3. Kosovo under King Stefan Dušan

King Stefan Dusan, who called himself at one time King of Serbia, Albania, the Coast and the Greeks, ruled in the Kosovo area where the Albanians were part of his army, were given equal treatment with the Serbs as well as probably also suffering some level of discrimination. Dusan’s famous Code always mentions the Albanians together with the Vlachs but rather as pastoralists or herdsmen than an ethnic group.

Kosovan textbooks only focus on the reign of Stefan Dušan (1331-1355) as part of the two-century long Serbian rule in Kosovo (1216-1415). It is portrayed in exclusively negative terms: ‘… the Serbian conquerors used force and savage economic, social and religious discrimination, and undertook mass colonisation of Albanian lands,’ and ‘… Albanian landlords were replaced by Serbs, many place names were replaced with Slavic names and only Serbs were found in the most senior posts of state administration…’. Furthermore, these textbooks say that the Albanian population underwent repression, discrimination and colonisation, because they continued to maintain their existence and the Albanian nature of these lands. The textbooks of Kosovo and Albania say that there were powerful anti-Serb rebellions which included all territories and which were even supported by European countries, and explaining their motive as being repression, discrimination and colonisation.

[Rexhepi, Fehmi and Frashër Demaj. Historia 5. Prishtina: Libri Shkollor, 2013, pages 25-36; Bicaj, Isa and Arbër Salihu. Historia 7. Prishtina: Libri Shkollor, 2013, pages 40-52, 55-57; Rexhepi, Fehmi and Frashër Demaj. Historia 10. Prishtina: Libri Shkollor, 2013, pages 155-168.]

The Serbian textbooks do not give any details of Serbian rule in Kosovo under King Dušan.

[Mihaljčić, Rade. Istoria 6. Belgrade: Zavod za udžbenike, 2011, pages 86-98, 104-114, 118-119; Katić, Tatjana and Dušan Ilijin. Istorija za I razred gimnazije. Belgrade: Zavod za udžbenike, 2013, pages 243-245.]

The oppression, discrimination and colonisation of Albanians under the Empire of King Dusan is mentioned nowhere in the writing of international experts on Kosovan history. Also, according to the writing of international experts on Kosovan history there were no Albanian anti-Serb rebellions. In Dušan’s empire the Albanians really had a large role: the army of King Dušan which conquered northern Greece was made up mainly of Albanians who took revenge on the Byzantines for their earlier attacks on their land. After this conquest a large number of Albanians and Albanian Vlachs moved to Greece. It was at the head of an army which probably contained a large number of Albanians that King Dušan set off from his headquarters in Shkodra with the aim of attacking his father, Dečanski, in Nerodime, where he took him captive and executed him. The medieval Serbian state had two groups of people who enjoyed special treatment: Albanians and Vlachs. These two groups are mentioned several times, usually together, in the Code of King Dušan. In a decree issued by King Dečanski it is stressed that it was stated that ‘… a Serb is not allowed to marry a Vlach,’ which was not the case for Albanians, while a decree of King Milutin equated Albanians with Serbs.

[Malcolm, Noel. Kosovo: A Short History. London: Pan Books, 2002, pages 42-95; Schmitt, Oliver. Kosova: histori e shkurtër e një treve qendrore ballkanike. Prishtina: Koha, 2012, pages 39-46; Schmitt, Oliver. “Monada e Ballkanit” Shqiptarët në Mesjetë. Published in the book prepared by Oliver Schmitt and Eva Anne Frantz. Historia e Shqiptarëve – gjendja dhe perspektivat e studimeve. Tirana: Botimet Përpjekja, 2012, pages 67-90; Bartl, Peter. Shqipëria nga Mesjeta deri Sot. Prizren: Drita, 1999, 24-31. Schmitt, Oliver. Shqiptarët – një histori midis Lindjes dhe Perëndimit. Tirana: K&B, 2012, pages 49-59.]