The struggle of the Albanian people led by George Castriota Scanderbeg to defend Europe against the assault of the Ottoman Turks has been much celebrated. For a quarter of a century, from 1443 until his death in 1468, he used his military prowess to thwart the efforts of the most powerful Empire in the world at that time to subdue his tiny country.
As the 550th anniversary of the death of the great Albanian leader is commemorated, Scanderbeg remains as relevant as ever. One of the true heroes of the Middle Ages, his remarkable story remains little known outside of Albania. George Castriota defended Europe for a quarter of a century and, it can rightly be said, helped to save Western civilization from being overrun by Islam and suffering the same fate as the once mighty Byzantine Empire.
Although the challenges have changed over the centuries, the clash of civilizations, which the history of the Albanian struggle to fend off the Islamic onslaught illustrates, continues today. As a result, it is all the more worth noting the contribution that this tiny land, led by Scanderbeg, made in the fight to preserve Western culture and civilization. Equally important is the example set by the Albanian people in ultimately harmonizing these two great civilizations.
As we commemorate the 550th anniversary of his death, this book aims to draw attention to the genius and remarkable achievements of Scanderbeg who helped shape the identity of the Albanian people and to mark the important contribution this small but proud nation has made to European civilization.