukagjini had split into two main branches by the time of the invasion.
1433, Nicholas I Dukagjini, fratele Tanush IV, condus de ocupanii turc
The Turks seem to have had contact by 1433 with the branch that settled de la Dagno (Deja). Dar Veneia, care a vrut cu orice pre, pentru a evita
in Zadrima. "In the north of the county, (15) The sultan appointed Hasan o ruptur n relaiile cu Porte i, prin urmare, ntreinut relaii bune cu
Bey to watch over the Albanian lords and Venetian territories," say the
Hasan Bey, a ordonat sa guvernator n Shkodra de a sprijini atac
Turkish chroniclers of the time. "When the Albanians rose in revolt
mpotriva turcilor de la Dukagjinis. " (16) Atunci cnd a izbucnit
against the Turks in 1433, Nicholas I Dukagjini, the brother of Tanush
rzboiul, ulterior, ntre Scanderbeg i Veneia, vom gsi Dukagjinis pe
IV, drove the Turkish occupiers from Dagno (Deja). But Venice, which
partea lateral a albanez erou national. Dukagjini mnia de la Veneia a
wanted at all costs to avoid a rupture in relations with the Porte, and
fost nu a terminat nc. Un descendent din casa de Dukagjini, numit Paul,
therefore maintained good relations with Hasan Bey, ordered its
a refuzat s fac pace cu Veneia i n semn de acord de pace care au
governor in Shkodra to support the Turks against attack from the
lucrat n Scanderbeg cu Republica n 1448. Aceast poziie a fost,
Dukagjinis." (16) When war subsequently broke out between Scanderbeg probabil, unul dintre motivele pentru Paul Dukagjini urmrite pro-turc de
and Venice, we find the Dukagjinis on the side of the Albanian national
la politicile de timp pe care, i a trimis doi dintre fii si la sultan ca
hero. The Dukagjini wrath at Venice was not over yet. One scion of the
garanie.
house of Dukagjini, called Paul, refused to make peace with Venice and
sign the peace agreement that Scanderbeg had worked out with the
Turc chroniclers de perioada descrie caz, dup cum urmeaz: "Duka n
Republic in 1448. This stance was perhaps one of the reasons why Paul
albanez nseamn o Bey. Sultan Mehmet de cuceritor - Allah fie
Dukagjini pursued pro-Turkish policies from that time on, and sent two
milostiv cu el - aflat c Duke (Duka) din Menobar (?, Sau Minevbur) au
of his sons to the sultan as a pledge.
avut doi fii ai splendid. n mintea lui ilustre, nobile sultan gndit la el
nsui: "Ce ctig ar fi pentru a Imperiului i Credin n cazul n care
Turkish chroniclers of the period describe the event as follows: "Duka in aceste dou incomparabil principi au fost de a deveni buni musulmani".
De sultnesc inspiraia divin a dat natere la un zbor de aceste dou
Albanian means a Bey. Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror - Allah be
stele din tezaurul de la albanezi cer la Constantinopol. Prostrated Ei
merciful to him - learned that the Duke (Duka) of Menobar (?, or
nii nainte de sultnesc de picioare i se convertesc, lund numele de
Minevbur) had two splendid sons. In his illustrious mind, the noble
Ahmed i Mahmud, i au fost luate n imperial de pagini. "
sultan thought to himself: 'What a gain it would be for the Empire and
the Faith if these two incomparable princes were to become good
tim c aceti doi biei au aparinut casa de Dukagjini, "Mahmud, care a
Muslims.' The sultan's divine inspiration gave rise to the flight of these
murit din cauze naturale, curnd dup aceea i Ahmed Bey a avut o
two stars in the vaults of the Albanian heaven to Constantinople. They
carier n ilustre de servicii din Imperiul Otoman. El a devenit un vizir in
prostrated themselves before the sultan's feet and converted, taking the
timpul domniei lui Sultan Selim I, dar a sczut n anul 920 (1514), n
names Ahmed and Mahmud, and were taken in by the imperial pages."

We know that these two lads belonged to the house of Dukagjini, "that
Mahmud died of natural causes soon thereafter and Ahmed Bey had an
illustrious career in the service of the Ottoman Empire. He became a
vizier during the reign of Sultan Selim I, but fell in the year 920 (1514)
in the Battle of Amasja. His son, Mehmet Pasha, achieved high rank in
the palace and State functions. He was Beylerbey of Aleppo in 957
(1550), Vali of Egypt in 961 (1554), and died in 964 (1556). He was
married to Cevher Muluk, the daughter of Sultan Bayezid II. In the
course of Ottoman history we come across many other high dignitaries
stemming from this branch of the Dukagjini dynasty." (17)
Later, part of the dynasty settled in Aleppo where the Dukagjinis still
have land and are now Arabs. Yet they still carry the name Dukagjinzade.
As to the members of the Dukagjin family who fled to Italy after the
Turkish conquest, we know only that some of them are buried in Naples
and many noble Italian families in Rome, rightly or wrongly, regard
themselves as their descendants. We feel obliged in this respect to
include some details about the connections between the Dukagjinis and
Albanian customary law, though these may lead to false conclusions and
are actually beyond the scope of our study here.

batalia de la Amasja. fiul su, Mehmet Pasha, realizat de rang nalt n


palat i funciile de membru. Beylerbey El a fost de Alep n 957 (1550),
Vali din Egipt, n 961 (1554), i a murit n 964 (1556). El a fost cstorit
cu Cevher Muluk, fiica Sultan Bayezid II. n cursul otoman istoria ne da
peste multe alte mari demnitari care rezult din aceast ramur a
Dukagjini dinastie. " (17)
Mai tarziu, o parte din dinastia decontat n Alep n cazul n care nc
mai au Dukagjinis terenuri i sunt acum arabi. Totui, ei nc mai poart
numele Dukagjin-zade.
n ceea ce privete membrii de familie Dukagjin care a plecat n Italia,
dup cucerirea turc, tim doar c unele dintre ele sunt ngropate n
Neapole i multe familii nobile italiene din Roma, pe drept sau pe
nedrept, n ele nsele ca descendenii acestora. Noi simt obligat, n acest
sens, pentru a include unele detalii despre conexiunile ntre Dukagjinis i
dreptul cutumiar albanez, dei acestea pot duce la concluzii false i sunt,
de fapt, dincolo de domeniul de aplicare a studiului nostru aici.

