The Info List - Empire Of Trebizond

The Empire of Trebizond
Empire of Trebizond
or the Trapezuntine Empire was a monarchy that flourished during the 13th through 15th centuries, consisting of the far northeastern corner of Anatolia
and the southern Crimea. The empire was first formed as a revolt against the rule of the Angelos dynasty of the Byzantine Empire, which had deposed Emperor Andronikos I Komnenos
in 1185. Centered around the city of Trebizond (modern day Trabzon, Turkey), Alexios and David Komnenos, grandsons and last male descendants of Andronikos I, pressed their claims as "Roman Emperors" against Byzantine Emperor Alexios V Doukas. After the crusaders of the Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
overthrew Alexios V and established the Latin Empire, the Empire of Trebizond
Empire of Trebizond
became one of three Byzantine successor states to claim the imperial throne, alongside the Empire of Nicaea
Empire of Nicaea
under the Laskaris family and the Despotate of Epirus
Despotate of Epirus
under a branch of the Angelos family.[2] The ensuing wars would see the Empire of Thessalonica, the imperial government that sprung from Epirus, collapse following conflicts with Nicaea and Bulgaria and the final recapture of Constantinople
by the Empire of Nicaea
Empire of Nicaea
in 1261. Despite the Nicaean reconquest of Constantinople, the Emperors of Trebizond would continue to style themselves as "Roman Emperors" for decades and continued to press their claim on the Imperial throne. Emperor John II of Trebizond officially gave up the trapezuntine claim to the Roman imperial title and Constantinople
itself 11 years after the Nicaeans recaptured the city, altering his imperial title from "Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans" to "Emperor and Autocrat of all the East, Iberia and Perateia".[3] The Trapezuntine monarchy would survive the longest of the Byzantine successor states. The Despotate of Epirus
Despotate of Epirus
had ceased to contest the Byzantine throne even before the Nicaean reconquest and was briefly occupied by the restored Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
c. 1340, thereafter becoming a Serbian dependency later inherited by Italians, ultimately falling to the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in 1479. Whilst the Empire of Nicaea
Empire of Nicaea
had restored the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
through restoring control of the capital, it ended in 1453 with the conquest of Constantinople
by the Ottomans. Trebizond would last until 1461 when the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II
Mehmed II
conquered it after a month-long siege and took its ruler and his family into captivity,[4] marking the final end of the Roman imperial tradition initiated by Augustus
1,488 years previously. The Crimean Principality of Theodoro, an offshoot of Trebizond, lasted another 14 years, falling to the Ottomans in 1475.


1 Geography 2 Origins 3 History

3.1 Background 3.2 Foundation 3.3 Up to the civil wars 3.4 From the civil wars to the end of the 14th century 3.5 In the 15th century

4 In popular culture 5 See also 6 References 7 Sources and research

7.1 Primary sources 7.2 Secondary sources

8 External links

Geography[edit] Geographically, the Empire of Trebizond
Empire of Trebizond
consisted of the narrow strip along the southern coast of the Black Sea
Black Sea
and the western half of the Pontic Alps, along with the Gazarian Perateia, or southern Crimea (soon losing Genoese Gazaria and Theodorite Gazaria).

Successor states of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
after the 4th Crusade: The Empire of Trebizond, Empire of Nicaea
Empire of Nicaea
and Despotate of Epirus.

