The son of Theodore, John's fifteen minutes of fame came thanks to the sudden goodwill of John Asen who married his sister and released both he and his father Theodore from the jail they had been in for some seven years. Theodore, who had been recently blinded, was allowed to return to Thessalonica and rule as nominal emperor. Because of the disability his blindness imposed he chose instead to elevate John at the same time that he deposed Manuel. In all, just a bit of name shuffling really since all three were the subjects of Asen.
John didn't even want the crown, longing instead for a religious career. John III would only too willingly oblige his true desires and tricked Theodore into a "diplomatic" visit out west to Nicaea. Theodore would be kept hostage until John agreed to be demoted to the position of Despot and Thessalonica annexed to John's domains.
No coin photos available.