A bout the Presence of Albanian Seamen in England During The Middle Ages Cover Image

A bout the Presence of A lbanian Seamen in England During The Middle Ages
A bout the Presence of Albanian Seamen in England During The Middle Ages

Author(s): Ardian Muhaj
Subject(s): History
Published by: Qendra e Studimeve Albanologjike
Keywords: Presence of Albanian Seamen ; England ; The Middle Ages

Summary/Abstract: The evidences presented in this paper are part of a broader study about the presence of the Albanians in England during the Middle Ages. Our goal here is that in general terms to give an overview about the presence of Albanians in England in the Middle Ages, and at the same time to serve as a modest contribution to correctly identify many persons, who in the worksofsome scholars, are presented without proper argumentation as Italians, Dalmatians, Slavs, Greeks and even as Spanish, Portuguese, French, or as unidentified. The evidences about the presence and the role of the Albanians in northern European countries, especially the Low Countries and England in the 14th and 15th centuries, though few in number, are important because they shed light on little known or unknown aspects ofthe history of the Albaniansin this period. The way and the means of arrival of these Albanians in northern Europe were nautical, on board of Italian merchant vessels, mostly Venetian, in their joumeys of the Flanders fleet. The Flanders galleys constituted the most remarkable trading fleet of the Venetian Republic, because their journey was the most dangerous and difficult, in the geography of the maritime history of the medieval Venice. Their itinerary involved an intermediate trade with the principal ports of Sicily, Balearic Islands, Southern Spain and Portugal. The employment of the Albanians as oarsmen in the Flanders galleyscan be traced even earlier than the inclusion of the Albanian coastal cities in the Venetian territorial extension. Although being part of a sea-going proletariat recruited from the eastern shores of the Adriatic, many Albanian oarsmen and sailors acted also as small scale entrepreneurs, carrying with them in these long voyages a limited number of wares and products, which they traded in the port- cities of Northern Europe, namely, London, Southampton and Bruges. Most part of the Albanians employed in these galleys, came from the Shkodrabasin (Scutari, Drivasto, Dagno and thevillages on the shores of Shkodra Lake), Lezha (Alessio) and Durrazzo. The Albanians like the other sailors, shared not only the profits of this trade, but also the inherent dangers and difficulties that facedthese galleys.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 01-02
  • Page Range: 005-031
  • Page Count: 27
  • Language: Albanian