Albanez cutumiare lege, Canon a Lek Dukagjini, sau mai corect, sa


codificare, este destul de des i fr de fapt baza atribuite Lek, fiul lui
Paul Dukagjini. Similitudinea ntre Lek Dukagjini i Canonul Lek
Dukagjini a condus la ipoteza c Lek eronate Dukagjini a fost
fondatorul albanez drept cutumiar. Lek Dukagjini a fost cu siguran o
influen figura cu un mare numr de adepi, i a jucat un rol important n
Albanian customary law, the Canon of Lek Dukagjini, or more properly ara sa, n acel moment. El a fost n primul rnd, un luptator, si un
its codification, is often and quite without factual basis attributed to
incapatanat o la asta. Dar nimeni nu s-ar fi sunat pe el un expert n
Lek, the son of Paul Dukagjini. The similarity between Lek Dukagjini jurisprudena. n cartea sa L'Albanie et l'invazie turque au XV. sicle,
and the Canon of Lek Dukagjini has led to the erroneous assumption
Paris, 1937, pagina 15, de albanezi istoric Athanas Gegaj a scris: "Leka
that Lek Dukagjini was the founder of Albanian customary law. Lek
este fr ndoial unul dintre cele mai cunoscute membrilor de familie
Dukagjini was certainly an influential figure with a large body of
Dukagjini. El a fost un adversar din Veneia i de Scanderbeg. Lui
followers, and played an important role in his country at the time. He
opoziie la ambele numai dup ce a crescut evenimente care duc la
was primarily a fighter, and a stubborn one at that. But no one would
captarea de Dagno (Deja). El a fost fiul lui Paul Dukagjini, i a fost
ever have called him an expert in jurisprudence. In his book L'Albanie et energic i cuteztor. A fost un mult-temut duman al turci, un talentat
l'invasion turque au XV. sicle, Paris 1937, page 15, the Albanian
organizator i, probabil, un expert n drept cutumiar. " Dar toi liderii de
historian Athanas Gegaj wrote: "Leka is no doubt one of the best-known trib tia prevederilor de la Canon. C el a mai mult de a face haz de
members of the Dukagjini family. He was a foe of Venice and of
Canon dect acest lucru este puin probabil.
Scanderbeg. His opposition to both only increased after the events
leading to the capture of Dagno (Deja). He was the son of Paul
Noi credem c Lek Dukagjini, care a fost activ n anii 1450-1485, a
Dukagjini, and was energetic and foolhardy. He was a much-feared foe
avut nimic de a face cu dreptul cutumiar. Acest vechi forme de lege este
of the Turks, a talented organizer and perhaps an expert in customary
o creaie a albanez de oameni si a fost bine-attuned la nevoile sale. El a
law." But all tribal leaders knew the stipulations of the Canon. That he
servit de mii de ani pentru a mpiedica anarhie n albanez regiuni. Dei
had more to do wit the Canon than this is unlikely.
barbar n unele aspecte, este mpiedicat de la toat lumea waging rzboi,
We believe that Lek Dukagjini, who was active in the years 1450-1485,
had nothing at all to do with customary law. This ancient form of law is a
creation of the Albanian people and was well-attuned to its needs. It
served for thousands of years to impede anarchy in Albanian regions.
Although barbaric in some aspects, it prevented everyone from waging
war on one another because it condemned those who used violence in
such an ancient form of society as that of the Albanian tribes, and
threatened them with severe punishment, which was mercilessly
executed. Fear of such punishment sufficed to bring the wildest of the
tribes under control.

pe de o alta, pentru c a condamnat cei care au folosit violena ntr-o


astfel de cele mai vechi forme de societate n care a albanez triburi, i lea ameninat cu pedepse severe, care a fost executat mercilessly. Teama de
o astfel de pedeaps sufficed pentru a aduce mai slbatice de triburi sub
control.

