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Ivan II Asen

Russian: Ivan II Комитопул
Also Known As: "Иван Асен II", "Йоан Асен II", "Yoan Asen II", "John Asen II"
Birthdate: (51)
Birthplace: Veliko Tarnovo, Veliko Tarnovo Province, Bulgaria
Death: June 24, 1241 (47-55)
Veliko Tarnovo, Veliko Tarnovo Province, Bulgaria
Immediate Family:

Son of Ivan Asen I, Еmperor of Bulgaria and Elena-Evgenia Неманич
Husband of Анна (Анисия); Анна-Мария and Ирина Комнина
Father of Мария; Белослава; Тамара; Елена; Kaliman I Asen, Tsar of Bulgaria and 4 others
Brother of Alexander Asen

Occupation: Emperor (Tsar) of Bulgaria from 1218 to 1241, during the Second Bulgarian Empire, цар на България
Managed by: FARKAS Mihály László
Last Updated:

About Ivan II Asen, Еmperor of Bulgaria

IVAN ASEN II 1218-1241, KOLOMAN I 1241-1246, MIHAIL II ASEN 1246-1257

IVAN ASEN, son of IVAN ASEN I Tsar of the Bulgarians & his [first/second] wife --- ([1190]-Jun 1241). Georgius Akropolites names "Ioannem et Alexandrum" as the two sons of "primus Bulgarorum rex Asanus", recording that "Asani filius Ioannes" fled "in Rusos" when "Borila" usurped power[281]. His parentage is confirmed by Georgius Akropolites who refers to the fact that "sororis illius filius Borilas" (referring to "Scylo-Ioannes (Σκυλοϊωάννης)") displaced "filius…Asani Ioannes" when he seized Bulgaria[282]. The Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines names "Alsanus rex Bulgarie frater Alexandri" specifying that both were "nepotes…Burilli"[283]. He was passed over on the death of his uncle Tsar Kalojan in 1207, when his first cousin Boril succeeded as Tsar. He was smuggled out of the country first to the Kumans, later to Galicia[284]. He was recalled in 1218 to lead a rebellion against Tsar Boril, marched on Trnovo and was declared IVAN ASEN II Tsar of the Bulgarians. Georgius Akropolites records that "Asani filius Ioannes" seized power from "Borila" whom he blinded[285]. After his accession, he quickly consolidated his control over his territories and built up his army, reviving Bulgaria's strength as a Balkan power[286]. He unsuccessfully proposed the marriage of his daughter Elena to Baudouin II Latin Emperor of Constantinople in 1228[287]. Theodoros Angelos Lord of Epirus, who had crowned himself emperor in 1225, marched on Constantinople in 1230 but changed course and attacked Bulgaria. The Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines records that "Alsanus rex Bulgarie" captured and blinded "ducem Durachis Theodorum"[288] at Klokotnica, near Philippopolis, in Apr 1230[289]. Ivan Asen then went on the offensive, conquering most of Macedonia and Albania[290]. When Ivan Asen learnt of Jean de Brienne's arrival in Constantinople in 1231 as regent for Emperor Baudouin II, he opened negotiations with Nikaia for a joint attack on the city, his alliance later being confirmed by the marriage of his daughter Elena to the heir to the Nikaian throne[291]. András II King of Hungary attacked north-west Bulgaria in 1232, recapturing Beograd and Braničevo which he had been forced to cede as part of the dowry of his daughter when she became Tsar Ivan Asen's second wife[292]. In return for recognising the Nikaian patriarch's title of 'Ecumenical Patriarch'[293], the latter granted autonomy to the Bulgarian church in 1235[294]. Tsar Ivan Asen and his Nikaian allies laid siege to Constantinople in 1236, but the city was saved by a quarrel between the two allies[295]. Relations with Hungary improved at the end of his reign, possibly because of the threat posed to both states by the Mongols[296]. Georgius Akropolites records the death of "Bulgarorum princeps Asanus" and the succession of "Callimanus eius ex Ungara filius"[297].

Ivan Asen II (r. 1218–1241) invited Italian Jewish merchants to settle in the empire and even provided financial inducements to facilitate their competition with the Greeks. Ragusa (Dubrovnik) became an important conduit for trade between Bulgaria and Italy, increasing the Jewish presence in the capital of Tŭrnovo, Vidin, Thrace, and on the Black Sea coast. The protection extended by Ivan Asen to Jews fleeing persecution in Central Europe and during the Sixth Crusade earned the ire of Pope Gregory IX (r. 1227–1247), who in 1230 sought unsuccessfully to incite a crusade against Bulgaria. A letter written by Rabbi Jacob ben Elijah to his apostate relative Friar Pablo Christiani (Jacob ben Eli of Carcassonne) in Spain (who later engaged in a religious dispute with Naḥmanides, 1194–ca. 1270), relates much about Jewish life in Bulgaria at this time.

m firstly (repudiated before Jan 1221) ANNA, daughter of ---. The primary source which confirms her marriage has not yet been identified. She was banished to Asia Minor after her repudiation.

