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✧Intruduction of myself Did you tired of playing vanilla 1440 scenario? Hello guys 🙂 my name is lipark, closed modder of AoH2. I'm in the most importnt terms in my lifes so i'm sorry for guys that i can't serve you any mods or new system. but i'm going to make a attempt after i graduated from high school for guys who really love history and strategy games!!! Streaming gaming, making a new mods!! so i'm happy if you subscribed my youtube account >>▶<< well this page's purpose is to bring different view points by learning the country's backgrounds and history to feel moods of 15th centry. while I'm closed this year, i sometimes make some national introduction which country in 1440 scenario in vanilla for training my english skills so maybe sometimes there are grammar mistakes. if you find it, pls tell me >_<. i'm hope you like this new series. ✧The last stands of Byzantine Empire To describe the Origin of Trebizond Empire, you need some knowledge about Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, during which its capital city was Constantinople. During the Middle Ages, the Byzantine Empire went from one dynasty to another through rebellions and civil wars. One of these dynasties was the Komnenos dynasty, the source of the Trebizond Empire. The Komnenian era was born out of a period of great difficulty and strife for the Byzantine Empire. Following a period of relative success and expansion under the Macedonian dynasty (c. 867–c. 1054), Byzantium experienced several decades of stagnation and decline, which culminated in a vast deterioration in the military, territorial, economic and political situation of the Byzantine Empire by the accession of Alexios I Komnenos in 1081.The problems the empire faced were partially caused by the growing influence and power of the aristocracy, which weakened the empire's military structure by undermining the theme system that trained and administered its armies. Beginning with the death of the successful soldier-emperor Basil II in 1025, a long series of weak rulers had disbanded the large armies which had been defending the eastern provinces from attack; instead, gold was stockpiled in Constantinople, ostensibly in order to hire mercenaries should troubles arise. In fact, most of the money was given away in the form of gifts to favourites of the emperor, extravagant court banquets, and luxuries for the imperial family.Meanwhile, the remnants of the once-formidable armed forces were allowed to decay, to the point where they were no longer capable of functioning as an army. Elderly men with ill-maintained equipment mixed with new recruits who had never participated in a training exercise.The simultaneous arrival of aggressive new enemies – Turks in the east and Normans in the west – was another contributory factor. In 1040, the Normans, originally landless mercenaries from northern parts of Europe in search of plunder, began attacking Byzantine strongholds in southern Italy. In order to deal with them, a mixed force of mercenaries and conscripts under the formidable George Maniakes was sent to Italy in 1042. Maniakes and his army conducted a brutally successful campaign, but before it could be concluded he was recalled to Constantinople. Angered by a series of outrages against his wife and property by one of his rivals, he was proclaimed emperor by his troops, and led them across the Adriatic to victory against a loyalist army. However, a mortal wound led to his death shortly afterwards. With opposition thus absent in the Balkans, the Normans were able to complete the expulsion of the Byzantines from Italy by 1071.Despite the seriousness of this loss, it was in Asia Minor that the empire's greatest disaster would take place. The Seljuk Turks, although mainly concerned with defeating Egypt under the Fatimids, nevertheless conducted a series of damaging raids into Armenia and eastern Anatolia – the main recruiting ground for Byzantine armies. With imperial armies weakened by years of insufficient funding and civil warfare, Emperor Romanos Diogenes realised that a time of re-structuring and re-equipment was necessary. Consequently, he attempted to lead a defensive campaign in the east until his forces had recovered enough to defeat the Seljuks. However, he suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Alp Arslan (Sultan of the Seljuk Turks) at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. Romanos was captured, and although the Sultan's peace terms were fairly lenient, the battle in the long term resulted in the total loss of Byzantine Anatolia.On his release, Romanos found that his enemies had conspired against him to place their own candidate on the throne in his absence. After two defeats in battle against the rebels, Romanos surrendered and suffered a horrific death by torture. The new ruler, Michael Doukas, refused to honour the treaty that had been signed by Romanos. In response, the Turks began to move into Anatolia in 1073; the collapse of the old defensive system meant that they met no opposition. To make matters worse, chaos reigned as the empire's remaining resources were squandered in a series of disastrous civil wars. Thousands of Turkoman tribesmen crossed the unguarded frontier and moved into Anatolia. By 1080, an area of 30,000 square miles (78,000 km2) had been lost to the empire. The Empire of Trebizond, or Trapezuntine Empire, was a monarchy and one of three successor rump states of the Byzantine Empire that flourished during the 13th through to the 15th century, consisting of the far northeastern corner of