- Albania in the Middle Ages
The fall of the
Roman Empireand the age of great migrations brought radical changes to the Balkan Peninsulaand the Illyrian people. Barbarian tribesmen overran many rich Roman cities, destroying the existing social and economic order and leaving the great Roman aqueducts, coliseums, temples, and roads in ruins. The Illyrians gradually disappeared as a distinct people from the Balkans, replaced by the Bulgarians, Serbsand Croats.In the late Middle Ages, new waves of invaders swept over the Albanian-populated lands. Thanks to their protective mountains, close-knit tribal society, and sheer pertinacity, however, the Albanian people developed their distinctive identity and language.
Early Middle Ages
In the 4th century, barbarian tribes began to prey upon the Roman Empire, and the fortunes of the Illyrian-populated lands sagged. The
Germanic Gothsand Asiatic Hunswere the first to arrive, invading in mid-century; the Avars attacked in A.D. 570; and the Slavic Serbs and Croats overran Illyrian-populated areas in the early 7th century. About fifty years later, the Bulgars conquered much of the Balkan Peninsulaand extended their domain to the lowlands of what is now central Albania. Many Illyrians fled from coastal areas to the mountains, exchanging a sedentary peasant existence for the itinerant life of the herdsman. Other Illyrians intermarried with the conquerors and eventually assimilated. In general, the invaders destroyed or weakened Roman and Byzantine cultural centers in the lands that would become Albania.cite web | author= Raymond Zickel and Walter R. Iwaskiw, editors. date= 1994 | title= "The Barbarian Invasions and the Middle Ages," Albania: A Country Study | url=http://countrystudies.us/albania/15.htm | work= [http://countrystudies.us/albania/index.htm] | accessdate=9 April | accessyear=2008]
Late Middle Ages
Again during the late medieval period, invaders ravaged the Illyrian-inhabited regions of the Balkans. Norman, Venetian, and Byzantine fleets attacked by sea. Bulgarian, Serbian, and Byzantine forces came overland and held the region in their grip for years. Clashes between rival clans and intrusions by the Serbs produced hardship that triggered an exodus from the region southward into
Greece, including Thessaly, the Peloponnese, and the Aegean Islands. The invaders assimilated much of the Illyrian population, but the Illyrians living in lands that make up modern-day Albania and parts of Yugoslaviaand Greece were never completely absorbed or even controlled.
The first historical mention of Albania and the Albanians as such appears in an account of the resistance by a
Byzantine emperor, Alexius I Comnenus, to an offensive by the Vatican-backed Normansfrom southern Italyinto the Albanian-populated lands in 1081.
The Serbs occupied parts of northern and eastern Albania toward the end of the 12th century. In 1204, after Western crusaders sacked
Constantinople, Venicewon nominal control over Albania and the Epirus region of northern Greece and took possession of Durrës. A prince from the overthrown Byzantine ruling family, Michael Comnenus, made alliances with Albanian chiefs and drove the Venetians from lands that now make up southern Albania and northern Greece, and in 1204 he set up an independent principality, the Despotate of Epirus, with Ioanninain northwest Greece) as its capital. In 1272 the king of Naples, Charles I of Anjou, occupied Durrës and formed an Albanian kingdom that would last for a century. Internal power struggles further weakened the Byzantine Empirein the 14th century, enabling the Serbs' most powerful medieval ruler, Stefan Dusan, to establish a short-lived empire that included all of Albania except Durrës.
*" [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/altoc.html Library of Congress Country Study] of Albania"
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Outline of the Middle Ages — See also: Timeline of the Middle Ages The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Middle Ages: Middle Ages – periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the… … Wikipedia
Albania during the Balkan Wars — History of Albania Prehistory … Wikipedia
Early Middle Ages — The Early Middle Ages is a period in the history of Europe following the fall of the Western Roman Empire spanning roughly five centuries from AD 500 to 1000. [Events used to mark the period s beginning include the sack of Rome by the Goths (410) … Wikipedia
Scotland in the High Middle Ages — The history of Scotland in the High Middle Ages covers Scotland in the era between the death of Domnall II in 900 AD and the death of king Alexander III in 1286, which led indirectly to the Scottish Wars of Independence.In the tenth and eleventh… … Wikipedia
Romania in the Early Middle Ages — The Early Middle Ages in Romania (also known the Dark Ages ) lasted from about the 5th century to the 10th century, between the Hunnic invasion, to the last phase of the Age of Migrations.HistoryThe north of the Balkan Peninsula became a conduit… … Wikipedia
History of the Middle East — Further information: Timeline of Middle Eastern history Map of the Middle East This article is a general overview of the history of the Middle East. For more detailed information, see articles on the histories of individual countries and regions … Wikipedia
The Slavs — The Slavs † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Slavs I. NAME A. Slavs At present the customary name for all the Slavonic races is Slav. This name did not appear in history until a late period, but it has superseded all others. The… … Catholic encyclopedia
The Byzantine Empire — The Byzantine Empire † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Byzantine Empire The ancient Roman Empire having been divided into two parts, an Eastern and a Western, the Eastern remained subject to successors of Constantine, whose capital was at … Catholic encyclopedia
Albania — /al bay nee euh, bayn yeuh/, n. 1. a republic in S Europe, in the Balkan Peninsula, W of Macedonia and NW of Greece. 3,293,252; 10,632 sq. mi. (27,535 sq. km). Cap.: Tirana. 2. Obs. Scotland. * * * Albania Introduction Albania Background: In 1990 … Universalium
Albania — This article is about the country in southern Europe. For a topic outline on this subject, see List of basic Albania topics. For other uses, see Albania (disambiguation). Infobox Country native name = Republika e Shqipërisë conventional long name … Wikipedia