The Spanish cultural magazine "La Brujula Verde" has dedicated an article to the glorious life of the hero Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg.
The initial focus is on the hero's youthful biography and the origin of his nickname (Skënderbeu): his victories, in fact, led the Ottomans to give him the label of İskender bey, or Alexander the Great, obviously alluding to the famous hero.
Among the many awards received for Giorgio Castriota, there is also that of 'sipahi' (knight) by the Ottoman sultan Murad II.
The stratagem to regain possession of the Albanian territories
After 20 years of service for the Ottomans, the hero sided with the Hungarian army and with an astute tactic succeeds in regaining possession of the Albanian territory (Croia, Petrela, Guri i Bardhë etc.) in the 1433: falsifying a letter of Murad II and together with 300 Albanians raise the red flag with the black two-headed eagle, symbol of the Castriota family, on the town of Kruia.
The nickname change
Scanderbeg's army was of mixed ethnicity but of Christian religion; the hero, in fact, had converted. This, the creation of the league of Alexis (Lezhë) and the previous passage to the Hungarian army, led the Ottomans to rename it 'Hain Iskender', Alexander traitor.
The agreement with the Pope, the resistance, the death
The new Turkish advance forced him to take refuge in Ragusa for a while. There he managed to convince the Pope to come to his aid and strengthened relations with the Aragonese by signing the treaty of Gaeta, which recognized the sovereignty of Alfonso V over the region in exchange for military aid.
Pope, Aragonese and Scanderbeg who, after the fall of Constantinople, led a crusade (Berat 1454) literally exterminated by the Venetian army that in those years was in conflict with the Aragonese.
This gave confidence to the Ottoman army but their new assault was again rejected by the Albanian army of Scanderbeg, who in the meantime, due to internal differences in the Aragonese, had allied himself with the Venetians.
The definitive battle to drive out the Ottomans never happened, or better, it happened but not under the guidance of Giorgio Castriota, who died in 1468 because of malaria. Ten years later, in the 1478, the Ottomans managed to enter the Croia stronghold.
The original article is available in Spanish at the "LA Brujula Verde" published 17 February 2018.