Principality of Kastrioti was one of the most important principalities in Medieval Albania. It was created by Gjon Kastrioti and ruled by the national hero of Albania, George Kastrioti Skanderbeg. Gjon Kastrioti had only two small villages. In short time John Kastrioti managed to expand its lands so as to become the undisputed lord of Central Albania, he married Voisava Tripalda who bore five daughters - Mara wife of Stefan Crnojević of Montenegro. Gjon Kastrioti was among those who opposed the early incursion of Ottoman Bayezid I, however his resistance was ineffectual; the Sultan, having accepted his submissions, obliged him to pay tribute and to ensure the fidelity of local rulers, George Kastrioti and his three brothers were taken by the Sultan to his court as hostages. After his conversion to Islam, the young George Kastrioti attended military school in Edirne and led many battles for the Ottoman Empire to victory. For his military victories, he received the title Arnavutlu İskender Bey, comparing Kastrioti's military brilliance to that of Alexander the Great.
He was distinguished as one of the best officers in several Ottoman campaigns both in Asia Minor and in Europe, the Sultan appointed him General. He fought against Greeks and Hungarians, some sources say that he used to maintain secret links with Ragusa, Ladislaus V of Hungary, Alfonso I of Naples. Sultan Murat II gave him the title Vali. On November 28, 1443, Skanderbeg saw his opportunity to rebel after a battle against the Hungarians led by John Hunyadi in Niš as part of the Crusade of Varna, he switched sides along with 300 other Albanians serving in the Ottoman army. After a long trek to Albania he captured Krujë by forging a letter from the Sultan to the Governor of Krujë, which granted him control of the territory. After capturing the castle, Skanderbeg abjured Islam and proclaimed himself the avenger of his family and country, he raised a flag showing a double-headed eagle, an ancient symbol used by various cultures of Balkans, which became the Albanian flag. The Governor was killed as he was returning to Edirne, unaware of Skanderbeg's intentions...
Skanderbeg married his daughter Donika. Following the capture of Krujë, Skanderbeg managed to bring together all the Albanian princes in the town of Lezhë. Gibbon reports that the "Albanians, a martial race, were unanimous to live and die with their hereditary prince" and that "in the assembly of the states of Epirus, Skanderbeg was elected general of the Turkish war and each of the allies engaged to furnish his respective proportion of men and money". With this support, Skanderbeg built fortresses and organized a mobile defense force that forced the Ottomans to disperse their troops, leaving them vulnerable to the hit-and-run tactics of the Albanians, he managed to create the League of a federation of all Albanian Principalities. The main members of the league were the Arianiti, Balšić, Dukagjini,Muzaka, Spani and Crnojevići. For 25 years, from 1443–1468, Skanderbeg's 10,000 man army marched through Ottoman territory winning against larger and better supplied Ottoman forces. Threatened by Ottoman advances in their homeland and Naples and Venice – their former enemies – provided the financial backbone and support for Skanderbeg's army.
By 1450 it had ceased to function as intended, only the core of the alliance under Scanderbeg and Araniti Comino continued to fight on. The League first distinguished itself under Skanderbeg at the battle of Torvioll where he defeated the Ottoman forces. Skanderbeg's victory was praised through the rest of Europe; the battle of Torvioll thus opened up the quarter-century war between Skanderbeg's Albania and the Ottoman Empire. On 14 May 1450, an Ottoman army, larger than any previous force encountered by Skanderbeg or his men and overwhelmed the castle of the city of Kruja,capital of the Principality of Kastrioti; this city was symbolic to Skanderbeg because he had been appointed suba of Kruja in 1438 by the Ottomans. The fighting lasted four months and over one thousand Albanians lost their lives while over 20,000 Ottomans died in battle. So, the Ottoman forces were unable to capture the city and had no choice but to retreat before winter set in. In June 1446, Mehmed II, known as "the conqueror", led an army of 150,000 soldiers back to Kruja but failed to capture the castle.