The core of the empire was the southern Black Sea
Black Sea
coast from the mouth of the Yeşilırmak River, a region known to the Trapezuntines as Limnia, possibly as far east as Chorokhi River, a region known as Lazia; a Genoese document records the seizure of one of their ships at that port in 1437 by a military Galley at the orders of Emperor John IV.[5] Anthony Bryer
Anthony Bryer
has argued that six of the seven banda of the Byzantine theme of Chaldia
were maintained in working order by the rulers of Trebizond until the end of the empire, helped by geography. Geography also defined the southern border of this state: the Pontic Alps served as a barrier first to Seljuk Turks
Seljuk Turks
and later to Turkoman marauders, whose predations were reduced to a volume that the emperors could cope with.[6] This territory corresponds to an area comprising all or parts of the modern Turkish provinces of Sinop, Samsun, Ordu, Giresun, Trabzon, Bayburt, Gümüşhane, Rize, and parts of Artvin. In the 13th century, some experts believe the empire controlled the Gazarian Perateia, which included Cherson and Kerch
on the Crimean peninsula. David Komnenos, the younger brother of the first Emperor, expanded rapidly to the west, occupying first Sinope, then coastal parts of Paphlagonia
(the modern-day coastal regions of Kastamonu, Bartın, and Zonguldak) and Heraclea Pontica
Heraclea Pontica
(the modern-day Karadeniz Ereğli), until his territory bordered the Empire of Nicaea. The expansion was, however, short-lived: the territories west of Sinope were lost to Theodore I Laskaris by 1214, and Sinope itself fell to the Seljuks that same year, although the emperors of Trebizond continued to fight for its control over the rest of the 13th century.[7] Origins[edit] The rulers of Trebizond called themselves Megas Komnenos
("Great Comnenus") and – like their counterparts in the other two Byzantine successor states, the Empire of Nicaea
Empire of Nicaea
and the Despotate of Epirus
Despotate of Epirus
– initially claimed supremacy as "Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans." However, after Michael VIII Palaiologos
Michael VIII Palaiologos
of Nicaea recaptured Constantinople
in 1261, the Komnenian use of the style "Emperor" became a sore point. In 1282, John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos
stripped off his imperial regalia before the walls of Constantinople
before entering to marry Michael's daughter and accept his legal title of despot.[8] However, his successors used a version of his title, "Emperor and Autocrat of the entire East, of the Iberians and the Perateia" until the Empire's end in 1461.[9] Byzantine authors, such as Pachymeres, and to some extent Trapezundines such as Lazaropoulos and Bessarion, regarded the Trebizond Empire as being no more than a Lazian border state. Thus from the point of view of the Byzantine writers connected with the Lascaris and later with the Palaiologos, the rulers of Trebizond were not emperors.[10][11] History[edit] Background[edit]

Fortification plan of Trebizond

The city of Trebizond was the capital of the theme of Chaldia, according to the 10th century Arab geographer Abul Feda it was regarded as being largely a Lazian port. Chaldia
had already shown its separatist tendencies in the 10th and 11th centuries, when it came under the control of a local leader named Theodore Gabras, who according to Anna Comnena regarded Trebizond and its hinterlands "as a prize which had fallen to his own lot" and conducted himself as an independent prince. The Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos
Alexios I Komnenos
confirmed him as governor of Chaldia, but kept his son at Constantinople
as a hostage for his good conduct. Nevertheless, Gabras proved himself a worthy guardian by repelling a Georgian attack on Trebizond.[12] One of his successors, Gregory Taronites also rebelled with the aid of the Sultan of Cappadocia, but he was defeated and imprisoned, only to be made governor once more.[13] Another successor to Theodore was Constantine Gabras, whom Niketas describes as ruling Trebizond as a tyrant, and whose actions led Emperor John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos
in 1139 to lead an expedition against him. Although that effort came to nothing, this was the last rebel governor known to recorded history prior to the events of 1204.[14] Foundation[edit] The empire traces its foundation to April 1204, when Alexios Komnenos and his brother David took advantage of the preoccupation of the central Byzantine government with the encampment of the soldiers of the Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
outside their walls (June 1203 – mid-April 1204) and seized the city of Trebizond and the surrounding province of Chaldia
with troops provided by their relative, Tamar of Georgia.[1] Henceforth, the links between Trebizond and Georgia remained close, but their nature and extent have been disputed.[15] Both men were the grandsons of the last Komnenian Byzantine emperor, Andronikos I Komnenos, by his son Manuel Komnenos
and Rusudan, daughter of George III of Georgia. Andronikos I had been deposed by Isaac II Angelos, while Manuel was blinded (a traditional Byzantine punishment for treason) and died not long after. Alexios and his brother, David, ended up at the court of Queen Tamar of Georgia, who gave them military support to return to Byzantine territory. Vasiliev explains that she had been motivated to do so after the Emperor Alexios III Angelos
Alexios III Angelos
stole the gifts Tamar had given to a group of visiting monks as they passed through Constantinople.[16] While Michel Kurskanskis has argued in support of Vasiliev's interpretation, he disagrees with Vasiliev over the intent of Tamar's intervention: Vasiliev has argued that the Queen intended to create a buffer state to protect the Georgian Kingdom, while Kurskanskis believes she supported the brothers in their attempt to reclaim the Byzantine throne in Constantinople.[17] After marching from Georgia, and with the help of their paternal aunt Queen Tamar, Alexios and David occupied Trebizond in April 1204.[18] That same month Alexios was proclaimed emperor at the age of 22, an act considered by later writers as the moment the Empire of Trebizond was founded. Up to the civil wars[edit]

