Michael Panaretos
Michael Panaretos (1320 – c. 1390) wrote a chronicle of the Trapezuntine empire
Empire of Trebizond
The Empire of Trebizond, founded in April 1204, was one of three Byzantine successor states of the Byzantine Empire. However, the creation of the Empire of Trebizond was not directly related to the capture of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade, rather it had broken away from the Byzantine Empire...

 of Alexios I Komnenos
Alexios I of Trebizond
Alexios I Megas Komnenos or Alexius I Comnenus was Emperor of Trebizond from 1204 to 1222. He was the eldest son of Manuel Komnenos and of Rusudan, daughter of George III of Georgia. He was thus a grandson of the Byzantine Emperor Andronikos I. Andronikos was dethroned and killed in 1185...

 and his successors from 1204 to 1426. Panaretos was a protosebastos and protonotarios in the service of Alexios III Komnenos
Alexios III of Trebizond
Alexios III Megas Komnenos or Alexius III , Emperor of Trebizond from December 1349 until his death. He was the son of Emperor Basil of Trebizond and his second wife, Irene of Trebizond...

. His chronicle, the only direct source on Trebizond and the history of this medieval empire, was almost unknown until its discovery by Jakob Philipp Fallmerayer
Jakob Philipp Fallmerayer
Jakob Philipp Fallmerayer was a Tyrolean traveller, journalist, politician and historian, best known for his controversial theories concerning the racial origins of the Greeks, and for his travel writings.-Education:Fallmerayer was born, the seventh of ten children, in Weiler Pairdorf, a village...

 among the papers of Cardinal Bessarion in the nineteenth century. The chronicle also contains much valuable material on the early history of the Ottoman Turks
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

, though, naturally, written from a Byzantine perspective.

Very little is known about Panaretos himself, save the few glimmers which appear in his chronicle. Panaretos makes his first appearance in an entry for 1351 when he records that he went with the mother of the emperor Alexios III, Irene of Trebizond
Irene of Trebizond
Irene Palaiologina , was Empress of Trebizond from April 6, 1340 to July 17, 1341...

, against Limnia to break the power the rebel Constantine Doranites held there. What Panaretos' exact possession was at this time is not certain, but his next appearance does not come until the Trapezuntine civil war was over when he records he went with the emperor Alexios III in a disastrous attack on Cheriana, which he himself barely escaped from with his life. Thereafter, his occurrence becomes quite frequent in the annals. In 1363, he was sent with the megas logothetes
Megas logothetes
The megas logothetēs or Grand Logothete, was an official supervising all the sekreta ....

, George Scholaris, to Constantinople and met with the emperor John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos was a Byzantine emperor, who succeeded his father in 1341, at age nine.-Biography:...

, the emperor-monk John VI Kantakuzenos, and also notably the Venetian podestà
Podestà is the name given to certain high officials in many Italian cities, since the later Middle Ages, mainly as Chief magistrate of a city state , but also as a local administrator, the representative of the Emperor.The term derives from the Latin word potestas, meaning power...

and the capetan of Genoese Galata in order to arrange a marriage alliance between the daughter of his master and one of the sons of the emperor John V.

We also know that he had at least two sons both of whom died in 1368, one son Constantine who was fifteen, and who drowned, while the other, Romanos, who was seventeen died from disease, both of them within a relatively short period of time while Panaretos was off at Constantinople again. Panaretos was obviously heartbroken by this event because it is the only personal event that he makes mention of. His chronicle, which has been called laconic, is indeed very short and is no more than twenty pages in the printed form, though about half of the chronicle is devoted to the years between 1349 and 1390. For these years his chronicle is very informative and though it may not be as full as some might wish he says what counts. Throughout the chronicle, his countrymen are never Greeks, as was the custom in Byzantium, but always Romans, or more often than not Christians.

Partial English translation by Scott Kennedy at http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Post/972250&alert=0
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