m secondly (Jan 1221) MARIA of Hungary, daughter of ANDRÁS II King of Hungary & his first wife Gertrud von Andechs-Merano (early 1204-Trnovo Autumn 1237). The Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines refers to the first wife of "Alsannus rex" as "soror Bele regis Hungarie et…sancta Elizabeth" but does not name her[298]. The Historia Salonitanorum of Thomas Archdeacon of Split records that András II King of Hungary was detained in Bulgaria by "Oxano Bulgarorum rege" until he agreed the marriage of "suam filiam"[299]. Ephræmius names "Maria de genus de populo Pæoanum" as the wife of "Asanes"[300]. Her dowry included the cities of Beograd and Braničevo[301]. She converted to Roman Catholicism[302]. Georgius Akropolites records the death of "Asano…uxorem Ungaram" at "citissime Trinobum" while her husband was besieging "Tzuruli castrum"[303].

m thirdly ([1237/38]) EIRENE Komnene Angelina, daughter of ex-Emperor THEODOROS I Komnenos Dukas Angelos Lord of Epirus & his wife Maria Dukaina Komnene Petraliphaina ([before 1220][304]-after 1241). Georgius Akropolites records the marriage of Tsar Ivan Asen and "filiam Angeli Theodori Irenem"[305]. Ephræmius records that "Asanes" married "Theodori filiam Comnenangeli…Irenam" after the death of his first wife "Ungarica consorte"[306]. The Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines refers to the second wife of "Alsannus rex" as "filia Theodori ceci" but does not name her[307]. Tsar Ivan Asen II had defeated her father at Klokotnica, near Philippopolis, in Apr 1230, blinded him and kept him prisoner in Bulgaria for seven years[308]. It appears that he was released in 1237 after he gave Tsar Ivan Asen permission to marry his daughter. Tsarina Irina was probably exiled from Bulgaria soon after the accession in 1241 of her stepson, who was living with her brother in Thessaloniki[309]. She became a nun as XENIA.

Tsar Ivan Asen II & his first wife had two children:

1. MARIJA (before 1221-after 1237). Georgius Akropolites records that "rege Ioanne Asane…filia Maria ex pellice" married "Theodorus Comnenus…fratri suo Manueli"[310]. Ephræmius records the marriage of "Asane Ioanne…Mariam…notham filiam" and "Manueli"[311]. It is not known whether her alleged illegitimacy resulted from her mother's repudiation (as noted above) or whether her mother was the concubine not the wife of her father. Her marriage was arranged as part of the alliance with the Bulgarians agreed by her future husband's brother Emperor Theodoros[312]. Georgius Akropolites records that "fratrem Manuelem" sent back "coniugem ad Asanam patrem", dated from the context to after her father's third marriage[313]. m ([1225], repudiated [1238]) as his second wife, MANUEL Angelos Dukas Komnenos [Epirus], despot, son of IOANNES KONSTANTINOS Dukas Angelos, sebastokrator & his wife --- (-[1241]).

2. BELISAVA (before 1221-). The primary source which confirms her parentage and marriage has not yet been identified. m ([1233]) STEFAN VLADISLAV King of Serbia, son of STEFAN "Prvovenčani/the First-Crowned" King [Kralj] of Serbia & his second wife --- or his third wife Anna Dandolo (-11 Nov after 1267 [1269]).

Tsar Ivan Asen II & his second wife had five children:

3. ELENA ([1224]-before 1254). Georgius Akropolites records the betrothal of "imperator Ioannes…filium…Theodoro …undecim annos" and "Asanus…filiolam…Helenam…ab Ungara…novennem", a later passage recording their marriage at "Lampsacum"[314]. Ephræmius records that "Lascari Theodoro" married "Asanis…filia… Helena"[315]. The Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines refers to the daughter of "Alsannus rex" & his wife "soror Bele regis Hungarie" as the wife of "Caloiohannes Vastachii filius" but does not name her[316]. Her father proposed her betrothal to Baudouin II Latin Emperor of Constantinople in 1228, but fearing Tsar Ivan Asen's ambitions, the Latins rejected the offer[317]. Her marriage was agreed to confirm the alliance between her father and the Nikaian emperor, who were planning a joint attack on Constantinople[318]. m (Betrothed [1233], Lampsaka early 1235) THEODOROS Dukas Laskaris of Nikaia, son of IOANNES III Emperor of Nikaia & his first wife Eirene Dukaina Komnene Laskarina ([Dec 1221]-16 Aug 1258, bur Monastery of Sosandra). He was crowned as co-emperor in [1241] by his father. He succeeded his father in 1254 as THEODOROS II Emperor of Nikaia.

4. TAMARA (-after [1252]). Ephræmius names "Thamar germana soror" of "Callimanus", son of "Asanes" by his wife "Maria genus de populo Pæonum"[319]. Georgius Akropolites names "Callimano soror…Thamari"[320]. Georgius Akropolites records the proposed marriage between "Callimani Bulgari soror Thamar, nulli nupta" and "Comnenus Michael" (referring to Mikhael Palaeologus, the future Emperor Mikhael VIII), dated to the early 1250s from the context of the passage[321]. same person as…? daughter . Pachymeres records that "Mytzes" was "gener…Asanis" and that "sororem" of his wife had married "Theodorus Lascaris"[322]. The primary source which confirms the name of Ivan Mico's wife has not yet been identified. According to Europäische Stammtafeln, she was Maria, daughter of Tsar Ivan II by his third marriage. However, if this was correct, it seems unlikely Pachymeres would have highlighted her relationship with her (half-)sister Elena. In addition, the betrothal of the couple's older son, dated to [1263], suggests that his mother must have been born earlier than [1239], Maria's estimated birth date. It therefore appears more likely that Ivan Mico's wife was Tamara, the only recorded full sister of Elena, wife of Emperor Theodoros. m IVAN Mico [Mytzes] boyar, son of --- (-after 1262).