Alexios III, from the chrysobull he granted to the Dionysiou monastery on Mount Athos.

The date Alexios entered Trebizond may be narrowed down even further. Sergey Karpov has identified a lead seal of Alexios, on one side "the image of a strategos in the peaked helmet led by hand by St. George" with the inscriptions Ἀλέξιος ὁ Κομνηνός [Alexios Komnenos] and Ὁ Ἅ(γιος) Γεώργιος [Saint George] on either side; on the obverse is a scene of Ἡ Ἁγία Ἀνάστασις [The Holy Resurrection] with the corresponding inscription. Karpov interprets the significance of this image and the inscription as portraying the most important achievement of his life, St. George inviting the victorious prince to enter Trebizond and opening the gates of the city with his left hand. The importance of St. George was that Easter—the date of the Resurrection—in 1204 fell on 25 April, while the memorial date of St. George was 23 April. "So I dared to assume," writes Karpov, "that the seal points out the date of the capture of Trebizond."[19] Vasiliev points out that the brothers occupied Trebizond too early to have done so in response to the Crusaders capturing Constantinople; Alexios and David began their march on Trebizond before news of the sack of Constantinople
on 13 April 1204 could reach either Trebizond or Georgia. According to Vasiliev, however, their original intention was not to seize a base from which they could recover the capital of the Byzantine Empire, but rather to carve out of the Byzantine Empire a buffer state to protect Georgia from the Seljuk Turks.[20] Kuršanskis, while agreeing with Vasiliev that Tamar was motivated by revenge for Alexios Angelos's insult, proposed a more obvious motivation for the brother's return to Byzantine territory: they had decided to raise the banner of revolt, depose Alexios Angelos, and return the imperial throne to the Komnenos
dynasty. However, not long after they had gained control of Trebizond and the neighboring territories, news of the Latin conquest of Constantinople
reached them, and the brothers entered the competition for recovery of the imperial city against Theodore I Laskaris in western Anatolia
(ruler of the "Empire of Nicaea") and Michael Komnenos
Doukas in mainland Greece (ruler of the "Despotate of Epirus").[21] For most of the 13th century Trebizond was in continual conflict with the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm and later with the Ottoman Turks, as well as Constantinople, the Italian republics, and especially the Republic of Genoa. It was an empire more in title than in fact, surviving by playing its rivals against each other, and offering the daughters of its rulers, who were famed for their beauty, for marriage with generous dowries, especially with the Turkish rulers of inland Anatolia. The common view is that the Empire of Trebizond
Empire of Trebizond
relied heavily upon wealth gained from its trade with Genoese and Venetian merchants to secure for itself the resources necessary to maintain independence.[22] The second son of Alexios I, Manuel I (1238–1263), preserved internal security and acquired the reputation of a great commander. His accomplishments included capturing Sinope in 1254.[23] He was the first ruler to issue silver coins, which were known as aspers. The destruction of Baghdad by Hulagu Khan
Hulagu Khan
in 1258 diverted the western terminus of the Silk Road
Silk Road
north to the Black Sea, and due to its link with their local capital at Tabriz, Trebizond accumulated tremendous wealth under the suzerainty of the Mongols.[24] Western travelers used Trebziond as their starting point for journeys into Asia; these travelers included Marco Polo, who returned to Europe in 1295 by way of Trebizond. The troubled reign of Manuel's youngest son John II (1280–1297) included a reconciliation with the restored Byzantine Empire and the end of Trapezuntine claims to Constantinople. Trebizond enjoyed a period of wealth[25] and influence during the long reign of John's eldest son Alexios II (1297–1330). During his reign, the city of Erzurum
was also under Trebizond Empire occupation for a while around the 1310s.[26] From the civil wars to the end of the 14th century[edit] Main article: Trapezuntine Civil War Following the death of Alexios II, Trebizond suffered a period of repeated imperial depositions and assassinations, despite a short period of stability under his youngest son Basil (1332-1340). Two groups struggled for ascendency: the Scholaroi, who have been identified as being pro-Byzantine, and the Amytzantarantes, who were identified as representing the interests of the native archontes. The years 1347-1348 marked the apex of this lawless period. The Turks took advantage of the weakness of the empire, conquering Oinaion
and besieging Trebizond, while the Genoese seized Kerasus. In addition, the Black Death
Black Death
spread from Caffa
to ravage Trebizond and other Pontic cities. Bending under the weight of the disasters that accumulated on his states, Emperor Michael abdicated in 1349 in favor of his nephew, Alexios III, who gradually brought the partisans of both factions under control. Under the rule of Alexios III, Trebizond was considered an important trade center and was renowned for its great wealth and artistic accomplishment. It was at this point that their famous diplomatic strategy of marrying the princesses of the Grand Komnenos
to neighboring Turkish dynasts began. However, Anthony Bryers has argued against thinking this empire was a wealthy polity, stating that while the income from taxes levied on this trade was "by Byzantine standards" substantial, as much as three quarters of the income of the Emperor came from land "either directly from the imperial estates or indirectly from taxes and tithes from other lands."[27] In the 15th century[edit]

