Bagrationi, wife of John IV of Trebizond

Bagrationi (c. 1411/2 – before 1438) was the first Empress consort of John IV of Trebizond. Her name is unknown.


She was a daughter of King Alexander I of Georgia and his first wife Dulandukht, the daughter of Beshken II Orbeliani.[1] Dulandukht had died or was repudiated before 1415, when Alexander married his second wife, the heiress of Imereti, daughter of Alexander I of Imereti.[2]


In about 1426, she married John IV of Trebizond, the son of Emperor Alexios IV of Trebizond and Theodora Kantakouzene, who had fled from Trebizond after a violent episode.[3] According to a passage considered to be an interpolation in the history of Laonikos Chalkokondyles, he had accused his mother Theodora of having an affair with an unnamed protovestarios, whom he killed, then held his parents captive in the citadel until the palace staff released them.[4]

Sometime after marrying Bagrationi, John left Georgia for Caffa, where he sought to charter a large galley and its crew. By 1429 he had found one, for in that year he returned to Trebizond. Alexios IV prepared to face his son in the battlefield. John suborned some of his father's retainers, who assassinated Alexios IV while he slept. He executed the assassins of his father in order to deny any connection with them, then succeeded his father, presumably with Bagrationi as his Empress.[5]

Their daughter Theodora Komnene was betrothed to Uzun Hassan of Ak Koyunlu in 1457, whom she married the next year. According to Anthony Bryer, this is the "most celebrated Trapezuntine-Muslim marriage", and for which the terms of their marriage can be determined. These terms included: a dowry of properties in the villages of Halanik and Sesera; a "bride-price" in that Uzun Hassan would extend some kind of effort to help defend Trebizond; Theodora's right to continue to profess the Christian faith, keep a chaplain, and act as protector of Christians subject to Uzun Hassan; and "as it turned out, Theodora's considerable (and probably unusual) right to influence Akkoyunlu foreign relations" Theodora's tomb in Diyarbekir was shown to an Italian visitor in 1507. Her two daughters found their way to Damascus where Caterino Zeno met them in 1512.[6]

An account by Caterino Zeno dated to 1474 names another daughter, Eudokia-Valenza of Trebizond. This Valenza was a reported wife of Niccolò Crispo, Lord of Syros. However she is reported as having a daughter who married in 1429. John IV and her are unlikely to have been the grandparents of a married woman only three years following their own marriage. Valenza is considered likely to have been a sister of John IV, instead of a daughter.[7] Niccolò Crispo had eleven children. According to his own correspondence, Niccolò was also a son-in-law of Jacopo of Lesbos. His children could be from either of his two marriages. They included (among others) Francesco II Crispo, Duke of the Archipelago and Fiorenza Crispo, mother of Catherine Cornaro.[citation needed]


According to the Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten (1978) by Detlev Schwennicke, she was dead by 1438. John IV went on to marry an unnamed Turkish lady. The Europäische Stammtafeln considers this second wife to have been a daughter of Dawlat Berdi. Pero Tafur, in his travel memoirs, records that when he visited Trebizond in 1438 John IV had a Turkish wife.[8]


  1. ^ Cyril Toumanoff, "The Fifteenth-century Bagratids and the Institution of Collegial Sovereignty in Georgia", Traditio, 7 (1949-1951), pp. 178, 182
  2. ^ Toumanoff, "Fifteenth-century Bagratids", pp. 178f
  3. ^ Laonikos Chalkokondyles, 9.28; translated by Anthony Kaldellis, The Histories (Cambridge: Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, 2014), vol. 2 p. 306; Toumanoff, "Fifteenth-century Bagratids", p. 182
  4. ^ Chalcocondyles, Histories9.28; discussed in Anthony Kaldellis, "The Interpolations in the Histories of Laonikos Chalkokondyles", Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies, 52 (2012), pp. 260-262
  5. ^ William Miller, Trebizond: The last Greek Empire of the Byzantine Era: 1204-1461, 1926 (Chicago: Argonaut, 1969), pp. 82f
  6. ^ Anthony Bryer, "Greeks and Türkmens: The Pontic Exception", Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 29 (1975), Appendix II, n. 146
  7. ^ Discussed, although dismissed as untrue, by Michel Kuršanskis, "La descendance d'Alexis IV, empereur de Trébizonde. Contribution à la prosopographie des Grands Comnènes", Revue des études byzantines, 37 (1979), pp. 239-247
  8. ^ Toumanoff, "Fifteenth-century Bagratids", p. 184

External linksEdit

Royal titles
Preceded by
Theodora Kantakouzene
Empress consort of Trebizond
1429 – c. 1438
Succeeded by
Maria of Gothia