REPORT ON CENTRAL GOVERNMENT AND ALBANIAN CUSTOM RIGHTS IN MIDDLE AGES

Assoc. Prof.  Lavdosh Ahmetaj,

Vice Rector - University “Aleksandër Moisiu”, Durrës, Albania

Faculty of Political Sciences

Abstract

In the Medieval Albania customary law had a reasonable legal reputation in a society which did not seem to need to be regulated by its codes, and if we look at the problem essentially, the issue is more rational than that, since the Albanian population in the Middle Ages was still a phenomenon of a patriarchal society and at the same time economic development coincided with the survival of canon law. But this phenomenon of the codifying survival of customary law, we think there must be an explanation of a natural right, which seems to be very harmonious and very appropriate to the selfish nature of Albanians, who had no other way than to protect individuality in the society of the tribe. Looking at the philosophy of preserving the individual as socially unviable and untouchable personality, it seems that the study of the Albanian customary law is an unfinished object. This also for the fact that we study the right in the Hellenic and Roman world, but we forget the regulatory mechanisms of Albanian customary law, where the individual treats it as an institution and on this legal basis were the principles of this right, which were kept with fanaticism by the Albanian medieval State.

 

 

Keywords: customary law, medieval Albanian society, canon law, individual rights, central government.

 

 

 

Content: 1. Indroduction. – 2. Strong influence of local customary law over positive law. – 3. Customary law as “law above laws”. – 4. The influence of the Customary law on the positive law. – 5. The influencing of the Customary law by the west law and its authenticity preservation. – 6. Final remarks

 

 

 

 

1.                  Introduction

 

Albanian custom rights are unwritten folk rights that have passed on from generation to generation through oral traditions, which have served to regulate juridical relationships over centuries in Albanian territory. It was created neither by one person, nor by any single legislative institution. It was created by people, who have concretized their intelligence in the most accessible way. It is a legal system. The used term for this legal system "kanun" has its root from Greek-Byzantine origin. The word "Nomokanon" was used for religious norms by byzantine emperors. This term was adopted in Albanian language through the Turkish word "canonyms". These norms represent the legal norms issued by the Sultans. The question that arises is to what social and juridical relationship was the relationship between the canonical norms and the legal rights of the prince's power produced in the feudal legal system.

 

 

2. Strong influence of local customary law over positive law

 

The rights created by government consisted of legal norms of the central government and were of great importance for the whole country. But those rights were relative. Its scope of action was limited by the existence of ecclesiastical law, custom law, and specific law. For this reason it is difficult to talk about a positive right in the good sense of the word[1].

 

But in the field of medieval laws there was a right derived from the prince's political power, which was of a great importance to the whole country and served as the same measure for the harmonization of overall legal relations. Beside the positive justice, there was another special right that was composed from the privileges given to different social layers, that was given to the ruling dynasty or to special individuals, from the legal norms that operate within feudalist areas, where the government power influence and its acts were very weak[2] .

 

Because of the Roman-Byzantine rule, in Arbër was common and long-standing the Byzantine law, which was the Roman law elaborated in Justinian's time and after its rule but in adaptation of the feudal rule. Furthermore Byzantine law operated with all its natural attributes and customary law. To this is referred Alex Buda, who through his studies wrote that besides the feudal Byzantine "nomocanon", in Albanian territory, the customary law was a popular right, with fascinating archaic features embraced by Byzantine law or was in opposition to it [3].

 

After the disengagement from Byzantine Empire, the Albanian feudal society did not consider necessary to codify a new rights system, but accepted Byzantine law and used them for its state-building interests. Thus, in Arbër's feudal state, being essentially a Byzantine Emperor was sufficiently sanctioned Byzantine legal norms, which were widely recognized in the Balkan world.

 

Starting from the geographical position of Albania, between east and west, the applied law was neither Byzantine nor Eastern Roman. These rights had elements that prove the depart from traditional rights. Thus, the agreement used in 1216 between Dhimitri of Arbër and Ragusa, was also signed from the other feudal lords, who were simultaneously witnesses and handlers. This procedure has never been recognized in Byzantine law[4], even was recognized and sanctioned; it had been widely applied in Arb_r, in regulation of legal relationships, not only in the Principality of Arb_r in the XII-XIII centuries, but even later to the XV century.