5. son (-Trnovo Autumn 1237). Georgius Akropolites records the death of "filiolum ipsius et Trinobi episcopum" at the same time as the death of "Asano…uxorem Ungaram", while Tsar Ivan Asen was besieging "Tzuruli castrum"[323].

6. KOLOMAN ([1233/34]-Aug 1246). Ephræmius names "Callimanus" as the son of "Asanes" by his wife "Maria genus de populo Pæonum"[324]. The Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines names "Colmannum" as the son of "Alsannus rex" & his wife "soror Bele regis Hungarie"[325]. He succeeded in 1241 as KOLOMAN I Tsar of the Bulgarians, under a regency, the joint regents quarrelling among themselves[326]. Georgius Akropolites records the death of "Bulgarorum princeps Asanus" and the succession of "Callimanus eius ex Ungara filius", adding in a later passage that Koloman was twelve years old, just before the sentence which records his death[327]. Ioannes III Emperor of Nikaia took advantage of Bulgarian weakness during the minority of Tsar Koloman to conquer major parts of Thrace, the Rhodopes and Macedonia[328]. Presumably this was also the time when Mongol suzerainty over Bulgaria was established.

Tsar Ivan Asen II & his third wife had three children:

7. MIHAIL ASEN ([1238]-murdered Trnovo 1257). Ephræmius names "Michaelem Mariam et Theodoram" as the three children of "Irene uxor Asanis Bulgari"[329]. Georgius Akropolites names "Michaelem Theodoram Mariam" as the children of "Asanus" and his wife "filiam Angeli Theodori Irenem"[330]. He succeeded his half-brother in 1246 as MIHAIL II ASEN Tsar of the Bulgarians. Taking advantage of the death of Ioannes III Emperor in Nikaia in 1254, Bulgaria reconquered Macedonia, although it was again lost to Nikaia by 1256[331]. Georgius Akropolites records that "Bulgarorum princeps Michael", receiving the news of the death of Emperor Ioannes III, "agitasset regionem" and captured territory from the empire[332]. Bulgaria entered an alliance with Hungary in 1255, confirmed by Tsar Mihail's marriage to the granddaughter of Bela IV King of Hungary[333]. Tsar Mihail II was murdered and replaced on the throne by his cousin Koloman. Georgius Akropolites records that "Bulgarorum princeps…Michael" was killed by "consobrino suo Callimano" at Trnovo[334]. m ([1255]) as her first husband, ANNA Rostislavna of Galich, daughter of ROSTISLAV Mikhailovich ex-Grand Prince of Kiev, ex-Prince of Galich, Ban of Mačva & his wife Anna of Hungary ([after 1243]-[1296/98]). Her parentage and first marriage are indicated by Georgius Akropolites who names "Rosum Urum…Ungariæ regis generum" as father-in-law of "Bulgarorum…princeps"[335]. Her first husband's cousin and successor, Tsar Koloman II, forced her to marry him as her second husband[336]. Georgius Akropolites records that "consobrino suo Callimano" married "Bulgarorum princeps…Michael…uxore" after killing her first husband[337]. Tsarina Anna may have married thirdly (May 1260) Moys de Dáró, Judge of the Kumans, Palatine of Hungary, Gespan of Sopron, son of --- (-end 1280), although according to another table in Europäische Stammtafeln[338], the wife of Moys de Dáró was Erszebet of Hungary, daughter of András of Hungary Prince of Galich & his wife Ielena Mstislavna of Galich. .

8. MARIJA ([1239]-). Ephræmius names "Michaelem Mariam et Theodoram" as the three children of "Irene uxor Asanis Bulgari"[339]. Georgius Akropolites names "Michaelem Theodoram Mariam" as the children of "Asanus" and his wife "filiam Angeli Theodori Irenem"[340].

9. TEODORA [Anna] ([1240/41]-). Ephræmius names "Michaelem Mariam et Theodoram" as the three children of "Irene uxor Asanis Bulgari", in a later passage naming the second daughter "Annam"[341]. Georgius Akropolites names "Michaelem Theodoram Mariam" as the children of "Asanus" and his wife "filiam Angeli Theodori Irenem", also in a later passage naming the second daughter "Annam"[342]. The primary source which confirms her marriage has not yet been identified. m PJOTR, son of ---. Sébastokrator. Probably chief regent for Tsar Mihail II Asen after 1246[343]. 1253.

Source / Forrás:



Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ivan Asen II (Bulgarian: Иван Асен II, pronounced [iˈvan aˈsɛn ˈftɔri]; also Йоан Асен II, Yoan Asen II), in English sometimes known as John Asen II, ruled as Emperor (Tsar) of Bulgaria from 1218 to 1241, during the Second Bulgarian Empire.

Early rule

He was a son of Ivan Asen I of Bulgaria and Elena (religious name Evgenija). Elena, who survived until after 1235, is sometimes alleged to be a daughter of Stefan Nemanja of Serbia, but this relationship is questionable and would have caused various canonical impediments to marriages between various descendants. Ivan Asen II's father was one of the two founders of the Asen dynasty and the Second Bulgarian Empire. Under Ivan Asen II's rule, the empire would become the dominant force in the Balkans for about a decade, 1230–1241.

