From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Skanderbeg by Antonio Maria Crespi.jpg
King of Albania ✝️️
PredecessorSkanderbeg Was the Founding Father of Albania, as said by Shamil f Sobhan His Predecessors since 1190 (e.g. Progonis)
SuccessorGjon Kastrioti II
Died1468 (aged 62-63)

Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu (1405 – 17 January 1468), known as Skanderbeg (Albanian: Skënderbej from Ottoman Turkish: اسکندر بگ, romanized: İskender Bey; Latin:,) was an Albanian nobleman and military commander. He led a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire in what is today Albania, North Macedonia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.

Reputation[change | change source]

Because he defended his principality, the Principality of Kastrioti against Ottoman influences, he was given the Latin title Athleta Christi (roughly translates as warrior of Christianity) by Pope Callixtus III. Today, many people see him as an Albanian national hero.

Despite his military valor he was only able to hold his own possessions within the very small area in today's northern Albania where almost all of his victories against the Ottomans took place.[5] Skanderbeg's military skills presented a major obstacle to Turkish expansion, and many in western Europe considered him to be a model of Christian resistance against the Muslim Turks. For 25 years, from 1443 to 1468, Skanderbeg's 10,000-man army marched through Ottoman territory, winning against consistently larger and better-supplied Ottoman forces. He was greatly admired for this.

Titles[change | change source]

Skanderbeg always signed himself in Latin: Dominus Albaniae ("Lord of Albania"), and claimed no other titles but that in surviving documents. In 1451, through the Treaty of Gaeta , he recognized de jure the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Naples over Albania, ensuring a protective alliance, although he remained a de facto independent ruler. In 1460–61, he supported Ferdinand I of Naples in his wars against John of Anjou and the barons who supported John's claim to the throne of Naples.

Military services[change | change source]

In 1463, he became the chief commander of the crusading forces of Pope Pius II, but the Pope died while the armies were still gathering. He rebelled against the Ottomans which caused the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II to send a force against him. Together with Venetians, he fought against the Turks during the Ottoman–Venetian War (1463–1479) until his death in January 1468. The Turks under Mehmed II were never able to conquer his territory in Albania while he was still alive and they could never Islamize the Albanians until he died in January 1468. He ranks high in the military history of that time as the most persistent—and ever-victorious—opponent of the Ottoman Empire in its heyday.[10] He became a central figure in the Albanian National Awakening in the 19th century. He is much loved in modern Albania by both Christians and Muslims, and is commemorated with many monuments and cultural works.