A reduced Trebizond with surrounding states in 1400

The last years of the fourteenth century were characterized by the increasing Turkish threat. This threat was not from the small Turkmen emirates that bordered Trebizond's borders, but from the dynasty of the Osmanli, a new Turkish power emerging from western Anatolia
that would soon consolidate the Ottoman Empire. Although their expansion was temporarily checked by Tamerlane at the Battle of Ankara
Battle of Ankara
in 1402, by the 1430s the Ottomans had recovered their fortunes, seizing large segments of Greece and finally capturing Constantinople
itself on 29 May 1453. Manuel III (1390–1417), the second son and successor of Alexios III, had allied himself with Tamerlane, but the mighty conqueror soon left Anatolia, and the empire he had built crumbled with his death. His son Alexios IV (1417–1429) continued the tradition of political marriages by marrying two of his daughters to rulers of two neighboring Muslim empires: Jihan Shah, khan of the Kara Koyunlu, and Ali Beg, khan of the Ak Koyunlu. His eldest daughter Maria became the third wife of the Byzantine Emperor John VIII Palaiologos. Alexios IV's eldest son, John IV (1429–1459), could not help but see that his Empire would soon share the same fate as Constantinople. The Ottoman Sultan Murad II
Murad II
first attempted to take the capital by sea in 1442, but high surf made the landings difficult and the attempt was repulsed.[28] While Murad's son and successor, Mehmed II, was away laying siege to Belgrade
in 1456, the Ottoman governor of Amasya attacked Trebizond, and although defeated, he took many prisoners and extracted a heavy tribute.[29]

A 14th-century miniature Greek manuscript depicting Byzantine Greek soldiers from the Empire of Trebizond.

