Ivan Asen II


Ivan Asen II
died 1241

Tsar of the Second Bulgarian empire (1218–41).

He took the throne after overthrowing and blinding his cousin Boril. A good soldier and administrator, Ivan restored order, controlled the boyars, and acquired much of Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, and Epirus (1230). He forged alliances through the marriages of his daughters, but a treaty to make him regent of the Latin empire was repudiated by Latins fearful of Bulgaria's growing power, and he afterward separated the Bulgarian church from Rome.

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▪ tsar of Bulgaria

died 1241

      tsar of the Second Bulgarian empire from 1218 to 1241, son of Ivan Asen I.

      Ivan Asen overthrew his cousin Tsar Boril (reigned 1207–18) and blinded him, proclaiming himself tsar. A good soldier and administrator, he restored law and order, controlled the boyars, and, after defeating Theodore Ducas, despot of Epirus, in 1230, acquired large parts of Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, and Epirus. The record of his achievements, dated 1230, can still be seen in the old Church of the Forty Martyrs at Tŭrnovo.

      One of Ivan's daughters was married to the Serbian prince Vladislav, whom Ivan was able to establish as king of Serbia; another was married to Manuel Angelus, ruler of Salonika; and his third daughter, Helen, was betrothed in 1228 to the 11-year-old Latin emperor Baldwin II. The regency of the Latin empire (i.e., of the Byzantine Empire then under crusader rule) was then offered to Ivan, who agreed in return to give back his conquests in Epirus, western Macedonia, and Albania. The Latins, however, afraid of Bulgaria's growing power, repudiated the treaty, and Baldwin was betrothed to the daughter of John of Brienne, king of Jerusalem, who was elected emperor. Ivan Asen thereafter separated the Bulgarian church from Rome.

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Universalium. 2010.

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