The exact date of birth of Theodora is unknown, after about 1438.

The daughter of the Trebizond Emperor John IV and his second wife, the mother’s name is not mentioned in historical sources, it is believed that Theodora’s mother was the sister of the Crimean Khan Hadzhi Geray.

The girl was famous for her special beauty.

Her fame went around the world, the princess was called “the beauty of Byzantium” – “The Heart of Trebizond” Many sought her hand – but the “wondrous flower” went to Uzun-Hasan, the ruler and heir of the Great Empire of White Aries.

The marriage was organized by Fedora’s uncle, Emperor David II, who succeeded Fedora’s father, John IV, on the throne.

It was a legendary wedding, one of the first between Christian and Muslim monarchs.

According to the wedding custom, the husband could demand a change of religion, but Uzun Hasan did not do this, moreover, he treated his wife’s religion with great respect, Christian churches were built by order, such respect for the Christian faith earned respect in Byzantium and others Christian nations.

Theodora became a mother to her new people – kind, wise and honest – remained in the memory as a wise wife, a good mother, and a kind person.
She was called Despina Khatun, but this is not a personal name, this was the name of several other Christian princesses married to Muslim rulers.

After the death of Uzun-Hasan in 1478, Feodor was no longer mentioned in documents, so how many years she lived is unknown.

Theodora and Uzun Hasan had one son, who was killed by their three brothers on the night after the death of Uzun-Hasan, and three daughters, but only the name of one of her daughters is known – Halima Alimshah – Begim, who married Sheikh Heydar from Ardabil.

Her son, the grandson of Theodora, the future Shah Ismail, founded the Safavid dynasty, which ruled Persia from 1501 to 1736.

“Heart of Trebizond” – DESPINA KHATUN, was buried in the Church of St. George, in Diyarbakir.

According to legend, it was about Theodora the Great – Despina Khatun that the song “Sari Gelin” was composed, which has become one of the most significant for the heritage and culture of Azerbaijan.

author Zemfira Kurbanova

Map of the Christian, Mongol & Muskim