Theodora Axouchina

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"Theodora Axuchina" is supposed by some to have been the wife of Alexios I of Trebizond. She is not mentioned in any source and both her first name and surname are just guesses made by modern genealogists.

Name[edit]

Her name appears in the Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten (1978) by Detlev Schwennicke and has since found its place in several modern genealogies. However the name does not seem to appear in primary sources.[1]

That her family name was "Axouch[os]" is considered possible because the full name of her eldest son was "John I Megas Komnenos Axouchos". Komnenos was the name of the reigning family of the Empire of Trebizond. "Megas" (the Grand) was the name assumed by their particular branch of the family, in contrast with other existing lines of the extended Komnenoi family. The "Axouchos" in the name is thus considered to possibly reflect maternal ancestry.[1]

The first name Theodora is a guess based on the name of her best known granddaughter, Theodora of Trebizond. Under Greek naming conventions, the eldest daughter of a couple is named after her paternal grandmother. However it is not proved at all that the younger Theodora was the eldest daughter of her parents:[1] she had at least two sisters.[2] So there is no evidence to even hypothezise that Theodora was the first name of Alexios' wife.

Family[edit]

She was perhaps a daughter of John Komnenos Axouch, known as "John the Fat", a short-lived rival emperor to Alexios III Angelos. On 31 July 1200, John was proclaimed Emperor in Hagia Sophia. He was betrayed and killed by his own soldiers, defecting back to the service of Alexios.[3][4]

Her paternal grandparents would be Alexios Axouch and Maria Komnene. Alexios served as Duke of Cilicia, protostrator and pansebastos.[3] However he fell out of favor with Manuel I Komnenos in 1167. John Kinnamos and Niketas Choniates report that the accusations against him included practice of witchcraft. He and an unnamed "Latin" wizard were accused of causing the pregnancy of Maria of Antioch, the Empress consort, to result in a miscarriage. They supposedly managed to do so by providing drugs to Maria.[5] Alexios ended his life as a monk.[3] Maria Komnene, "wife of Alexios the protostrator" was mentioned in a seal. According to the Dictionnaire historique et Généalogique des grandes familles de Grèce, d'Albanie et de Constantinople (1983) by Mihail-Dimitri Sturdza, this Maria was suffering from insanity by the end of her life.[6]

Alexios in turn was a son of John Axouch, founder of the Axouch family. This John Axouch served as megas domestikos of the Byzantine Army during the early part of the reign of John II Komnenos. John Axouch was originally an Oghuz Turk, born in the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm. In 1097, as an infant, he was among the population of Nicaea when the city fell to the forces of the First Crusade. He was sent as a present to Alexios I Komnenos and was raised as a member of the imperial household.[7]

The seal of Maria Komnene identifies her as a daughter of Alexios Komnenos, co-emperor from 1122 to 1142. He was the eldest son of John II Komnenos and Piroska of Hungary. He was an older brother of Isaac Komnenos and Manuel I Komnenos. The identity of his wife is uncertain. The Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten suggests two wives. The first being Dobrodjeja Mstislavna of Kiev, a daughter of Mstislav I of Kiev and his wife Christine of Sweden. The second being Katay of Georgia, a daughter of David IV of Georgia by either of his two wives, Rusudan and Gurandukht. While both women are known to have married members of the Komnenoi family, several theories have been suggested as to the identities of their husband or husbands.[8]

Marriage and children[edit]

"Theodora" married Alexios I of Trebizond. He was the eldest son of Manuel Komnenos and of Rusudan. His paternal grandfather was Andronikos I Komnenos.[9] They would have at least three known children:[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Cawley, Charles, Her profile, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012 ,[better source needed]
  2. ^ a b Cawley, Charles, Profile of Alexios I and his children, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012 ,[better source needed]
  3. ^ a b c Cawley, Charles, Profile of the Axuches family, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012 ,[better source needed]
  4. ^ Profile of John in Peerage.com
  5. ^ Lynda Garland and Andrew Stone, "Mary of Antioch"
  6. ^ Mihail-Dimitri Sturdza, Dictionnaire historique et Généalogique des grandes familles de Grèce, d'Albanie et de Constantinople (1983), p. 276.
  7. ^ John Julius Norwich, Byzantium: The Decline and Fall. (New York: Alfred P. Knopf, 1996) pp. 66, 68.
  8. ^ Cawley, Charles, Profile of Alexios Komnenos and his daughter, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012 ,[better source needed]
  9. ^ Cawley, Charles, Profile of Andronikos I Komnenos and his children, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012 ,[better source needed]

References[edit]

Royal titles
Preceded by
Margaret of Hungary
as Empress consort of the Byzantine Empire
Empress consort of Trebizond
c. 1204–1222
Succeeded by
Komnene