MOUNT ATHOS, WALLACHIAN PRINCES (VOYVODES), JOHN KASTRIOTIS, AND THE ALBANIAN TOWER, A DEPENDENCY OF HILANDAR
After the Ottoman conquest of the Balkan states, the princes of Moldavia and Wallachia, now the sultan’s vassals, assumed responsibility for the Athonite monasteries. Reference in their donation charters to the founders of Hilandar Simeon Nemanja and St Sava ensured liturgical continuity, their names being added to a string of distinguished historical figures mentioned in prayers, which contributed to the legitimacy and prestige of their power. The absence of such names from the charters to the Albanian Tower, or the Church of St Elias, two dependencies of Hilandar, may be explained by the fact that their founders were not that famous. Securing refuge at the time of the Ottoman invasion, John Kastriotis donated two villages to Hilandar in 1426, and in 1430 made an arrangement (adelphaton) for lifetime use of the Tower on behalf of his four sons. One of them died on Mt Athos in 1431, and John himself, now monk Joachim, died in 1437. All the evidence testifies to close and long-lived connections between Albanian feudal lords and the Serbian imperial laura.