After the death of his uncle Kaloyan in 1207, Ivan Asen's cousin, Boril, usurped the throne and forced him to flee to the Russian principality of Galicia-Volhynia. With its support Ivan Asen returned to Bulgaria in 1218 to successfully overthrow his cousin and be crowned as emperor. Having established himself on the throne, Ivan Asen II set about recovering the losses sustained by Bulgaria during the reign of Boril.

[edit]Initial relations with neighbouring powers

The return of Andrew II of Hungary from the Fifth Crusade in 1218 provided an opportunity to establish a marriage alliance and to obtain (probably in 1221) the return of the disputed territories around Belgrade on the Danube as the dowry of Princess Anna Maria of Hungary. Ivan Asen II also made an alliance with Theodore Komnenos Doukas of Epirus to his south, although the latter had expanded his control over various Bulgarian-inhabited territories, including Ohrid. The alliance was cemented with the marriage of Ivan Asen II's daughter to Theodore's brother Manuel.

After the death of the Latin Emperor Robert of Courtenay in 1228, the barons in Constantinople considered Ivan Asen II as a possible choice of regent or guardian of the minor Baldwin II. By this time Theodore of Epirus had reconquered Thessalonica from the Latin Empire in 1224, had himself crowned emperor there by the autocephalous archbishop of Ohrid, had taken Adrianople and was poised to strike at Constantinople itself. Fearing Ivan Asen II's intervention in the Latin Empire, Theodore diverted his army, including many western mercenaries, northwards into Bulgaria in 1230. According to tradition, Ivan Asen II had the text of the broken treaty carried like a standard on a spear, and managed to decisively defeat and capture Theodore in the battle of Klokotnitsa. This victory allowed Ivan Asen II to sweep into Theodore's lands and to conquer the Epirote possessions from the Black Sea and Adrianople in the east to the Adriatic and Durazzo in the west.

Further south Epirus proper and the region of Thessalonica were left to Ivan Asen II's son-in-law Manuel, who governed from Thessalonica with the title of despot. The success of Ivan Asen II was due as much to his effective defeat of Theodore's army as to his humane treatment of the prisoners of war (recorded by the Byzantine historians), whom he released and allowed to return home unharmed. This restraint made it possible to readily obtain the submission of most of Theodore's fortresses.

[edit]Influence over Serbia and alliance with Nicaea

Elated by his success, Ivan Asen II caused a memorial inscription to be set up on a column in the Church of the Forty Martyrs in his capital Tărnovo, in which he boasted of defeating and capturing Theodore with the help of the martyrs, of conquering his lands, and of even acquiring the obedience of the Latins of Constantinople. But this optimism was rather hasty. By 1231 the Latin regency had finalized negotiations with John of Brienne, the former king of Jerusalem, who was invited to step in as the guardian and co-emperor of Baldwin II at Constantinople. This action led to the breach of the alliance between Bulgaria and the Latin Empire, and the creation of an alternate alliance with the Empire of Nicaea.

In 1234 a Bulgarian-aided coup d'état in Serbia toppled Stefan Radoslav, a son-in-law of Theodore of Epirus, and replaced him with his brother Stefan Vladislav I, a son-in-law of Ivan Asen II. This has been seen as the extension of Bulgarian influence over Serbia, but the extent and nature of that relationship remains unclear. The two governments cooperated with each other and Stefan Vladislav did not long survive his father-in-law's death, being overthrown by his younger brother Stefan Uroš I in 1242. In 1235 uncle of the Serbian king, the Archbishop of Serbia Saint Sava died in Tarnovo, and in 1237 Ivan Asen II allowed his nephew to transfer the prized body back to Serbia.

[edit]Hungarian invasions and Bulgarian intervention in the Latin Empire

The alliance between Bulgaria and Nicaea, directed against the Latin Empire, provoked reprisals by the papacy and the kingdom of Hungary. In 1232 the Hungarians seized the Belgrade area and attacked Sredec (Sofia), but were defeated by Ivan Asen II's brother Alexander. In 1233, under the leadership of the future king Béla IV, the Hungarians invaded again, this time seizing Little or Western Wallachia (Oltenia) and setting up the banate of Severin. It is unclear how long the Hungarians were able to hold on to their conquests, but they had been recovered by Ivan Asen II before the Mongol invasion of 1240–1241. Both the Belgrade region and the banate of Severin were reconquered by Hungary in 1246.

The new pro-Nicaean alignment of Bulgaria culminated with the marriage between Elena of Bulgaria ,Ivan Asen II's daughter, and the future Theodore II Laskaris, the son of Emperor John III Doukas Vatatzes of Nicaea. The dynastic union was celebrated in 1235 and coincided with the restoration of the Bulgarian patriarchate with the consent of the eastern patriarchs. In the aftermath Ivan Asen II and John III campaigned together against the Latin Empire in Europe, effectively dividing its territories in Thrace. The death of John of Brienne in 1237 gave Ivan Asen II new hopes of intervention in the Latin Empire, to the point of projecting the marriage of a daughter with Baldwin II and even abducting his own daughter Elena, whom he had married to the heir to Nicaea. However, this change of policy came to naught the same year, when, while besieging Nicaean Caenophrurion in alliance with the Latins, Ivan Asen II received news of the simultaneous deaths of his wife, one of his children, and the Patriarch of Tarnovo. Taking these events as signs of divine displeasure, Ivan Asen II broke off the siege and returned home, sending his daughter Elena back to her husband in Nicaea.

