Niketa Thopia

Last updated
Niketa Thopia
Lord of Krujë
Reign1392—1394, 1403—1415
Titles and styles
"Count from the Kingdom of Arberia"
"Ruler of the whole land of Arber"
Died1415
Noble family Thopia family
SpouseA daughter of Komnen Arianiti
Issue
Mara
Father Karl Topia

Niketa Thopia (Albanian : Niketa Topia, Latin : Nicetas Thopia; [1] fl. 1388 – d. 1415) 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 (r. 1368–1388).

Albanian language Indo-European language

Albanian is an Indo-European language spoken by the Albanians in the Balkans and the Albanian diaspora in the Americas, Europe and Oceania. With about 7.5 million speakers, it comprises an independent branch within the Indo-European languages and is not closely related to any other language in Europe.

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.

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.

Contents

Life

Niketa was the son of Karl Topia. His mother is unknown. Upon Karl Topia's death (1388), Marco Barbarigo inherited Krujë through his marriage with Helena, Niketa's older sister; Niketa's older brother Gjergj succeeded as Lord of Durazzo. Niketa held a territory south of Durazzo.

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.

After the death of Bayezid (1402), many Albanian lords recognised Venetian suzerainty, such as Niketa, John Kastrioti and Koja Zaharija. [2] [ contradictory ] The Venetians were interested in having some buffer zone between them and the advancing Ottoman army.[ citation needed ] In 1403, Niketa Thopia managed to capture the city of Krujë from his sister, Helena Thopia, thus gaining another part of the territory previously held by the Thopia family. [3]

Gjon Kastrioti Albanian nobleman

Gjon Kastrioti, was an Albanian nobleman, member of the Kastrioti family, and the father of Skanderbeg. He governed the territory between the Cape of Rodon and Debar and had at his disposal an army of 2,000 horsemen.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically known to its inhabitants and the Eastern world as Rome (Rûm), and known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. Although initially the dynasty was of Turkic origin, it was thoroughly Persianised in terms of language, culture, literature and habits. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

His daughter Mara married Balša III in 1407 and had a daughter Jelena, named after her grandmother Jelena Balšić. [4] Balša III and Niketa entered an alliance in order to drive out the Venetians. [5] Niketa then started to be a mediator between Balša and Venetians during the First Scutari War. [6] At the end of 1411, Niketa Thopia suffered a heavy defeat from the forces of Teodor III Muzaka during one skirmish. He himself was held prisoner and with the intervention of the Ragusan Republic was released, but only after conceding some territories around the Shkumbin river to the Muzaka family. Upon his death in 1415, the castle of Krujë fell into Ottomans' hands. [3]

Balša III Serbian noble

Balša Stracimirović or Balša III was the fifth and last ruler of Zeta from the Balšić noble family, from April 1403 to April 1421. He was the son of Đurađ II and Jelena Lazarević.

First Scutari War

The First Scutari War was an armed conflict in 1405—1412 between Zeta and the Venetian Republic over Scutari and other former possessions of Zeta captured by Venice.

Theodore Musachi or Teodor II Muzaka or Musa Arbanas was member of Albanian noble family Muzaka who ruled the Principality of Berat. According to the chronicle of Gjon Muzaka Teodor II Muzaka participated in the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 together with Prince Marko. Teodor II Muzaka actually was in territorial dispute over Kostur with Prince Marko and because this dispute he was commemorated in Serbian epic poetry as Musa Kesedžija.

He married the daughter of Komnen Arianiti. [7]

See also

Notes

  1. Nicolae Iorga (1908). Geschichte des Osmanischen reiches. F. A. Perthes aktiengsellschaft. p. 331. comes Nicetas
  2. Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb (1967). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Brill. p. 654.
  3. 1 2 Anamali, Skënder and Prifti, Kristaq. Historia e popullit shqiptar në katër vëllime. Botimet Toena, 2002, ISBN   99927-1-622-3 p.251-252
  4. Spremić 2004 , pp. 73–108
    У јеку сукоба, Балша III. се 1407. оженио Маром, кћерком арбанашког господара Никете Топије. Брзо је добио кћер, којој је, по мајци, дао име Јелена.
  5. Aleks Buda (1984). Problems of the formation of the Albanian people, their language and culture. 8 Nëntori. p. 317.
  6. Fine 1994 , p. 512
  7. Shuteriqi, Dhimitër (2012). Zana Prela (ed.). Aranitët: Historia- Gjenealogjia-Zotërimet. Toena. p. 97. ISBN   978-99943-1-729-5.

Sources

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Momčilo Spremić is a Serbian historian and member of the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts. He is professor of General history of the Middle Ages at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy. Spremić specialized in the History of the Balkans, Italy and Spain in the Late Middle Ages.

