Principality of Theodoro
Crimea in the middle of the 15th century.
. Theodoro shown in green
|Capital||Mangup (Doros, Theodoro)|
|Languages||Greek (official), also Crimean Gothic, Kipchak and others|
|-||1475||Alexander of Theodoro|
|Historical era||Late Middle Ages|
The Principality of Theodoro (Greek: Θεοδόρο), also known as Gothia (Greek: Γοτθία), was a small principality in the south-west of Crimea from the 13th through 15th centuries. Its capital was Doros, which was also sometimes called Theodoro and is now known as Mangup. The state was closely allied with the Empire of Trebizond.
The Principality was formed after the Fourth Crusade out of parts of the Byzantine thema of Klimata which were not occupied by the Genoese. Its population was a mixture of Greeks, Crimean Goths, Alans, Bulgars, Kypchaks and other nations, which confessed Orthodox Christianity. The principality's official language was Greek. The territory was initially under the control of Trebizond, and possibly part of its Crimean possessions, the Perateia. Theodore II Gabras, a scion of the noble Gabras family (also called Chowra in Turkish) was appointed as the governor.
The Gabras family soon refortified Doros, and named the new citadel St. Theodore (Άγιος Θεόδωρος), after its patron saint. This became the administrative center of the new principality, from which it took its name. The principality had peaceful relations with the Golden Horde to its north, paying an annual tribute as vassals, but was in constant strife with the Genoese colonies to the south over access to the coasts and the trade that went through the Crimean harbours. A narrow strip of the coastal land from Yamboli (Balaklava) in the west to Aluston (Alushta) in the east initially part of the principality soon fell under Genoese control. Local Greeks called this region Parathalassia (Greek: Παραθαλασσια - sea shore), while under Genoese rule it was known as Captainship of Gothia. After they had lost harbours on the southern coast Theodorites built a new port called Avlita at the mouth of the Chernaya River and fortified it with the fortress of Kalamita (modern Inkerman).
On 6 June 1475, the Ottoman commander Gedik Ahmet Pasha conquered Caffa and at the end of the year, after six months of besieging Mangup, the city fell to the assailants. While much of the rest of Crimea remained part of the Crimean Khanate, now an Ottoman vassal, the former lands of Theodoro and southern Crimea was administered directly by the Sublime Porte.
Princes of Theodoro
- Demetrios (after 1362 — before 1368)
- Stephen, son of Basil, (?—1402)
- Alexios I, son of Stephen, (1402—1434)
- Alexios II, son of Alexios I, (1434—1444)
- John (Olubey), son of Alexios I, (1444—1460)
- Isaac, son of Alexios I, (1471—1474)
- Alexander, son of Alexios II, (June — December 1475)
- А. В. Васильев, М. Н. Автушенко «Загадка княжества Феодоро» Севастополь, 2006
- Т. М. Фадеева, А. К. Шапошников «Княжество Феодоро и его князья» Симферополь, 2005
- Kazanski Michel , "Sites on the mountainous areas of the SW Crimea in the medieval period" (undated).