Cele mai vechi i mai modern turc istorici care s-au ocupat de la Canon
au numit-o "cel mai barbar cod de drept cutumiar i pe pmnt." n
activitatea sa, otoman tarahinde Arnavutluk (Izmir 1944, pagina 337),
Slejman Kle remarcat: "Studiu de diferite canoanelor de drept
cutumiar de pe pmnt i de evaluare a acestora de la morale i sociale
puncte de vedere, se poate afirma cu uurin c nu exist un cod oriunde
c este aproape ca uciga ca a Lek Dukagjini. Aceast form de drept
The older and more modern Turkish historians who have dealt with the
penal care reglementate de comportare al Albaniei triburile de secole a
Canon have called it "the most barbaric code of customary law on earth." provocat moartea a milioane de oameni. Este, ntr-adevr, o surpriz
In his work Osmanli tarahinde Arnavutluk (Izmir 1944, page 337),
faptul c oamenii nu au fost albanez annihilated total de astfel de
Slejman Kle noted: "Studying the various canons of customary law
reglementari draconice lor n societate. " De autor, cu toate acestea,
on earth and evaluating them from moral and social points of view, one
ignor faptul c aceasta a fost c aceste draconice de reglementare
can easily assert that there is no code anywhere that is nearly as
menine legea i ordinea, dei ntr-un mod sever, n albanez munte, o
bloodthirsty as that of Lek Dukagjini. This form of criminal law that
regiune unde nu autoritatea guvernamentala a fost vreodat n stare s
regulated the doings of the Albanian tribes for centuries caused the
impun influena acestuia.
deaths of millions of people. It is indeed a surprise that the Albanian
people were not totally annihilated by such draconian regulations in their Cutumiare de drept de la Canon sa schimbat n timp, i a fost supus la
society." The author, however, ignores the fact that it was these draconian influen strin. Una nu pot s nu observai introducerea Roman de legi
regulations that maintained law and order, albeit in a severe manner, in
sau de german
the Albanian mountains, a region where no government authority was
ever able to impose its influence.
normele legale din perioada gotica. De influen a Bisericii i, n special,
de-Catolica Monahi, de asemenea, a fcut el nsui a simit n partea de
nord munii n ultimii ani i a atenuat de aspre pedepse prevzute iniial.
The customary law of the canon has changed over time and has been
subject to foreign influence. One cannot fail to notice the introduction of Suntem convinsi ca lips de legtur ntre Dukagjinis i albanez drept
cutumiar trebuie s fie cutat n persoana mai sus-menionate germanic
Roman laws or of German
duce Gjin (Gentius). Este, probabil, care a adaptat dispoziiile din legea
germana a sistemului juridic ntlnite n Albania pentru a crea un cod
legal norms from the Gothic period. The influence of the Church, and in care s conduc la nevoile sale de subiecte. Codul n consecin a luat pe
particular of Catholic monks, also made itself felt in the northern
numele lui: lex Gencii Dux. Pentru acest lucru a fost adugat mai trziu

mountains in later years and alleviated the harsh punishments originally


foreseen. We are convinced that the missing link between the Dukagjinis
and Albanian customary law must be sought in the person of the abovementioned Germanic duke Gjin (Gentius). It is probably he who adapted
the provisions of Germanic law to the legal system encountered in
Albania to create a code conducive to the needs of his subjects. The code
accordingly took on his name: lex dux Gencii. To this was later appended
the popular term "canon" from a Greek-Byzantine milieu, which later
appeared in Turkish as kanun, i.e. the Kanun of Lek Dukagjini.
When the Turks recognised the native tribal structures in 1550, they
referred to the this local code of customary law as the jibal kanuni (Law
of the Mountains). There is no doubt that the term kanun was first widely
used in the Turkish period. Turkish chroniclers often referred to it as the
"strange customs of the Albanians," but it was never systematically
elucidated by Turkish historians. It is only sixty or seventy years ago that
we find the first more detailed description of the canon in a Turkish
publication. The Albanians, Germans, Italians, French, English and Serbs
for their part have often written about the canon (18).

n termen popular "Canon" dintr-o greco-bizantin milieu, care mai trziu


a aprut n Turkish kanun ca, de exemplu, Kanun de Lek Dukagjini.
Cnd turcii au recunoscut nativ de trib structuri n 1550, n care sa referit
la acest local cod de drept cutumiar, astfel cum a jibal kanuni (Legea din
Muntii). Nu exist nici o ndoial c termenul de kanun utilizate pe scar
larg a fost pentru prima oar n perioada de turc. Turc chroniclers
adesea menionat-o ca "ciudat vamal de albanezi," dar aceasta nu a fost
niciodata elucidate sistematic de ctre istorici turc. Este doar aizeci sau
aptezeci de ani n urm, c vom gsi prima descriere mai detaliata a
canon turc ntr-o publicaie. De albanezi, germani, italieni, francez,
englez i srbi pentru a avea parte de multe ori n scris cu privire la
canon (18).

8. De Balshas
8. The Balshas
Another ruling family came to the fore in the fourteenth century and in
particular in the age of Scanderbeg: the Balshas. An account of their
activities must be included in any description of the decades before the
complete conquest of Albania by the Turks. The influence of this dynasty
extended over a large part of the country. They were probably of
Albanian origin although historians hold various views. In his Histoire
des Etats Balcaniques jusqu' 1924, Iorga, for instance, asserts that they
were of Romanian-Kutzovlach origin. Du Cange, in his Histoire de
Constantinople sous les empereurs (pages 288-289), although admitting
the possibility of Albanian origin, holds the view that they were identical
with the French dynasty of the Baux, a theory which can be rejected
because the coat of arms of the Balsha and the Baux are completely
different. Sansovino, in his Dell'historia universale dell'origine dal
impero dei Turchi, believes they were of Slavic descent. Though we have
no specific proof, we tend to the opinion of Du Cange (Du Cange: I,
Illyricum vetum et novum, page 131-132: "quidam ex Albaniae
proceribus cognomento Balsa," and of Orbinus who says: "ex indigenis
nobilibus Albaniae," because Albanian origin is in total accord with the
deeds of the Balsha.

O alt hotrre de familie a venit n prim plan, n cea de-a paisprezecealea i, n special, n vrst de Scanderbeg: de Balshas. Un cont de
activitile lor trebuie s fie incluse n nici o descriere a zeci de ani
nainte de a completa cucerire a Albaniei de turci. Influena acestui
dinastie extins pe o mare parte a rii. Acestea au fost, probabil, de
origine albanez, dei istorici dein puncte de vedere diferite. n Histoire
des Etats Balcaniques jusqu' 1924, Iorga, de exemplu, afirm c acestea
au fost de origine romn-Kutzovlach. Du Cange, n a sa Histoire de
Constantinopol sous les empereurs (paginile 288-289), dei admite
posibilitatea de origine albanez, consider c acestea au fost identice cu
dinastia francez a BAUX, o teorie care poate fi respins, deoarece blana
de arme de Balsha i BAUX sunt complet diferite. Sansovino, n a sa
Dell'historia universale dell'origine dal impero dei Turchi, consider c
acestea au fost de slav coborre. Dei ne-am nici un fel de dovada,
avem tendina de a avizului Du Cange (Du Cange: I, Illyricum vetum et
Novum, pagina 131-132: "quidam ex Albaniae proceribus cognomento
Balsa", i de Orbinus care spune: "ex indigenis nobilibus Albaniae,
"pentru c este de origine albanez, n total de acord cu faptele de
Balsha.