 

Byzantine law had served for a long time as the basic law for the creation of positive rights in Arb_r; and over the time, departure from its principles began to become even more visible. Such departure from the traditional principles of the Byzantine or western Roman laws, as well as a powerful influence of local customary law on positive law, is to be found in the history of the Albanian principalities of the 20th century XIV-XV[5].

 

Observing them from a juridical point of view, Balsha principality had a common feature: trusted as a guarantee for the execution of publicly accepted obligations. This is also seen in the formulation of the text of these crisobulas[6].

 

Besa as a guarantee for the execution of obligations does not only face Balshaj, but also in other Albanian principals. This legal affiliation is also expressed through a letter that Lek Dukagjini sent to Ragusa in 1378[7] .

 

While later, in the commercial agreement between Gjon Kastrioti and the Republic of Ragusa on February 25, 1420, as a guarantee for the execution of the obligations was again used “besa”, but in this case the obligation derives from causing damages[8].

 

The departure from the Byzantine traditions and the introduction of “besa” as a well-known Albanian customary law institute in the feudal right is explained by the changes that took place in the economic and social life of the feudal principals of the 18th century. XIV. But these changes were also reflected in the social and political structure of the government, which at the time we were dealing with the native Albanian ethnicity. Under these conditions, principal’s rulers had formed their own tradition and political-juridical governance models on another economic basis. In addition, all documents mentioning “besa”, as a guarantee for the execution of obligations, it is related to the international civil legal sphere relationships. This shows that the notion of faith, not only as an ethical category but also as a juridical institution, has become known and valid within the Albanian territories[9]. “Besa”, as a code, was also introduced into the vassal system, which marked the generous entry into the feudal hierarchy.

 

The hierarchical system was preliminarily completed by the representatives of the parties, but for its entry into force, it was required to carry out a ceremony set by the parties themselves. This ceremony was made up of homage (honors) and investing (naming). During the homage, the vassal had to stand in knees and without arms before the senator. He declared himself a vassal for this or that title, which passed on by inheritance from his parents, a relative, or that he had recently acquired from the king. Senior had to raise and kiss him, and the vassal should swear allegiance. “Besa” created a legal possibility to continue investing, which meant giving the gloves and the scepter as signs of the political power and executive of the senator. All these actions had feudal ideological content and were in the service of political power, but in this case political customary law codes were also in place, which had maintained the unswerving attributes from the point of view of the mechanisms that were carried out by the world of law institutions customary.

 

Crisobula, as a source of rights, had also taken away the Albanian feudal lords. Thus, the rulers of Balsha had extracted a bunch of crisobula`s that excluded Ragusa citizens from customs duties. Gjon Kastrioti with his sons Stanish, Constantine, Reposh and Gjergj, with the help of a crisobule, handed over to the monastery of Hilandar villages of Radostushe and Trebisht in 1426[10].

 

 

3.                  Customary law as “law above laws”

 

Consequently, why the codes of Albanian canon law had dealt so deeply into the positive rights that were created later, and Durham also notes in her observations on social and legal organization in the Albanian highlands[11]. Lek Dukagjini's “kanun”, said Joviqevi_, was considered a lawabove the laws. All habitual deprivations and institutions, whether of old or new origin, were attributed to the "Law of Leka"[12].

 

But to see more specifically whether Albanian canon mechanisms operated in all Albanian speaking areas, and at the same time did not exclude the possibility of intertwining them with other rights, to prove this, there is also a confession from the Kosovo part of which the deduction needed to reinforce a document is extracted[13]. The tale of this legend best speaks of the belief that the individual had the right through canonical codes and that he had accepted it positively in order to unduly regulate property and social relations. In view of this, there are some views.

 

Firstly, Noli`s point of view, author of the study on Skanderbeg, which considered the canon as creation of Pal Dukagjini[14]. As Noli said, Pal was distinguished for wisdom. Even his death, by the end of 1446, greatly deserved Scanderbeg because he had lost the closest friend and the strongest ally, who contributed to the preservation of the League of Lezha[15].

 

But, referring to the dialectic of history, historical documents do not prove Noli's point of view; they argue against, with the idea that Pal Dukagjini should have been in favor of the canon law and the harmonization of codes and their concrete application in terms of a geographic position, mountainous relief and harsh climate [16].

