Tripti Joshi

Andrea Gropa

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Spouse  Anne (Kyranna) Muzaka
Noble family  Gropa

Buried  St. Bogorodica Church
Name  Andrea Gropa
Andrea Gropa
Occupation  ?— 1371: vassal to King of Serbia Vukasin Mrnjavcevic 1371—? : semi-independent to King of Serbia Marko Mrnjavcevic

Andrea Gropa (Serbian: Андрија Гропа, Andrija Gropa) was a county lord (župan) of Ohrid, first as a minor vassal to Serbian King Vukašin Mrnjavčević (r. 1365–1371), then as an Ottoman vassal after the Battle of Maritsa. He hailed from the Albanian noble family Gropa.

Contents

Life

Andrea was a member of the Albanian Gropa family. His ancestor Paul Gropa was acknowledged by Charles I of Naples in 1273: "nobili viro sevasto Paulo Gropa »casalia Radicis maioris et Radicis minons, пeс non Cobocheste, Zuadigorica, Sirclani et Сraye, Zessizan sitam in valle de Ebu". During the Serbian expansion in Macedonia, the Gropa also moved towards the south, becoming neighbours with Arianiti and Spata.

After Emperor Dušan's death (1355), Gropa was a local ruler in the district of Ohrid. Prior to the Battle of Maritsa, Gropa was a vassal to the Mrnjavčević family; The King of Serbia Vukašin Mrnjavčević (r. 1365 – died 1371), held Western Macedonia as a co-ruler to Emperor Stephen Uroš V of Serbia (r. 1355 – died 1371).

After the death of King Vukašin and his brother Jovan Uglješa at the Battle of Maritsa against the Ottomans in 1371, and the subsequent death of the Emperor, there was a crisis in appointing the successor of the throne. Vukašin's son, Marko, did not have the power to unite his lords, and only retained nominal rule over the area from his base at Prilep.

After Maritsa, the Dejanovići became Ottoman vassals. By 1377, Vuk Branković extended his rule over Skopje, and Gropa is mentioned as lord of Ohrid. Bogdan, Gropa and Marko, and the rest of the rulers in Western Macedonia became vassals to Murad I. The vassals had to pay tribute to the Ottoman sultan and supply troops in case of war.

Gropa is mentioned as megas zupanos (župan veliki) in a Greek stone inscription dating to 1378. He set himself up as Grand Župan of Ohrid, in southwest Macedonia. In 1379, he became a ktitor for a church in Ohrid dedicated to St. Clement. Gropa was mentioned as "župan Gropa" in the funeral inscription of his son-in-law Ostoja Rajaković (1380).

According to the Muzaka chronicles, Gropa joined Andrea II Muzaka and the Balšić family against Marko; He gained Kostur and Debar, and became semi-independent from Marko.

Gropa also minted coins, findings dating to c. 1377 – c. 1385, inscripted in Old Serbian with his title as župan and gospodar, with his signature as "Po milosti Božijoj župan Gropa". He was the last Christian ruler of Ohrid before the Ottoman conquest. His signature is found in the scriptorium of the Church of St. Sofia in Ohrid.

The date of his death is unknown, the Muzaka chronicles says there were no descendants and that his lands were assigned to the Muzaka family after his death, however, the most probable is that they were given to Marko.

Family

Gropa married Anne (Kyranna), the daughter of Andrea II Muzaka. His brother-in-law was Balša II Balšić. Gropa's son-in-law was Ostoja Rajaković, a lord in Ohrid and relative to Marko.

Legacy

Gropa is, like the other provincial lords of the fall of the Serbian Empire, enumerated in the Serb epic poetry.

References

Andrea Gropa Wikipedia


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