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KOMNENOS (Greek : Κομνηνός), Latinized COMNENUS, plural KOMNENOI or COMNENI (Κομνηνοί, pronounced /komniní/), is the name of a noble family who ruled the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
from 1081 to 1185, and later, as the GRAND KOMNENOI (Μεγαλοκομνηνοί, Megalokomnenoi) founded and ruled the Empire of Trebizond (1204–1461). Through intermarriages with other noble families, notably the Doukai
Doukai
, Angeloi , and Palaiologoi
Palaiologoi
, the Komnenos
Komnenos
name appears among most of the major noble houses of the late Byzantine world.

CONTENTS

* 1 Origins * 2 Founding the dynasty * 3 The Komnenoi as emperors * 4 Later family * 5 Komnenian ancestry in Western Europe * 6 References * 7 Sources

ORIGINS

Michael Psellos
Michael Psellos
reports that the family originated from the village of Komne in Thrace
Thrace
—usually identified with the "Fields of Komnene" (Κομνηνῆς λειμῶνας) mentioned in the 14th century by John Kantakouzenos
John Kantakouzenos
—a view commonly accepted by modern scholarship. The first known member of the family, Manuel Erotikos Komnenos , acquired extensive estates at Kastamon
Kastamon
in Paphlagonia
Paphlagonia
, which became the stronghold of the family in the 11th century. The family thereby quickly became associated with the powerful and prestigious military aristocracy (dynatoi ) of Asia Minor
Asia Minor
, so that despite its Thracian origins it came to be considered "eastern".

The 17th-century scholar Du Cange
Du Cange
suggested that the family descended from a Roman noble family that followed Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
to Constantinople
Constantinople
, but although such mythical genealogies were common—and are indeed attested for the closely related Doukas clan—the complete absence of any such assertion in the Byzantine sources argues against Du Cange's view. The Romanian historian George Murnu suggested in 1924 that the Komnenoi were of Aromanian descent, but this view too is now rejected. Modern scholars consider the family to have been entirely of Greek origin.

Manuel Erotikos Komnenos was the father of Isaac I Komnenos
Isaac I Komnenos
(reigned 1057-1059) and grandfather, through Isaac's younger brother John Komnenos
Komnenos
, of Alexios I Komnenos
Alexios I Komnenos
(reigned 1081-1118).

FOUNDING THE DYNASTY

Isaac I Komnenos
Isaac I Komnenos
, a Stratopedarch of the East under Michael VI
Michael VI
, founded the Komnenos
Komnenos
dynasty of Byzantine emperors . In 1057 Isaac led a coup against Michael and was proclaimed emperor. Although his reign lasted only till 1059, when his courtiers pressured him to abdicate and become a monk, Isaac initiated many useful reforms. The dynasty returned to the throne with the accession of Alexios I Komnenos
Alexios I Komnenos
, Isaac I's nephew, in 1081. By this time, descendants of all the previous dynasties of Byzantium seem to have disappeared from the realm, such as the important Scleros and Argyros families. Descendants of those emperors lived abroad, having married into the royal families of Georgia , Russia
Russia
, France
France
, Persia
Persia
, Italy
Italy
, Germany
Germany
, Poland
Poland
, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
, Hungary
Hungary
and Serbia
Serbia
; this made it easier for the Komnenos family to ascend to the throne.

Upon their rise to the throne, the Komnenoi became intermarried with the previous Doukas
Doukas
dynasty: Alexios I married Irene Doukaina
Irene Doukaina
, the grandniece of Constantine X Doukas
Doukas
, who had succeeded Isaac I in 1059. Thereafter the combined clan often was referred as "Komnenodoukai" (Latinized "Comnenoducae") and several individuals used both surnames together. Several families descended from the Komnenodoukai, such as Palaiologos
Palaiologos
, Angelos
Angelos
, Vatatzes and Laskaris . Alexios and Irene's youngest daughter Theodora ensured the future success of the Angelos
Angelos
family by marrying into it: Theodora's grandsons became the emperors Isaac II Angelos
Angelos
(reigned 1185–1195 and 1203–1204) and Alexios III Angelos
Angelos
(reigned 1195-1203).