 

While some other ideas go further, considering the customary Albanian law as the remains of the Stefan Dushan Code[17]. But consider the Canon of Lek Dukagjin regulatory rates from the research of Shtjef_n Gjeçovit, and compared it with the Code of Stefan Dushan, would find some similarities in solving that yield. It would only be absurd to acknowledge that the Canon of Lek Dukagjini is the inheritance of the Code of Stefan Dushan, for more if we judge for these reasons:

 

- Stefan Dushan's code was issued in the time that the Serbian feudal state had reached a culmination and reflected the relations with a society that had recognized economic and social differentials. It governed the most important feudal society relations, which included mainly public and criminal law. While Albanian canon law is an unwritten right and is related to a tribal society in the areas of Albanian society; this right from a legal point of view regulates the undifferentiated society and contains rules in many branches of the law[18].

 

Stefan Dushan's code did not include civil and family law, with the exception of some articles on these, because it is part of a broader legislative framework that includes a short syntagma and Justinian law. The short syntax is a summary that includes provisions on real, inheritance and law civil law, criminal law and some ecclesiastical law that contained marriage and church punishments, and on the procedure (provisions on the chosen court, witnesses and appeal).

 

From the arguments advanced above, it cannot be asserted that the norms of the Kanun, from some branches of the law such as civil, inheritance, family law, are inherited from the provisions of the Code of Stefan Dushan.

 

While, from the point of view of the time after the issuance of the Code of Stefan Dushan, the Ottoman invaders underwent the Serbian kingdom and many other Balkan lands. At this time some elements of customary law and new forms of patriarchal social life began to be revived. However, some influences of Dushan's right in the Albanian Kanun cannot be excluded even because the Balkan peoples, being close to each other, are undeniable, for example in terms: porous, fine, and in rules over the porridge, might have filtered through Montenegro, Serbian, and Macedonian rights some inheritance from the medieval Serbian right to Montenegro and Herzegovina. From there, the influences could have been passed first in Albanian canon law.

 

 

4.                  The influence of the Customary law on the positive law

 

But where can the interplay between the Albanian canon law and those of other Balkan countries sought? These similarities should be sought in the similarities of the relationship between production and the impact of their common origin, for the closer between Balkan peoples and the ease of transmission between related cultural systems. But at the same time we have the right to think about why mechanisms and codifications of canon law have survived, even though Albanian culture has been confronted by the most antiquated cultures, and it is to be recognized that these cultural systems were used as models, from the ancient world.

 

To argue for the survival of canon law, we are arguing for the Roman emperor’s order in 391, regarding the right of pre-emption, which was operating at antiquity in Illyricum. This order consisted of the possibility of destroying this mechanism, which meant that in case an Illyrian owner wanted to sell real property, then according to this right he should be interested if his close relative or his / her others were in need of his property. And the landlord was obliged to sell the property at a reasonable price, so that the immovable property should not be sold out of the tribe or community where it was available. It was precisely this right that made the Romanization of the Illyrian society impossible, which was protected by this right that should be applied strictly.

 

Albanian feudal law had operated in a closed natural economy, but in the second half of the 20th century. XIV was expanded the scope of the goods circulation. Contracts such as sale, exchange, rent, and donation began to apply. One of the contracts that face most in the Middle Ages was the donation of immovable property, or any other property, to the service of the monasteries. Thus, they were distinguished by the holders of state power, such as kings, princes, and other rulers who could have genetic links with state power. One such gift was made by Gjon Kastrioti, versus medieval religious institutions. Thus in 1426 Gjon Kastrioti and his sons had donated to the Hilandar monastery in the Holy Mountain, the villages Radostus and Trebisht, accompanied by the feudal rights, which had to be passed on to the monastery service[19].

 

According to Prof. Kristo Frashëri, was also discovered a second contract without a date, through which the Helagain monastery of Hilandar, on behalf of the council of the monks, sold Gjon Kastrioti and his three sons at Pirgu in St Gjergji's together with the vineyards. The first act of Hilandar was a gift contract for the monastery. While the second act of Hilandar, in the first appearance seems to be a sales contract. Gjon Kastrioti, with his sons Reposhi, Konstantin and Gjergj, gave 60 golds to the monastery and took from the Pirg monastery of St. George's and some olive vineyards[20].