[edit]End of rule

The last years of Ivan Asen II's reign show unwillingness to fully commit on either side in the continued struggle between the Latin Empire and Nicaea. Although the Nicaean alliance was renewed, Ivan Asen II allowed Cuman detachments and a 60-thousand strong western army to cross his lands and reinforce the Latin Empire in 1240.

Following the death of his wife Anna Maria of Hungary, Ivan Asen II married Eirene, the daughter of Theodore of Epirus, who had remained a prisoner in the Bulgarian court since his capture in 1230, and had been blinded for conspiracy. According to a Byzantine author, Ivan Asen II loved Eirene "no less than Antony loved Cleopatra", and she may have been his mistress for some years before their marriage in 1237. Marrying Eirene, Ivan Asen II would have broken church canons, as his daughter from a previous marriage was married to Eirene'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. The marriage resulted in the release of Theodore, who returned to Thessalonica, chased out his brother Manuel (who retained control of Thessaly), and imposed his own son John as despot.

The last recorded action of Ivan Asen II is his defeat of a column of the Mongol army of Batu Khan in the course of its retreat from Hungary in 1241. This was not a decisive defeat, and a new Mongol invasion in 1242 forced Bulgaria to become tributary to the Golden Horde. By this time, however, Ivan Asen II was already dead, having died on 24 June 1241.


Ivan Asen II is considered, with good reason, one of the most important and successful rulers of Bulgaria. His work included the restoration of the autocephalous Bulgarian patriarchate in 1235 (after a long hiatus since 1018), the minting of the first Bulgarian non-imitation coinage in both gold and copper, the suppression of the centrifugal forces that had plagued his predecessor's reign, and the expansion of Bulgaria's frontiers in all directions. Ivan Asen II had sought to bolster the effectiveness of his state by providing for some level of administrative control and concluding a commercial treaty with the republic of Ragusa (modern Dubrovnik), a dependency of Venice. He showed restraint on the field of battle and sought to face challenges through diplomatic solutions. However, his policies exhibit considerable inconsistencies, especially in the relationship towards Nicaea and the Latin Empire. It is possible that Ivan Asen II could not decide which of these rivals was more dangerous to him or more profitable as an ally. In the long run his actions (including the victory over Theodore of Epirus and the general preference for Nicaea) secured the position of Nicaea as the Byzantine successor state best able to reconquer Constantinople. Bulgarian influence over Serbia and Thessalonica lapsed on his death. The rudimentary administrative apparatus he left behind proved insufficient to cope with the challenges of two successive minorities on the throne, and led to significant territorial losses to Nicaea, Epirus, and Hungary in 1246, not to mention Bulgaria's status as a tributary to the Golden Horde in 1242. It is difficult to say to what extent Ivan Asen II may have been able to prevent these developments, but he may be credited with presiding over a period of rare prosperity, internal peace, and external hegemony for Medieval Bulgaria.


Ivan Asen II was married three times. His first wife may be the

-1m. Anna (religious name Anisia) mentioned in the Synodik of the Bulgarian Church. She may have been a concubine instead of a legitimate spouse, and she may have been the mother of his two eldest daughters:

-1.1 Maria (?), who married Manuel of Thessalonica.

-1.2 Beloslava (?), who married Stefan Vladislav I of Serbia.

His second wife was

-2m. Anna Maria of Hungary, a daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary. She died in 1237 and by her he had several children, including:

-2.1 Elena, who married Theodore II Doukas Laskaris of the Nicaea.

-2.2 Thamar, at one point alleged to be engaged to the future Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos.

-2.3 Kaliman Asen I, who succeeded as emperor of Bulgaria 1241–1246.

-2.4 Peter, who died in 1237.

By his third wife,

-3m. Eirene (religious name Xene) of Thessalonica, a daughter of Theodore of Epirus and Maria Petraliphaina, he had three children:

-3.1 Anna (or Theodora), who married the sebastokrator Peter before 1253.

-3.2 Maria, who married Mitso Asen, who succeeded as emperor of Bulgaria 1256–1257.

-3.3 Michael Asen I, who succeeded as emperor of Bulgaria 1246–1256.


Ivan Asen Point on Smith Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named for Ivan Asen II.


Canev, Stefan (2006). "6 (1218–1241) Zavoevateljat na duši. Car Ivan Asen II" (in Bulgarian). Bǎlgarski hroniki. Sofia, Plovdiv: Trud, Žanet 45. ISBN 954-528-610-5.

Cawley, Charles (2006–2007). "Ivan Asen II 1218–1241, Koloman I 1241–1246, Mihail II Asen 1246–1257" Medieval Lands. Foundation for Medieval Genealogy.

Delev, Petǎr; Valeri Kacunov, Plamen Mitev, Evgenija Kalinova, Iskra Baeva, Bojan Dobrev (2006). "16 Bǎlgarskata dǎržava pri Car Simeon; 10 Zlatnijat vek na bǎlgarskata kultura" (in Bulgarian). Istorija i civilizacija za 11. klas. Trud, Sirma. ISBN 9549926729.