Dup moartea lui Dushan n 1355, al crui imperiu dezintegrat n diverse


domenii, condus de conductori de srbi i albanezi coborre, de cele
mai multe ori ca guvernatorii de mpratul bizantin sau de domnitori din
After the death of Dushan in 1355, whose empire disintegrated into
Serbia, adevarata putere a czut n minile celor presupuse a fi
various realms led by rulers of Serbian and Albanian descent, mostly as
governors of the Byzantine emperor or of the rulers of Serbia, real power subordonate le, astfel c o comparaie se pot face, ca la poziia lor, cu
fell into the hands of those alleged to be subordinate to them, such that a marele feudal Lords din Germania sau cu numrul de Charlemagne n
comparison can be drawn, as to their position, with the great feudal lords timpul a statului de descendenii lui slabe.
of Germany or with the counts of Charlemagne during the rule of his
Special de recunoatere ntre conductori de Albania merge la Balsha
weakest descendants.
pentru lor ncearc s-i uneasc teritoriul albanez. Primul Balsha pentru
a intra n Analele de istorie a fost Balsha I, care iniial pacified Zeta prin
Particular recognition among the rulers of Albania goes to the Balsha for calitile sale excepionale i a abilitilor de fii si Strazimir, George i
their endeavours to unite Albanian territory. The first Balsha to enter the Balsha i mai trziu, dup moartea regelui srbe Urosh III, n 1331 sa
annals of history was Balsha I who initially pacified Zeta through his
extins considerabil trm.
exceptional qualities and the skills of his sons Strazimir, George and
Balsha and later, after the death of the Serb King Urosh III in 1331
Aceste eforturi n curnd a adus un conflict cu Dukagjinis, pe care
expanded his realm considerably.
Balshas castigat. Balsha, ulterior, am nvat cum s ia excelent avantaj
These endeavours soon brought about a conflict with the Dukagjinis,
which the Balshas won. Balsha I thereafter learned how to take excellent
advantage of his good relations with King Vukashin of Serbia in order to
take over Serb possessions in northern Albania. These endeavours were
crowned by his takeover of Shkodra (1361?). With the death of Balsha I,
his sons decided to rupture Serb influence in northern Albania once and
for all. They withdrew from the Orthodox Church and asked Pope Urban
V to be taken in by the Catholic Church. On 29 January 1369 they
officially renounced their Orthodox beliefs before Bishop Peter of Shas.
George I, the most important of all the brothers, and the youngest of the
three, Balsha II, joined forces with other leading Albanian families to try
to bring the rest of Vukashin's Albanian land under their control. This
successful endeavour took the brothers right down to Vlora and Berat.
The Balsha family of Mallakastra is most probably a branch of this

de relaii bune cu regele Vukashin de Serbia, pentru a se ine pe averile


srbilor din nordul Albaniei. Aceste eforturi au fost ncoronat de ctre
sale de preluare a Shkodra (1361?). Cu moartea Balsha I, a hotrt s fii
si ruptur srbe influena n nordul Albaniei, o dat i pentru totdeauna.
Ei au retras de la Biserica Ortodox i a cerut Papa Urban V pentru a fi
luate de ctre Biserica Catolic. La data de 29 ianuarie 1369 au renunat
oficial ortodox convingerile lor, nainte de Episcopul Petru de Shas.
George I, cel mai important din toate frai, i cel mai tnr dintre cei trei,
Balsha II, unit fortele cu alte familii de albanezi care duc pentru a ncerca
s aduc restul Vukashin lui albanez teren sub controlul lor. Acest succes
a luat strduiesc frai dreapta jos pentru a Vlora i Berat. De Balsha
familie de Mallakastra este, cel mai probabil, o ramura de aceast cas,
cu toate c acest lucru nu este atestat. Puin la nord de soluionare a
Ballsh este satul Patos n Mallakastra. Chiar i astzi, se poate vedea
impresionant rmne acolo de ce localnicii apel la Palatul Balsha