 

But if we take a closer look at the subject matter, from a juridical point of view we are not in front of a classical sale, known in ancient times. It resembles more with a lease, but with a long term. In the sales contract the buyer became the owner of a movable or immovable item, while the seller was paid the money and consequently lost the right to property. In the present example, Gjon Kastrioti together with his sons did not become owners of Pirg in St. Gjergji and even of the olive vineyards but remained in monastery's possession. Gjon Kastrioti's family (still in the male line) only gained the rights to enjoy their use until Gjon Kastrioti and his sons were alive[21] .

 

These two acts used in the service of analysis, not just to show a history of the relations of the Principality of Kastrioti with religious institutions, but to legally argue, through contractual acts, some codes that had borrowed the right of the Prince of Kastrioti from Albanian customary law, such as those of donation and of a fixed term, but even though we face an ancient institution like adelfati[22] . This was the part that belonged to everybody in the family co-ownership. 

 

 

5.                  The influencing of the Customary law by the west law and its authenticity preservation

 

From this point of view, our ideas go even further. This is due to the fact that in medieval Albania customary law has once again influenced institutions that were of their nature and functioned in the service of the sovereign, and consequently received their special nature[23]. Thus, the system of the majority in the Albanian medieval society did not have the dimensions it could have in the western society, but the function of this institution shows the influence of Western law in Albania. Thus the vassal pact showed the generous entry into the feudal hierarchy. It was preliminarily completed by the representatives of the parties, but for its entry into force it was necessary to carry out a ceremony set by the parties themselves. This ceremony consisted of homage and investment. During the homage the vassal was forced to stand in the knees and without arms before the senior. He declared himself vassal for the title he had inherited from his family or tribal dynasty, which he had previously gained from the king. Senior was obliged, by tradition, to stand up and kiss him in the forehead, while the vassal was obliged to swear allegiance to him. This was a homage that had to be associated with the investment, which was accompanied by the handwriting and the scepter, which were symbols of power.

 

All of these actions had certain ideological content and served to link the ruler in a variety of forms. This institution was not known in the Byzantine Empire. This institution came to Arbër as a western influence and is aware of a legal regime that differs from that of birth. In Byzant these legal institutions were known later and did not have such proportions and official features as in the western medieval states. The vassal patties were from one side to the subject of the local feudal to the foreign king or to the other powerful powerful feud, and brought the birth of rights and obligations set forth against the subjects. Among the important obligations, the first place belonged to the mandate of the conscript for the defense of his vassal against his enemies.

 

But even though legal relations between sister and vassal appear to be in the filter of a feudal legal regime, this did not rule out the customary law that worked alongside other medieval institutions. In Albanian society in the Middle Ages, although it had experienced economic and social differentiation, customary law functioned in the service of personality protection within the feudal family. This tendency seems even better in the signing of legal acts that took place in the Middle Ages, but the right of the individual to preserve the property of each one, of the firm also by male members of the feudal family in Albania.

 

In addition to feudal law, local customary law also existed in the mountainous areas. Profesor Aleks Buda noted that beside the feudal Byzantine nomocanon, in Albania there was a customary folk rights with fascinating archaic features, which he did not know of Byzantine law, or which was in opposition with[24]. After the Byzant dismemberment, the aristocratic feudalists did not consider it necessary to create a new rights system, but they had accepted Byzantine law and used it for their own interests. But as a landslide, situated between the culture of the East and the West, the right applied in the post-Byzantine period was neither Western nor Eastern. Here we find elements that demonstrate the departure from traditional principles[25] . This procedure constitutes a legal and historical argument to prove the existence of customary law in feudal law, which is also used in international relations with different subjects.

 

The Byzantine law had served as the first point for the creation of positive law in Arbër, and as time went by, its departure from its principles had begun to become more apparent. Such a departure from the traditional principles of the Byzantine or western Roman rule, as well as a powerful influence of local customary law on the positive right, we see it more noticeable in the Albanian feudal principals of the sixteenth century. XIV-XV. Balsha principality, as before the Byzantine Empire, had extracted a number of crisobulas, by which they recognized the rights and privileges of citizens of Ragusa for free passage in the territories of their principality and once excluded from customs duties. Judging from the juridical point of view, Balsha's crises had a common feature: trusted as a guarantee for the execution of publicly accepted obligations[26].

