Balša II

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Balša II Balšić
Lord of Lower Zeta
Coat of arms Balsic family XIV.svg
Coat of arms
Reign 1378 — 18 September 1385
Komnina (Kanina), a daughter of John Komnenos Asen
Noble family Balšić noble family
Father Balša I
Died 18 September 1385(1385-09-18)
Saurian field, near Lushnjë
Religion Eastern Orthodox Christianity (Serbian Church)

Balša II Balšić (Serbian Cyrillic: Балша II Балшић; died September 18, 1385) was the Lord of Lower Zeta from 1378 to 1385. He managed to expand his borders towards the south; defeating the Albanian Duke Karl Thopia.

He was a member of the Balšić noble family, which ruled Zeta (with Scutari) from 1356 to 1421.


Balša II was the youngest of three sons of Balša I.

On January 13, 1378, he came to power in Zeta after the death of his older brother, Đurađ I. His power was felt only in the region around Scutari and in the eastern part of Zeta's coast. The most prominent feudal lords who did not recognize Balša's rule were their sworn enemies, the Đurašević-Crnojević family, who were allies of the Republic of Venice.

In 1372, Balša II married Komnina (Kanina), a daughter of John Komnenos Asen, the Despot of Valona.[A] As a dowry, Balša gained the cities of Berat and Kanina (in modern-day southern Albania), located in Asen's province.[1]

In 1382, Balša II started the war for the conquest of Durazzo, taking it following four attempts. In 1385, the defeated ruler Karl Topia appealed to Murat I for assistance, and the Ottoman Army led by Hajruddin Pasha routed the Balšići at the Battle of Savra, on the Saurian field, near Lushnjë. The Ottomans chopped Balša's head off and sent it as an exclusive gift to Hajreddin Pasha. This marks the end of the rule of his family over Durazzo.

Siege of the city of Kotor by Balsa II


Balša's widow, Komnina, and their daughter Ruđina, later took control of Balša's territory in southern Albania to protect it from Turkish invaders. Komnina seemed to be the Duchy of Valona's main ruler, until her death in 1396. In the meantime, the Muzaka family had gained control of Berat. In 1391, however, Ruđina married Mrkša Žarković. Žarković succeeded the duchy, calling himself Lord of Valona. He reigned over the city until his death in 1414. Ruđina took over her late husband's position and ruled Valona until 1417, when it, as well as its citadel in Kanina, was seized by the Turks.[2] Ruđina fled Albania and sought asylum in Zeta. Her nephew, Balša III, then-ruler of Zeta, granted her asylum and entrusted her with governorship of the coastal town of Budva.[3]


  1. ^ According to not completely reliable chronicle of Gjon Muzaka (repeated in some historical works) Comita, one of the daughters of Andrew II Muzaka, married Balša II. Other authors confirm that Balša II married in 1372 and gained control over the territory south of Durazzo, including Valona and Kanine, as dowry. Still, many scholars believe that Balša II did not marry Comita Muzaka but Komnena, daughter of John Komnenos Asen who succeeded control over Valona and Kanine after the death of her brother Alexander in early 1372.


  1. ^ Fine 1994, p. 372
  2. ^ Fine 1994, p. 391
  3. ^ Fine 1994, p. 514


External links[edit]

Balša II
Born:  ? Died: 1385
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Đurađ I
Lord of Lower Zeta
Succeeded by
Đurađ II