Peter Losha

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Peter Losha
SuccessorJohn Losha
Noble familyLosha
ReligionEastern Orthodox Christianity

Peter Losha (Albanian: Pjetër Losha; Greek: Πέτρος Λέοσας, Pétros Léosas; Serbian Cyrillic: Петар Љош, Petar Ljoš) was an Albanian nobleman in medieval Epirus, the leader of the Mazaraki and Malakasi clans, who served as the despot of Arta from 1359 until his death in 1374, mostly as vassal under Serbian magnates Simeon Uroš (1359–1366) and Toma Preljubović (1366–1367, 1370–1374), though at times independent (1367-1370). Peter and John Bua Spata had been given the title despot in 1359 by Simeon Uroš, the brother of deceased Emperor Stefan Dušan, following their victory over Nikephoros II Orsini, who had sought to recover Epirus.



Losha's genealogy or birth date is unknown. The word lios means "pockmark" in Albanian.[1] Albanian historians consider him Albanian,[2] while a Vlach (Aromanian) origin has also been given by some historians;[2] Croatian historian Milan Šufflay (1879–1931) spoke of an Albano-Aromanian symbiosis in the Pindus, and discussed the nationality of the Losha, Bua and Shpata.[3]

In the first half of the 14th century, mercenaries, raiders and migrants flooded into Greece (1325 and 1334 raids into Thessaly). These were known in Greek as Albanians, from their area of origin, but they also included Vlachs.[4] In 1358, Albanians and Vlachs overran Epirus, Acarnania and Aetolia, and subsequently established two principalities under their leaders, John Spata and Peter Losha.[5]

Despot of Arta[edit]

Magnates of the Serbian Empire in 1360.

Losha led the Albanian force against Nikephoros II Orsini at the Battle of Achelous that won him the rule of Arta; he founded his domain around Arta with the help of the Mazaraki and Malakasi clans.[6] The domains he gained after the battle also included Rogoi (modern Filippiada) and Amphilochia, as mentioned in the Chronicle of Ioannina. To emphasize his suzerainty over the rulers in Epirus, Simeon Uroš granted him the title of despot in 1359–60,[7] which was possibly an act of mere recognition of his rule after the battle of Achelous.[8]

In 1366, Toma Preljubović succeeded Simeon as ruler of Epirus. His rule marked a renewal of hostilities in the region as from 1367 to 1370, Ioannina, the capital of Preljubović, came under constant siege and was blocked by the Mazaraki and Malakasi clans under Losha.[8][9] A truce was signed when Peter's son John was betrothed to Toma's daughter Irina.[8][10]

According to the Ioanninna chronicle he died in 1373–74 (year 6882).[7] The cause of death has been given as a result of an outbreak of plague in Arta,[citation needed] or an assassination by the Mazaraki.[citation needed] The lordship passed briefly to his son John (Gjin) before coming under the rule of John Spata.[citation needed]


His estates included the Epirote cities of:


He had a son, John (alb. "Gjin" or "Gjon"), who married Irina Preljubović, the daughter of Toma.


  1. ^ Hammond, Nicholas (1976). Migrations and invasions in Greece and adjacent areas. Noyes Press. p. 59. ISBN 9780815550471. Retrieved 4 February 2013. In 1358 the Albanians overran Epirus, Acarnania and Aetolia, and established two principalities under their leaders, John Spatas (shpatë in Albanian meaning a sword) and Peter Leosas (lios in Albanian meaning a pockmark)
  2. ^ a b Madgearu & Gordon 2008, p. 83.
  3. ^ Pipa 1978, p. 53:

    Sufflay speaks of an Albano-Aromunian symbiosis in the Pindus, and the nationality of the rulers of Thessaly and Epirus in the second half of the 14th century (Peter Ljosha, Nicola Bua, Gjin Shpata) has been a moot point. The discussion is contingent on the vexed question of whether the Albanians are autochthones in Epirus or invaded it during the Middle Ages. The Albanian scholars have persistently upheld the former alternative 94 , whereas the non- Albanian scholars have long opted for the latter.

  4. ^ Hammond 1976, p. 57.
  5. ^ Hammond 1976, p. 59.
  6. ^ Epeirotica 2.220; cf. 222 f
  7. ^ a b Vizantološki institut 1975, p. 196:

    Ђин Буја је добио Ахелон и Ангелокастрон а Петар Љош Арту.41 Према подацима Јањинске хронике Петар Љош је умро 6882(1373/4) године док је Ђин Буја био наводно жив сведо 1400.42 Смрт Петра Љоша претходи за ...

  8. ^ a b c d Nicol, Donald MacGillivray (1984). The Despotate of Epiros, 1267-1479: A Contribution to the History of Greece in the Middle Ages. Cambridge University Press. pp. 142–5. ISBN 9780521261906. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  9. ^ M. V. Sakellariou (1997). Epirus, 4000 years of Greek history and civilization. Ekdotikē Athēnōn. ISBN 978-960-213-371-2. For the Albanian tribes of the Mazarakaioi and the Malakasioi, led by Peter Losha the despot of Arta,
  10. ^ Fine, John Van Antwerp (1994). The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. University of Michigan Press. pp. 351–2. ISBN 9780472082605. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  11. ^ a b Vizantološki institut 1994, p. 133:

    и Петар Љоша је владао градовима Арта и Роге, а Ђин Буа Спата градо- вина Ахелој и Ангелокастрон; опширно о њима


New title Despot of Arta
Under the Serbian Empire

Succeeded by
Gjin Bua Spata