Albania Medieval and Modern History Part II

By | December 15, 2021

The fourth crusade, as it is known, instead of carrying out the proclaimed liberation of the Holy Sepulcher, delayed in reconquering Zadar from the Venetians and in constituting the Latin feudal empire of Baldovino in Constantinople: and in Venice was given nominal possession over all Albania and the ‘Epirus. But, while the Marquis of Monferrato became king of Thessalonica and of the Macedonian lands, various feudal lordships also arose in the Albanian regions which, tightened around Michele Angelo Comneno, prevented Venice from taking actual possession of everything that, after the capture of Constantinople, had been assigned to her. Venice occupied Corfu, the city and the province of Durres; but he could not obtain from Epirus, where Michele Angelo Comneno had created himself a despot, if not a modest tribute and the recognition of his high feudal sovereignty, which was also recognized by the Serbian prince Dimitrios of Arbanum (Croia?). From all its new possessions in Albania, including Corfu, Venice was soon to be removed from the victories of the despot of Epirus, Teodoro Angelo, who happened to the murdered brother Michele in 1214.

But on all this flourishing of feudal lordships, linked to the chivalric history of the Crusades, and on the daily disputes for the possession of the most important trading stations, in 1230 the conquest of the Bulgarian Tsar John Asján II who, taken prisoner and blinded by Theodore, was superimposed the second Bulgarian empire to the Adriatic. If not that it too, attacked at the same time by Byzantines, Serbs, Hungarians, Tartars and by the Epirotes of Marcello Angelo, brother of Theodore, who had preserved a part of his despotia, saw his empire destroyed, whose western provinces passed to the Serbian kings of Rascia who already dominated some plains of northern Albania. The lordship of the Serbian kings rose on the ruins of the second Bulgarian empire, destined to reach its maximum splendor with Stefano Dušan (1331-1355), who assumed the name of Tsar of the Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians and Albanians (1346). However, the dominion of the Serbs over Albania was never complete. For Albania 1996, please check pharmacylib.com.

In 1259 Valona, ​​Kanina, Berat, Durazzo and Corfu, that is to say almost all of central and southern Albania, which had remained in the possession of the Angelo family until then, had passed to Manfredi di Svevia as a dowry of his wife Elena Angelo. Manfredi then killed in the battle of Benevento in 1266, Charles of Anjou wanted to take possession of the Albanian dominions of the Swabian house in Naples; but it met the fierce opposition of Michele Angelo II. However, when the latter died, his son, Nicephorus, surrendered to Anjou, in 1272, Durazzo, destroyed in 1274 by the earthquake, sacked by the nearby populations and abandoned for 4 years, which therefore began to decline from its past splendor. In 1273, Nicephorus also abandoned Berat to the Angevin king; in 1279, he recognized for all his despotia of Epirus the high sovereignty of the kings of the Two Sicilies. Against these, therefore, the Serbian kings of Rascia fought; and until the advent of Tsar Dušan, the fights between the Angevin Philip, prince of Taranto and Achaia, and the Serbs for Albanian possessions followed one another with alternating events. But not even the victories of Tsar Dušan earned the Serbs the possession of all Albania, as Durres was kept in the possession of the kings of Naples by the valiant Albanian leader Tanusio Topia, while Scutari and Clissa were ceded by Dušan himself to Venice. Only in 1363 was Durazzo lost to the Angevins of Naples, thanks to a Carlo Topia, born to a son of Tanusio and a natural daughter of Roberto of Naples.

Albania Medieval and Modern History Part II