Category: Trebizond


Annals of Trebizond IV, Facts and Fictions

The long reign of Alexios III  (1349-90) marks the beginning of the end of the Empire of Trebizond.   Alexios, as the result of a palace coup,  came to the throne as a boy of 11, and his youth and inexperience were an invitation to challenges of every sort:  warlords in the provinces, his own counselors and bureaucrats, and even from within the church.  The Trapezuntine elite was dominated by factions loyal either to Constantinople or to the more locally centered provincial aristocracy.  The feud between the Genoese and Venetians broke out again, when the latter were once again granted...


Annals of Trebizond III

The fortunate reign of Andronikos I was followed by succession problems that would become more serious in later days, but the long reign of Manuel I was prosperous, as Trebizond became a key player in Black Sea shipping.  His brother George, who succeeded him, fell victim to the plotting of foolish nobles who did not appear to appreciate what a dangerous world they lived in.  His younger also brother faced civil war.  During this period, the Byzantine Empire was restored by the Palaiologos clan, who would have had little regard for potential rivals in Trebizond.  Family quarrels and noble conspiracies...


Annals of Trebizond, Part II

The Annals of Trebizond, Part II Thomas Fleming The history of Trebizond is compounded in equal parts of Byzantine exotic history, American soap opera, and the political morality of the English television show, House of Cards.  (Parenthetically, I had a conversation with a TV-watcher so dumb he actually preferred the Kevin Bacon series to Sir Ian Richardson!) Much of the charm of Trapezuntine history lies precisely in how much, comparing great things with small, our own institutionalized culture of pettiness and betrayal. When “Emperor” Alexios I died at the age of 40, the throne passed not to his son but...