John IV prepared for the eventual assault by forging alliances. He sent an envoy to the Council of Florence
Council of Florence
in 1439, the humanist George Amiroutzes, which resulted in the proclamation of the Union of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, but this proclamation brought little help. He gave his daughter Theodora (also known by the name of Despina Khatun) to the son of his brother-in-law, Uzun Hasan, khan of the Ak Koyunlu, in return for his promise to defend Trebizond. He also secured promises of help from the Turkish emirs of Sinope and Karamania, and from the king and princes of Georgia.[30] Through Theodora and the daughter of Alexios IV of Trebizond (also named Theodora), the Safavid dynasty
Safavid dynasty
of Iran
that succeeded the Ak Koyunlu, would be of direct partial Pontic Greek ethnicity from its very beginning. After John's death in 1459, his brother David came to power. David intrigued with various European powers for help against the Ottomans, speaking of wild schemes that included the conquest of Jerusalem. Mehmed II
Mehmed II
eventually heard of these intrigues and was further provoked to action by David's demand that Mehmed remit the tribute imposed on his brother.[30] Mehmed's response came in the summer of 1461. He collected a sizable army at Bursa, and in a surprise move marched on Sinope, whose emir quickly surrendered. Then the Sultan moved south across eastern Anatolia
to neutralize Uzun Hasan. Having isolated Trebizond, Mehmed quickly swept down upon it before the inhabitants knew he was coming, and placed it under siege. The city held out for a month before David surrendered on August 15, 1461. With the fall of Trebizond, the last independent remnant of the Byzantine Empire, as well as the Roman Empire from which the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
sprang, was extinguished.[31] In the relatively limited territory of the kingdom of the Grand Komnenoi (known as the “Empire of Trebizond”) there was enough room for three dioceses: Trebizond, which was the only diocese established far in the past, Cerasous and Rizaion in Lazika, both formed as upgraded bishoprics. All three dioceses survived the Ottoman conquest (1461) and generally operated until the 17th century, when the dioceses of Cerasous and Rizaion were abolished. The diocese of Rizaion and the bishopric of Of were abolished at the time due to the Islamisation of the Laz and of the region respectively. Possibly the diocese of Cerasous was deactivated for the same reasons.[32] In popular culture[edit] The Empire of Trebizond
Empire of Trebizond
acquired a reputation in Western Europe for being "enriched by the trade from Persia and the East that passed through its capital," according to Steven Runciman, "and by the silver-mines in the hills behind, and famed for the beauty of its princesses."[33] Donald Nicol echoes Runciman's observations: "Most of the emperors were blessed with a progeny of marriageable daughters, and the beauty of the ladies of Trebizond was as legendary as the wealth of their dowries."[34] Its wealth and exotic location endowed a lingering fame on the polity. Cervantes
described the eponymous hero of his Don Quixote
Don Quixote
as "imagining himself for the valour of his arm already crowned at least Emperor of Trebizond." Rabelais
had his character Picrochole, the ruler of Piedmont, declare: "I want also to be Emperor of Trebizond." Other allusions and works set in Trebizond continue into the 20th century.[35] See also[edit]

List of Trapezuntine emperors Hagia Sophia, Trabzon Sumela Monastery Safavid dynasty, of (partial) Trebizond Pontic Greek descent from its very beginning. Dorothy Dunnett, a Scottish historical novelist, much of whose book The Spring of the Ram is set in Trebizond at the time of its fall. Lawrence Schoonover, an American historical novelist, much of whose book The Burnished Blade is set in Trebizond at its height. The Towers of Trebizond, a novel by Rose Macaulay
Rose Macaulay