house, although this is not attested. Slightly to the north of the settlement
of Ballsh is the village of Patos in Mallakastra. Even today, one can see
the impressive remains there of what the local people call the Balsha
Palace (Serajet e Balschenjvet) or the Galleries of Djafer Pasha
(Gallonjat e Xhafer Pashs). Both terms are probably right. If one takes
a close look at the remains of the walls, one sees that the upper part dates
from the Ottoman period. From this fact one can deduce that the
imposing building was once the manor of Djafer Pasha of Vlora, son of
Ibrahim Pasha. Djaver Pasha fell at the Battle of Zenta in 1697. He was
the Sandjak Bey of Vlora and later of Elbasan, and was twice Sandjak
Bey of Roumelia: 1102 (1689) and 1108 (1695). The foundations of the
ruins also show mediaeval Byzantine origins in which cyclopean blocks
seem to have been encompassed. These remarkable ruins show that the
settlement was the estate of powerful families both in ancient and in
more modern times.
This region is of particular importance for the history of central Albania.
Here in ancient times was the town of Byllis. In the early Middle Ages
we find in modern Ballsh the town of Baletium which was the seat of a
bishop around 1350. The German Bishop of Grnberg was here in 13511357. Scanderbeg attempted to restore the fortress which had been
severely damaged during fighting at the time. According to Neapolitan
chroniclers, it was however destroyed once again (by the Venetians?).
The Balsha brothers did not confine themselves to Albania, but invaded
Montenegro, the whole of which came under their control. The
Montenegrins (who at the time were of primarily Albanian origin)
supported their conquests in Herzegovina (Trebinje, Canali, Trashenica)
which fell to them, too. Their conquests go hand in hand, if you will,
with Albanian expansion into Greece and are further proof of the density
of the Albanian population in the mountains in the age of Serbian and
Bulgarian oppression.
In 1375, George Balsha and his brother-in-law Charles Thopia invaded
Bosnia, attacked the Serbs and took possession of parts of Bosnian
territory.
George Balsha died on 3 January 1379. It is to be noted in this
connection that his possessions at that time stretched all the way from
Bosnia and Herzegovina to Prmet and Vlora. George was one of those
remarkable figures both in the Albanian Middle Ages and in the Turkish
period who arose in the country, north and south, and brought about
movements of northern Albanians southwards and of southern Albanians
northwards. These were men who contributed substantially to the
unification of the Albanian nation and to a development of an Albanian
national identity.
For the centuries of Ottoman rule, we can add in this connection the
names of Mahmut Pasha Bushati and Ali Pasha Tepelena even though
their activities were not determined to any great extent by a sense of
national awareness, but by personal ambition.
George I was succeeded as head of the Balsha dynasty by the youngest
brother Balsha II. His reign was doomed to failure from the start.
Intimidated by the expansion of Balsha power, Charles Thopia called
upon Sultan Bayezid I for assistance against their attacks and Bayezid
agreed. In 1385, a large Turkish force advanced on Albania under the
leadership of Evrenos Kasim Bey. This army was thoroughly defeated by
Albanian troops led by the Balshas on the Plain of Savra near the village
of Karbunara south of Lushnja, and Ballsha II was killed.
The widow of Balsha II, Comita of the house of Muzhaka, came to an
understanding with the Turks and got Vlora back from them. She died in
the fortress of Kanina in 1396.
The successor of Balsha II was his nephew George II Strazimir, the sonin-law of the Despot of Serbia, whose daughter Despina became his wife.
He was a weak figure, yet a typical troublemaker, who was kept in prison
for many years in the fortress of Durrs. When he took over the dynasty,
he tried by all means to regain the lost possession of his family, but had
little success. In 1392 he allied himself with the Hungarians who were
preparing to attack the Turks. George was the first leader of the Balshas
to have fought consciously for the independence of Albania. In Shkodra,
he had coins minted in his name in Latin but in Cyrillic script, that were
dedicated to Saint Stephen.

(Serajet e Balschenjvet) sau de Galeriile de Djafer Pasha (Gallonjat e


Xhafer Pashs). Ambii termeni sunt, probabil, dreptate. n cazul n care
unul are o strns uita la rmne de ziduri, pe care o vede partea
superioar dateaza din perioada otoman. De la acest fapt, se poate
deduce c impunerea de cldire a fost o dat la conac de Djafer Pasha din
Vlora, fiul lui Ibrahim Pasha. Djaver Pasha a sczut de la batalia de la
Zenta, n 1697. El a fost Sandjak Bey de Vlora i mai trziu de Elbasan,
i a fost de dou ori pe Sandjak Bey de Roumelia: 1102 (1689) i 1108
(1695). Bazele de ruinele medievale bizantine arat, de asemenea,
originea n care ciclopic blocuri pare a fi fost cuprindea. Aceste
remarcabile ruinele indic faptul c aezarea a fost Break de puternice,
att n familiile cele mai vechi i mai multe n timpurile moderne.
Aceasta regiune este de o importan deosebit pentru istoria centrale
Albania. Aici, n cele mai vechi timpuri a fost orasul Byllis. La nceputul
Evului Mediu, l gsim n moderne Ballsh orasul Baletium care a fost
sediul unui episcop n jur de 1350. The German Episcopul Grnberg a
fost aici, n 1351-1357. Scanderbeg o ncercare de a restaura cetatea care
au fost grav avariate n timpul lupt la momentul respectiv. Potrivit
napolitan chroniclers, acesta a fost distrus, din nou, cu toate acestea (de
Venetians?). De Balsha fraii nu se limiteaz la Albania, dar invadat
Muntenegru, tot de care a intrat sub controlul lor. De Montenegrins (care
n acel moment erau de origine albanez n primul rnd) cu sprijinul lor
cuceriri n Heregovina (Trebinje, Canali, Trashenica), care a sczut de la
ele, de asemenea. Lor cuceriri merg mn n mn, dac vor, cu albanez
de expansiune n Grecia i care sunt n continuare dovad de densitate a
populaiei albaneze la munte, n vrst de srbi i bulgari opresiunii.
n 1375, George Balsha i lui cumnat Charles Thopia invadat Bosnia,
atacat de srbi au avut posesia i ale unei pri din teritoriul bosniac.
George Balsha a murit la data de 3 ianuarie 1379. Este pentru a fi
observat, n acest sens, c posesiunile sale n acel moment se intinde tot
drumul de la Bosnia i Heregovina pentru a permite i Vlora. George a
fost una dintre cele cifrele remarcabile att n albanez Evul Mediu i n
perioada turc care a luat natere n ar, nord i sud, i a adus despre
micrile de albanezi din nord spre sud i de sud, albanezii spre nord.
Acestea au fost oameni care au contribuit substanial la unificarea
naiunii albaneze i la o dezvoltare a unei identiti naionale albanez.
Pentru secole de otoman regul, se poate aduga, n acest sens, numele
Mahmut Pasha Bushati i Ali Pasha Tepelena activitile lor, chiar dac
nu au fost determinate n mare msur, la nici de un sentiment de
naional de sensibilizare, dar de ambiie personal.
George I a fost reusit ca sef al Balsha dinastie de fratele mai tnr Balsha
II. Domniei sale a fost sortit eecului din start. Intimidat de extindere a
Balsha putere, Charles Thopia chemat Sultan Bayezid I, pentru asisten
atacurile mpotriva lor i Bayezid de acord. n 1385, o mare Turkish
vigoare avansat pe Albania, sub conducerea Evrenos Kasim Bey. Aceast
armat a fost infrant de bine albanez trupele conduse de Balshas la
Cmpia Savra lng satul Karbunara sud de Lushnja, i Ballsha II a fost
ucis.
Vaduva de Balsha II, Comita de la casa de Muzhaka, a ajuns la o
nelegere cu turcii i Vlora am ntors de la ei. Ea a murit in cetatea de
Kanina n 1396.
Succesorul Balsha II a fost nepotul lui George II Strazimir, de ginere al
Despot al Serbiei, al carui fiica Despina a devenit soia lui. El a fost un
slab figura, nc un troublemaker tipic, care a fost inut n nchisoare
timp de muli ani n cetatea Durres. Cnd el a preluat dinastie, el a
ncercat prin toate mijloacele de a rectiga de pierdut posesia familiei
sale, dar au avut prea puin succes. n 1392 el nsui aliat cu maghiarii,
care au fost pregtete s atace pe turci. George a fost primul lider al
Balshas a fi constient, a luptat pentru independen din Albania. n
Shkodra, a avut monede minted n numele su n latin, ci n chirilic
script-ul, care au fost dedicate Saint Stephen.
Cu toate acestea, Veneia, care a considerat reveni din Balshas ca contrar
intereselor sale, succesul lui combtute prin informarea turci din
inteniile de maghiari i de avertizare-le despre George Balsha. George si
toate rudele sale s-au luat prizonier de turci, i Shkodra Ulcinj i au fost
luate de la el. Veneian intrigues a continuat s apar n anii urmtori.
George Balsha, totui, a fost eliberat dup un an de la capturarea lui, cu
mediere din Ragusa.
El a fost de aproape de revoluiile deoarece prestigiul lui a suferit