THE KOMNENOI AS EMPERORS

Alexios I Komnenos.

Under Alexios I and his successors the Empire was fairly prosperous and stable. Alexios moved the imperial palace to the Blachernae section of Constantinople
Constantinople
. Much of Anatolia
Anatolia
was recovered from the Seljuk Turks
Seljuk Turks
, who had captured it just prior to Alexios' reign. Alexios also saw the First Crusade
First Crusade
pass through Byzantine territory, leading to the establishment of the Crusader states
Crusader states
in the east. The Komnenos
Komnenos
dynasty was very much involved in crusader affairs, and also intermarried with the reigning families of the Principality of Antioch and the Kingdom of Jerusalem
Kingdom of Jerusalem
- Theodora Komnene , niece of Manuel I Komnenos
Komnenos
, married Baldwin III of Jerusalem
Baldwin III of Jerusalem
, and Maria , grandniece of Manuel, married Amalric I of Jerusalem .

Remarkably, Alexios ruled for 37 years, and his son John II ruled for 25, after uncovering a conspiracy against him by his sister, the chronicler Anna Komnene
Anna Komnene
, and her husband Nikephoros Bryennios . John's son Manuel ruled for another 37 years.

The Komnenos
Komnenos
dynasty produced a number of branches. As imperial succession was not in a determined order but rather depended on personal power and the wishes of one's predecessor, within a few generations several relatives were able to present themselves as claimants. After Manuel I's reign the Komnenos
Komnenos
dynasty fell into conspiracies and plots like many of its predecessors (and the various contenders within the family sought power and often succeeded in overthrowing the preceding kinsman); Alexios II , the first Komnenos to ascend as a minor, ruled for three years and his conqueror and successor Andronikos I ruled for two, overthrown by the Angelos
Angelos
family under Isaac II who was dethroned and blinded by his own brother Alexios III. The Angeloi were overthrown during the Fourth Crusade
Crusade
in 1204, by Alexios Doukas
Doukas
, a relative from the Doukas
Doukas
family.

LATER FAMILY

Several weeks before the occupation of Constantinople
Constantinople
by crusaders in 1204, one branch of the Komnenoi fled back to their homelands in Paphlagonia, along the eastern Black Sea
Black Sea
and its hinterland in the Pontic Alps
Pontic Alps
, where they established the Empire of Trebizond
Empire of Trebizond
. Their first 'emperor', named Alexios I , was the grandson of Emperor Andronikos I. These emperors – the "Grand Komnenoi" (MEGALOI KOMNENOI or MEGALOKOMNENOI) as they were known – ruled in Trebizond for over 250 years, until 1461, when David Komnenos
Komnenos
was defeated and executed by the Ottoman sultan
Ottoman sultan
Mehmed II
Mehmed II
. Mehmed himself claimed descent from the Komnenos
Komnenos
family via John Tzelepes Komnenos . The Trapezutine branch of the Komnenos
Komnenos
dynasty also held the name of Axouchos as descendants of John Axouch , a Byzantine nobleman and minister to the Byzantine Komnenian Dynasty. A princess of the Trebizond branch is said to have been the mother of prince Yahya (born 1585), who reportedly became a Christian yet spent much of his life attempting to gain the Ottoman throne.

Another branch of the family founded the Despotate of Epirus
Despotate of Epirus
in 1204, under Michael I Komnenos
Komnenos
Doukas
Doukas
, great-grandson of Emperor Alexios I. Helena Doukaina Komnene, a child of that branch of the family, married Guy I de la Roche
Guy I de la Roche
thereby uniting the Komnenos
Komnenos
and the de la Roche houses, with Komnenos
Komnenos
family members eventually becoming Dukes of Athens .