 

“Besa”, as a guarantee for the execution of the obligations, was not only confronted with Balshaj, but also in the acts of other Albanian rulers. In a letter to Lek Dukagjini, which he sent to Ragusa in 1387, was written about in “besa” of Leka and his brother[27].

 

 

6.                  Final remarks

 

So, in all the arguments put forward above, there is a clear tendency to prove that customary law were contemporary and medieval, which he used in order to regulate even the international relations that existed in medieval societies Albanian. Although the Albanian medieval society at its foundation had social differentiation and respect for the hierarchy, it seemed that customary law stood not just around it, somewhere in the highlands regions, where the positive right was difficult to rule, but the customary right was present in the elements complex and functional Albanian medieval right. This quality of justice in Albania is related to the quality of Albanian medieval society and its influences through Byzantine and Western Byzantine law.

 

But at the time that Albanian medieval right sought to move away from the influence of these rights, it as a component of it had also received codifying elements from Albanian customary law. In the state of Skanderbeg, it had proceed the Albanian customary law regulating social relations[28].

 

Skanderbeg's special merit was recognition of this right and further refinement, always adapting to economic and social conditions. Skanderbeg not only from Kruja had customized custom but also with concrete actions, understanding the codifying force of Albanian custom, took part in assemblies of assembly held on the basis of customary law. Marin Barleti recalled Scanderbeg's counsel with the elders and leaders of Dibra, where the customary law function was actively exercised. Skanderbeg, recognizing this right, had managed to modify it within its legal corpus, even without damaging it and being careful to perfect it. He did this with his political reputation he had managed to create, but he even went down to the role of the elder of the Canon, who knew customary law but also respected it, perfecting it in function of preserving the political and state order. In terms of changing economic relations, Skanderbeg came out with double attributes: on the one hand he was a political man in the face of the Albanians, but on the other hand he worked as a canon man; so had a personality who knew how to regulate relations between Albanians through customary law in harmony with the right of central government. Skanderbeg had managed to change customary law, especially the blood feuding institution. According to customary law, "for a good two bad ones", codified on the basis of economic change, Skanderbeg had changed this old norm by legally codifying the equality "the good and the bad are the same", "from good comes the evil, and from the evil comes the good. When good and evil are used, it should be considered from a physical point of view and from the social and economic position.

 

So, starting from all the above evidence, we think that customary law had a reasonable legal reputation in a society which did not seem to need to be regulated by its codes, and if we look at the problem essentially, the issue is more rational than that, because the Albanian population in the Middle Ages was still a phenomenon of a patriarchal society and at the same time economic development coincided with the survival of canon law. But this phenomenon of the codifying survival of customary law, I think there must be an explanation of a natural right, which seems to be very harmonious and very appropriate to the selfish nature of Albanians, who had no other way than to protect individuality in the society of the tribe.

 

Looking at the philosophy of preserving the individual as socially unviable and untouchable personality, it seems that the study of the Albanian customary law is an unfinished object. This also for the fact that we study the right in the Hellenic and Roman world, but we forget the regulatory mechanisms of Albanian customary law, where the individual treats him as an institution and on this legal basis were the principles of this right, which were kept with fanaticism by the Albanian medieval state.

 


 

[1] - “Rights in today's sense of the word, or the positive rights as it is called, is a whole legal norms for the regulation of social relations, imposed and sanctioned by the competent state organs of the ruling classes and expresses the will of the law of this class” (Ismet Elezi: The penal customary law of the Albanians, Tirana 1983, pp. 6).

- Elster, J.: The Cement of Society, A Study of Social Order, Cambridge 1989, Cambridge University Press.

- Celano, B.: Consuetudine e norme sulla produzione di norme, in Comanducci, P. - Guastini, R. (bot.): Struttura e dinamica dei sistemi giuridici, Torino 1996, Giappichelli.

- Zorzetto, S. (bot.): La consuetudine giuridica. Teoria, storia, ambiti disciplinari, Pisa 2008, ETS.

 

[2] - Castelleti, G.: Consuetudini e vita sociale nelle montagne albanesi secondo il Kanun di Lek Dukagjinit, në Studi Albanesi, vol. 3-4, Roma 1933 and 1934).