However, Venice, which regarded the return of the Balshas as contrary to


its interests, countered his success by informing the Turks of the
intentions of the Hungarians and warning them about George Balsha.
George and all of his relatives were taken prisoner by the Turks, and
Shkodra and Ulcinj were taken from him. Venetian intrigues continued to
occur in later years. George Balsha was nonetheless released one year
after his capture, with the mediation of Ragusa.
He was hard pressed by uprisings because his prestige had suffered
substantially from previous events. In 1396, the Turks invaded Albania
once again with large forces and took not only Ulcinj, but also Shkodra,
Berat, Kruja and Kastoria.
Shortly thereafter, George reached an agreement with the sultan, whose
army had forced him to flee into the mountains, and the sultan bestowed
Ulcinj upon him because George had presented the sultan with a young
maiden from among his relatives.

substanial de la evenimente anterioare. n 1396, turcii au invadat


Albania, din nou, cu fore mari si a luat nu numai Ulcinj, dar de
asemenea, Shkodra, Berat, Kruja i Kastoria.
La scurt timp dup aceea, George a ajuns la un acord cu Sultan, a cror
armat a forat-l s fug n muni, i sultan bestowed Ulcinj-l pe George,
pentru c a prezentat de sultan, cu o tnr fat din rndul su rudele.
George petrecut ultimii ani, ca nencetat, el a fost implicat in lupta cu
Dukagjinis i cu vassals n revolta lor. Aceste dificulti au fost aproape
ntotdeauna cauzate de veneian intrigues. A murit n 1403.
Trebuie notat faptul c, n acest flux continuu de evenimente, de Balshas,
att cele din Shkodra, precum i cele n Berat, a reuit s dein pe
averile lor substaniale n Albania centrale i i-a pierdut nici o influen.
Un cronicar de la Ragusa remarcat: "et est de sapere, che Messer Zorzi
Strazimiri, fu Signore della Valona, fino o Belgrado (Berat)."