^ a b Hewsen, Robert H. (2009). "Armenians on the Black Sea: The Province of Trebizond". In Richard G. Hovannisian. Armenian Pontus: The Trebizond- Black Sea
Black Sea
Communities. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, Inc. pp. 47, 37–66. ISBN 1-56859-155-1.  ^ Alexander A. Vasiliev, History of the Byzantine Empire, Vol 2. 324–1453, second edition (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1958), p. 506: "... on the territory of the disintegrated eastern empire, three independent Greek centers were formed; The empire of Nicaea and the empire of Trebizond in Asia Minor and the Despotat of Epirus in Northern Greece." ^ "Establishment of the Empire of Trebizond
Empire of Trebizond
by the Grand Komnenoi, 1204". Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor. Foundation of the Hellenic World. Retrieved 2018-01-21.  ^ William Miller, Trebizond: The last Greek Empire of the Byzantine Era: 1204-1461, 1926 (Chicago: Argonaut, 1969), pp. 100-106 ^ S. P. Karpov, "New Documents on the Relations between the Latins and the Local Populations in the Black Sea
Black Sea
Area (1392-1462)", Dumbarton Oaks Papers: Symposium on Byzantium and the Italians, 13th-15th centuries, 49 (1995), p. 39 ^ Bryer, "Greeks and Türkmens: The Pontic Exception", Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 29 (1975), pp. 117ff ^ As documented by Charitopoulos Evangelos, " Diocese
of Cerasous. Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor" ^ Donald M. Nicol, The Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261-1453, second edition (Cambridge: University Press, 1993), p. 74 ^ See the discussion in N. Oikonomides, "The Chancery of the Grand Komnenoi: Imperial Tradition and Political Reality", Archeion Pontou 35 (1979), pp. 299-332 ^ Finlay, George. The History Of Greece From Its Conquest By The Crusaders To Its Conquest By The Turks And Of The Empire Of Trebizond, 1204-1461, By George Finlay. 1st ed. Edinburgh: W. Blackwood and sons, 1851. Print. ^ Vasilev, A. A. The Foundation Of The Empire Of Trebizond 1204-1222. 1st ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Medieval Academy of America, 1936. Print. ^ Miller, Trebizond, p. 12 ^ Some authorities identify Taronites with the known son of Theodore Gabras, Gregory Gabras. See Anthony Bryer, "A Byzantine Family: The Gabrades, c. 979 – c. 1653", University of Birmingham Historical Journal, 12 (1970), p. 176 ^ Miller, Trebizond, p. 13 ^ Eastmond, Antony. "Narratives of the Fall: Structure and Meaning in the Genesis Frieze at Hagia Sophia, Trebizond". Dumbarton Oaks Papers 53 (1999), 219–36. ^ A. A. Vasiliev, "The Foundation of the Empire of Trebizond (1204-1222)", Speculum, 11 (1936), pp. 18f ^ Michel Kuršanskis, "L'Empire de Trébizonde et la Géorgie", Revue des études byzantines, 35 (1977). pp. 243-247 ^ Michael Panaretos, Chronicle, ch. 1. Greek text in Original-Fragmente, Chroniken, Inschiften und anderes Materiale zur Geschichte des Kaiserthums Trapezunt, part 2; in Abhandlungen der historischen Classe der königlich bayerischen Akademie 4 (1844), abth. 1, pp. 11; German translation, p. 41 ^ Karpov, "New Archival Discoveries of Documents concerning the Empire of Trebizond", Gamer, 1 (2012), pp. 75f ^ Vasiliev, "Foundation", p. 19 ^ Kuršanskis, "Trébizonde et la Géorgie", pp. 243-245 ^ Hewsen, "Armenians on the Black Sea", p. 48 ^ Maria Nystazooulou, "La dernière reconquête de Sinope par les Grecs de Trébizonde (1254-1265)", Revue des études byzantines, 22 (1964), pp. 241-9 ^ E.S. Georganteli, "Trapezuntine Money in the Balkans, Anatolia
and the Black Sea, 13th-15th centuries", in T. Kyriakides (ed.), Trebizond and the Black Sea
Black Sea
(Thessaloniki, 2010), p. 94 ^ Zehiroğlu, A.M. "Astronomy in the Trebizond Empire", (2016), pp. 2-5 ^ Zehiroğlu, Ahmet M. ; " Trabzon
Imparatorluğu 2" 2016, Trabzon, (ISBN 978-605-4567-52-2) ; pp.133-134 ^ Bryer, "The Estates of the Empire of Trebizond. Evidence for their Resources, Products, Agriculture, Ownership and Location", Archeion Pontou 35 (1979), p. 371. He also includes revenue from such typical medieval sources as "the profits of justice, imperial trade and mining, confiscations and even piracy." ^ Miller, Trebizond, p. 85 ^ Miller, Trebizond, pp. 87f ^ a b Nicol, Last Centuries, p. 407 ^ Nicol, Last Centuries, p. 408 ^ As documented by Charitopoulos Evangelos, " Diocese
of Cerasous. Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor", (3/7/2007) ^ Runciman, A History of the Crusades - the Kingdom of Arce and the Later Crusades (Cambridge: University Press, 1975), p. 126 ^ Nicol, Last Centuries, pp. 402f ^ Miller, Trebizond, pp. 117ff