- Villari, S.: Le consuetudini giuridiche dell’Albania, Roma 1940.

 

[3] - Aleks Buda: Albanian state in the European history in VII-XVII century, in Studime Historike, nr. 1/1967, pp. 7.

 

[4] - Agreement between Ragusa Albanian princes in XII century, in Hylli i Drit_s, 1938, pp. 701-707.

 

[5] - “...Balshaj, as before in Bysantine Empire, had issued a series of krisobulas, by which they recognized the rights and privileges of the citizens of Ragusa for the free passage on the land of their principle and the exemption from customs duties” - Burime t_ zgjedhura p_r Historin_ e Shqip_ris_, pp. 184-188.

 

[6] - “...for this we give our trust, I, Strazimiri and Gjergj Balsha, that every man of your city who will be found with goods, on the basis of our faith, we have been given this customs duty and will not be taken for how long as will be alive” - pp. 184.

 

[7] - “...i write to you about my and brother word, come to my land freely, and do not be afraid of anything. As far as customs duties are concerned, pay the statutory customs tax you paid earlier to other nobles who have been in these countries” - Burime t_ zgjedhura p_r Historin_ e Shqip_ris_, vol. II, pp. 190.

 

[8] - “...and so I entrusted anyone to come to my country at Shufada, if it is done any damage or badness to Prizren, I ... together with my sons will pay you” - pp. 191.

 

[9] - “…in this system of justice interact in harmony with one another two fundamental notions, formulated as: personal honor and social honor, reflected in special norms and further pervading the spirit of this system (of customary law). From them, they derive interdependent notions, such as beliefs, hospitality, honor, etc., that complement exactly that co-ordination between the socialization and individualism of the members” - Velija, Q., vep. cit.

 

[10] - "...I, Gjon Kastrioti with my sons, Stanish, Reposh, Konstandin and Gjergj... I forgive as much as I could, the sacred monastery of the Immaculate Virgin of Laura of Hilandar. I donated the village of Radostusa church ... and the village of Trebisht...". – S. Novakoviq, 1912.

 

[11] - “...the law, the doctrine, the expression, all attributed to Leke ... so Leka had said, what was more obedient than dozens of Bible orders and preaching of preachers who often had no value if they fell into opposition to the canon of Leka”. – Durham, Edith: Some Tribal Originis lawand Costomos of the Balkanas, London 1920, George Allen and Unwid LNK, f. 65.

 

[12] - Jovicevic, Andrea: Mal_sija, Naselja i pareklo stanovnistva knj. 15, Beograd 1929 pp. 96 (v.c).

 

[13] [13] -“Before long time ago, the Sultan had traveled to Gjakova and had encountered an old man who could hardly walk. The pilgrim riding on the horse approached the elderly villager to take his horse. The latter accepted and went before him in Gjakova. The traveler had toured in Gjakova and started looking for his horse in the inn. He had finally found him in an inn, but the innkeeper had not dared to give it, because he had the legal duty to return the person who had handed him over to save it. But the matter had gone to the kadiu, who was an Albanian. He had asked the villager if he had left the horse to guard him or was his horse, and the elder had asserted. Kadiu gave the old man the horse. The traveler was astonished at how he had taken the Shariah horse. But kadiu as a man representing the court, he had called the parties and had said that he had divided the trial with the shari'ah, but on the other side wished to know whether even with the Kanun of Lek Dukagjini belonged to the horse owner. Kadiu ordered the interlocutors to remove their shoes. Kadiu had seen that the peasant heels had been killed by the steady walking of his feet, while the cavalier, who had rode on horseback, had the heels so weak. This first argument made it possible for the cadi to judge through material testimony. Qadi had turned the horse to the stranger, adding that the Shari'ah had taken the horse, while the Lek Dukagjini Kanun turned it back. Then the foreigner had said that he was a sultan, but he was a teenager, and that he had come to Gjakova to prove whether Kadiu was working according to the Kanun of Lek Dukagjini and had added: - I wanted to cut off the head of the shari'ah, but you left your head after being established righteously” - Studime Historike, Tiran_ 1972, nr. 1, pp. 104.

 

[14] - Noli, Fan S.: Historia e Sk_nderbeut - Kryezot t_ Arb_ris_, 1405-1468, pp. 64.

 

[15] - Same, pp. 65.

