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Old 09-04-2009, 09:05 PM   #1
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Default Origins of George Kastriot - Skenderbeg

Given the recent discussions about him, I guess we can dedicate a thread to his origins and see what we come up with.

I have read that his family origins are from Kostur (Kastoria in today's Greek-occupied Macedonia), hence the recorded name in Latin sources as Kastriot. Can anybody confirm this?

The wikipedia article, which I take it is written by Albanians, cites the following:
Born in Dibër, Albania, Skanderbeg was a descendant of the Kastrioti family.

According to Gibbon,[3] Skanderbeg's father, was Gjon Kastrioti, lord of Middle Albania, that included Mat, Krujë, Mirditë and Dibër. His mother was Vojsava[4] a princess from the Tribalda family,[5][6] (who came from the Pollog valley, north-western part of present-day Macedonia), or from the old noble Muzaka (Musachi) family.[7][8]
Russian source from the 17th century (?).
В то время в княжестве Олбанском в Епире был государем князь Иоан Кастриот 7 — от роду князей Македонских, 8 а жена иво Войсава была от рода князей словенских болгарских, 9 с которою были у него три сына и три дщери. 10

A that time the sovereign of the principality of Albania in Epirus was prince John Kastriot - of the lineage of Macedonian princes, and his wife Voisava was of the lineage of Slavic Bulgarian princes, and they had three sons and three daughters.

Check this Italian source also:
Branilo (+ assassinato a Jannina nel 1379 circa), di origine serba, Governatore di Jannina nel 1368. Sposa N.N.

Paolo (+ ?), Signore di Signa e Gardi-ipostesi. Sposa N.N.

A1. Costantino (+ decapitato a Durazzo 1402), Protovestiario, Signore di Signa (Serina) nel 1391 e di Croia dal 1395 al 1401. = Elena Thopia Principessa di Durazzo ( + post 1402).
A2. Alessio, capitano di 3 villaggi nel 1403.
A3. Giovanni (+ ca. 1443), Signore di Mat (confermato 1471) e di Vumenestia 1406/1438. = Voisava Tripalda, figlia del signore serbo di Polog

B1. Repossio, monaco al Sinai.
B2. Stanisha (+ ante 1450) = ……….

B3. Costantino (+ ostaggio dei turchi).
B4. Giorgio, per la sua discendenza v. Parte II.
B5. Maria = Stefano Cernojevic, dei Granduchi della Zeta
B6. Yela = N.N.
B7. Angelina = Vladino Golem Comneno Arianiti
B8. Vlaica (+ post 1444) = Stefan Balsic
B9. Mariza = 1444 Carlo Musachi Thopia (+ 1461).
Many of his relatives' names are Slavic, none that I can see are Albanian.

According to the Macedonian writer Popovski, there are several Macedonian song about Skenderbeg, celebrating his Mijak heritage (Mijaks being a Macedonian tribe). There is a compilation of documents that was once reported in the Macedonian media by the same writer I think, I will try and locate it.

There is also this:
According to Nekulche, the part of the peace intermediation between the Emperor and Brinkovjan in Ias was done by (komisa)commissioner Macedonian (Makedona).
Vlachian chronologist Radu Grechan points out, that for that purpose Brinkovjan sent Georgi Kastriot to Ias. Russian (istoöniki) also call Georgi Kastriot, in the previous peace proposal by the commission of the Sultan. It is possible that the Turks proposed peace to the Russians without knowledge of Brinkovjan with the sole purpose to test his loyalty. After that we can conclude that he sent Kastriot in Ias under the pseudonym Macedonian (Makedona).
MANU produced this in 2005:

But who knows what's written in it.

Here's something more I have found on the net, but I can't find links to the last 2 texts as of yet.

Barletti in his Historia de vita et rebus gestis Scanderbegi refers to Skenderbeg as the "King of Epirus and Macedonia"
A 17th century writer called T. Spanducci, in his Historia wrote:
"Georgija Kastriot was respected not only by his tribe, the Mijak tribe but all other nations, even the Turks. His mother was Vojislava, a Macedonian woman, daughter of a nobleman from Polog, which of course is a part of Macedonia...........The Mijak tribe and all the other Slovenes have many reasons for the glorification and the singed songs about their hero Georgija Kastriot, because he fought for the protection of the slav culture, for the christian cross and for the freedom, but also because he had the most noble name from his kind - Georgija"
At the Hilandar Monastery at Mount Athos the monk Nicanor had written the following:
Сеи хрисовуль есть господара Ивнна Кацтпиота македонскаго, и копίе его вь немъ есть. И пише како даеть монастирю нашему две села во и суща съ церковьίю Пресветы, Богородицы тамо сущίа, и описуеть вс по синорами, и прочат.
Here is something else about Hilandar, again no link.
Serbian scholar, Vukanovic:

Une conséquence de ces liens de mariage et de cette symbiose matrimoniale sont d'importants legs que Jean Castriote avait faits au monastère de Chilandar. Il a, ensuite, avec ses trois fils: Repos, Constantin et Georges, acheté à Chilandar, pour lui même et pour ses fils, les parts de confrérie, ce qui leur donnait le droit de s'y réfugier et d'y habituer dans le cas où leur pays serait conquis par les Turcs et eux-mêmes chassés de leur patrie. Comme demeure il leur fut attribué le pyrgue de St Georges qui porte le nome de "Pyrgue albanais". De cette façon, le monastère médiéval serbe, Chilandar, avait servi d'asile à la famille albanaise de Georges Castriote Scander-Beg. Ceci fut basé, comme nous venons de mentionner, sur les liens de mariage et autres éléments de symbiose culturelle


One consequence of these ties of marriage and the marital harmony are important legacies that John Kastrioti had made the monastery Chilandar. He then with his three son: Rest, Constantine and George Chilandar bought for himself and his son, the shares of brotherhood, which entitled them to take refuge there and get used in if their country would be conquered by the Turks themselves driven from their homeland. As they were still awarded the St. George pyrgue bringing the prefecture "Pyrgue Albanian. In this way, the Serbian medieval monastery, Chilandar, had served as an asylum to the family of George Kastrioti Albanian Skanderbeg. This was based, as mentioned above, the bonds of marriage and other elements of cultural symbiosis.
In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a full blooded Macedonian.
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