One renegade member of the family, also named Isaac , established a separate "empire" on Cyprus
Cyprus
in 1184, which lasted until 1191, when the island was taken from him by Richard I of England
Richard I of England
during the Third Crusade
Crusade
.

When the eastern Empire was restored in 1261 at Constantinople, it was ruled by a family closely related to the Komnenoi, the Palaiologos family. The Palaiologoi
Palaiologoi
ruled until the fall of Constantinople
Constantinople
to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

The last descendant of the dynasty is often considered to have been John Komnenos Molyvdos , a distinguished Ottoman Greek scholar and physician, who became metropolitan bishop of Side
Side
and Dristra , and died in 1719. His claims to descent from the imperial dynasty of Trebizond, however, are most likely a fabrication.

KOMNENIAN ANCESTRY IN WESTERN EUROPE

Irene Angelina
Irene Angelina
, daughter of Isaac II Angelos
Angelos
and a thus a descendant of Alexios I Komnenos, married Philip of Swabia
Philip of Swabia
, the King of Germany. From this union many of the royal and aristocratic families of Western Europe can trace a line of descent.

REFERENCES

* ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Comnenus". Encyclopædia Britannica . 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 793. * ^ A B ODB , "Komnenos" (A. Kazhdan), pp. 1143–1144. * ^ Varzos 1984 , Vol. A, p. 25. * ^ Varzos 1984 , Vol. A, pp. 25–26. * ^ Varzos 1984 , Vol. A, p. 26 (note 8). * ^ A B C Varzos 1984 , Vol. A, p. 26. * ^ Varzos 1984 , Vol. A, p. 27. * ^ A. A. Vasiliev, "The Foundation of the Empire of Trebizond (1204-1222)", Speculum, 11 (1936), pp. 3-37 * ^ Discussed by Ruth Macrides, "What's in the name 'Megas Komnenos'?" Archeion Pontou, 35 (1979), pp. 236-245 * ^ Varzos 1984 , Vol. A, p. 32. * ^ Bruno W. Häuptli: IRENE (Angelou) von Byzanz, in: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) , vol. 28, Bautz, Nordhausen 2007, ISBN 978-3-88309-413-7 , pp. 858–862

SOURCES

* Cameron, Averil (Ed.) (2003) Fifty Years of Prosopography: The Later Roman Empire, Byzantium and Beyond, Oxford University Press. * Kazhdan, Alexander , ed. (1991). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium . Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6 . * Varzos, Konstantinos (1984). Η Γενεαλογία των Κομνηνών (in Greek). Thessaloniki: Centre for Byzantine Studies, University of Thessaloniki. , Vols. A1, A2 ;background:none transparent;border:none;-moz-box-shadow:none;-webkit-box-shadow:none;box-shadow:none;">v

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NORDIC COUNTRIES

DENMARK

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ARMENIA 2

* Orontid * Artaxiad * Arsacid * Bagratid * Artsruni
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BOSNIA

* Boričević * Kulinić * Kotromanić * Kosača * Ottoman * Habsburg-Lorraine

BULGARIA

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CROATIA

* Trpimirović * Domagojević * Svačić * Ottoman * Luxembourg * Habsburg * Habsburg-Lorraine * Bonaparte * Savoy (disputed)

CYPRUS 2

* Plantagenet * Lusignan * Ottoman * Savoy

GEORGIA 1

* Pharnavazid * Artaxiad * Arsacid * Chosroid * Bagrationi

GREECE

* Argead * Macedonian * Doukas
Doukas
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Angelos
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Palaiologos
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LITHUANIA

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Gediminids
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Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov

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Movilești
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Ypsilantis
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MONTENEGRO

* Vojislavljević * Balšić * Crnojević * Petrović-Njegoš

ROMANIA

* House of Basarab
House of Basarab
* Rossetti * Bogdan-Mușat * Movilești
Movilești
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Ypsilantis
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Borjigin
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Shuysky
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Gediminids
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Olshanski
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Olelkovich
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1 Transcontinental country . 2 Entirely in Southwest Asia
Southwest Asia
but having socio-political connections with Europe.