George II a fost urmat de fiul su Balsha III, care a reuit pentru o civa
ani, pentru a menine pacea pe care tatl su a avut ncheiate cu Veneia,
dar de colaborare cu Republica nu a fost la ultimul timp. Veneian de
guvernator, care a fost instalat n Shkodra, a fost obligat s ndeprta
Balsha III, care, n aproape apte ani de lupt nentrerupt (1410-1417) a
luat pentru a ataca toate posesiunile veneiene n Albania. Doi ani mai
It must be noted that in this continuous flux of events, the Balshas, both trziu, Veneia a decis c aceasta a fost timp pentru a elimina sale
persistente i, evident, de nempcat duman. Prea slab pentru a nvinge-l
those in Shkodra and those in Berat, managed to hold onto their
n lupt deschis, Republica convins un binecunoscut soldat italian de
substantial possessions in central Albania and lost none of their
influence. A chronicler from Ragusa noted: "et est de sapere, che Messer avere, Stephan Maramonte, la crim Balsha pentru 5000 galbeni de aur.
Maramonte, care au fost n serviciul veneian mercenar cu trupele sale, a
Zorzi Strazimiri, fu Signore della Valona, fino a Belgrado (Berat)."
czut o dat cu Republica i a plecat n Balsha II, care a acordat-l n teren
Zadrima ca vasal. Maramonte a fcut uz de-o relaie de timp i de
George II was succeeded by his son Balsha III, who managed for a few
ncredere al Balsha pentru a efectua cu fapta, dar ncercrile de a euat.
years to keep the peace which his father had concluded with Venice, but Dup un eec n special a compromite, Veneia a decis s elimine
collaboration with the Republic was not to last long. The Venetian
Maramonte i n 1420 strduit s ajung la un acord cu Balsha, mediate
governor who had now been installed in Shkodra, was forced to ward off de ctre veneian Proveditore din Shkodra, Jacop Dandolo. Dar Balsha II,
Balsha III who in almost seven years of uninterrupted fighting (1410a murit cu doi ani mai trziu, nainte de acest plan ar putea fi
1417) had taken to attacking all Venetian possessions in Albania. Two
implementate cu succes.
years later, Venice decided that it was time to eliminate its persistent and
obviously irreconcilable foe. Too weak to defeat him in open battle, the
Stephan Lazarovich din Serbia au cerut succesiune de Balsha III, dar a
Republic persuaded a notorious Italian soldier of fortune, Stephan
populaiei, att n Shkodra i n Muntenegru, a reacionat cu furie la
Maramonte, to murder Balsha for 5000 gold ducats. Maramonte, who
creanele de cea srb, i regele preferat Stephan Chernovich de
had been in Venetian service with his mercenary troops, had once fallen Muntenegru, care au tiut mai bine. El a condus la srbi i nfiinat su
out with the Republic and fled to Balsha II, who accorded him land in
capital n Zhablak. Acest Stephan Chernovich aliate nsui, cu toate
Zadrima as his vassal. Maramonte made use of the one-time relationship domnitori din Albania n regiune i li se altur ca un aliat fidel al
and of Balsha's trust to carry out the deed, but his attempts failed. After
Scanderbeg pentru intreaga durata a lui eroic lupta mpotriva Porte.
one particularly compromising failure, Venice decided to eliminate
Maramonte and in 1420 endeavoured to reach an understanding with
Balsha III cstorit cu fiica lui Koya Zacharia copii, dar a murit. Unul
Balsha, mediated by the Venetian Proveditore of Shkodra, Jacop
dintre nephews su, Stephan Balsha, un vassel de Zacharia i mai trziu
Dandolo. But Balsha II died two years later before this plan could be
ginere de Scanderbeg, n a crui btlii a luat parte, a trezit din gloria i
successfully implemented.
poziia precar a Balshas. Dup moartea lui Scanderbeg, el sau fiul su se
pare c au plecat n Romnia n cazul n care un foarte bogat dinastie al
Stephan Lazarovich of Serbia demanded the succession of Balsha III, but Marii boieri, din Balsh, care a fost influente pn la cel comunist
the population, both in Shkodra and in Montenegro, reacted furiously to revoluie, corect considerat el ca strmo lor, chiar i astzi, de Balshas
au reuit s menin o anumit aur.
the claims of the Serb king and preferred Stephan Chernovich of
Montenegro, whom they knew better. He drove the Serbs out and set up
his capital in Zhablak. This Stephan Chernovich allied himself with all
the rulers of Albania in the region and joined them as a faithful ally of
Scanderbeg for the whole duration of his heroic struggle against the
Porte.
George spent his last years restlessly as he was involved in fighting with
the Dukagjinis and with their vassals in revolt. These were difficulties
almost always caused by Venetian intrigues. He died in 1403.

Balsha III married the daughter of Koya Zacharia but died childless. One
of his nephews, Stephan Balsha, a vassel of Zacharia and later son-in-law
of Scanderbeg, in whose battles he took part, revived the glory and
precarious position of the Balshas. After the death of Scanderbeg, he or
his son seem to have fled to Romania where a very wealthy dynasty of
Great Boyars, the Balsh, which was influential right up to the communist
revolution, correctly regarded him as their ancestor, Even today, the
Balshas have managed to maintain a certain aura.

9. The Matrangas
Also recorded in central Albania in the fourteenth century is the
Matranga dynasty (the name often occurs in documents as Matrangus or
Materangus). A certain Paul Matrangus, baron of the regnum Albaniae

(of the Kingdom of Naples), rose to power and glory around the year
1319. Between 1358 and 1374, Blasius Materangus was Lord and
Sebastocrator of the region of Bregus or Vregus near the mouth of the
Shkumbin river (a name no doubt related to the Albanian bregdet
"coast"). In 1386, his son Johan had the same position. After him, the
Matrangas disappear from the annals of Albanian history. It would seem
that their descendants emigrated to Greece because we encounter the
name Matranga among the Albanians in Attica, Messenia and the Morea
(Peleponnese), and much later, around the year 1800, in Sicily. In
Albania itself, the name and dynasty has vanished.

This short survey of the major ruling families in Albania before the
Turkish invasion serves to offer a picture of power structures in the
country at the time, although there are a number of minor dynasties of
purely local significance, that deserve to be mentioned among them:

10. The Zacharias


This name refers to the Zacharias who were Lords of Danjo in the
fourteenth century. Originally Orthodox, they converted to the Roman
Catholic Church in 1414 and subsequently disappeared from history.

9. De Matrangas
De asemenea, nregistrate n Albania central n cea de-a paisprezecealea este Matranga dinastie (numele de des apare n documente ca
Matrangus sau Materangus). Un anumit Paul Matrangus, baron de
regnum Albaniae (a Regatului din Napoli), au ajuns la putere i glorie n
jurul anului 1319. ntre 1358 i 1374, Blasius Materangus a fost de
Domnul i Sebastocrator din regiune de a Bregus sau Vregus aproape de
gura de Shkumbin ru (un nume, fr ndoial, legat de cea albanez
bregdet "coasta"). n 1386, iar fiul su, Johan avut aceeai poziie. Dup
el, Matrangas disprea de pe Analele albanez istorie. S-ar prea c
descendenii acestora, emigrat n Grecia, pentru c vom ntlni numele
Matranga printre albanezii din Attica, Messenia i Morea (Peleponnese),
i mult mai trziu, n jurul anului 1800, n Sicilia. n Albania propriu-zis,
numele dinastiei i a disprut.

