Kosovo: Albanian Anti-Ottoman revolt (1690)

Another myth has grown up around the “great migration” of the Serbs in 1690 which, it is alleged, created a demographic vacuum, subsequently filled by a flood of alien Albanians from outside Kosovo. A closer study of the evidence suggests that although there were heavy war losses in 1690, affecting all categories of people, most aspects of the “great migration” story are fanciful. And the evidence also suggests that, while there was a flow of Albanians from northern Albania into Kosovo, a significant component of the Albanians’ demographic growth was the expansion of an indigenous Albanian population within Kosovo itself.


Mr. Malcolm insists that Austrians were met not by Crnojevic, but by the Albanian Catholic Archbishop, Pjeter Bogdani. Moreover, he says, the Patriarch led no ''Great Migration'' of Serbs out of Kosovo but simply cut and ran.
Thanks for the support Czechs :bigsmile:

In the Czech
monograph Dějiny Albánie (Praha , 2008) we find questioning the conclusions of Serbian historiography:
British researcher Noel Malocm after studying the available source materials in the second half of the 1990s proved that the above-mentioned interpre-tation (mass exodus , devaluation of the Albanian participation - authors note) can onlybe considered a Serbian historical myth
The real leadership role in the pro-habsburgmovement was played by two Albanian dignitaries during this period - the Archbishop ofSkopje Pjetër Bogdani and Toma Raspasani , not Arsenije III,
who was hiding in Montenegro and did not meet with General Piccolomini


''Malcolm touches on thetraditional perception of Serbian mythology associated with the migration and privileges of Leopold given to Serb He assumes that the key document (Inviatorium) was knowingly fabricated by Serbs (available in Latin and Serbian , parts translated into English , so it is up to each researcher to make his ownimage as there are sources)''

Yeah, ‘loyal servants’ lol

Most of these ‘historians’ haven’t even done the most basic research. Or, perhaps they are incentivized to write such rubbish.

For example, as an amateur observer, just by studying the tax system of that period in the region one can see who was that Ottomans mostly preferred in their lands as Raja. Albanian Catholic families in Kosove paid three times more tax than your typical Serbian Raja family. The local Pashas, who were mostly of Albanian extraction, most definitely preferred Serbians to live and work their lands. Or else we wouldn’t see such a disparity in the tax policy.

Such aggressive policies is also what drove Christian Albanians to mass conversion, me thinks. Especially in Kosove.

It actually seems that Catholic Albanians had to not only pay tax to Ottomans but even to the Orthodox Serbian church . Catholic church was poorer, less priests etc, while the Orthodox church was richer, larger and more privileged which is what led to less conversion among Orthodox compared to Catholics in Kosovo. For example the Ottomans restablished Orthodox churches in Kosovo and created millet community where the Orthodox had autonomy.

Large part of Northern Albania was Catholic until 18th century but again pressure from higher taxes after Austrian-Ottoman wars led to more conversions I believe.

Also the fact that the enemy of the Ottomans such as the Austrians were largely Catholic themselves
Kalkandelen) and, further to the south and west, the town of Debar (Alb.: Dibra). These two towns have been linked, for much of their history, with Kosovo. A road over a mountain pass connected Tetovo with the trading centre at Prizren, and another route led from Prizren up a river valley to Debar. The people of Debar and its surrounding villages (which include, almost uniquely among the northern Albanian population, a cluster of adherents to the Orthodox Church) were famously independent-minded, and this was often the last area to be subdued when Albanian rebellions were crushed by Ottoman armies.

To the north-west of Debar lie the great mountain massifs of northern Albania. Inhabited by powerful clans (many of them Catholic) who jealously guarded their territory and lived by their own customary law, this area enjoyed a kind of semi-autonomy for much of the Ottoman period. As one English traveller in the late nineteenth century put it: 'To say that the Turks have subjugated the Arnauts [i.e. Albanians] is not strictly correct. Their position is something like that of the French in the remoter parts of Algeria. They hold certain towns, the intervening country being occupied by independent tribes, governing themselves.’ 16 For most British readers, a closer parallel might be with the Scottish Highlands up to the eighteenth century; and as we shall see, this is not the only resemblance between northern Albania and ‘North Britain’. An inhabitant of this mountainous Albanian region is known as a malesor (from mal, meaning mountain), which translates precisely as ‘high-lander'; the whole complex of mountains can be referred to by the general name of the Malesi, the Highlands. 17 (Within this region, there are smaller ranges with their own particular names: of these the most
important in relation to the history of Kosovo are the Malesi e Gjakoves, the Gjakova Highlands, which lie inside Albania

to the west of the Kosovo town of Gjakova, and the Malesi e Madhe, the Great Highlands, which run to the east of Shkodra along the Montenegrin frontier.) This entire region has enjoyed a peculiarly close relation to Kosovo, and very many of the Kosovo Albanians are descended from these mountain clans. To say that the Malesi and Kosovo are umbilically connected might even be to understate the case: until a frontier was created between them after the war of 1912, the two areas had been - at least so far as the Albanian population was concerned - parts of a single, continuous ethnic realm

Thus, increasingly, Albanians from the Malesi would bear the name of their clan as a kind of surname: Berisha, Kelmendi, Shala and so on. There are many people with these names in modern Kosovo, and it is clear that, from the early seventeenth century onwards, at least some of their ancestors must have come into Kosovo as immigrants from the Malesi. (‘At least some' is a necessary qualification, because we cannot assume that the process of agglomeration - of people joining a clan and taking its name - never took place on Kosovo soil.) However, there are also many Kosovo Albanians who do not bear clan names. Serbian writers sometimes argue that all these Albanians must therefore be Albanianized Serbs, as if all genuine Albanians would originally have belonged to clans. But since we know that there were non-clan Albanians in Kosovo as early as the fifteenth century, that clans were only formed in areas which (unlike Kosovo) lacked governmental security, and indeed that many of the clans in the Malesi were still only in the process of formation at that time, this particular version of the argument about ‘Albanianized Serbs' can simply be dismissed.

- Kosovo: A Short History

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