WESTERN EUROPE

BELGIUM

* Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

FRANCE

* Merovingian * Carolingian * Capet * Valois * Bourbon * Bonaparte * Orléans

ITALY

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Palaiologos
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LUXEMBOURG

* Orange-Nassau * Nassau-Weilburg * Bourbon-Parma

MONACO

* Grimaldi

NETHERLANDS

* Bonaparte * Orange-Nassau * (Mecklenburg ) * (Lippe )

PORTUGAL

* Vímara Peres * Borgonha * Aviz * Habsburgo

* Braganza

* Braganza-Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

SPAIN

* Asturias * Barcelona * Jiménez * Burgundy * Champagne * Capet * Évreux * Trastámara * Habsburg

* Bourbon

* Bonaparte * Savoy

CENTRAL EUROPE

AUSTRIA

* Babenberg * Habsburg * Habsburg-Lorraine

BOHEMIA

* Přemyslid * Piast * Luxembourg * Jagiellon * Habsburg * Habsburg-Lorraine

GERMANY

* Ascania * Carolingian * Conradines * Ottonian * Luitpolding * Salian * Süpplingenburg * Hohenstaufen
Hohenstaufen
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House of Pomerania
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HUNGARY

* Árpád * Přemyslid * Wittelsbach * Angevin * Luxembourg * Hunyadi * Jagiellon * Szapolyai * Habsburg * Habsburg-Lorraine

LIECHTENSTEIN

* Liechtenstein

POLAND

* Piast * Přemyslid * Samborides
Samborides
* Griffins * Jagiellon * Valois * Báthory * Vasa * Wiśniowiecki * Sobieski * Wettin * Leszczyński

* Poniatowski

After partitions:

* Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
Kingdom of Poland * Habsburg Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria * Wettin Duchy of Warsaw * Lefebvre Duchy of Gdańsk * Hohenzollern Duchy of Poznań

* v * t * e

Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
topics

HISTORY

PRECEDING

* Roman Empire
Roman Empire

* Dominate
Dominate

(330–717) EARLY

* Constantinian dynasty * Valentinian dynasty * Theodosian dynasty * Leonid dynasty * Justinian dynasty * Heraclian dynasty * Twenty Years\' Anarchy

(717–1204) MIDDLE

* Isaurian dynasty * Nikephorian dynasty
Nikephorian dynasty
* Amorian dynasty * Macedonian dynasty
Macedonian dynasty
* Doukas
Doukas
dynasty * Komnenos
Komnenos
dynasty * Angelos
Angelos
dynasty

(1204–1453) LATE

* Fourth Crusade
Crusade
* Latin Empire
Latin Empire
/ Nicaea / Epirus –Thessalonica / Morea / Trebizond / others * Palaiologos
Palaiologos
dynasty * Fall of Constantinople
Constantinople

GOVERNANCE

CENTRAL

* Emperors

* Basileus * Autokrator
Autokrator

* Senate * Imperial bureaucracy * Eparch

EARLY

* Praetorian prefects * Magister officiorum
Magister officiorum
* Comes sacrarum largitionum
Comes sacrarum largitionum
* Comes rerum privatarum * Quaestor sacri palatii
Quaestor sacri palatii

MIDDLE

* Logothetes tou dromou * Sakellarios * Logothetes tou genikou * Logothetes tou stratiotikou * Chartoularios tou sakelliou * Chartoularios tou vestiariou * Epi tou eidikou * Protasekretis * Epi ton deeseon

LATE

* Megas logothetes * Mesazon
Mesazon

PROVINCIAL

EARLY

* Praetorian prefectures * Dioceses * Provinces * Quaestura exercitus * Exarchate of Ravenna
Exarchate of Ravenna
* Exarchate of Africa
Exarchate of Africa

