Trabzon is the Turkish name for Trebizond, a Black Sea colony founded in 756 BCE by Greek settlers from Miletus. In 399-401 BCE, Xenophon and the 10,000 Greek mercenaries made up part of the army that Cyrus the Younger raised to sieze the Persian throne from his brother Ataxerxes II. Having lost the battle of Cunaxa, the Greeks then made their way in the winter of 401BCE through the Armenian mountains and emerged at the Black Sea near Trebizond.
Following the Fourth Crusade, which sacked Constantinople in 1204, the emperor's grandsons captured Trebizond. The city then flourished as capitol of the Trebizond Empire, the longest-surviving Byzantine successor state. The empire occupied the entire northeast Anatolian coast of the Black Sea as well as two portions of Crimea during the 13th through 15 Centuries. Marco Polo passed through the city twice during his travels from 1271 to 1295.
Trebizond fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1461, but the city and the surrounding region remained home to descendants of the original Greek settlers, called the Pontic Greeks, until they were expelled by Attaturk in the 20th Century.
Russia won the city from the Ottoman Empire during World War I but retreated after the Russian Revolution in 1917. In 1923, following Attaturk's founding of modern Turkey, over 100,000 Pontic Greeks from the Trebizond region were "exchanged" with Greece. The city was also a major extermination site during the Armenian genocide.
Today Trabzon has nearly one million inhabitants, and its port is one of the largest on the Black Sea which exports anchovies, agricultural products and the output of the mines in the adjacent Pontic Mountains.