COMNENUS, the name of a Byzantine family which from 1081 to 1185 occupied the throne of Constantinople and originally came from Paphlagonia. Its first member in Byzantine history is MANUEL EROTICUS COMNENUS, an able general serving Basil II. in the East. The increasing unpopularity of the Macedonian dynasty culminated in a revolt of the nobles and the soldiery of Asia against its feeble representative Michael VI. Stratioticus, who abdicated after a brief resistance. Manuel's son Isaac was crowned emperor in St. Sophia on Sept. 2, 1057. For the rulers of this dynasty see ROMAN EMPIRE, LATER, and separate articles. With Andronicus I. (1183-1185) the rule of the Comneni proper at Constantinople ended. A younger line of the original house, of ter the establishment of the Latins at Constantinople in 1204, secured possession of a fragment of the empire in Asia Minor, and founded the empire of Trebizond (q.v.), which lasted till 1461, when David Comnenus, the last emperor, was deposed by Mahommed II.
See Hertzberg's article "Komnenen," in Allgemeine Encyklopiidie, and an anonymous monograph, Précis historique de la maison imperiale des Comnenes (Amsterdam, 1784) .