Dimitrov, Božidar (1994). "Restoration and rise of the Bulgarian state and its hegemony on the Balkan Peninsula 1185–1246". Bulgaria: illustrated history. Sofia: Borina. ISBN 9545000449.

Fine, Jr., John V.A. (1987). The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 9780472100798.

Forbes, Nevill; Arnold J. Toynbee, D. Mitrany, D.G. Hogarth. "The Rise and Fall of the Second Bulgarian Empire: 1186–1258". The Balkans: A History of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Romania and Turkey. Globusz Publishing. ISBN 0404024572.

Lalkov, Milčo (1997). "Tsar Ivan Assen II (1218–1241)". Rulers of Bulgaria. Kibea. ISBN 954-474-098-8.

Vasiliev, Alexander (1952). "The role of Bulgaria in the Christian East under Tsar John Asen II". A History of the Byzantine Empire. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. OCLC 2323191.

"2.1 Sǎzdavane i utvǎrždavane na Vtorata bǎlgarska dǎržava. Vǎzstanovenata dǎržavnost" (in Bulgarian). Bǎlgarite i Bǎlgarija. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, Trud, Sirma. 2005.

Source / Forrás:

Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria

Iván Aszen bolgár cár

Иван Асен II



The house of Aseniden

This family apparently descends from a Wallachian boyar, who had issue a follows:

  • A1. Iwan Asen I, he and his brother Peter rebelled against the Byzantines and he became Prince of northern Bulgaria (ca 1187-96), +murdered by his cousin Iwanko-Alexios 1196
    • B1. Iwan Asen II, Tsar of the Bulgarians (1218-41), *ca 1190, +1241; 1m: Anna N; 2m: 1221 Maria of Hungary, heiress of Belgrade and Branicevo (*ca 1204, +1237); 3m: 1237/38 Irene Angelina, dau.of Emperor Theodoros of Epirus
      • C1. [1m.] Marija; m.ca 1225 Manuel Dukas, Despot of Thessaloniki
      • C2. [1m.] Beloslava, +after 1285; m.ca 1233 King Stefan Vladislav of Raska
      • C3. [2m.] Elena, *ca 1224, +ca 1254; m.1235 Emperor Thodoros II Laskaris of Nicaea (*1222 +1258)
      • C4. [2m.] Tamara, *after 1220
      • C5. [2m.] Koloman I, Tsar of the Bulgarians (1241-46), *ca 1232, +1246
      • C6. [3m.] Miachael II Asen, Tsar of the Bulgarians (1246-57), *ca 1238, +murdered by Kalojan 1257; m.1255 Elisabeta of Chernigov (+1272-98)
      • C7. [3m.] Teodora=Anna; m.Sebastokrator Pjotr
      • C8. [3m.] Marija; m.Iwan Milo, a boyar, who contended for the throne in 1258


Franco, Moise. Essai sur l’histoire des Israélites de l’Empire Ottoman depuis les Origines jusqu’à nos jours (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1973), pp. 212–214.

Hazzan, Baruch. “The Jewish Community of Bulgaria,” in The Balkan Jewish Communities: Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, ed. Daniel Elazar et al. (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1984), pp. 59–63.

Kechales, Ḥayyim. “Dorot Rishonim,” in Enṣiqlopedya shel Galuyyot: Yahadut Bulgarya, vol. 10 (Jerusalem: Ḥevrat Enṣiqlopedya shel Galuyyot, 1967), vol. 10, pp. 25–62 [Hebrew].

———. Qorot Yehude Bulgarya, vol. 1 (Tel Aviv: Davar, 1971) [Hebrew].

Rosanes, Salomon. Qorot ha-Yehudim be-Turkiya ve-Arṣot ha-Qedem, 6 vols. (Sofia: Defus ha-Mishpaṭ, 1930–45) [Hebrew].

Shaw, Stanford. The Jews of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic (New York: New York University Press, 1991).

Tamir, Vicki. Bulgaria and Her Jews: The History of a Dubious Symbiosis (New York: Yeshiva University Press, 1979).

Cite this page

D Gershon Lewental. "Bulgaria." Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World. Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Brill Online, 2013.<http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/entries/encyclopedia-of-jews-in-the-islamic-world/bulgaria-COM_0004680>

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The house of Aseniden

This family apparently descends from a Wallachian boyar, who had issue a follows:

  • A1. Iwan Asen I, he and his brother Peter rebelled against the Byzantines and he became Prince of northern Bulgaria (ca 1187-96), +murdered by his cousin Iwanko-Alexios 1196
    • B1. Iwan Asen II, Tsar of the Bulgarians (1218-41), *ca 1190, +1241; 1m: Anna N; 2m: 1221 Maria of Hungary, heiress of Belgrade and Branicevo (*ca 1204, +1237); 3m: 1237/38 Irene Angelina, dau.of Emperor Theodoros of Epirus
      • C1. [1m.] Marija; m.ca 1225 Manuel Dukas, Despot of Thessaloniki
      • C2. [1m.] Beloslava, +after 1285; m.ca 1233 King Stefan Vladislav of Raska
      • C3. [2m.] Elena, *ca 1224, +ca 1254; m.1235 Emperor Thodoros II Laskaris of Nicaea (*1222 +1258)
      • C4. [2m.] Tamara, *after 1220
      • C5. [2m.] Koloman I, Tsar of the Bulgarians (1241-46), *ca 1232, +1246
      • C6. [3m.] Miachael II Asen, Tsar of the Bulgarians (1246-57), *ca 1238, +murdered by Kalojan 1257; m.1255 Elisabeta of Chernigov (+1272-98)
      • C7. [3m.] Teodora=Anna; m.Sebastokrator Pjotr
      • C8. [3m.] Marija; m.Iwan Milo, a boyar, who contended for the throne in 1258
        • ...

