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Kastrioti family

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Title: Kastrioti family  
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Subject: Skanderbeg, Balšić noble family, Ottoman dynasty, Gjon Kastrioti II, Hamza Kastrioti
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Kastrioti family

Kastrioti family
Reconstruction of the coat of arms of the Kastrioti
Current region region around Debar (modern day Macedonia and Albania)
Members Hamza Kastrioti, Gjon Kastrioti II
Name origin and meaning Castle-dweller (from the Latin castrum via the Greek word κάστρο)

The Kastrioti, or Castriota (Albanian: Kastriotët) were a 14th and 15th century Albanian noble family. This family controlled the region around Debar (modern Macedonia and Albania) at the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century. The most notable member was Skanderbeg, regarded as a national hero of Albania and Kosovo, and the wider Albanian nation and people.


  • History 1
    • Origins 1.1
    • Elevation to nobility 1.2
  • Members 2
    • Branai (branch) 2.1
  • Armorials 3
  • Footnotes 4
  • References 5
  • Sources 6
  • External links 7



Kastrioti, who was a kephale of Kanina in 1368, was the first member of the Kastrioti family mentioned in historical documents.[1][2] In the 14th century, Kastrioti family was one of the less powerful noble families in Albania, whose power and influence was far less than those of Thopia, Dukagjini, Balšići or Arianiti.[3]

According to Kabashi, the Kastrioti were first mentioned in 1394.[4] According to Turkish sources, the family originated from Kastrat in north Albania.[4] According to Malcolm, they originate from western Kosovo.[5][6][7] According to several historians, their surname has its origin in the Latin castrum via the Greek word κάστρο (English: castle).[8][9][10][11]

Elevation to nobility

The Kastrioti, unlike the Thopia and the Arianiti, did not have a long history as nobility.[4] The first nobleman was Pal Kastrioti,[4] who held Sinja (or Sina, Sinë) and Lower Gardi (Gardhi i Poshtëm)[4] as "segneur de Signa et de Gardi-ipostesi",[12][13] or it was possibly a Kastrioti, who was the kephale of Kanina in 1368.[14]

Pal Kastrioti had three sons: Konstantin[A], Alexius and Gjon Kastrioti[15][16] who was Skanderbeg's father.[17][18] Aleksa Kastrioti controlled three villages.[19] Konstantin Kastrioti was protovestiar of Sina (Serina) near Durrazo.[20] According to Venetian document discovered by Karl Hopf his title was Lord of Cerüja castle (Latin: dominus Serinae).[21]

Pal held a small area of Sinja (in Arras) and Lower Gardi (Unknown location). His son, John (Gjon) Kastrioti († 1437), became the lord of Matia (Mat).[13] He managed to expand his territory but was ultimately subdued by the invading Ottomans. The most notable member was George Kastrioti Skanderbeg (1405–1468), declared an Albanian national hero, renowned in Albanian folklore for his fight against the Ottoman forces.


Branai (branch)

The branch of the Granai (or Branai) Castrioti descent from John (Giovanni) († 1516), nephew of George Castrioti Skanderbeg († 1463), the son of the latter's brother Bernard Wranan Castrioti and Maria Zardari, count of Mat and Ruler of Krujë. They came to Italy around 1470. In 1494, John was granted by Alfonso II of Naples the title of Count of Copertino, whose fief included the town of Copertino, Veglie Levarano and Galatone and, in 1505, the Duchy of Ferrandina. His brothers were:

  • Ferrante († 1525), the great “condottiero” (army officer), was killed in the battle of Pavia. He was the Marquis of the city of Sant'Angelo and Count of Spoltone.
  • Alfonso († 1544), Earl and later Marquis of Atripalda from 1544, he married his cousin Maria, daughter of John, also becoming Earl of Duke of Cupertino and marital Ferradina appointments. He married in 1518 to Camilla of Gianfrancesco Gonzaga, a Venetian patrician. He tried to unite the family feuds through marriages between his sons and nieces. His son John married his cousin Joan (Giovana), daughter of Ferrante, Marchioness of the city of Sant'Angelo. His other son Antonio, Marquis of Atripalda from 1544, married his cousin Maria, daughter of John, also becoming Earl of Copertino and Duke of Ferradina. This branch was extinct, since they did not have any offspring.



