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Dushmani family

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Noble family
Coat of arms of the Dusmani as depicted in Rangabè's Livre d'Or De La Noblesse Ionienne – Corfou
CountryMedieval Albania
Current regionPolati Minor
Founded14th century

The Dushmani were an Albanian noble family[1][2][3] that ruled parts of Pult, a historical province within the territory of the eponymous Dushmani tribe from the Dukagjin highlands in northern Albania, during 15th century rule under the Republic of Venice.

The name of the Dushmani family and the tribe from which they came is probably the oldest name of an Albanian tribe to be attested historically. Rendered in the form Dousmanes by Procopius, it was the name of one of the Illyrian-Thracian forts rebuilt by Justinian in the 6th century AD. Its similarity to the name Dussus may suggest that it was formed like many other names found among Albanians as a composition of two names, Dush (Dussus) and Mani. An ultimate link to Turkish düşman which made its way into Balkan languages after the Middle Ages is not plausible.[4]

The oldest generation of the family is mentioned on 2 June 1403 when the Venetian Senate confirmed the three brothers Goranin, Damjan and Nenad the rule over their lands in Pilot Minor ("Little" or "Lower" Pilot) as Venetian subjects.[5][6] Through various ways, the Republic of Venice won over local nobility in the Scutari region and thereby created a certain security zone around their possessions against the Ottomans.[7] In July 1404 the brothers requested from the government that their litigations be addressed to the knez in Scutari.[6]

In 1427, a "Dusmanus" is mentioned as the bishop of Polatum (Dusmanus ep. Polat.);[8] Daniele Farlati (1690–1773) called him "Dussus" and put his office in 1427–46.[9]

Pal Dushmani (d. 1457) was a Catholic bishop active in Shas (1443), Drisht (1446), and Krajë (1454).[10]

Lekë Dushmani[11]), was mentioned as one of the founders of the League of Lezhë.[12] Lekë Dushmani held Zadrima.[13] Lekë's daughter Irene (Jerina) became famous while there was a dispute for her which brought the first defection among the members of League of Lezhë which led toward the Albanian–Venetian War (1447–48).[14] The Dushmani and Spani family did not participate in the war.[citation needed]

In Drivasto, Bozidar Dushmani gathered Venetian opponents, and partnering up with Lekë Dukagjini readied for rebellion in the city and among the villages.[15] They planned to attack Venetian-controlled Drivast,[16] but the plot was discovered, and in March 1451 the Council of Forty had Bozidar Dushmani convicted to 30 years of exile from Venetian holdings in Albania.[17] It was threatened that his head would be cut off between two pillars at the Doge's palace if anybody found him there.[18]

In July 1452, Pope Nicholas V sent Pal Dushmani to settle the conflict between Lekë Dukagjini and Skanderbeg.[19]

According to Demetrios Sicilianos, the Dousmanis family in Greece ultimately descended from the 15th-century Albanian nobleman "Lekas (Alexander) Dousmanis", whose family took refuge in Greece after the Ottoman conquest of Albania by Mehmed the Conqueror (r. 1444–81).[3]


  1. ^ Kemal Çiçek; Ercüment Kuran; Nejat Göyünç; İlber Ortaylı (2000). The Great Ottoman-Turkish Civilisation: Culture and arts. Yeni Türkiye. p. 25.
  2. ^ Johann Georg Hahn (30 May 2015). The Discovery of Albania: Travel Writing and Anthropology in the Nineteenth Century Balkans. I.B.Tauris. p. 61.
  3. ^ a b Demetrios Sicilianos (1960). Old and new Athens. Putnam. p. 223.
  4. ^ Fatos Baxhaku; Karl Kaser (1996). Die Stammesgesellschaften Nordalbaniens: Berichte und Forschungen österreichischer Konsuln und Gelehrter (1861-1917). Böhlau Verlag Wien. p. 240. ISBN 978-3-205-98470-2. Der Name Dušmani ist der älteste albanische Stammesname , den wir mit Sicherheit nachweisen können , denn er wird unter der Form Dousmanes bereits von Procop als Names eines von Kaiser Justinian renovierte thrakisch-illyrischen Castelles erwähnt. Da der Eigenname Dussus aus dem mittelalterlichen Albanien , ferner der Eigenname Mani von 1319 an bis heute belegt werden können und da ein Aneinanderreihen von Eigennamen der albanischen Art der Namensgebung entspricht , ist es recht verlockend , den Namen Dušmani als aus Duš und Mani abzuleiten. Ein Dani aus Dusmanus lebte in 1403 . Mit dem türkischen Dušman ( Feind ) hat der Name nichts gemeinsam . Im Vereine mit dem Namen Kastrati ist der Name Dušmani jedenfalls ein schöner Beweis dafür , daß mancher albanischer Stammesname älter ist als sein heutiger Träger.
  5. ^ Antonović 2003, p. 273; Ljubić 1875, p. 44
  6. ^ a b Redakcija za istoriju Crne Gore 1970b, p. 82, Malović-Đukić 1991
  7. ^ Redakcija za istoriju Crne Gore 1970b, p. 82.
  8. ^ Hierarchia catholica medii aevi et recentioris aevi. Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae. 1913. p. 404.
  9. ^ Vjesnik Kr. državnog arkiva u Zagrebu. Vol. 17–18. Tisak zaklade tiskare narodnih novina. 1915. p. 28.
  10. ^ Redakcija za istoriju Crne Gore 1970b, p. 328.
  11. ^ Glas. Vol. 22. Belgrade: SKA. 1890.
  12. ^ Noli 1947, p. 36.
  13. ^ Noli 1947, p. 84.
  14. ^ Noli 1947, p. 39.
  15. ^ Redakcija za istoriju Crne Gore 1970b, p. 221.
  16. ^ Schmitt 2001, p. 308.
  17. ^ Božić 1979, p. 369, Redakcija za istoriju Crne Gore 1970b, p. 221
  18. ^ Božić 1979, p. 370.
  19. ^ Spomenik. Vol. 95–97. SANU. 1942. p. xv.