О Ivan II Asen, Еmperor of Bulgaria (русский)

Иван Асен II е цар на България от 1218 до 1241 г. Той е син на цар Иван Асен I. Личността на Иван Асен II е уважавана и в съседна Румъния, където той се смята за един от големите ържан и на западната граница със сърбите.

В началото на ХІІІ в. се очертават два важни центъра на съпротива срещу латинските завоеватели: Никейската империя в Мала Азия и Епирската държава на Балканския полуостров. Създаването им е в резултат преди всичко на борбата на византийците срещу латинското нашествие и на тяхната решимост да отхвърлят чуждото господство — обстоятелство, което е умело използвано от византийската аристокрация. Положителна роля за укрепването на двете държави изиграва българо-латинската война през 1205-1207 г. Поражението на Балдуин І Фландърски при Одрин и на Бонифаций в Родопските теснини близо до Мосинопол отслабват рязко бойната мощ на латинската войска.

При Теодор Комнин (1215-1230) Епирското деспотство постига за кратко време големи териториални придобивки. В нейните предели са включени Средна и Северна Македония и Албания. През 1224 г. Теодор Комнин напада и успявя да превземе Солун. С освобождаването на този град от латинската власт самочувствието му нараства, той се провъзгласява за император и достига до убеждението, че му е предопределено да изгони латинците от Константинопол и да седне на престола на византийските василевси. Същата цел преследва обаче и владетелят на Никейската империя Йоан ІІІ Дука Ватаци. За да осигури своя тил, Теодор Комнин сключва съюз с Иван Асен ІІ. След това епирските войски настъпват в Западна Тракия и завладяват редица градове, като Мосинопол, Ксанти, Грацианопол и Димотика. След това се насочват към Одрин, където по това време се намират никейските войски на Йоан ІІІ Дука Ватаци. Вместо да обединят силите си за общи действия срещу Константинопол, двамата владетели влизат в конфликт помежду си. Теодор Комнин успява да изтласка никейците от Одрин и превзема града. След това епирските войски стигат до Виза. Латинците се затварят в Константинопол. Теодор Комнин не се решава да атакува силната крепост, тъй като не разполага с флот, а с обсада само по суша тя била непревземаема.

По това време настъпва и разривът му с българите. Нарастващото влияние на Иван Асен ІІ върху Сърбия и Латинската империя започва сериозно да безпокои епирския владетел. Особено подозрителни и опасни са за него стремежите на българския цар да се намеси във вътрешните работи на латинците и да стане опекун на малолетния император Балдуин ІІ, като му даде за съпруга дъщеря си Елена. Този план можел да осуети намеренията на Теодор Комнин и затова той насочва армията си срещу България, като се надява, че ще може да постигне бърза и лека победа. Иван Асен ІІ не очаква това нападение. Той тръгва срещу нашествениците вероятно с малобройна войска, в която са включени и 1000 кумани. Теодор Комнин разполага с видимо числено превъзходство, за което свидетелстват думите на Георги Акрополит, че той „тръгнал срещу българите, като събрал голяма войска, съставена от ромеи и италийци“. Срещата между двете войски, както съобщава същият автор, става на 9 март 1230 г. при река Клокотница, недалече от днешно Хасково. Тук ромеите се разполагат на стан източно от реката, като преди това вероятно превземат близката крепост Трапезица. Сведенията на Георги Акрополит за развитието на сражението са съвсем оскъдни: „Теодор Комнин бил решително победен от българите и скитите (куманите). Бил пленен от враговете, той и мнозина от роднините му, от висшите длъжностни лица и знатните и всичките им вещи“. От следващия текст се вижда, че българите заловили много обикновени войници. От това личи, че българската войска успява да обкръжи противника.

Поражението на Теодор Комнин предизвиква бърза и неудържима разруха на обширната му, но вътрешно слаба държава. Без да срещнат каквато и да е съпротива, войските на Иван Асен ІІ започват настъпление по всички посоки и за кратко време стават господари на Одринска Тракия, на беломорската област от Галиполския полуостров до планината Олимп, а също и цяла Македония и Албания — от Пинд до Шкодренското езеро [2]. Иван Асен ІІ постъпва необичайно хуманно за онази епоха, като освобождава повечето от пленените войници „и ги отпратил по селата и градовете им“. Освен това оставя в някои от завладените градове старите управители, като по този начин си подсигурява подкрепата на местната аристокрация. Само в по-важните градове са докарани български гарнизони и нови органи на военната и финансовата администрация. Поставено е и българско духовенство.

