Royal House of Angelus Comnenus
This page was made possible by the combined effort of diverse members of the
Unrecognised States Numismatic Society
During the 12th century a branch of the Comnenus family emigrated to the Italian Peninsula; with the fall of Trebizond in 1461 and the execution of the Comneni there, this branch became one of the branches possibly claimant to the throne; being descended from nobility they intermarried with local royalty, amongst others from the Kingdoms of Sicily.
When Mario Bernardo Angelo Comneno (1914-1988) became head of (the Italian branch of) the Comnenus family in the 1950s, he was already a well known figure in Italy; as a soldier he had been honoured by several medals during the wars in Libya and Eritrea in 1395-1937, in Albania in 1941 (where he was wounded at battle) and in 1944-1945 by the Americans and British. Following WWII, he built up a career as a tax lawyer. According to Mr. Manuele Comneno, his grandson, Mr. Comneno, from the 1950’s onwards, used to sign his name as Michael III for internal documents concerning the family, thus showing his lineage from Michael II, the most famous and important emperor in the Comnenus dynasty; this was not meant to be seen as a claim to the throne of Trebizond, but rather a way of honouring his ancestor.
Rebels, Pretenders, and Impostors by Mr. C. Cheesman and Mr. J. Williams state that Mr. Comneno is not a true heir of the Comnenus dynasty, but an impostor with a “keen interest in his own glorious genealogical past”. According to Mr. Manuele Comneno, this claim by the authors is false and must be dismissed out of hand, the contrary having been proven in court.
The numismatic history of the coin set is intriguing
as well; based on information by Mr. Manuele Comneno, the coin set was made
as a gift for the occasion of Mr. Comneno’s 40th
birthday by Mr. Gamberini from
© 2007 Tædivm / C.D. Shiboleth. Information and scans courtesy of M.F. Angelo-Comneno, E.V.M. McCrea, O. Paz and C.D. Shiboleth. Layout thanks to G. Cruickshank / USNS.