  1. ^ According to Kastrioti genealogy written by Flavius Comnenus and quoted by [27] The later researches proved that Kostantin was in fact Skanderbeg's uncle while the correct name of Skanderbeg's grandfather is Pal.[26]


  1. ^ Buda, Aleks, Shkrime historike 3, Tiranë: Shtëpia Botuese 8 Nëntori, p. 239,  
  2. ^  
  3. ^  
  4. ^ a b c d e Kabashi, August 2005, p. 12: " The Castriotas were first mentioned in sources in 1394 and 1410 when John, Scanderbeg’s father, notified the Republic of Venice of his decision to send his son over to the Turks as hostage.17 According to the Turkish sources, the Castriota family originated from the village of Kastrat in northeastern Albania. Unlike the Thopias and the Comnenis, the Castriotas did not have a long history as members of the aristocracy. In fact, their elevation of status began with Scanderbeg’s grandfather, Paul Castriota, who initially owned two villages named Sinja and Lower Gardi.18"
  5. ^  
  6. ^ Hasluck, Margaret Masson Hardie (1954). The unwritten law in Albania. University Press. p. 15. Retrieved 18 December 2011. 
  7. ^ Akadémia, Magyar Tudományos (1985). Acta orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. Magyar Tudományos Akadémia. Retrieved 18 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Michaelides, Constantine E. (2003-11-30). The Aegean crucible: tracing vernacular architecture in post-Byzantine centuries. Delos Press. p. 118.  
  9. ^ Bulletin d'archéologie et d'histoire dalmate (in Croatian), 55—59, Split: Arheološki Muzej (Zadar); Arheološki Muzej (Split), p. 118, retrieved 30 November 2011, Još treba istaći Skenderbegovo prezime Kastriot... To je svakako grčka izvedenica ... etnikum od castra 
  10. ^ Thallóczy 1916, p. 80 : "Kastriot, die einen griechischen Namen führten, „Stadtbürger", kastriotis von kastron, Stadt (aus lat. castrum ; polis war nur Konstantinopel allein)."
  11. ^ Schmitt 2009, : "Der Name des Stammes Kastrioti leitet sich laut Schmitt vermutlich vom griechischen Wort «kastron» (Festung) ab"
  12. ^ Buda, p. 239: "Në fund të shek. XIV Pal Kastrioti kishte këtu dy fshatra. Sinjën dhe Gardhin e Poshtëm."
  13. ^ a b Noli 1947: "he had not more than two villages, called Signa and Lower Gardhi. Paul's son, John Castrioti, became Lord of Matia."
  14. ^ Buda, p. 239: "Dokumentet përmendin për herë të parë një Kastriot në vitin 1368 si kështjellar ose kefali në Kaninë të Vlorës."
  15. ^ Šufflay 2000, p. 148
    Njegov potomak, Ivan, "gospodin Ivan" u srpskim poveljama, "Ivan Castrioth" u mletačkim spomenicima...
  16. ^  
  17. ^ Dialogue, Volume 5, Issues 17-20. Dijalog. 1996. p. 77. Retrieved 27 March 2012. Njegov sin Pavle, gospodar od Sinje, imao je tri sina: Konstantina, Aleksu i Ivana... Ivan Kastriota, otac Skenderbegov, ozenio se Voislavom koja je 
  18. ^ Hopf 1873, p. 533
    Constantino, Alessio, Giovanni
  19. ^  
  20. ^  
  21. ^  
  22. ^ Vuković, Novo (1996). Književnost Crne Gore od XII do XIX vijeka. Obod. p. 42. Његов други син звани Репош, брат Бурђа Кастриота, умро је 1430. или 1431. године у Хиландару и тамо је ... 
  23. ^ a b c d [2] p. 96
  24. ^  
  25. ^  
  26. ^  
  27. ^ Otadžbina, volume 21 (in Serbian). 1889. p. 193. Retrieved 10 September 2012. Да се види нетачност Флавијева родослова доста је навести ово. Према новијим истраживањима Костантин је био Кастриоту стриц, а не прадед, а по сведоџби његова сродника, дед му се звао Павле Кастриот и није имао више од два села. 


  • Hopf, Carl Hermann Friedrich Johann (1873), Chroniques Gréco-Romanes Inédites ou peu Connues, Berlin, Germany: Librairie de Weidmann 
  • Kabashi, Artemida (August 2005). "The memory of George Castriota Scanderbeg among the Arberesh of Italy: a study on the role of diaspora in the creation of Albanian national identity" (PDF). Texas Tech University. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  • Buda, Aleks, Shkrime historike (in Albanian) 3, Tiranë: Shtëpia Botuese 8 Nëntori, p. 239,  

External links

  • I Castriota Scanderbeg (Italian)
  • Genealogical Tree
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