Aceast scurt trecere n revist a marilor familii de guvernmnt din


Albania nainte de invazia Turkish servete pentru a oferi o imagine de
structurile puterii din tara la acea vreme, cu toate c exist un numr de
minore dinastii de semnificaie pur locale, care merit s fie menionate
printre care:

10. De Zacharias
Acest nume se refera la Zacharias, care au fost Lords de Danjo n cea dea paisprezecea-lea. Iniial Ortodox, au convertit la Biserica romanocatolica din 1414 i, ulterior, a disparut din istorie.

11. The Jonimas


Also to be mentioned is the Jonima family. They are recorded in 1274, at 11. De Jonimas
the time of Charles I of Naples, as being the rulers of the area between
Lezha and Durrs, with their headquarters in Sappa. In the early fifteenth De asemenea, trebuie menionat este Jonima de familie. Acestea sunt
nregistrate n 1274, n momentul de Charles I din Napoli, ca fiind de
century, they were vassals of the Zacharias and left no further trace.
domnitori din zona dintre Lezha i Durres, cu sediul n Sappa. n primii
cincisprezecea-lea, au fost vassals ale Zacharias i stnga nu mai urm.

12. The Spanos


To judge by its name, the Span or Span dynasty is of Byzantine-Greek
origin. Little is known of their history. Their land was situated between
Shkodra and Drivasto (Drisht). The Spanos did have modest significance
since one of their members signed the Treaty of Lezha between
Scanderbeg and the other rulers of Albania in 1444. Like Scanderbeg,
they were supporters of King Alphonso V of Naples.

12. De Spanos
Pentru a judeca de denumirea sa, Anvergura sau Spano dinastia-bizantin,
este de origine greaca. Little este cunoscut din istoria lor. Lor de teren a
fost situat ntre Shkodra i Drivasto (Drisht). Spanos au fcut de modest
semnificaie, deoarece unul dintre membrii lor au semnat Tratatul de
Lezha ntre Scanderbeg i alte domnitori din Albania n 1444. Ca
Scanderbeg, ei au fost suporteri de regele Alphonso V din Napoli.

13. De Pulatis
13. The Pulatis
The Pulatis were another ruling family in the region of Pulat (as the
name implies). Around the year 1400, we know of the Pulati brothers:
Hieronimus, Meade and Damian.

De Pulatis au fost o alt hotrre de familie n regiunea de Pulat (ca


numele). In jurul anului 1400, noi stim de Pulati frai: Hieronimus,
Meade i Damian.

14. De Dushmanis
14. The Dushmanis
We know of a ruling family from the Dushmani region, which achieved
modest importance at the time of the Balshas and Scanderbeg.

15. The Kastorias


This family flourished in the south between 1300 and 1430 and was
probably of mixed Albanian-Bulgarian origin. It owned much land in the

Noi tim de a unei hotrri de familie de la Dushmani regiune, care au


atins modeste importan n momentul de Balshas i Scanderbeg.

15. De Kastorias
Aceast familie a inflorit in partea de sud ntre 1300 i 1430 i a fost,
probabil, a amestecat-bulgar origine albanez. Este proprietatea mult
teren n regiunea Kastoria sub aceast denumire, i sub numele de
Vukashin. Dinastia-ar prea s fie mai strns legate de familii de albanezi
(de Despotate de Janina, Muzhaka, Gropa i "Lords a permite") dect la
srbi i bulgari domnitori. Cu toate acestea au meninut contacte strnse
cu srbii, n special n zilele de Dushan i Lazar, deoarece n unele

region of Kastoria under that name and under the name Vukashin. The
dynasty would seem to be more closely connected to Albanian families
(the Despotate of Janina, Muzhaka, Gropa and the "Lords of Prmet")
than to Serbian and Bulgarian rulers. Nonetheless they maintained close
contacts with the Serbs, in particular in the days of Dushan and Lazar
because in some documents, the Lords of Kastoria are referred to as the
nephews of the tsars.

16. The Scuras

documente, Lords de Kastoria sunt denumite n nephews de tsars.

16. De Scuras
Regiune ntre Durrs i Tirana a fost cunoscut sub numele de Scuria,
numite dup Scura sau Zgura de familie, din care nimic nu mai este
cunoscut.

17. De Shtrezis

The region between Durrs and Tirana was known as Scuria, named after O familie numit Shtrezi apare n regiune ntre Lezha i Kruja la data de
the Scura or Zgura family, of whom nothing more is known.
invazia turca din Albania. Un anumit George Shtrezi este menionat n
trecere, dar detalii nu sunt cunoscute de el sau familia lui.

17. The Shtrezis

Astfel, vom ncheia acest capitol din istoria albanez. Au existat, desigur,
cu siguran, alte familii de importan local i cu remarcat chieftains
A family called Shtrezi appears in the region between Lezha and Kruja at printre triburile din nord munte, dar niciunul dintre acestea nu este
menionat n documente ale perioadei. Nici unul dintre ei nu pare s fi
the time of the Turkish invasion of Albania. A certain George Shtrezi is
avut nici o legtur direct la evenimente istorice din perioada.
referred to in passing, but no details are known of him or his family.

Thus we conclude this chapter of Albanian history. There were, of


course, certainly other families of local significance and with noted
chieftains among the tribes of the northern mountains, but none of them
is mentioned in the documents of the period. None of them seems to
have had any direct ties to the historical events of the period.