- Muzaka family
- This article is about Muzaka family, for Gjergji Muzaka see that article.
History of the Muzaka
In 1090, a member of Muzaka family is first mentioned by Byzantine historian Anna Komnene as a loyal commander of Alexios I Komnenos. The family originated from Opar village in the Korça region, a fact confirmed by the memoirs of Gjon Muzaka, the last known descendant of the family. In 1279 Gjon I Muzaka, who remained loyal to Byzantine throne and resisted the Angevin invasion, was captured by the forces of Charles of Anjou, but under the pressure of local Albanian nobles he was later released. The Muzaka family continued to remain loyal to Byzantine Empire and resisted Serb invasion. In 1319 three members of Muzaka family even tried to get help from the Pope. For their loyalty to Byzantium, the head of the family Andrea II Muzaka gained the title of Despot in 1335, while other Muzakas continued to pursue careers in Byzantine administration in Constantinople.
As soon as Andrea II Muzaka had the title of despot, he endorsed a 1335-1341 anti-Byzantine revolt in his despotate, and also formed an alliance with the Anjou from Naples on December 30, 1336, whereas he recognized himself as a vassal of Robert, Prince of Taranto. As proof of his fidelity to the Capetian House of Anjou, Andrea II Muzaka had to leave one of his sons in Durazzo.
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