Skanderbeg's death in 1468 did not end the struggle for independence, fighting continued until 1481, under Lekë Dukagjini, when the Albanian lands were forced to succumb to the Ottoman armies. House of Kastrioti League of Lezhë Albanian principalities History of Albania "History of Albanian People" Albanian Academy of Science. ISBN 99927-1-623-1
Kim Jae-duck is a South Korean singer and choreographer. He is known as a member of Sechs Kies, a rival band to the top boy group in the 90's, H. O. T. and reunited in 2016. When Sechs Kies disbanded in 2000, he started a new band, J-Walk with Jang Suwon from Sechs Kies. Kim is known for his Busan accent and his nickname is "Ducky" as a reference to his name. Kim and fellow Busan native Lee Jai-jin formed a dance crew called Quicksilver, was selected as a trainee in Lee Juno's company. Lee Juno was famous as Boys' member. At that time Lee Ho yeon, Daesung Entertainment's CEO, asked him to recommend an idol group member; that is. In 2016, Kang Sung-hoon said that he had watched the audition tape and chosen Kim as a member for his superior dancing skill; the duo moved to Seoul to finish high school while training at Daesung Entertainment. SechsKies made their debut in April 1997 and came to be seen as a rival of H. O. T, who had debuted a year earlier and were considered the first K-pop idol group to achieve mainstream recognition and success.
Kim and Lee, who were the main dancers and choreographers, were responsible for some of the group's most memorable dances. Kim was instead known for rapping in the Busan satoori. SechsKies went on to establish themselves as one of the most popular boy bands of the late 1990s, scoring a string of #1 hits on music programs; however they disbanded in 2000 and performed for the final time at the Dream Concert that May at the Seoul Olympic Stadium. After SechsKies disbanded 2000 when the members announced they wanted to split ways, Kim was set to become a dance instructor for Sechs Kies label Daesung Entertainment but he ended up joining with his former Sechs Kies member Jang Su-won to form a new duo J-Walk in 2002 under a new label, Kiss Entertainment, they released their first album, entitled Suddenly on March 2002, the title track, became a huge hit. They released second album Someday at the same year. Both two albums were well received and acclaimed and they took SBS Gayo Daejeon Popularity Award with former Sechs Kies member Kang Sung-hun in 2002.
Their first EP Sun Shower was delayed until 2007. J-Walk released their third album My Love in 2008 and Eun Ji-won helped them by participating in the music video and featuring in the title song. Since Kim Jae-duck entered the military shortly after, Su-won had to promote the album by himself. After Su-won was discharged from army, J-Walk has signed under A&G Modes and released some digital songs, they returned with mini album "Love... Painfully" with main track "Strive" on December 2013. In 2016, Kim reunited with his former bandmates through the variety show Infinite Challenge. There had been prior speculation about a reunion as Kim himself, leader Eun Ji-won and vocalist Jang Su-won had cautiously hinted that all members were in discussions except vocalist Ko Ji-yong, who had left the entertainment industry to start his own business and was married. During the "Totoga" segment of Infinite Challenge, the five members organized a guerrilla concert, the first time they had stood together on stage as SechsKies in over fifteen years.
Ko made a surprise appearance backstage to reunite with the five members and during the concert for an emotional rendition of their award-winning hit "Couple". SechsKies signed with YG Entertainment for all group activities while Kim and other members remained with their individual management agencies, it was decided that they temporarily postponed solo activities. Outside of SechKies, Kim has appeared on several variety shows with his friend Tony An, he co-hosted. He appeared on Mom's Diary - My Ugly Duckling, a reality show that An was participating in. Kim is housemates with former H. O. T. member Tony An. The arrangement had caused a stir amongst their contemporaries as both groups were regarded as one another's fiercest industry rivals during the late 1990s and avoided any contact with one another despite crossing paths many times, they had befriended one another during their mandatory military service. In 2014 Kim became a director of the entertainment agency which Tony An founded, TN Nation Entertainment.