John Tzelepes Komnenos

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John Tzelepes Komnenos (Greek: Ἰωάννης Κομνηνὸς Τζελέπης, Iōannēs Komnēnos Tzelepēs) was the son of the sebastokrator Isaac Komnenos.

Starting about 1130 John and his father, who was a brother of Emperor John II Komnenos ("John the Beautiful"), plotted to overthrow his uncle the emperor.[1] They made various plans and alliances with the Danishmend leader and other Turks who held parts of Asia Minor. In 1138 John and his father had a reconciliation with the Emperor, and received a full pardon.[1]

In 1139 John accompanied the emperor on his campaign in Asia Minor. In 1140 at the siege of Neocaesarea he defected. As Norwich puts it, he did so by "embracing simultaneously the creed of Islam and the daughter of the Seljuk Sultan Mesud I."[1][2]

John Komnenos' by-name, Tzelepes, is a Greek rendering of the Turkish honorific Çelebi, a term indicating noble birth, a "gentleman".


He first married in 1131 the daughter of Leo I of Roupenides, the master of the mountains of Armenia (Cilicia). Their son Isaac died of torture. He secondly married in 1140 with the daughter of the Seljuk Sultan of Rûm.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Norwich, John Julius (1996). Byzantium: The Decline and Fall. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 81–82. ISBN 0-679-41650-1. 
  2. ^ O city of Byzantium: annals of Niketas Choniatēs By Nicetas Choniates, Harry J. Magoulias, pg. xxiv