Helena Thopia

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Helena Thopia
Lady of Krujë (First reign)
Reign1388 - 1392 (First reign)
Predecessor Karl Thopia
Successor Niketa Thopia
Lady of Krujë (Second reign, with Konstantin Balšić, Ottoman vassal)
Reign1394 - 1402
Predecessor Niketa Thopia
Lady of Krujë (Second reign, Ottoman vassal)
Reign1402 - 1403
Successor Niketa Thopia
Spouse(s) Marco Barbarigo (1st), Konstantin Balšić (2nd)
Issue Stefan Maramonte
House Thopia family
Father Karl Thopia

Helena Thopia (fl. 1388–1403) was an Albanian princess of the Thopia family who held the Krujë region as sovereign lady for two terms; 1388-1392 and 1394-1403.

Albanians people of Southeast Europe

The Albanians are an ethnic group native to the Balkan Peninsula and are identified by a common Albanian ancestry, culture, history and language. They primarily live in Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia as well as in Croatia, Greece and Italy. They also constitute a diaspora with several communities established in the Americas, Europe and Oceania.

Thopia family

Thopia family was one of the most powerful Albanian feudal families in the Late Middle Ages. It was initially part of the nobility of the Angevin Kingdom of Albania.

Krujë Municipality in Durrës, Albania

Krujë is a town and a municipality in north central Albania. Located between Mount Krujë and the Ishëm River, the city is only 20 km north from the capital of Albania, Tirana.



She was married to Marco Barbarigo, a Venetian nobleman. After the death of her father, Karl Topia, in 1388, she inherited the castle of Krujë and the surrounding region. In 1392 as a result of the hostilities between her husband and the Venetian forces, her cousin, Niketa Thopia, a Venice loyal, attacked the city of Krujë and forced them to find refuge among the Balšić family.

Marco Barbarigo was a Venetian nobleman, who married Helena Thopia and thus inherited the rule of Croia (Krujë), which he initially held under Venetian and later, after quarrelling with Venetian noblemen, Ottoman suzerainty, until in late 1394 when he was defeated by Venetian subject Niketa Thopia and forced into exile at the court of Đurađ II Balšić. He was appointed the Venetian governor of Cattaro (Kotor) in ca. 1422.

Republic of Venice Former state in Northeastern Italy

The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic, traditionally known as La Serenissima was a sovereign state and maritime republic in northeastern Italy, which existed for over a millennium between the 7th century and the 18th century from 697 AD until 1797 AD. It was based in the lagoon communities of the historically prosperous city of Venice, and was a leading European economic and trading power during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Niketa Thopia was the Lord of Krujë between 1392—1394 and 1403—1415. He was a member of the Thopia family and the son of Karl Topia, the Prince of Albania.

In 1394 Konstantin Balšić, who was appointed by the Ottomans to govern Krujë, married her. Konstantin ruled as an Ottoman vassal and was killed in 1402. In 1403 Niketa Thopia captured the castle from Helena. [1] After Konstantin's death Helena and their son Stefan first went to Venice and then lived with her sister Maria.

Konstantin Balšić, was a lord of the Balšić family, who ruled over lands in northern Albania.


She married Marco Barbarigo, and then Konstantin Balšić in 1394. She had a son with Konstantin, Stefan Maramonte.

Stefan Balšić, known as Stefan Maramonte, was a Zetan nobleman. He was the son of Konstantin Balšić and Helena Thopia. After Konstantin's death (1402), Helena entered the Republic of Venice and then lived with her sister Maria. Since Maria was married to Phillip Maramonte, the Venetians and Ragusans often referred to Stefan Balšić with the name Maramonte. He was initially a close associate to Zetan lord Balša III, being his vassal. Balša III and Stefan fought against the Republic of Venice, and Stefan helped in the administration of the land as co-ruler with Balša III, he did however not succeed Balša III. Balša III, who died on 28 April 1421, had decided to pass the rule of Zeta to his uncle, the Serbian Despot Stefan Lazarević. When the Second Scutari War between Venice and Despot Stefan began, he [...]. Stefan left Apulia in the summer of 1426, seeking to take Zeta. During the 1427–28 conflict, Maramonte went to the Ottoman court where he sought the support of Sultan Murad II for his appointment as the Lord of Zeta. There, he met Skanderbeg, who was a hostage at the Ottoman court. Maramonte married Vlajka Kastrioti, the sister of Skanderbeg. Supported by the Ottomans, Maramonte, accompanied by Gojčin Crnojević and Little Tanush, plundered the region around Scutari and Ulcinj, and attacked Drivast in 1429, but failed to capture it. Since his attempts failed, Maramonte surrendered to the Venetians and served as their military officer in the campaigns in Flanders and Lombardia.

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  1. Anamali, Skënder and Prifti, Kristaq. Historia e popullit shqiptar në katër vëllime. Botimet Toena, 2002, ISBN   99927-1-622-3 pp. 251-252
Preceded by
Karl Topia
as Prince of Albania
Lady of Krujë
Served alongside: Marco Barbarigo di Croia
Succeeded by
Niketa Thopia
as Lord
Preceded by
Konstantin Balšić
Lady of Krujë
Served alongside: Konstantin Balšić (1402†)
Succeeded by
Niketa Thopia
as Lord