Comnenus kŏmnē´nəs [key], family name of several Byzantine emperors— Isaac I , Alexius I , John II , Manuel I , Alexius II , and Andronicus I —who reigned in the 11th and 12th cent., and of the historian, Princess Anna Comnena . Though unable to turn back the forces that contributed to the eventual downfall of the Byzantine Empire , they were generally able rulers. Hellenism was revived during the family's reign, and contact with the West was increased. A branch of the family founded the empire of Trebizond (see Trebizond, empire of ) after the fall of Constantinople in 1204.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Ancient History, Late Roman and Byzantine: Biographies