Urban physiognomy and political and economic developments in the city of Durrës (1200- 1501)

AuthorMuhamet Qerimi
PositionUniversity of Pristina
Vol. 1 No. 1
January 2017
European Journal of Economics, Law and Social Sciences
IIPCCL Publishing, Graz-Austria
ISSN 2519-1284
Acces online at www.iipccl.org
Urban physiognomy and political and economic developments in the city of
Durrës (1200- 1501)
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Muhamet Qerimi
University of Pristina
The city of Durrës during the middle Ages, despite extensive devastations caused by human
factor and natural disasters, managed to maintain the continuity and physiognomy of a
developed city of the Mediterranean region. Compared to many other cities of the Adriatic
coast and broader, it had a more sustainable development, be it in the political-social eld
and in the urban architectural domain as well. More distinctive were the works carried out
in the forti cation of the city started by Anastas I. All these would not be possible without
the establishment and functioning of the institutions of the city such as the council of the
city, panel of judges, two magistrates and other credible institutions. The city had its stamp,
emblem and statute thus witnessing the enhancement of political life. The development of the
city was also promoted by its geographical position, located at the beginning of Via Egnatia
that connected Western to Eastern Europe. The development of Durrës was also conditioned
by a range of factors of various natures, which changed the city into an important centre of
transit trade, competing with important centres of Eastern Adriatic.
Keywords: Durrës, institutions, council, urban, trade etc.
This manuscript aims to shed some light in the city of Durrës and on the oscillations
of its economic development in centuries XI-XV, starting from the fact that direct and
compact work is not possible in the historic opinion. For its compilation the author
has been based on broad resources with primary focus on archival resources and
in pu ing in motion a set of methods dominated by the analysis, comparisons and
synthesis. This paper shall serve as a core of a broader paper about Durrës for the
period (XI-XV) and its relationships with other Balkan and Mediterranean cities.
Urbanism and Architecture
During the transitional period from antiquity in the early Middle Ages, a period of
downsizing of the city areas is noted and leaving it out of architectural a ention. This
situation is explained by the lecherousness su ered by governmental, economic and
infrastructural systems, etc. The crisis of antique systems was followed by massive
devastations that the cities su ered from the barbarian a acks. During this "dark"
period, many cities remained as such, others lost their earlier glamour, surviving
as simple centres of military and administrative or Episcopal type. In this wave of
systems where an era of turbulence and massive destructions dominated, Durrës
city also, as many Albanian cities, sustained considerable damages. But compared to

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