Mataranga family

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noble house
Country Byzantine Empire (1284–88; 1304–41)
 Kingdom of Sicily (1304–43)
 Serbian Empire (1343–71)
Estate(s)between the cities of Durrës and Vlorë[when?]

The Matranga (Albanian: Matrënga[1]) was an Albanian noble family during 13th and 15th centuries. Members of this family include local rulers, Byzantine officials and writers. After the occupation of Albania by the Ottoman Empire, part of the family emigrated to Italy and settled in the Arbëresh villages of Southern Italy, where they have continued to preserve the Albanian language.


Before 1284, the Matranga family was either a vassal of Charles of Anjou, in the period when he created Kingdom of Albania, or of his nephew Philip of Taranto.[2] They were first documented in 1297 in a Ragusian document. Members of the Matranga family were attacking Ragusian merchants in the region of Karavasta Lagoon.[3] Rulers of the territory between the cities of Durrës and Vlorë, they were described as subjects to the Byzantine Emperor at the time. The Matranga family might have become vassal of the Byzantine Emperor in the period between 1284 and 1288, when the region, which was part of the Kingdom of Albania, was captured by the Byzantine Empire. However they eventually threw off their allegiance with Byzantines and eagerly accepted the Angevin overlordship again in 1304, when Philip of Taranto recaptured Durrës with the help of local Albanian noblemen.[2]

During this period members of the family were also active in the Byzantine administration. A person named Mataringides, who had a part in a plot against Andronikos II Palaiologos, is mentioned as a student of Manuel Moschopoulos and led to his imprisonment for Manuel has taken a pledge for his student.[clarification needed][4][5] Another member of the family, Nicholas Matarangos, became one of the four general judges, member of the highest imperial court and had a prominent role in the Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347.[2]

After the oath of allegiance to Philip of Taranto, the Matrangas continued to maintain close ties with the Angevin family. The advancing Kingdom of Serbia was a source of continuous preoccupation. A certain Paul Mataranga is mentioned in 1319, together with other Albanian lords, in a coalition with Philip of Taranto against Stephen Milutin.[3] However their territories were eventually included in the Kingdom of Serbia before 1343. After the death of Stefan Dušan (1355), a member of the family, Blasius Matarango (al. Vlash Matranga), subsequently ruled a principality in the territory between Shkumbin and Seman as sevastokrator between 1358 and 1367, recognized under the suzerainty of Symeon Uroš.[6][7]



  1. ^ Eqrem Çabej (1977). Studime gjuhësore: Gjon Buzuku dhe gjuha e tij. Rilindja. p. 109.
  2. ^ a b c Angelov 2007, p. 319
  3. ^ a b Alain Ducellier (1981). La façade maritime de l'Albanie au Moyen âge: Durazzo et Valona du XIe au XVe siècle. Ed. de l&Ècole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. p. 347.
  4. ^ Angelov 2007, pp. 314-316
  5. ^ Ihor Ševčenko (1981). Society and Intellectual Life in Late Byzantium. Variorum Reprints. pp. 275–276. ISBN 978-0-86078-083-0.
  6. ^ a b Fine 1994, p. 357
  7. ^ Studia Albanica. Académie des sciences de la République Populaire d'Albanie, Institut d'histoire, Institut de linguistique et littérature. 1990. p. 182. Dans les années 1350-1367, donc après le retrait définitif de l'Empire de Byzance de l'Albanie, dans les régions de Durres et du cours inférieur de Seman (Dievali) dominait le "sebastocratore" Vlash Matranga...
  8. ^ Studia Albanica. Académie des sciences de la République Populaire d'Albanie, Institut d'histoire, Institut de linguistique et littérature. 1990. p. 178.
  9. ^ C. N. Constantinides (1982). Higher Education in Byzantium in the Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Centuries: (1204 - Ca. 1310). Cyprus Research Centre. p. 108.