Acropolitissa, wife of Michael of Trebizond

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Acropolitissa was the wife of Michael of Trebizond.[1]


Her father was Constantine Acropolites, and her mother has been identified as Maria Komnene Tornikina.[2] Constantine was the eldest son of George Acropolites and his wife Eudokia.[3] Eudokia's maternal grandfather is believed to be John Tornikes, sevastokrator.[4]


Acropolitissa married Michael of Trebizond, the younger son of John II of Trebizond and Eudokia Palaiologina. When John II died in 1297, Eudokia returned to the court of her brother Andronikos II in Constantinople, and Michael apparently followed his mother to the city. His movements afterwards are not known, but he was living in Constantinople in 1341, when a group of representatives of the Scholarioi faction, led by Niketas Scholares and Gregory escorted him to Trebizond. Their marriage probably took place during his lengthy stay in Constantinople. Their only known son was John III of Trebizond.[2]

In 1341, the throne of Trebizond was held by Irene Palaiologina, widow of his nephew Basil of Trebizond. The Scholarioi faction, led by Niketas Scholares and Gregory, decided to invite Michael to claim the throne instead. The regency of the underage John V Palaiologos of the Byzantine Empire, at the time headed by Anna of Savoy and John Kantakouzenos, supported this effort and gave Niketas and Michael three ships to escort them to Trebizond. Miller claimed that Michael was intended as a new consort for Irene.

Whether this means Acropolitissa had died by this time is uncertain. His time at Trebizond was unsettled: when he and his ships reached Trebizond on 30 July 1341, they found Irene already deposed and replaced by Anna, her sister-in-law and niece to Michael. That night some of the nobility led by the Metropolitan Akakios betrayed him and he was sent off to Oinaion and then Limnia, where he was held captive by the megas Doux John the Eunuch. Although Niketas Scholares brought Michael's son John from Constantinople to replace Anna, the sources do not mention Acropolitissa.

On 3 May 1344, John was deposed and Michael restored to the throne. John III was exiled to a monastery, and his father Michael restored to the throne until he was, in turn, deposed on 13 December 1349. After being imprisoned at the cave monastery of St Sabas, Michael was sent back to Constantinople in 1351. He made an unsuccessful effort to reclaim the throne in 1355.

Had Acropolitissa lived during these turbulent years, she would probably have remained in Constantinople.

Possible descendants[edit]

The "Georgian Chronicle" of the 18th century reports George V of Georgia marrying a daughter of "the Greek Emperor, Lord Michael Komnenos". However the reigning dynasty of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th century were the Palaiologoi, not the Komnenoi. The marriage of a daughter of Michael IX Palaiologos and his wife Rita of Armenia to a Georgian ruler is not recorded in Byzantine sources. Neither is the existence of any illegitimate daughters of Michael IX.[5] Whether this was a daughter of Michael Komnenos of Trebizond and Acropolitissa is unknown.


  1. ^ Cawley, Charles, Profile of John II of Trebizond and his children, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012 ,[better source needed]
  2. ^ a b Donald M. Nicol, "Constantine Akropolites: A Prosopographical Note", Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 19, (1965), pp. 249-256
  3. ^ M. Kalatzi, "Porphyrogenita:Essays on the History and Literature of Byzantium and the Latin East" (2003), entry "Constantine Acroplites", p. 389
  4. ^ "Prosopographische Frauenliste des christlichen Ostens", entry: "Tornikina, Maria Komnēnē Akropolitissa"
  5. ^ M.-F. Brosset, (1849) Histoire de la Géorgie (St Petersburg, 1849), vol. 1 p. 621, cited in Cawley, Charles, Profile of George V, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012 

External links[edit]

Royal titles
Preceded by
Irene of Trebizond
Empress consort of Trebizond
Succeeded by
Herself in the second reign of her husband
Preceded by
Herself in the first reign of her husband
Empress consort of Trebizond
Succeeded by
Theodora Kantakouzene