 

[16] - “...at this point should not fall into the simplistic assertion for Lekë Dukagjini, since, despite the homonymous Kanun, Albanian law can not have as a compiler this historical character. He can be given the attribute of the valorizer of this right at the time, or it can be most likely that he is likely to have written in spite of the documentary ignorance, but not as its compiler or codifier. Elements of an early pre-Christian faith, such as the burning cult, the oath on the stone, the spirits of the forefathers, etc., which are organically traversed in its norms, leave no room for it. Then there is a time precedent that is derived from the footprints of this right also to the Albanians of Italy. They could not carry the spirit of a norm system if it were so young in time and so limited in jurisdiction, ie in the areas of the Dukagjini, when it is known that a good part of them had roots from southern Albanians deep Albanian, that is, those of Peloponnese” – Velija, Q.,.

 

[17] - Oraovac, Tomo P.: Arbanasko pitanje i srpsko pravno, Beograd 1913, pp. 22 (v.c.).

 

[18] - “It is worth pointing out that punishments in other rights, such as the Dushan or Byzantine custom, are often reflected in limb mutilation, eyelashes, badges, and the like; which are strictly prohibited in Albanian law. Researchers struggling to find answers between this and other rights that sanction physical punishment have bypassed precisely the completely different spirit and code of ethics that goes through them, dealing with superficial or formal elements that can be found in every right” – Velija, Q.

 

[19] - Kristo Frash_ri: Akti i Hilandarit, in Mësues journal, 28 July 1967, pp. 4

 

[20] - To simplify the explanation, we are giving a passage to the act: "Gjon Kastrioti ... showed the desire to buy Pirg in St Gjergji's stack for himself and for his sons“- same, pp. 4.

 

[21] - “If one of them departs from this world, - says in the sales contract - the adelfati (part of it) from the monastery will be taken away. And when they leave this world of four overwhelmed persons, Pirgu will return to the monastery and their name will be remembered until Hilandari” – same, pp. 4.

 

[22] - From adelfos  - greek: brothers

 

[23]- Shuflaj, Milan: Serbët e shqiptarët, Tiranë 2004; Castelleti, G: Consuetudini e vita sociale...., vep. cit.; Villari, S.: Le consuetudini giuridiche..., vep. cit.; Malltezi, Luan: Qytetet dhe roli i tyre në lidhjet ekonomike midis krahinave shqiptare në shek. XIII-XV,  in Studime Historike, nr. 4 (1982); Babinger, Franz: Das Ende der Arianiten, in Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften Philosophisch - Historische Klasse, n. 4, München (1960); Buda, Aleks: Problemi i shteteve mesjetare në Shqipëri, në Studime Historike, n. 4 (1990); Gegaj, Athanas: L’Albanie et l’ivasion turque au XVe siècle, Paris, Université de Louvain 1937; Hahn, Johann Georg: Albanesische Studien, Jena, Verlag von F. Mauke 1853; Petta, Paolo: Despoti d’Epiro e principi di Macedonia. Esuli albanesi nell’Italia del Rinascimento, Lecce, Argo, 2000.

 

[24] - Buda, Aleks: The place of K-Albanians in European history of the nineteenth century. VIII-XVII, in Historical Studies, no. 1/1967, f. 7.

 

[25] - As a confirmation of this comes the agreement between Dhimitri of Arber and Ragusa in the years 1208-1216. There they also signed other feudal lords, who were simultaneously witnesses and handlers of this agreement

 

[26] - The rulers of Balsha declare that they give their trust: “I, Strazimiri and Gjergj Balsha, that every one of your city, who is in possession of goods, on the basis of our faith, was given this customs duty and it will not be taken for how long we will be alive” - Burime t_ zgjedhura p_r Historin_ e Shqip_ris_, v.c, pp. 184-188.

 

[27]  “...come to my land freely, do not be afraid of anything. Regarding the legal customs stamp you paid earlier to other nobles who have been in these countries” – same, ppf. 190-191.

[28]- Barleti, M: Historia e Skënderbeut, Tirana, Infobotues, 2005. Cuniberti, F.: Shqiptarët dhe princi Skanderbeg, Reklama, Tirana 2018;  Biemmi, Giammaria: Historia di Giorgio Castriotto detto Scander-Begh, Brescia, 1742.

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