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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Empire of TrebizondView Options:  |  |  | 

Coins of the Empire of Trebizond

Trebizond was founded about 1204 A.D., probably following the Crusader takeover of Constantinople. It was surrounded by Muslim states and constantly paid tribute to them. Trebizond did not fall to the Ottomans until 1461, nearly a decade after Constantinople, but its emperor was little more than a puppet for the Sultan.Trebizond Empire


Empire of Trebizond, Manuel I Comnenus, 1238 - 1263 A.D.

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Manuel I Megas Komnenos (died March 1263) was an Emperor of Trebizond, from 1238 until his death. At the time Manuel reigned, the Empire of Trebizond comprised a band of territory stretching along the southern coast of the Black Sea. Although Michael Panaretos, a 14th-century Greek chronicler, calls Manuel "the greatest general and the most fortunate" and states he ruled "virtuously in the eyes of God", the only event he documents for Manuel's reign is a catastrophic fire striking the city of Trebizond in January 1253. The major events of his reign are known from external sources, most important of which is the recovery of Sinope in 1254, which had been lost to the Sultanate of Rum forty years before.
BZ89548. Silver asper, Sommer T3.20 (same dies), Retowski 217 (same dies), SBCV 2601, aEF, crude style usual for the type, toned, uneven strike, die wear, weight 2.807 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1238 - 1263 A.D.; obverse A (with circle) /EV/Γ - O / TPA/ΠC/TI/d (C blundered), Saint Eugenius standing facing, long cross in right hand; reverse MH/N/HΛ/o - K/MH/N (MH's ligate), Manuel standing facing, labarum in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, Manus Dei (hand of God) upper right; nicer than the referenced two plate coins, which are from the same dies, nicer than the only two specimens auctioned in the last two decades as recorded on Coin Archives; very rare; $500.00 (440.00)


Trebizond, John IV, 1446 - 1458

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In 1979 an American coin dealer bought a coin scale from a California collector who has acquired it from a dealer in Austria. In the scale the dealer found a secret drawer which contained 167 coins, of which 164 were aspers of Trebizond. The hoard was purchased, analyzed and offered for sale by Alex Malloy in 1980. This coin was not offered in his sale.

The coin comes with a copy of Alex Malloy's catalog, Medieval Coins XVII, 1980, which includes Malloy's analysis of the Austrian Scale Hoard of Late Trebizond Aspers.

Prior to distribution of this hoard, the only published specimens of this type were in the Hermitage in Leningrad and there were none in the British Museum.
ME46264. Silver asper, Austrian Scale Hoard of Late Trebizond Aspers, p. 8, class II, 143 in Malloy Medieval Coins XVII, 1980, VF, weight 0.833 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 315o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1446 - 1458; obverse John on horseback right, head facing; reverse Saint Eugenius on horseback right, head facing; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Theme of Chaldia (Trebizond), Duke Constantine Gabras, c. 1126 - 1140 A.D.

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Constantine Gabras (or Gavras) was the governor or doux (duke) of the Byzantine province of Chaldia, centered on the Black Sea port of Trebizond and its mountainous hinterland, the Pontic Alps, in northeast Anatolia, now part of Turkey. Gabras rebelled against the Byzantine emperor John II Komnenos and ruled Chaldia as a semi-independent prince between 1126 and 1140. Following the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the region became the center of the new Empire of Trebizond which survived until falling to the Ottomans in 1461.
BZ76967. Bronze follis, S. Bendall, "The mint of Trebizond under Alexius I and the Gabrades," NC 1977, Appendix, pl. 7, 27; DOC 4.1; SBCV -, VF, dark green patina, typical uneven strike, clipped flan, and generally crude manufacture, weight 1.362 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, c. 1126 - 1140 A.D.; obverse cross patte within circular border; reverse cross patte within circular border; rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Retowski, O. Die Mnzen der Komnenen von Trapezunt. (Braunschweig, 1974).
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A. Die Mnzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Mnzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Coins of the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Lombards and of the Empires of Thessalonica, Nicaea, and Trebizond in the British Museum. (London, 1911).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, June 19, 2019.
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Empire of Trebizond