The empire of Trebizond was an important trading hub for travelers along the Silk Road and acquired a great reputation for its wealth. As a unique outpost of the Eastern Roman world with its own culture and dialect of Greek, this mysterious empire has long fascinated European writers from Miguel Cervantes in Don Quixote to Dorothy Dunnett in her popular Niccolò series. Regrettably, the remnants of the empire's own literary production are few. The city produced some figures of note in Byzantine ecclesiastical history, such as Saint Athanasios, the founder of the Great Lavra on Mount Athos, and John Xiphilinos, the patriarch of Constantinople (1063-1075), and, in the fourteenth century, it was known as a center of astronomical and mathematical studies. The most famous surviving texts produced by its native sons are, however, the laconic chronicle on the emperors of Trebizond attributed to Michael Panaretos and cardinal Bessarion's encomium of the city. They are the cornerstone of any study of the empire of Trebizond and Pontic Hellenism. This volume offers a translation of these two documents, including the first ever English translation of Bessarion's Encomium on Trebizond, in the hope that they will encourage further study of this elusive empire and its culture.--
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