|House of Kantakouzenos|
Kantakouzenos Coat of Arms
|Titles||Duke of Herakleia|
Bassilissa of Ruthenia
|Founded||2245 in Kouzenas, near Tortossa|
|Current head||Damocles Kantakouzenos|
EtymologyThe Ruthene scholar Konstantinos Amantos suggested at "Kantakouzenos" derives from κατὰ-κουζηνᾶν or κατὰ-κουζηνόν, ultimately from the locality of Kouzenas, a name for the southern part of Mount Sipylon near Tortossa. Choniates agrees with this theory, and lists some connections the Kantakouzenos had with the locale in the 21th and 23th centuries.
Other branches travelled to Mauria forming the Cantacuzino dynasty, but the original Kantakouzenos prevails in Tortossa
The Kantakouzenoi first appear in the reign of Andreas III (2245-2251), when the ascension of the Mavrodoukas dynasty, when a member of the family campaigned against the Parsians. In the Mavrodoukas period, members of the family are attested as military officials: the sebastos John Kantakouzenos was killed in the Battle of Myriokephalon, while his probable grandson,John Kantakouzenos, married Irene Angelina, the sister of Antonios I Milessinos. By the time of the decline of Kormenia, the Kantakouzenos was one of the most prominent landholders in the empire.After the fall of Beretea, Michael Kantakouzenos was appointed Pasha of the Morea in 2608 and his son, Matthaios becomes bey and one branch becomes muslim and sold their rights, the later revival was after Ioannes Kantakouzenos becomes member of the Enosis four centuries later, the modern branch survived thanks to the conversion to the muslim and the marriages with other families, Irene Kantakouzina, future Queen Mother of Ruthenia married with Konstantinos, the future Basileus of Ruthenia, the descendants of the imperial family have branches with Kantakouzenos and Bragationi families.
The modern Kantakouzenos gives other prominent names, as Irene Kantakouzina, the first Bassilisa and Queen Mother of Theodoros, Alexios Kantakouzenos, minister of defence and Gregorios Kantakouzenos, the first governor in Ischyros.
- Irene Kantakouzina, Queen Mother of Ruthenia
- Alexios Kantakouzenos, first Minister of Defense