|Second Scutari War|
Map of operations in 1421-1423, 1. Forces of Serbian Despotate, 2. Venetian forces
|Republic of Venice|
|Commanders and leaders|
Little Tanush (Dukagjini)
Big Tanush (Dukagjini)
The Second Scutari War (Serbian Cyrillic: ) was an armed conflict in 1419-1426 between Zeta (1419-1421) and then the Serbian Despotate (1421-1423) on the one side and the Venetian Republic on the other, over Scutari and other former possessions of Zeta captured by Venice.
The First Scutari War was waged in period 1405-1413 between Bal?a III and Venetian Republic. In this war Bal?a III tried to capture Scutari and its surrounding region which was given to Venetians by his father ?ura? II Bal?i? in 1396. Using the anti-Venetian rebellion of the Scutari population Bal?a III managed to capture several nearby towns in 1405. Venetians then convinced Bal?a's towns Budva, Bar and Ulcinj to accept their suzerainty. After several years of battles and negotiations the war was ended in 1412 with treaty which obliged Bal?a III and Venice to return everything to pre-war situation. Both parties were unsatisfied with the peace treaty and believed that the other party was in breach of the agreed terms and that the other party should pay more for the damage during the war.
In March 1419 Bal?a III again attempted to recapture Scutari and its surrounding area. In May he managed to capture Drivast and in August 1419 its castle. The Venetians tried to bribe Kastriotis and Dukagjinis to fight against Zeta in 1419, but it seems without success. Venetians also tried to win over some other prominent members of Albanian nobility who supported Bal?a III, like Koja Zaharia who was asked to recognize Venetian suzerainty over his Dagnum. Then they tried to win over tribes Hoti and Matagu?i.
Lazarevi? and his Serbian Despotate had been ceded Lordship of Zeta from Bal?a III in April 1421, but the Venetians did not recognize him, holding on to the occupied Zetan coast and Bojana, including Drivast recaptured by them after Bal?a's death. Venetians emphasized to despot's envoy that they have no intention to cede Bal?a's former possessions to despot and even requested Ottoman support in case of despot's attack. In August 1421, Lazarevi? led his army into Zeta. Gjon Kastrioti, who was a Serbian ally, reinforced Lazarevi? with troops led by one of his sons immediately upon the arrival of the latter in Zeta. According to Fan Noli it was Stanisha who was sent by his father, together with auxiliary forces, to help Serbian despot to capture Scutari from Venetians. With their support despot immediately captured Sveti Srdj and Drivast. Then he went to the coast and took Bar in middle of November 1421.
Lazarevi? appointed voivode Mazarek to administer his possessions in Zeta. Until then Mazarek administered despot's possessions in Rudnik (1414) and Ostrovica. Noblemen from Bar were then invited to a meeting in cathedral of St. George where they recognized the suzerainty of Serbian despot while Mazarek recognized their right to govern the city according to their own legislations.
Lazarevi? concluded the six-months truce with Venice and left to support king Sigismund in his fight against the Hussites. The truce was agreed to last until 15 May 1422. After despot's initial success Venetians readily accepted the truce. The towns of Scutari, Ulcinj and Budva at that moment remainined under their control.
During the truce in the first half of 1422 peace negotiations were held in Venice and attended by despot's envoy duke Vitko. They were continued in Serbia between Venice's envoy Marco Barbadigo and despot himself. When Lazarevi? demanded the surrender of disputed towns, Venice refused and war resumed.
Despot Stefan did not continue the war immediately after the truce because he was busy with other activities, but his voivode Mazarek undertook actions to prevent Venetian reinforcement of the Scutari garrison. He erected several fortresses on the right bank of river Bojana from where he controlled the river. When Venetian captain Niccolo Capello was sent to transport food supplies and archers to the besieged Scutari using three galleys, Mazarek's forces on Bojana forced his galleys to retreat to the Adriatic sea. In July 1422, the Venetian Senate ordered Niccolo Capello to return to Bojana and complete his mission, but he decided to wait for two galleys of providur and supracomite Marco Bembo and Marco Barbo carrying soldiers and material for destruction of the fortress Mazarek had erected in Sveti Sr?.
Lazarevi?'s forces besieged Scutari, probably in June 1422, and for a year, it seemed that Venice would have lost their possessions. In November 1422 Venetian fleet destroyed Mazarek's fortresses on Bojana and reached Sveti Sr?. Due to low water level they could not continue their voyage through Bojana.
Supported by some local Albanians, Venice managed to break the siege in December 1422. Scutari garrison led by captain Niccolo Capello unexpectedly attacked despot's army during one December night and broke the siege. After the siege was broken Venetians reinforced Scutari's garrison with additional 400 cavalry and between 200 and 300 infantry.
Despot's army did not suffer serious casualties and returned under Scutari's fortress in January 1423. In January 1423, Venice bribed and won over the Pamaliots on Bojana, and then bought over several tribal leader in or near Zeta: the Pa?trovi?i, Gjon Kastrioti (who had extended to the outskirts of Alessio), the Dukagjins, and Koja Zaharija. Though none of these were mobilized militarly by Venice, they left the ranks of Lazarevi?'s army, thus became a potential danger to Lazarevi?. Although Venetian admiral Francesco Bembo offered money to Gjon Kastrioti, Dukagjins and to Koja Zaharija in April 1423 to join the Venetian forces against Serbian Despotate, they refused.
In summer of 1423 despot Lazarevi? sent ?ura? Brankovi? with 8,000 cavalry to Zeta. He besieged Scutari and erected fortresses on Bojana to cut off Venetian supplies of the besieged city. Duke Sandalj was prepared to support Serbian despot in his attempts to capture Scutari. Faced with such difficult situation Venetian governors were instructed to negotiate peace.
The conflict was ended in August 1423, after conclusion of the treaty (the Peace of Sveti Srdj). In the name of the Serbian Despotate, the treaty was signed by ?ura? Brankovi? (with two witnesses who were Ottoman officials). Brankovi? was the despot's representative in Zeta since 1423 and was also in charge for all negotiations. According to the treaty the Serbian Despotate kept Drivast and Bar while Venice kept Scutari, Ulcinj and Kotor. Venice was obliged to return Budva and Grbalj region to Serbia and to pay 1,000 ducats in annual tribute for Scutari to the Lazarevi?i, which they initially had paid out to Bal?a III. Both parties agreed to exchange prisoners and to raze their forts on Bojana which was agreed to be completely in Venetian hands.
After the treaty was signed Francesco Bembo invited ?ura? Brankovi? to a ceremonial reception organized on his ship sailing through Bojana, followed by other ships of the Venetian fleet. ?ura? then asked Venice to support him with six galleys in an eventual war against the Ottomans and to confirm him all privileges previously held by his father Vuk, knez Lazar, and despot Stefan Lazarevi?.
Although the treaty of Sveti Sr? had been signed there were many issues that remained unresolved. Therefore, the situation was not fully resolved until the final settlement was achieved by an agreement signed in Vu?itrn in 1426. The treaty of Vu?itrn was revised in Drivast on 11 November 1426.
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Prvi skadarski rat protiv Balse III 1405-1412.
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