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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Empire of Trebizond||View 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


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


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

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Saint Eugenius of Carthage was elected Bishop of Carthage in 480 but, caught up in the disputes of his day between Arianism and mainstream Christianity, he was exiled by the Vandal king Huneric. Gunthamund, who succeeded Huneric, allowed Eugenius to return to Carthage and permitted him to reopen the churches. After eight years of peace Thrasamund succeeded to the throne, arrested Eugenius and condemned him to death, but commuted the sentence into exile at Vienne, near Albi (Languedoc). Eugenius built there a monastery over the tomb of St. Amaranthus the martyr, and led a penitential life till his death on 13 July, 505.
BZ89547. Silver asper, cf. Sommer T3.15, Retowski 169 - 182, SBCV 2601 (unlisted sigla), gVF, highest points flatly struck, die break obverse 6:00, typical tight flan, weight 2.376 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1238 - 1263 A.D.; obverse O/A/Γ/I - I/EV/ΓE/N (Γ on right blundered), Saint Eugenius standing facing, nimbate, long cross in right hand, two pellets on cross shaft, two pellets over single pellet inner left; reverse MH/N/IΛ - O/K/N (MH ligate, N's retrograde), Manuel standing facing, standard in right, akakia in left, Manus Dei (the hand of God) upper right, pellet on labarum shaft; from the Robert Watcher Collection; SOLD


Empire of Trebizond, John II, 1280 - 1297 A.D.

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Marco Pollo passed through Trebizond in 1295. John's government confiscated 1000 gold hyperpyra, robbing Pollo's party of a significant portion of the fortune they had spent decades abroad risking their lives to acquire. Marco omitted the episode from his account, so not to detract from his successful image. It was revealed only years later in his uncle's will.
ME47139. Silver asper, SBCV 2611, aVF, weight 2.915 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1280 - 1297 A.D.; obverse A within circle / EV/ΓE-NI/O/ϖ, St. Eugenius standing facing, long cross in right hand; reverse IW/OK/HN-NI/O/ϖ (HN ligate), John standing facing, labarum headed scepter in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand, Manus Dei (hand of God) upper right; ex Harmer Rooke Numismatists Ltd., NYC, Auction 7/6/88, lot 1207; SOLD


Empire of Trebizond, Alexius IV, 1417 - c. 1447 A.D.

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ME03134. Silver half asper, SBCV 2641 var., Retowski 24, VF, weight 0.8 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 135o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1417 - c. 1447 A.D.; obverse St Eugenius seated on horse walking right star below, monograms left and right; reverse Alexius IV seated on horse right, star below; from the Woolslayer Collection, ex Wayne Sayles; rare; SOLD


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

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Saint Eugenius of Carthage was elected Bishop of Carthage in 480 but, caught up in the disputes of his day between Arianism and mainstream Christianity, he was exiled by the Vandal king Huneric. Gunthamund, who succeeded Huneric, allowed Eugenius to return to Carthage and permitted him to reopen the churches. After eight years of peace Thrasamund succeeded to the throne, arrested Eugenius and condemned him to death, but commuted the sentence into exile at Vienne, near Albi (Languedoc). Eugenius built there a monastery over the tomb of St. Amaranthus the martyr, and led a penitential life till his death on 13 July, 505.
BZ58698. Silver asper, Sommer T3.13, SBCV 2601, cf. Retowski 119 - 153, VF, clear legends, small die break obverse inner left, weight 2.811 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1238 - 1263 A.D.; obverse O/A/ΓI/O − Eς/ΓE/NI/O, Saint Eugenius standing facing, nimbate, long cross in right, pellet (or more than one) on cross shaft, pellet inner left; reverse MH/N/IΛ − O / K/MH/N/O (MH ligate, N reversed), Manuel standing facing, labarum with X on staff in right, akakia in left, Manus Dei upper right, two pellets on labarum shaft; SOLD


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

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Saint Eugenius of Carthage was elected Bishop of Carthage in 480 but, caught up in the disputes of his day between Arianism and mainstream Christianity, he was exiled by the Vandal king Huneric. Gunthamund, who succeeded Huneric, allowed Eugenius to return to Carthage and permitted him to reopen the churches. After eight years of peace Thrasamund succeeded to the throne, arrested Eugenius and condemned him to death, but commuted the sentence into exile at Vienne, near Albi (Languedoc). Eugenius built there a monastery over the tomb of St. Amaranthus the martyr, and led a penitential life till his death on 13 July, 505.
ME14747. Silver asper, Sommer T3.8.3, Retowski 68, SBCV 2601, aEF, flat areas, weight 2.835 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1238 - 1263 A.D.; obverse O/A/Γ/I/O − E/ς/ΓE/NI/O, Saint Eugenius standing facing, holding long cross in left hand, pellet above right shoulder, pellet above E; reverse M/N/Λ − OKH, Manuel standing facing, labarum with X on staff in right hand, akakia in left hand with four pellets on ribbon, Manus Dei upper right, pellet above right shoulder; SOLD


