Albania Medieval and Modern History Part IV

By | December 15, 2021

But in 1467 Giorgio Castriota died of fever in Alessio, where he had gathered the major Albanian princes for a congress; and with the death of the hero the Albanian league and its victories ended. Only the glorious memory of his name remained of Castriota’s work, destined to form traditional cement for irredentist aspirations, the lessons of military defensive strategy offered by the study of his campaigns and the experience used today by others, that the only lordship that established itself on those lands had its fulcrum in the central area between Croia, Mati and Dibrano. Some writers wanted to make the Scanderbeg a mighty king of a vast country; but in reality only as military leader of the league of all Albanian princes or leaders did he exercise his authority over the whole Albania at the time, corresponding to the great Albania, that is, including Còssovo, Novi Bazar, Metohija, Dibra, Ochrida, Giannina and Arta. The league met with Alessio, then dependent on Venice which favored, despite some contrasts, the Albanian hero. The princes and tribal chiefs would not have accepted a sovereign who had deprived them of that authority which they freely exercised in their own dominions: each remained absolute lord, tributary of the sultan, and only for the war against the Turks the supreme authority was exercised by the Scanderbeg. For Albania 2012, please check oxfordastronomy.com.

With regard to Europe, the epic of Scanderbeg served to curb, for some time at least, the expansive force of Ottoman weapons subjected to so much consumption of men and wealth; and, especially in the face of the collapse of the Albanian resistance following the death of Scanderbeg, there was also the experience that the luck of the greatest companies sometimes rests on the will and mind of a single man. In fact, when the Scanderbeg died, Albania was soon entirely occupied by the Turks, except for Scutari and some cities on the coast defended by the Venetians. Heroically supported by various sieges, even Scutari was however delivered to Aḥmed pascià by the Venetian administrator Da Lezze with the most honorable agreements (1479). Many Scutarini who emigrated to Venice, following the surrender, had lands, offices and honors from this city;Albaniansof Italy). In Venice, the 1479 convention guaranteed free access to Albanian ports; and on the other hand Durazzo remained in his possession until 1501, Dulcigno and Antivari until 1571, Valona until 1690. Inside, Croia, Alessio and Drivasto occupied by the Turks, and won by Giovanni Musacchi in 1481, the year of Muhammad’s death II, only a few mountain tribes remained to defend their autonomy in the north, especially that of the Mirditi, and in the south that of the Chimarioti, who took refuge in the Acroceraunî mountains. The one and the other, after strenuous defense, however, came to terms with the Turks who committed themselves to respecting their cantonal autonomy. And thanks to these autonomies they were able to maintain centers of civilization and Christian faith in the north and south of Albania, while, especially in central Albania,

However, it should not be imagined that, even with the exception of the Mirditi and Chimarioti, Albania had since been reduced to a simple Ottoman province. The truth is rather that it remained divided into a number of small autonomous principalities, placed under the sovereignty of Turkey, and unable to attempt enterprises of greater extent than the small local competitions, which the Porte profited to obtain conversions that were the price to buy her favor. Some of these converts, however, were among the first, just grown sufficiently in power, to attempt to shake the Turkish yoke, as was the case in 1572 for Ibrāhīm Begollī of Ipek, the first indigenous pasha, and for his descendants who ruled until 1830 a part of northern Albania. Numerous attempts or proposals of insurrection by the Albanian are reconnected after all, still for the whole century. XVI and XVII, to the history of Venice. The glorious memories of it and its generous protection were still present in the minds of that people and fed their hopes; there was also, in 1688, the occupation of Arta and Preveza, destined to remain in Venetian hands, together with Butrint and Parga, until the end of the century. XVIII or at the beginning of the century. XIX. From the archives of Venice, we have news of requests for help made to the republic by Albanians ready to rise up, in 1570, 1571, 1580, 1596, 1602 and 1616. In 1592, the Albanians also offered the government of their lands to Duke Carlo Emanuele of Savoy, in 1606 to the Duke of Parma Ranuccio I Farnese and later also to some popes: what proves on the one hand how the independent spirit of the Albanians was not weakened, and on the other hand how they always placed their hopes on Italian princes. Nor were the insurrections limited only to projects: so the tribes of Cuci and Clementi, who in 1623 attacked the army of Suleimān Pasha, returning from a failed expedition to Montenegro, did not submit their submission until after 15 years of struggle.

Albania Medieval and Modern History Part IV