About the Muzaka Family

The Muzaka were an Albanian noble family, first mentioned in 1190 by the Byzantine historian Anna Komnene. The family created the Muzaka Principality.

In 1090, a member of the Muzaka family is first mentioned by Byzantine historian Anna Komnene as a loyal commander of Alexios I Komnenos. The family originated from Opar village in the Korça region, a fact confirmed by the memoirs of Gjon Muzaka, the last known descendant of the family.

In 1279 Gjon I Muzaka, who remained loyal to the Byzantine throne and resisted the Angevin invasion, was captured by the forces of Charles of Anjou, but under the pressure of local Albanian nobles he was later released.

The Muzaka family continued to remain loyal to the Byzantine Empire and resisted Serb invasion

In 1319 three members of the Muzaka family even tried to get help from the Pope. For their loyalty to Byzantium, the head of the family Andrea II Muzaka gained the title of Despot in 1335, while other Muzakas continued to pursue careers in Byzantine administration in Constantinople.

A chronicle by Gjon Muzaka (John Musachi), written in 1515 after he abandoned Albania and went to Italy, records many interesting facts about the Muzakaj family and the Principality of Berat, although at places unreliable. The text is considered to be one of the oldest written by an Albanian.