Tsar of Bulgaria: Wikis


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Tsar of Bulgaria
Former Monarchy
Coat of arms of Bulgaria (1927-1946).svg
Last Monarch:
Simeon II

Style His Majesty
First monarch Asparukh
Last monarch Simeon II
Monarchy started 681
Monarchy ended 1946
Standard of the Tsar, -1946

This is a list of Bulgarian monarchs from the earliest historical records to 1946, when the monarchy in the country was abolished. Early Bulgarian rulers are believed to have used the title Khan (see Bulgar society for more details), later possibly kniaz, and still later the title tsar. According to Djagfar tarikhy (a 17th century Volga Bulgar source which is widely suspected to be a hoax and is generally not used in historical research), the earliest Bulgar leaders bore the title of baltavar, i.e. the Turkic "Elteber", a viceroy, known from the Chinese annals by its Chinese equivalent "Sylifa" and documented in the 10-th century by Al-Masoudi as a title used among the Dagestani Bulgars. The title Elteber or its variations like Ilutwer, Ilutver was recorded between the North Caucasian Huns, and Yiltawar or İltäbär (ibn Fadlan) in the Volga Bulgaria.

The title tsar, the Bulgarian form for caesar or emperor, was first adopted and used in Bulgaria by Simeon I following a decisive victory over the Byzantine Empire in 913. It was also used by all of Simeon I's successors until the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman rule in 1396 . After Bulgaria's liberation from the Ottomans in 1878, its first monarch Alexander I adopted the title kniaz, but as complete independence was officially proclaimed under his successor Ferdinand in 1908, the title was changed to tsar again. Tsar was used by Ferdinand and later by his heir Boris III until the abolition of monarchy in 1946.

Note: before reaching the historical rulers (see below), the Nominalia of the Bulgarian khans mention two legendary or semi-legendary rulers who are described as having lived for centuries: Avitokhol (sometimes identified as Attila the Hun, 300 years) and Irnik (sometimes identified as Attila's son Ernakh, 150 years), as well as a regent, Gostun (2 years).


List of Bulgarian rulers (632-1946)


Old Great Bulgaria (632-681)

The Dulo clan (first reign, 605-753)

At times, the reign in the Bulgar lands was split.

  • Kubrat (605 - 665) over Onogunduri

First Bulgarian Empire (681-1018)

Portrait Name Khan From Khan Until
KhanAsparuh.jpg Asparukh 668 700
Att-4530fb8827831l zv.jpg Tervel 700 721
Kormesiy 721 738
Sevar 738 753

The Ukil clan (753-766)

Portrait Name Khan From Khan Until
Kormisosh 753 756
Vinekh 756 762
a member of the Ugain clan
762 765
Sabin 765 766
766 766

The Ugain clan (766-803)

Portrait Name Khan From Khan Until
  Toktu 766 767
  Pagan 767 768
  Telerig 768 777
  Kardam 777 803

Krum's dynasty, or possibly a second reign of the Dulo clan (803-997)

Portrait Name Khan/Emperor From Khan/Emperor Until
250px-Krum33.jpg Krum 803 13 April 814
Omurtag1.jpg Omurtag 814 831
Malamir 831 836
Presian I 836 852
Boris I of Bulgaria.jpg Boris I 852 889 (died on 2 May 907)
Vladimir 889 893
Simeon the Great anonymous seal.jpg Simeon I the Great 893 27 May 927
Att-4530f2b0d0708riza.jpg Peter I 27 May 927 969 (died on 30 January 970)
Boris II.JPG Boris II 969 971
Roman BG.JPG Roman I 976 997 (simultaneously with Samuil 976 - 997)

House of Comitopuli (976-1018)

Portrait Name Emperor From Emperor Until
Samuil of bolgaria reconstruction.jpg --> Samuil 997(simultaneously with Roman I 976 - 997) 6 October 1014
EastOrthodoxcross.svg Gavril Radomir October 1014 August 1015
EastOrthodoxcross.svg Ivan Vladislav August 1015 February 1018
EastOrthodoxcross.svg Presian II 1018 1018
Bulgarians nominate Peter Deljan as king of Bulgary from the Chronicle of John Skylitzes.jpg Peter II Delyan 1040 1041
Konstantin Bodin.jpg Peter III (Constantin Bodin) 1072 1072

Byzantine rule (1018-1186)

Second Bulgarian Empire (1186-1395/1422)

House of Asen (1186-1280)

Portrait Name Emperor From Emperor Until
  Peter IV 1185 1190
Seal of Emperor Ivan Asen I (1190-1196).jpg Ivan Asen I 1190 1196
  Peter IV 1196 1197
  Kaloyan 1197 1207
  Boril 1207 1218
Ivan-asen-II-zograf-portrait.jpg Ivan Asen II 1218 1241
EastOrthodoxcross.svg Kaliman I Asen 1241 1246
  Michael I Asen 1246 1256
EastOrthodoxcross.svg Kaliman II Asen 1256 1256
EastOrthodoxcross.svg Mitso Asen 1256 1257
NHM-BG-photo1.JPG Constantine Tikh Asen 1257 1277
EastOrthodoxcross.svg Ivailo 1277 1280 (a peasant rebel leader)
EastOrthodoxcross.svg Ivan Asen III 1279 1280