След битката при Клокотница България става важен фактор на Балканите, с който всички нейни съседи трябва да се съобразяват. Засилването на България започва да тревожи нейните съседи. Особено обезпокоени били латинците, които се страхуват за своята столица. Към 1231 г. отношенията между България и Латинската империя са вече изострени и поради това българският цар започва да укрепва южната граница. Издигната е крепостта при Станимака (Асеновград), както личи от намерения там надпис. Като се отказват окончателно от проекта си за съюз с българите, латинците избират за опекун на Балдуин ІІ бившия Ерусалимски крал Жан дьо Бриен и се свързват още по-здраво с папата.

Владетелят на Никейската империя Йоан ІІІ Дука Ватаци решава да потърси съюз с българите, за да бъде по-успешна борбата му с латинците. Към такъв съюз се стреми и Иван Асен ІІ, тъй като се надява той да му донесе нови териториални придобивки. Преговорите завършват успешно и през 1235 г. в гр. Калиполи между двамата владетели е сключена спогодба, скрепена с брак между дъщерята на Иван Асен ІІ Елена и сина на Ватаци Тодор Ласкарис. Спогодбата предвижда да се признае пълна независимост на българската църква, чийто глава — търновския архиепископ Йоаким — получава титлата патриарх. Така е възстановена разрушената от Василий ІІ Българска патриаршия, и това означава окончателен отказ на българската държава от сключената през 1204 г. уния с Римската курия. Предвижда се съвместна борба срещу латинците за окончателното им изгонване от Тракия.

Военните действия започват още същата година, като българските и никейските войски нападат и завладяват Източна Тракия, след което тя е поделена между съюзниците съгласно предварително постигнатото между тях споразумение. Никейците получават Галиполския полуостров с гр. Малит и други градове по северозападното крайбрежие на Мраморно море, както и крепостта Кисос. Границата между тях и българите в Тракия стига на запад до р.Марица, а на изток до планината Ган и близо до крепостта Цурулон. Българите получават областите, лежащи на север, т.е. голяма част от Източна и Южна Тракия със земите около Пловдив, които са присъединени към българската държава още след Клокотнишката битка.

След това съюзниците, към които се присъединява и солунският владетел Мануил и кумански отряди, се отправят към Константинопол и го обсаждат по суша и море. Според Алберик те действат с 300 бойни кораба. Част от тях са български. Латинската столица е сериозно застрашена. Император Балдуин ІІ заминава за Франция, за да търси помощ. Отбраната на столицата е поверена на Жан де Бриен. Намесва се папата, който се опитва да склони унгарския крал Бела ІV (1235-1270) да подкрепи латинците, но не постига успех.

В началото на 1236 г. Жофроа дьо Вилардуен, по това време владетел на Пелопонес, се притича на помощ на обсадения Константинопол със 120 бойни кораба. Той успява да пробие морската блокада, като потопява 15 кораба и влиза в Златния рог. Настъпват зимни студове. При това положение съюзниците се оттеглят.

След снемането на обсадата Иван Асен ІІ заповядва да се построят 25 нови галери. След като границите на България опирали на 3 морета, възникнала необходимостта да се изгради военноморски флот за защитата им. Френският византолог Льобо изтъква значението на създаването на българския военноморски флот, което става по същото време, когато се създават английският (1205) и френският (1249) военноморски флот.

Военните действия от 1237 г. Наскоро след неуспешната обсада на Константинопол Иван Асен ІІ променя своята политика, скъсва съюза с Йоан ІІІ Дука Ватаци, сближава се с латинците и повежда заедно с тях обща борба за изгонването на никейците от Тракия. Към това е подтикнат от заплахата пред готвения с благословията на папата кръстоносен поход за спасяване на Латинската империя, както и от опасността от татарско нахлуване.

Под натиска на татарите през 1237 г. големи кумански отряди преминават Дунав и Стара планина, проникват в Източна Тракия и започват да я опустошават.

Българските войски, начело с Иван Асен ІІ и латински войски обсаждат крепостта Цурулон, главна опора на никейците в Източна Тракия. В обсадата участват и кумански отряди. Никифор Тарханиот, който е начело на отбраната на града, успява да я организира добре и отблъсва пристъпите на обсадните войски. И все пак овладяването на крепостта е въпрос на време.

Но неочаквано Иван Асен ІІ получава известие за смъртта на царицата, на едно от децата си и на патриарха. Той изгаря обсадните машини и бързо се завръща в столицата. Разбира се, не само личните мотиви го подтикват да прекрати военните действия, но преди всичко татарската опасност за българските земи. Латинците също се оттеглят. Наскоро след тези събития Иван Асен ІІ се помиряв с никейците, но запазва добрите си отношения с латинците.

Междувременно, вероятно през 1239 г., последва кръстоносният поход, организиран от папата. Шестдесетхилядна кръстоносна армия, минала от северозапад през българските земи, напада никейците, които действат в Тракия, и превзема Цурулон.

Две години след този поход през 1241 г. Иван Асен ІІ умира.

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Ivan II Asen, Еmperor of Bulgaria's Timeline

Veliko Tarnovo, Veliko Tarnovo Province, Bulgaria
Age 32
Veliko, Burgas, Bulgaria
Age 34
Age 42
Veliko, Burgas, Bulgaria
Age 47
Veliko, Burgas, Bulgaria
Age 50
June 24, 1241
Age 51
Veliko Tarnovo, Veliko Tarnovo Province, Bulgaria
Age 51