Sources and research[edit] Primary sources[edit]

Johannes Bessarion: The praise of Trebizond Michael Panaretos: Chronicle

Secondary sources[edit]

Anthony Bryer
Anthony Bryer
& David Winfield, The Byzantine Monuments and Topography of the Pontos (DOS. XX), vol. 1–2, Washington, 1985. Anthony Bryer, Peoples and Settlement in Anatolia
and the Caucasus, 800–1900, Variorum collected studies series, London, 1988. Bryer, Anthony (1980). The Empire of Trebizond
Empire of Trebizond
and the Pontos. London: Variorum Reprints. ISBN 978-0-86078-062-5.  Jakob Philipp Fallmerayer, Geschichte des Kaiserthums Trapezunt (Munich, 1827–1848) George Finlay The History of Greece, from Its Conquest by the Crusaders to Its Conquest by the Turks, and of the Empire of Trebizond: 1204–1461. Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1851. Émile Janssens. Trébizonde en Colchide. Bruxelles: Presses universitaires de Bruxelles, 1969, Sergei Karpov. L' impero di Trebisonda, Venezia, Genova e Roma, 1204–1461. Rapporti politici, diplomatici e commerciali. Roma, 1986, 321 P. Sergei Karpov. Трапезундская империя и западноевропейские государства, 1204–1461. ("The Empire of Trebizond
Empire of Trebizond
and the nations of Western Europe, 1204–1461".) Moscow, 1981, 231 pp. Sergei Karpov. История Трапезундской империи ("A history of the empire of Trebizond"). Saint Petersburg, 2007, 656 pp. William Miller, Trebizond: The Last Greek Empire, (1926; repr. Chicago: Argonaut Publishers, 1968) Donald Queller, Thomas F. Madden, The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 2nd ed., 1997. ISBN 0-8122-3387-5 Savvides, Alexios G. K. (2009). Ιστορία της Αυτοκρατορίας των Μεγάλων Κομνηνών της Τραπεζούντας (1204-1461). 2η Έκδοση με προσθήκες [History of the Empire of the Grand Komnenoi of Trebizond (1204-1461). 2nd Edition with additions] (in Greek). Thessaloniki: Kyriakidis Brothers S.A. ISBN 978-960-467-121-2.  Rustam Shukurov. Великие Комнины и Восток (1204—1461) ("The Megas Komnenos
and the Orient (1204–1461)"). Saint Petersburg, 2001, 446 pp (in Russian), ISBN 5-89329-337-1 Levan Urushadze, The Comnenus of Trabizond and the Bagrationi dynasty of Georgia. — J. "Tsiskari", Tbilisi, No 4, 1991, pp. 144–148: in Georgian. Fyodor Uspensky, From the history of the Empire of Trabizond (Ocherki iz istorii Trapezuntskoy Imperii), Leningrad, 1929, 160 pp: a monograph in Russian. Zehiroglu, Ahmet. M. (2016). Trabzon
İmparatorluğu 2 [The Empire of Trebizond (Vol.2)] (in Turkish). Trabzon: Lazika Yayin Kolektifi. ISBN 978-605-4567-52-2. 

