Theodora of Trebizond

For the 15th-century princess of the same name, wife of Uzun Hasan, see Despina Khatun.

Theodora Megale Komnene (Greek: Θεοδώρα Μεγάλη Κομνηνή, Theodōra Megalē Komnēnē), (before 1253 after 1285), was Empress of Trebizond from 1284 to 1285. She was a daughter of Emperor Manuel I of Trebizond by Rusudan, a Georgian princess. Although some consider her Manuel's second wife, Michel Kuršanskis has argued that Rusudan may have been simply his mistress.[1] Kuršanskis also notes that the evidence is insufficient to determine if Theodora was identical with one of the princesses of Trebizond mentioned in the Chronicle of Bishop Stephanos who married a noble or the king of Georgia, or if she had been a nun much as Anna Anachoutlou was before her usurpation in the following century.[2]

In 1284, with the help of Georgian King of Imereti, David VI Narin she managed to seize the crown from her half-brother, Emperor John II.[3] John II may have taken refuge in Tripolis.[4] Shortly afterwards she was defeated and John regained his throne, but she had managed to reign long enough to have minted her own coins. A few types of silver aspers and bronze nomismas are evidence that she was the only Empress of Trebizond to have coined money.[5] Her fate after John's restoration is unknown.


  1. Kuršanskis, "L'usurpation de Théodora Grande Comnène", Revue des études byzantines, 33 (1975), pp. 198f
  2. Kuršanskis, "L'usurpation", p. 200.
  3. William Miller, Trebizond: The last Greek Empire of the Byzantine Era: 1204-1461, 1926 (Chicago: Argonaut, 1969), p. 30
  4. Kuršanskis, "L'usurpation", p. 203.
  5. Warwick Wroth, Catalogue of the Coins of the Vandals, Ostrogoths and Lombards and of the Empires of Thessalonica, Nicaea and Trebizond in the British Museum (London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1911), pp. lxxx, 277 has only an example of the asper; Otto Retowski, Die Muenzen der Komnen von Trapezunt, 1910 (Braunschweig: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1974), pp. 132-134 shows two examples of both asper and nomisma.
Theodora of Trebizond
Komnenid dynasty
Born: unknown Died: unknown
Regnal titles
Preceded by
John II
Empress of Trebizond
Succeeded by
John II
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