Preceded by
Marco Barbarigo
Lord of Krujë
1392—1394
Succeeded by
Konstantin Balšić
Preceded by
Konstantin Balšić
Lord of Krujë
1403—1415
Succeeded by
Ottoman Empire

Related Research Articles

Karl Thopia 14th century Albanian prince and warlord

Karl Thopia was an Albanian feudal prince and warlord who ruled Albania from the middle of the 14th century until the first Ottoman conquest of Albania. Thopia usually maintained good relations with the Roman Curia.

George Thopia was the Lord of Durazzo (Durrës) from 1388 to 1392. He was the son of Karl Topia and Vojislava Balšić. George married Voislava (Teodora), the daughter of sevastokrator Branko Mladenović, of the Serbian Branković family.

Battle of Savra

The Battle of Savra or the Battle of the Vjosë was fought on 18 September 1385 between Ottoman and much smaller Zetan forces, at the Savra field near Lushnjë. The Ottomans were invited by Karlo Thopia to support him in his feud against Balša II.

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

The Principality of Valona or Despotate of Valona (1346–1417) was a medieval principality in Albania, roughly encompassing the territories of the modern counties of Vlorë (Valona), Fier, and Berat. Initially a vassal of the Serbian Empire, it became an independent lordship after 1355, although de facto under Venetian influence, and remained as such until it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1417.

Muzaka family

The Muzaka were an Albanian noble family that ruled over the region of Myzeqe in the Late Middle Ages. The Muzaka are also referred to by some authors as a tribe or a clan. The earliest historical document that mention Muzaka family is written in 1090 by the Byzantine historian Anna Komnene. At the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th century members of the Muzaka family controlled a region between the rivers of Devoll and Vjosë. Some of them were loyal to the Byzantine Empire while some of them allied with Charles of Anjou who gave them impressive Byzantine-like titles in order to subdue them more easily. During a short period, Serbian Emperor Stefan Dušan occupied Albania including domains of Muzaka family but after Dušan's death they regained their former possessions. After the Battle of Savra in 1385 the territory of Albania came under the Ottoman Empire; they served the Ottomans until 1444 when Theodor Corona Musachi joined Skanderbeg's rebellion. When the Ottomans suppressed Skanderbeg's rebellion and captured the territory of Venetian Albania in the 15th century many members of the Muzaka family retreated to Italy. Those who stayed in Ottoman Albania lost their feudal rights, some converted to Islam and achieved high ranks in the Ottoman military and administrative hierarchy.

Zaharia family

The Zaharia family was an Albanian noble family that appears for the first time mentioned in the 14th century. A certain Nicholas Zaharia is first mentioned in 1385 as a Balšić family commander and governor of Budva in 1363. After more than twenty years of fidelity, Nicholas Zaharia revolted in 1386 and became ruler of Budva. However, in 1389 Đurađ II Balšić recaptured the city.

Dukagjini family

The Dukagjini family was one of the most important feudal families in medieval Albania.

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

Andrea Thopia or Andrew Thopia was 15th century noble man from Albania whose domains included the territory of Scuria. He was a member of the Thopia family and one of the founders of the League of Lezhë.

Komnen Arianiti was an Albanian nobleman of the Arianiti family, who held an area in central Albania around Durrës. His son Gjergj became a prominent leader of the Ottoman-Albanian wars.

Paternal Balšić family members in bold.

Tanusio Thopia or Tanush Thopia was an Angevin Albanian count that served Princes of Taranto Philip I and Robert, and Dukes of Durazzo John and Charles. He had domains in Matia.

Skanderbegs rebellion

Skanderbeg's rebellion was an almost 25-years long anti-Ottoman rebellion led by renegade Ottoman sanjakbey Skanderbeg on the territory which belonged to the Ottoman sanjaks of Albania, Dibra and Ohrid. This rebellion was result of initial Christian victories in the Crusade of Varna in 1443. After Ottoman defeat in the Battle of Niš Skanderbeg, then sanjakbey of the Sanjak of Debar, mistakenly believed that Christians would succeed in pushing the Ottomans out of Europe. Like many other regional Ottoman officials, he deserted the Ottoman army to raise rebellion in his sanjak of Dibra and the surrounding region. Initially, his plan was successful and soon large parts of the Sanjak of Dibra and north-east parts of the Sanjak of Albania were captured by the rebels who also fought against regular Ottoman forces in the Sanjak of Ohrid. According to Oliver Schmitt, Castrioti was allowed to leave the ottoman army thanks to the intervention of his aunt Mara Branković, who was his mother's sister and one of the wives of sultan Murat II.