Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume VI: The impact of the Crusades on Europe
VII: The Ottoman Turks and the Crusades, 1329-1451, pp. 222-275 PDF (18.9 MB)
Ch. VII THE OTTOMAN TURKS AND THE CRUSADES, 1329-1451 265 the Italian archives for this period,'28 and to the recently discovered Ottoman surveys of the country,'29 we are now able to evaluate the Italian involvement as well as internal conditions of the Albanian insurrections from 1432 on. Following their conquest of Thessalonica and lanina the Ottomans made a survey of Albania in 143 1-1432. The Ottoman survey book of 1432, which includes additional entries down to the mid-fifteenth century, shows that several Albanian seigneurial families were deprived of part of their lands, which were given to the Ottoman timar-holders, and Albanian clans in general resented being subjected to Ottoman taxation and the control of a centralist administration. Since the Ottomans could not establish complete control of the seacoast, and since Venetians gave refuge and aid to the rebels, rebellion became endemic in Albania in this period. But the actual situation was much more complex because Albanian lords shifted their loyalty between Venice and the Ottomans according to circumstances. Moreover, as was the case in the Morea, Serbia, and Bosnia, the Ottoman frontier begs in Albania acted as local lords, and achieved a kind of political equilibrium in the region. During the Thessalonica war the northern Albanian lord John Castriota, father of Scanderbeg, had accepted Venetian protection, but after the fall of Thessalonica the Ottomans forced him to recognize the sultan's overlordship. The rebellion in southern Albania, apparently a direct outcome of the Ottoman survey of 1432, proved to be much more serious.'30 Under the leadership of local lords Thopia Zenevisi and George Araniti, whose lands had been given to Ottoman soldiers, a series of insurrections broke out in the coastal and mountainous areas, and Ottoman timar-holding sipahis were massacred. Despite several repressions at the hands of the Ottoman frontier begs, Albanian rebellion simmered until 1443, when Scanderbeg turned against the Ottomans and took on the leadership of the Albanian resistance.'31 Emerging at a time when Christian Europe was ardently preparing for a crusade to drive out the Ottomans from the Balkans, Scanderbeg was destined to become the symbol of the crusade (once a Moslem, he had returned to Christianity), and later, after his successful guerrilla warfare against the Ottomans, and defeating four armies under the sultans in 1448, 1450, 1466, and 1467, he would be acclaimed 128. See Valentini, Acta albanica veneta, vols. XV-XX. 129. The Ottoman survey of Albania dated 1432 is printed in Sdret-i defter-i sancak-i Arvanid, ed. Inalcik. 130. See Inalcik, "Arnavutluk'ta Osmanli Hakimiyetinin yerle~mesi ye Iskender Bey Isyaninin Men~ei," Fdtih ye Istanbul, 1-2 (1953), 152—175. 131. For Scanderbeg see Inalcik, "Iskender Beg," pp. 138—140.
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