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

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Saint Eugenius of Carthage was elected Bishop of Carthage in 480 but, caught up in the disputes of his day between Arianism and mainstream Christianity, he was exiled by the Vandal king Huneric. Gunthamund, who succeeded Huneric, allowed Eugenius to return to Carthage and permitted him to reopen the churches. After eight years of peace Thrasamund succeeded to the throne, arrested Eugenius and condemned him to death, but commuted the sentence into exile at Vienne, near Albi (Languedoc). Eugenius built there a monastery over the tomb of St. Amaranthus the martyr, and led a penitential life till his death on 13 July, 505.
BZ58696. Silver asper, Sommer T3.15.3 (same dies), cf. Retowski 174 - 177, SBCV 2601, VF, weight 2.810 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1238 - 1263 A.D.; obverse O/A/ΓI/O − Eς/ΓE/NI/O, Saint Eugenius standing facing, long cross in right; reverse M/N/I/Λ − O/K/N, Manuel standing facing, standard in right, akakia in left, Manus Dei upper right; SOLD


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

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Saint Eugenius of Carthage was elected Bishop of Carthage in 480 but, caught up in the disputes of his day between Arianism and mainstream Christianity, he was exiled by the Vandal king Huneric. Gunthamund, who succeeded Huneric, allowed Eugenius to return to Carthage and permitted him to reopen the churches. After eight years of peace Thrasamund succeeded to the throne, arrested Eugenius and condemned him to death, but commuted the sentence into exile at Vienne, near Albi (Languedoc). Eugenius built there a monastery over the tomb of St. Amaranthus the martyr, and led a penitential life till his death on 13 July, 505.
BZ58697. Silver asper, cf. Sommer T3.13.6, Retowski 119 ff., SBCV 2601, VF, weight 2.888 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1238 - 1263 A.D.; obverse [O/A/Γ/I/O] − E/ς/ΓE/NI/[O], Saint Eugenius standing facing, holding long cross, four pellets in vertical line lower left, three pellets forming triangle upper right; reverse [M/N/Λ] − K/HM (HM ligate), Manuel standing facing, standard in right, akakia in left, Manus Dei upper right, three pellets in vertical line left; SOLD


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

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Saint Eugenius of Carthage was elected Bishop of Carthage in 480 but, caught up in the disputes of his day between Arianism and mainstream Christianity, he was exiled by the Vandal king Huneric. Gunthamund, who succeeded Huneric, allowed Eugenius to return to Carthage and permitted him to reopen the churches. After eight years of peace Thrasamund succeeded to the throne, arrested Eugenius and condemned him to death, but commuted the sentence into exile at Vienne, near Albi (Languedoc). Eugenius built there a monastery over the tomb of St. Amaranthus the martyr, and led a penitential life till his death on 13 July, 505.
ME50073. Silver asper, cf. Sommer T3.14, Retowski 154 - 168, SBCV 2601 (different sigla), VF, pitted, weight 2.898 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1238 - 1263 A.D.; obverse O/A/Γ/I/O - E/V/ΓE/NI, Saint Eugenius standing facing, long cross in right hand; reverse MH/N/Λ - O/K/MH (MH's ligate), Manuel standing facing, labarum in right hand, akakia in left hand, Manus Dei (hand of God) upper right; ex Glen Woods; SOLD


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.
ME16469. Silver asper, Sommer T3.1, Retowski 11 - 21 var. (sigla), SBCV 2601, VF, well centered, toned, flat areas, weight 2.884 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1238 - 1263 A.D.; obverse O/A/Γ<θ/>I/O − Eς/ΓE/NH (NH ligate), Saint Eugenius standing facing, long cross in right hand, pellet over right shoulder, pellet over EV, B inner left; reverse MH/N/Λ − OKH (MH ligate), Manuel standing facing, labarum with X on staff in right hand, akakia in left hand, Manus Dei (hand of God) upper right, B inner left; 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).

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Empire of Trebizond