Anatolia (the Pontus) and the southern Crimea. The city of Trebizond was the capital of the theme of Chaldia, which according to the 10th century Arab geographer Abul Feda was regarded as being largely a Lazian port. Chaldia had already shown its separatist tendencies in the 10th and 11th centuries, when it came under the control of a local leader named Theodore Gabras, who according to Anna Comnena regarded Trebizond and its hinterlands "as a prize which had fallen to his own lot" and conducted himself as an independent prince. The Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos confirmed him as governor of Chaldia, but kept his son at Constantinople as a hostage for his good conduct. Nevertheless, Gabras proved himself a worthy guardian by repelling a Georgian attack on Trebizond. One of his successors, Gregory Taronites, also rebelled with the aid of the Sultan of Cappadocia, but he was defeated and imprisoned, only to be made governor once more. Another successor to Theodore was Constantine Gabras, whom Niketas describes as ruling Trebizond as a tyrant, and whose actions led Emperor John II Komnenos in 1139 to lead an expedition against him. Although that effort came to nothing, this was the last rebel governor known to recorded history prior to the events of 1204. The empire traces its foundation to April 1204, when Alexios Komnenos and his brother David took advantage of the preoccupation of the central Byzantine government with the encampment of the soldiers of the Fourth Crusade outside their walls (June 1203 – mid-April 1204) and seized the city of Trebizond and the surrounding province of Chaldia with troops provided by their relative, Tamar of Georgia. Henceforth, the links between Trebizond and Georgia remained close, but their nature and extent have been disputed. However some scholars believe that the new state was subject to Georgia, at least in the first years of its existence, at the beginning of the 13th century.Both men were the grandsons of the last Komnenian Byzantine emperor, Andronikos I Komnenos, by his son Manuel Komnenos and Rusudan, daughter of George III of Georgia. Andronikos I had been deposed by Isaac II Angelos, while Manuel was blinded (a traditional Byzantine punishment for treason) and died not long after. Alexios and his brother, David, ended up at the court of Queen Tamar of Georgia, who gave them military support to return to Byzantine territory. Vasiliev explains that she had been motivated to do so after the Emperor Alexios III Angelos stole the gifts Tamar had given to a group of visiting monks as they passed through Constantinople. While Michel Kurskanskis has argued in support of Vasiliev's interpretation, he disagrees with Vasiliev over the intent of Tamar's intervention: Vasiliev has argued that the Queen intended to create a buffer state to protect the Georgian Kingdom, while Kurskanskis believes she supported the brothers in their attempt to reclaim the Byzantine throne in Constantinople.After marching from Georgia, and with the help of their paternal aunt Queen Tamar, Alexios and David occupied Trebizond in April 1204. That same month Alexios was proclaimed emperor at the age of 22, an act considered by later writers as the moment the Empire of Trebizond was founded. Alexios would then proceed to rule his new empire for the next twenty-two years, until his death in February 1222. The throne then passed to his son-in-law Andronikos I Gidos Komnenos.The date Alexios entered Trebizond may be narrowed down even further. Sergey Karpov has identified a lead seal of Alexios, on one side "the image of a strategos in the peaked helmet led by hand by St. George" with the inscriptions Ἀλέξιος ὁ Κομνηνός [Alexios Komnenos] and Ὁ Ἅ(γιος) Γεώργιος [Saint George] on either side; on the obverse is a scene of Ἡ Ἁγία Ἀνάστασις [The Holy Resurrection] with the corresponding inscription. Karpov interprets the significance of this image and the inscription as portraying the most important achievement of his life, St. George inviting the victorious prince to enter Trebizond and opening the gates of the city with his left hand. The importance of St. George was that Easter—the date of the Resurrection—in 1204 fell on 25 April, while the memorial date of St. George was 23 April. "So I dared to assume," writes Karpov, "that the seal points out the date of the capture of Trebizond."Vasiliev points out that the brothers occupied Trebizond too early to have done so in response to the Crusaders capturing Constantinople; Alexios and David began their march on Trebizond before news of the Sack of Constantinople on 13 April 1204 could reach either Trebizond or Georgia. According to Vasiliev, however, their original intention was not to seize a base from which they could recover the capital of the Byzantine Empire, but rather to carve out of the Byzantine Empire a buffer state to protect Georgia from the Seljuk Turks. Kuršanskis, while agreeing with Vasiliev that Tamar was motivated by revenge for Alexios Angelos's insult, proposed a more obvious motivation for the brother's return to Byzantine territory: they had decided to raise the banner of revolt, depose Alexios Angelos, and return the imperial throne to the Komnenos dynasty. However, not long after they had gained control of Trebizond and the neighboring territories, news of the Latin conquest of Constantinople reached them, and the brothers entered the competition for recovery of the imperial city against Theodore I Laskaris in western Anatolia (ruler of the "Empire of Nicaea") and Michael Komnenos Doukas in mainland Greece (ruler of the "Despotate