Trebizond and Constantinople, 1204-1453

Asp, Annika Sylvia Elisabet (2019). Trebizond and Constantinople, 1204-1453. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis seeks to reassess the prevailing scholarly understanding of Trebizond as a successor state formed in the aftermath of the Fourth crusade. This notion understands the Trapezuntine rulers as categorical rivals to the Nicaean and Byzantine emperors until 1282, when they were compelled to relinquish their title of basileus Romaion and thereafter continued their existence as a Byzantine periphery. The evidence for this perspective will be reassessed and an alternative understanding of Trapezuntine-Constantinopolitan relations from the perspective of pragmatic decisions taken by the Trapezuntine rulers.
The first chapter studies the Trapezuntine-Nicaean relations and addresses the question of whether Trebizond was a successor state. It is observed that no overarching rivalries between Trebizond and Nicaea can be observed, but the relationship between the two polities was defined by the relationship between their rulers at any given time.
The second chapter discusses the role of the Trapezuntine archontes during a period which has traditionally been understood as marked by Constantinopolitan influence in Trebizond and by the Trapezuntine rulers discarding their claims to the title of basileus Romaion. It is argued that the increased Constantinopolitan contacts of the Trapezuntine rulers after 1282 resulted in the growth in the power of the archontes and the weakening in the authority of the Trapezuntine rulers.
The third chapter studies the mechanisms for Trapezuntine rulers to reassert their authority by reducing their dependence on Constantinople. Yet, the established networks of contacts between the Trapezuntine and Constantinopolitan ruling families and archontes signified that contacts between the two polities were maintained and alliances were concluded in an increasingly factionalised world.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > DF Greece


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