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Dromon Greek fire Droungarios of the Fleet Megas doux Admirals Naval battles

Religion and law


Eastern Orthodox Church Byzantine Rite Ecumenical councils Saints Patriarchate of Constantinople Arianism Monophysitism Paulicianism Iconoclasm Great Schism Bogomilism Hesychasm Mount Athos Missionary activity

Bulgaria Moravia Serbs Kievan Rus'

Jews Muslims


Codex Theodosianus Corpus Juris Civilis Ecloga Basilika Hexabiblos Mutilation

Culture and society


Secular Sacred

Cross-in-square Domes


Great Palace of Constantinople Blachernae Palace Hagia Sophia Hagia Irene Chora Church Pammakaristos Church City Walls


Arch of Galerius and Rotunda Hagios Demetrios Hagia Sophia Panagia Chalkeon


San Vitale Sant'Apollinare in Classe Sant'Apollinare Nuovo

Other locations

Daphni Monastery Hosios Loukas Nea Moni of Chios Saint Catherine's Monastery Mystras


Icons Enamel Glass Mosaics Painters Macedonian period art Komnenian renaissance


Agriculture Coinage Mints Trade

silk Silk Road Varangians



Novel Acritic songs

Digenes Akritas

Alexander romance Historians

Everyday life

Calendar Cuisine Dance Dress Flags and insignia Hippodrome Music



Byzantine Greeks

Slavery Units of measurement

Science Learning

Encyclopedias Inventions Medicine Philosophy


Scholars University


Byzantine commonwealth Byzantine studies Museums Byzantinism Cyrillic script Neo-Byzantine architecture Greek scholars in the Renaissance Third Rome Megali Idea

Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire

v t e

Successors of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
after the Fourth Crusade

Greek states

Empire of Nicaea
Empire of Nicaea
(1204) Empire of Trebizond
Empire of Trebizond
(1204) Despotate of Epirus
Despotate of Epirus

Latin states

Latin Empire
Latin Empire
(1204) Kingdom of Thessalonica
Kingdom of Thessalonica
(1205) Principality of Achaea
Principality of Achaea
(1205) Duchy of Athens
Duchy of Athens
(1205) Triarchy of Negroponte
Triarchy of Negroponte
(1205) Duchy of the Archipelago
Duchy of the Archipelago

v t e

States in late medieval Anatolia
(after 1071)

Muslim states

Ahis Akkoyunlu Alaiye Artuqids Aydınids Canik Chobanids Çubukoğulları Danishmends Dilmaç Beylik of Dulkadir Eretnids Erzincan Eshrefids Germiyanids Hacıemir Hamidids İnal Isfendiyarids Kadi Burhan al-Din Kara Koyunlu Karamanids Karasids Ladik Mengujekids Menteshe Ottoman Empire Pervâneoğlu Ramazanids Shah-Armens Sultanate of Rum Sahib Ataids Saltukids Sarukhanids Tacettinids Tanrıbermiş Teke Tzachas

Christian states

Byzantine Empire Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia Empire of Nicaea Empire of Trebizond Knights Hospitaller Latin Empire Philaretos Brachamios Zaccaria family

v t e

Emperors of Trebizond

Alexios I Megas Komnenos Andronikos I Gidos John I Axouchos Manuel I Megas Komnenos Andronikos II Komnenos George Komnenos John II Megas Komnenos Theodora Komnene Alexios II Megas Komnenos Andronikos III Megas Komnenos Manuel II Megas Komnenos Basil Megas Komnenos Irene Palaiologina Anna Anachoutlou John III Megas Komnenos Michael Megas Komnenos Alexios III Megas Komnenos Manuel III Megas Komnenos Alexios IV Megas Komnenos John IV Megas Komnenos David Megas Komnenos

Coordinates: 41°00′23″N 39°43′50″E / 41.0064°N 39.7306°E / 41.0