Toptani family

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Toptani family
Current region Central Albania
Place of origin Kruje
Members
Estate(s) 50,000 hectares between Durres and Tirana

The Toptani family was the leading Albanian noble family in the central Ottoman Albania at the beginning of the 20th century.[1] The Toptani family belonged to a small number of noble families appointed by the Ottomans who used local chieftains to control Ottoman Albania more easily.[2] Essad Pasha Toptani, a head of the family at the beginning of the 20th century, claimed that his family descend from the Thopia family.[3] According to some sources the name of this family is derived from the word Top which mean a cannon, because his family owned a cannon when artillery was rare.[4]

Estates[edit]

The Toptani family initially lived in Kruje before they moved to Tirana during the 17th century when many sipahis moved from rural regions of the Ottoman Empire to the cities.[5] Their move from Kruje to Tirana probably contributed to the development of the sharecropping in Albania.[6] The Toptani family possessed around 50,000 hectares near Tirana and Durrës[7] and remained one of the main landowners until the end of the Second World War.[8] The 19th century house of the Toptani family situated in the center of Tirana was turned into a museum.

Notable members[edit]

Nobable members of this family include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elsie, Robert (24 December 2012). A Biographical Dictionary of Albanian History. I.B.Tauris. p. 444. ISBN 978-1-78076-431-3. ... the leading Toptani family of central Albania,... 
  2. ^ Gawrych, George (26 December 2006). The Crescent and the Eagle: Ottoman Rule, Islam and the Albanians, 1874-1913. I.B.Tauris. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-84511-287-5. 
  3. ^ Durham, M. Edith (22 July 2005). Albania and the Albanians: Selected Articles and Letters, 1903-1944. I.B.Tauris. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-85043-939-4. Essad Bey Toptani, of Tirana, was the head of the Toptani family, who claim descent, though with little proof, from the Chieftain Topias, and are believed to have been exterminated by the Turks when they overthrew Albania. 
  4. ^ Price, George Ward (1918). The Story of the Salonica Army. E. J. Clode. p. 310. He comes of an old Albanian family called the Toptani. (Top means cannon; his family once had a gun at a time when artillery was rare.) 
  5. ^ Braudel, Fernand (1995). The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II. University of California Press. p. 724. ISBN 978-0-520-20330-3. 
  6. ^ Stoianovich, Traian (1992). Between East and West: The Balkan and Mediterranean Worlds. A.D. Caratzas. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-89241-501-4. 
  7. ^ Roszkowski, Wojciech (1995). Land reforms in East Central Europe after World War One. Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences. p. 51. 
  8. ^ Oakley-Hill, Dayrell; Smiley, David (2002). An Englishman in Albania: memoirs of a British officer 1929-1955. Centre for Albanian Studies. p. 228. ISBN 978-1-903616-20-8. 

External links[edit]