House of Terter (first reign, 1280-1292)

Portrait Name Emperor From Emperor Until
Georgi 1 Terter-Teodor Svetoslav-coppery.jpg George I Terter 1280 1292

House of Smilets (1292-1298)

Portrait Name Emperor From Emperor Until
EastOrthodoxcross.svg Smilets 1292 1298

Mongol monarch in Bulgaria (1298-1300)

Portrait Name Emperor From Emperor Until
EastOrthodoxcross.svg Chaka 1299 1300

House of Terter (second reign, 1300-1323)

Portrait Name Emperor From Emperor Until
Monetttd-1.jpg Teodor II Svetoslav 1300 1321
  George II Terter 1321 1322

House of Shishman (1323-1396/1422)

Portrait Name Emperor From Emperor Until
MICHAEL.jpg Michael III Shishman 1323 1330
  Ivan Stephen 1330 1331
Ivan Alexander.jpg Ivan Alexander 1331 1371
53 IoSisiman.JPG Ivan Shishman 1371 1395
  Ivan Stratsimir 1356 1396
  Constantine II 1396 1422

Ottoman rule (1396/1422-1878)

Principality of Bulgaria (1878-1908)

House of Battenberg (1879-1886)

Portrait Name Knyaz From Knyaz Until
Battenburg.jpg Alexander I 29 April 1879 7 September 1886

Kingdom of Bulgaria (1908-1946)

House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1887-1946)

Portrait Name King From King Until
Ferdinand of Bulgaria.jpg Ferdinand I 7 July 1887 3 October 1918 (abdicated)
Boris3bulgaria1894.jpg Boris III the Unifier 3 October 1918 28 August 1943
Simeon Vtori Popovo crop.jpg Simeon II 28 August 1943 15 September 1946 (deposed)

Death of the Bulgarian monarchs

Monarch Death
Asparukh Perished in battle against the Khazars in 700
Tervel Died of natural death in 721
Kormesiy Died of natural death in 738
Sevar Died of natural death in 753
Kormisosh Murdered in 756
Vinekh Murdered in 762
Telets Murdered in 765
Sabin Fled to Constantinople in 766, unknown year of death
Umor Fled to Constantinople in 766, unknown year of death
Toktu Killed in the forests of the Danube in 767 by the opposition
Pagan Killed near Varna in 768 by the opposition
Telerig Fled to Constantinople in 777, unknown year of death
Kardam Died of natural death in 802
Krum Died of natural death (very likely of Brain attack) on 13 April 814
Omurtag Died of natural death in 831
Malamir Unknown reason of death, some presume a violent death
Presian Died of natural death in 852
Boris I Abdicated in 889 died of natural death on 2 May 907
Vladimir Deposed in 893, unknown death
Simeon I the Great Died of heart attack on 17 May 927
Peter I Abdicated in 969, died of Stroke on 30 January 970
Boris II Abdicated in 971, killed accidentally by a Bulgarian border patrol in 977
Roman Captured again in 991, died in prison in Constantinople in 997
Samuil Died of natural death on 6 October 1014
Gavril Radomir Murdered by his cousin Ivan Vladislav in August 1015 during hunting
Ivan Vladislav Killed in а duel with the head of Drach fortress in February 1018
Peter II Delyan Captured in the battle of Ostrovo in 1041, according to e legend died in the Seven Altars Monastery
Peter III Captured in December 1072, later King of Serbia until his death in 1101
Peter IV Abdicated 1190, murdered during his second reign in 1197
Ivan Asen I Murdered by his cousin Ivanko in 1196
Kaloyan Murdered by the cuman chief Manaster (physical killer) after a plot (unknown planners) in October 1207
Boril Deposed in 1218, died of natural death in monastery
Ivan Asen II Died of natural death on 24 June 1241
Kaliman I Asen Poisoned by his step-mother Irina in September 1246
Michael II Asen Muredered by his cousin Kaliman in 1256
Kaliman II Asen Murdered in 1256 by the opposition
Mitso Asen Fled in 1257, died of natural death in Byzantium c.1277
Constantine Tikh Asen Killed in battle by Ivailo in 1277
Ivailo Killed by the Tatars in 1280
Ivan Asen III Fled to Constantinople in 1280, died of natural death in 1303
George I Terter Abdicated in 1292, died of natural death in 1308/9
Smilets Died of natural death in 1298
Chaka Strangled and beheaded in 1300
Theodore Svetoslav Died of natural death in November 1321
George II Terter Died of natural death in December 1322
Michael III Shishman Mortally wounded in the battle of Velbazhd, died four days later on 31 July 1330
Ivan Stefan Deposed in 1331, died of natural death in 1343
Ivan Alexander Died of natural death on 17 February 1371
Ivan Shishman Killed in 1395 (presumed)
Ivan Sratsimir Deposed in 1396, strangled in 1397
Constantine II Died of natural death on 17 September 1422
Alexander Abdicated on 8 September 1886, died of natural death on 23 October 1893
Ferdinand Abdicated on 3 October 1918, died of natural death on 10 September 1948
Boris III Died on 28 August 1943
Simeon II Alive, Deposed on 15 September 1946

See also


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