Ирина Комнина

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Eirene Komnene Doukaina of Epirus

Russian: Eirene Комитопул
Birthdate: (30)
Death: 1241 (30)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Theodōros I Komnēnos and Maria Dukaina Komnene Petraliphaina
Wife of цар Йоан Асен II and Ivan II Asen, Еmperor of Bulgaria
Mother of Michael Asen I, Еmperor of Bulgaria; Anna-Theodora Asenina and Мария Асенина
Sister of Ioannes Komnenos; Анна Теодора Nemanjić and Demetrios Komnenos Dukas

Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:

About Ирина Комнина


Irene Komnene of Epirus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Irene Komnene or Eirene Komnеnе (Greek: Ειρήνη Κομνηνή, Bulgarian: Ирина Комнина) was the third wife of tsar Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria. She was the mother of tsar Michael Asen I of Bulgaria.

Irene was daughter of despotēs Theodore Komnenos Doukas, ruler of Epirus, and Maria Petraliphaina(sister of the sebastokratōr John Petraliphas). In 1230 Irene and her family were captured by the troops of tsar Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria in the battle of Klokotnitsa and they were taken in Tarnovo, where Irene grew up in the Palace. Irene become famous with her beauty and the widowed tsar fell in love with her. They married in 1237. According to a Byzantine author, Ivan Asen II loved Irene "no less than Antony loved Cleopatra", and she may have been his mistress for some years before their marriage in 1237. Marrying Irene, Ivan Asen II would have broken church canons, as his daughter from a previous marriage was married to Irene's uncle Manuel of Thessalonica. There is moot evidence that the Bulgarian church opposed the marriage and that a patriarch (called either Spiridon or Visarion) was deposed or executed by the irate tsar.

Irene and Ivan Asen II had three children:

Anna (or Theodora), who married the sebastokrator Peter before 1253.

Maria, who married Mitso Asen, who succeeded as emperor of Bulgaria 1256–1257.

Michael Asen I, who succeeded as emperor of Bulgaria (1246–1256).

In 1241 Ivan Asen II died and he was succeeded by his son Kaliman I of Bulgaria, who was born by Anna Maria of Hungary - second wife of Ivan Asen II. Kaliman I of Bulgaria was poisoned in 1246 and the throne was succeeded by Michael Asen I, the son of Irene. According to one theory Irene poisoned her step-son in order to secure the throne for her son - Michael Asen I. It is assumed that Irene took over the government as tsarina-regent, because her son was still a child when he ascended the throne, but there is little evidence to prove this hypothesis.

Later Irene retired to a monastery under the monastic name Xenia. She was buried in SS. Forty Martyrs Church.

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