Last Coin

Ruler: Empire of Trebizond - John IV
Reigned: 1446 - 1458 A.D.
Denomination: AR Asper
Obverse: St. Eugenius seated on horse walking right.
Reverse: John seated on horse walking right.
Reference: BCV 2642
Weight: 1 gms
Diameter: 15.1 mm


The Empire of Trebizond was founded in 1204 by Alexius Comnenus grandson of Andronicus I. Even from its earliest years it paid tribute to the neighbouring Moslem rulers - Seljuks, Mongols and Ottomans in succession. For the first century of its existence the Empire prospered. The succeeding sixty years after 1330 were filled with civil war and disturbances, during which the Empress Theodora ruled briefly.

The imperial women of Trebizond were famed for their beauty and the Empire's position was fortified by dynastic marriages. No less than two sisters and four daughters of Alexius III were married to different Moslem rulers and the Royal House was also connected by marriage to John V Palaeologos, John VI Cantacuzenus, John VIII Paleologos and the ruler of Serbia, Stephan Brankovitch.

Although the Empire did not fall to the Ottomans until 1461, eight years after Constantinople, it was in a sorry state, its ruler at the beck and call of the Sultan and there was nothing that he could do when Muhammed decided to incorporate its territory into his realm.

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