University of Cologne
Research Topic: The Ceremonial Topography of the Empire of Trebizond (1204-1461)
This project primarily focuses on exploring the topographical component of the ceremonial culture of the Empire of Trebizond —one of the states resulting from the Byzantine Empire’s fragmentation after the Fourth Crusade in 1204. The Trebizond emperors were from the family of the Grand Komnenoi, who traced their lineage directly back to the famed Komnenian dynasty, and who, amid the increasingly dynastic nature of imperial authority throughout the Byzantine world, saw themselves as the only legitimate successors to the Byzantine Empire. Modern scholars believe that the Trebizond emperors had to prove the legitimacy of their imperial credentials not only through their blood lineage but also by copying the court ceremonial which was the principal form of translating political ideology in Byzantium. Bardashova’s intention is to discuss this hypothesis with a focus on the Trebizond’s topography. In this regard, the primary objective of her project is to put together a topographical map of ceremonial and establish the main sites of official rituals, and ceremonial routes of Trebizond which will allow her compare in detail the ceremonial topography of Trebizond and Constantinople.