Golem of Kruja

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Ruler of Krujë and Elbasan
ReligionOrthodox Christian
OccupationVassal of Epirus and Nicaea

Golem (Greek: Γουλάμος/Goulamos, fl. 1250s) was an Albanian nobleman, specifically a local magnate from Arbanon, who married the daughter of sebastos Gregorios Kamonas and Komnena Nemanjić, and was thus entitled the rule of his father-in-law, as lord of Krujë and Elbasan.[1][2][3] Golem was through his marriage connected to the Serbian dynasty and Emperor John Vatatzes of Nicaea.[2]

During the conflicts between Despot Michael II Komnenos Doukas of Epirus and Emperor John Vatatzes, Golem and Theodore Petraliphas, who were initially Michael's allies, defected to John Vatatzes in 1252.[1][4][5] However, the Albanians rebelled again in 1257/1258 and rejoined the forces of Michael II.[1]


  • George Akropolites, a contemporary, wrote his name as Goulamos (Γουλάμος), transcribed as Golěm.[6] His name is derived from the Slavic term golem meaning "big" or "large".[7][8]
  • According to Donald M. Nicol, Golem was the "chieftain of Krujë and Elbasan".[4] Other modern sources also call him "Prince of Krujë and Elbasan",[3] "Prince of Arbanon",[9] or "Territorial lord of Albanon".[10]



  1. ^ a b c Osswald 2007, p. 134: "In 1252, Prince Golem of Arbanon submitted to the empire of Nicaea, but this did not last, since, in 1257/58, the Albanians rebelled again and rejoined the party of Michael II, ruler of Epirus."
  2. ^ a b Nicol 1986, p. 161: "But he was overruled by Demetrios Chomatianos M. In due course the daughter of Kamonas married a local magnate called Golem (or Goulamos), and Kroia and Arbanon reverted to native rule. Golem was connected not only with the Serbian royal family but also by marriage with John Batatzes of Nicaea; and it was through this latter connexion that he was tempted into joining the winning side in Macedonia in 1252, when the armies..."
  3. ^ a b Association for the Promotion of Scholarship in Genealogy & American Society of Genealogists 1980, p. 40 (Note #29): "29. For "Goulamos" or Golem, Prince of Kroia and Elbasan c.1254, see Karl Hopf, Chroniques gréco-romanes inedites ou peu connues (Berlin, 1873), p. 535 (table XI. 13) and Donald M. Nicol, The Despotate of Epiros (Oxford, 1957), pp. 152–53, 161–162, 237 (table III). Golem married the daughter of Gregorios Kamonas, Prince of Kroia c.1215 by his second wife, a daughter of Stefan II Prvovencani, King of Serbia and his first wife Eudokia Angelina."
  4. ^ a b Nicol 1957, p. 152: "They had barely crossed the frontiers of Albania when Golem, the chieftain of Kroia and Elbassan, who had been helping Michael's army in the region of Kastoria, surrendered himself and his soldiers to Vatatzes. The rulers of Albania had kept..."
  5. ^ Macrides 2007, p. 73: "Goulamos defected to the Emperor."
  6. ^ Grimm 1964, p. 170.
  7. ^ Iorga 1919, p. 25: "L'œuvre commencée par ces princes albanais est continuée par ce Goulamos, des Albanais*, àrò co5 'A) 6zvo, qui apparaît vers 1250. On a voulu retrouver dans son nom le mot slave golem, le grand*, mais il se pourrait bien qu'il s'agisse..."
  8. ^ Stüber 2009, p. 416: "...Fürst Goulamos (≈ slav. Golěm-b, zu slav. golěm-b 'gross', vgl. Miklosich 1860, 50, Nr. 76)."
  9. ^ Österreichisches Ost- und Südosteuropa-Institut & Arbeitsgemeinschaft Ost 2003, p. 114: "Als letzter einheimischer Fürst von Arbanon wird 1253 Golem [Goulamos] genannt."
  10. ^ Universiteti Shtetëror i Tiranës: Instituti i Historisë e Gjuhs̈isë 1964, p. 141: "Im Jahre 1253 wird als Landesherr von "Albanon' ein gewisser Golem, Goulâmos genannt, dessen Frau, Georgios..."


  • Association for the Promotion of Scholarship in Genealogy; American Society of Genealogists (1980). The Genealogist, Volumes 1–2. New York: The Association for the Promotion of Scholarship in Genealogy.
  • Grimm, Gerhard (1964). Albanische Forschungen, Issues 1–2 (in German). Wiesbaden: O. Harrassowitz.
  • Iorga, Nicolae (1919). Brève Histoire de l'Albanie et du Peuple Albanais (in French). Bucarest: Imprimerie "Cultura neamului romǎnesc".
  • Macrides, Ruth (2007). George Akropolites: The History – Introduction, Translation and Commentary. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-921067-1.
  • Nicol, Donald MacGillivray (1986). Studies in Late Byzantine History and Prosopography. London: Variorum Reprints. ISBN 978-0-86078-190-5.
  • Nicol, Donald McGillivray (1957). The Despotate of Epiros. Oxford: Blackwell & Mott, Limited.
  • Osswald, Brendan (2007). "The Ethnic Composition of Medieval Epirus". In Ellis, Steven G.; Klusáková, Lud'a. Imagining Frontiers, Contesting Identities. Pisa: Edizioni Plus – Pisa University Press. pp. 125–154. ISBN 88-8492-466-9.
  • Österreichisches Ost- und Südosteuropa-Institut; Arbeitsgemeinschaft Ost (2003). Österreichische Osthefte (in German). 45. Wien: Österreichisches Ost- und Südosteuropa-Institut.
  • Stüber, Karin (2009). Indogermanische Frauennamen. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter. ISBN 978-3-8253-5600-2.
  • Universiteti Shtetëror i Tiranës: Instituti i Historisë e Gjuhs̈isë (1964). Studia Albanica. 1. Tirana: L'Institut.
Preceded by
Gregorios Kamonas
Lord of Kruja and Elbasan
fl. 1252–1254
Succeeded by
Post abolished