On This Day
1527 – Spanish and German troops sack Rome; many scholars consider this the end of the Renaissance.
The Sack of Rome on 6 May 1527 was a military event carried out in Rome (then part of the Papal States) by the mutinous troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. It marked a crucial imperial victory in the conflict between Charles and the League of Cognac (1526–1529)—the alliance of France, Milan, Venice, Florence and the Papacy.
Born On This Day
1405 – George Kastrioti, better known as Skanderbeg, Albanian national hero (d. 1468)
George Castriot (Albanian: Gjergj Kastrioti; 6 May 1405 – 17 January 1468), known as Skanderbeg (Albanian: Skënderbej or Skënderbeu from Ottoman Turkish: اسکندر بگ, translit. İskender Beğ), was an Albanian nobleman and military commander who led a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire in what is today Albania and North Macedonia.
A member of the noble Castriot family, he was sent to the Ottoman court as part of the Devshirme, where he was educated and entered the service of the Ottoman sultan for the next twenty years. He rose through the ranks, culminating in the appointment as sanjakbey (governor) of the Sanjak of Dibra in 1440. In 1443, he deserted the Ottomans during the Battle of Niš and became the ruler of Krujë, Svetigrad, and Modrič. In 1444, he was appointed the chief commander of the short-lived League of Lezhë that consolidated nobility throughout what is today Northern Albania. Thus, for the first time Albania was united under a single leader. Skanderbeg’s rebellion was not a general uprising of Albanians, because he did not gain support in the Venetian-controlled north or in the Ottoman-controlled south. His followers included, apart from Albanians, also Slavs, Vlachs, and Greeks. Despite this military valor he was not able to do more than to hold his own possessions within the very small area in nowadays northern Albania where almost all of his victories against the Ottomans took place. His rebellion was a national rebellion. The resistance led by him brought Albanians of different regions and dialects together in a common cause, helping define the ethnic identity of the Albanians.[full citation needed] Skanderbeg’s military skills presented a major obstacle to Ottoman expansion, and he was considered by many in western Europe to be a model of Christian resistance against Muslims. For 25 years, from 1443 to 1468, Skanderbeg’s 10,000 man army marched through Ottoman territory winning against consistently larger and better supplied Ottoman forces, for which he was admired.
Skanderbeg always signed himself in Latin: Dominus Albaniae (“Lord of Albania”), and claimed no other titles but that in documents. In 1451, he recognized de jure the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Naples over Albania through the Treaty of Gaeta, to ensure a protective alliance, although he remained a de facto independent ruler. In 1460–61, he participated in Italy’s civil wars in support of Ferdinand I of Naples. In 1463, he became the chief commander of the crusading forces of Pope Pius II, but the Pope died while the armies were still gathering. Together with Venetians he fought against the Ottomans during the Ottoman–Venetian War (1463–1479) until his death in January 1468. He ranks high in that military history, as the most persistent opponent of the Ottoman Empire in its heyday who was also ever-victorious.
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