MIDDLE

* Themata * Kleisourai * Bandon * Catepanates

LATE

* Kephale * Despotates

DIPLOMACY

* Treaties * Diplomats

MILITARY

ARMY

* Battle tactics * Military manuals * Wars * Battles * Revolts * Siege warfare * Generals * Mercenaries

EARLY

* Late Roman army
Late Roman army

* East Roman army
East Roman army

* Foederati
Foederati
* Bucellarii * Scholae Palatinae
Scholae Palatinae
* Excubitors
Excubitors

MIDDLE

* Themata * Kleisourai * Tourma
Tourma
* Droungos * Bandon * Tagmata * Domestic of the Schools
Domestic of the Schools
* Hetaireia
Hetaireia
* Akritai * Varangian Guard
Varangian Guard

LATE

* Komnenian army

* Pronoia
Pronoia
* Vestiaritai
Vestiaritai

* Palaiologan army

* Allagion
Allagion
* Paramonai
Paramonai

* Grand Domestic
Grand Domestic

NAVY

* Karabisianoi

* Maritime themata

* Cibyrrhaeot * Aegean Sea * Samos

* Dromon
Dromon
* Greek fire
Greek fire
* Droungarios of the Fleet
Droungarios of the Fleet
* Megas doux
Megas doux
* Admirals * Naval battles

RELIGION AND LAW

RELIGION

* Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
* Byzantine Rite
Byzantine Rite
* Ecumenical councils * Saints * Patriarchate of Constantinople
Constantinople
* Arianism
Arianism
* Monophysitism
Monophysitism
* Paulicianism
Paulicianism
* Iconoclasm * Great Schism * Bogomilism
Bogomilism
* Hesychasm
Hesychasm
* Mount Athos
Mount Athos

* Missionary activity

* Bulgaria
Bulgaria
* Moravia * Serbs * Kievan Rus\'

* Jews * Muslims

LAW

* Codex Theodosianus
Codex Theodosianus
* Corpus Juris Civilis
Corpus Juris Civilis
* Ecloga
Ecloga
* Basilika * Hexabiblos * Mutilation

CULTURE AND SOCIETY

ARCHITECTURE

* Secular

* Sacred

* Cross-in-square
Cross-in-square
* Domes

CONSTANTINOPLE

* Great Palace of Constantinople
Constantinople
* Blachernae
Blachernae
Palace * Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
* Hagia Irene
Hagia Irene
* Chora Church
Chora Church
* Pammakaristos Church
Pammakaristos Church
* City Walls

THESSALONICA

* Arch of Galerius and Rotunda
Arch of Galerius and Rotunda
* Hagios Demetrios
Hagios Demetrios
* Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
* Panagia Chalkeon

RAVENNA

* San Vitale * Sant\'Apollinare in Classe * Sant\'Apollinare Nuovo

OTHER LOCATIONS

* Daphni Monastery * Hosios Loukas
Hosios Loukas
* Nea Moni of Chios
Nea Moni of Chios
* Saint Catherine\'s Monastery * Mystras
Mystras

ART

* Icons * Enamel * Glass * Mosaics * Painters * Macedonian period art * Komnenian renaissance

ECONOMY

* Agriculture * Coinage * Mints

* Trade

* silk * Silk Road
Silk Road
* Varangians

* Dynatoi

LITERATURE

* Novel

* Acritic songs
Acritic songs

* Digenes Akritas
Digenes Akritas

* Alexander romance
Alexander romance
* Historians

EVERYDAY LIFE

* Calendar * Cuisine * Dance * Dress * Flags and insignia * Hippodrome

* Music

* Octoechos

* People

* Byzantine Greeks
Byzantine Greeks

* Slavery * Units of measurement

* Science * Learning

* Encyclopedias * Inventions * Medicine

* Philosophy

* Neoplatonism