of Epirus").For most of the 13th century Trebizond was in continual conflict with the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm and later with the Ottoman Turks, as well as Constantinople, the Italian republics, and especially the Republic of Genoa. It was an empire more in title than in fact, surviving by playing its rivals against each other, and offering the daughters of its rulers, who were famed for their beauty, for marriage with generous dowries, especially with the Turkish rulers of inland Anatolia. The common view is that the Empire of Trebizond relied heavily upon wealth gained from its trade with Genoese and Venetian merchants to secure for itself the resources necessary to maintain independence.The second son of Alexios I, Manuel I (1238–1263), preserved internal security and acquired the reputation of a great commander. His accomplishments included capturing Sinope in 1254. He was the first ruler to issue silver coins, which were known as aspers.The destruction of Baghdad by Hulagu Khan in 1258 diverted the western terminus of the Silk Road north to the Black Sea, and due to its link with their local capital at Tabriz, Trebizond accumulated tremendous wealth under the suzerainty of the Mongols. Western travelers used Trebizond as their starting point for journeys into Asia; these travelers included Marco Polo, who returned to Europe in 1295 by way of Trebizond. The troubled reign of Manuel's youngest son John II (1280–1297) included a reconciliation with the restored Byzantine Empire and the end of Trapezuntine claims to Constantinople. Trebizond enjoyed a period of wealth and influence during the long reign of John's eldest son Alexios II (1297–1330). During his reign, the city of Erzurum was also under Trebizond Empire occupation for a while around the 1310s. The last years of the fourteenth century were characterized by the increasing Turkish threat. This threat was not from the small Turkmen emirates that bordered Trebizond, but from the dynasty of the Osmanli, a new Turkish power emerging from western Anatolia that would soon consolidate the Ottoman Empire. Although their expansion was temporarily checked by Tamerlane at the Battle of Ankara in 1402, by the 1430s the Ottomans had recovered their fortunes, seizing large segments of Greece and finally capturing Constantinople itself on 29 May 1453. Manuel III (1390–1417), the second son and successor of Alexios III, had allied himself with Tamerlane, but the mighty conqueror soon left Anatolia, and the empire he had built crumbled with his death. His son Alexios IV (1417–1429) continued the tradition of political marriages by marrying two of his daughters to rulers of two neighboring Muslim empires: Jihan Shah, khan of the Kara Koyunlu, and Ali Beg, khan of the Ak Koyunlu. His eldest daughter Maria became the third wife of the Byzantine Emperor John VIII Palaiologos.Alexios IV's eldest son, John IV (1429–1459), could not help but see that his Empire would soon share the fate of Constantinople. The Ottoman Sultan Murad II first attempted to take the capital by the sea in 1442, but high surf made the landings difficult and the attempt was repulsed. While Murad's son and successor, Mehmed II, was away laying siege to Belgrade in 1456, the Ottoman governor of Amasya attacked Trebizond, and although defeated, he took many prisoners and extracted a heavy tribute. A Genoese document records the seizure of one of their ships at that port in 1437 by a military Galley on the orders of Emperor John IV.John IV prepared for the eventual assault by forging alliances. He sent an envoy to the Council of Florence in 1439, the humanist George Amiroutzes, which resulted in the proclamation of the Union of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, but this proclamation brought little help. He gave his daughter Theodora (also known by the name of Despina Khatun) to the son of his brother-in-law, Uzun Hasan, khan of the Ak Koyunlu, in return for his promise to defend Trebizond. He also secured promises of help from the Turkish emirs of Sinope and Karamania, and from the king and princes of Georgia. Through Theodora and the daughter of Alexios IV of Trebizond (also named Theodora), the Safavid dynasty of Iran that succeeded the Ak Koyunlu, would be of direct partial Pontic Greek ethnicity from its very beginning, Ismail I being the grandson of Theodora.After John's death in 1459, his brother David came to power. David was intrigued with various European powers for help against the Ottomans, speaking of wild schemes that included the conquest of Jerusalem. Mehmed II eventually heard of these intrigues and was further provoked to action by David's demand that Mehmed remit the tribute imposed on his brother.Mehmed's response came in the summer of 1461. He collected a sizable army at Bursa, and in a surprise move marched on Sinope, whose emir quickly surrendered. Then the Sultan moved south across eastern Anatolia to neutralize Uzun Hasan. Having isolated Trebizond, Mehmed quickly swept down upon it before the inhabitants knew he was coming, and placed it under siege. The city held out for a month before David surrendered on 15 August 1461. With the fall of Trebizond, the last independent remnant of the Byzantine Empire, as well as the Roman Empire from which the Byzantine Empire sprang, was the Empire of Trebizond's offshoot, the Principality of Theodoro. On December 30, 1475, it would also fall to Ottoman rule. Many have died for glory, and those who survived have gained honor and fame. Now you too can try to rebuild the Byzantine Empire with the Trebizond Empire!