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Details about  Ivan Shishman 1371AD Ancient Medieval Bulgarian Coin Cross. Monogram i36829

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Ivan Shishman 1371AD Ancient Medieval Bulgarian Coin Cross. Monogram i36829
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17 Aug, 2014 22:45:51 AEST
US $127.77
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Last updated on  25 Jan, 2014 13:50:58 AEDST  View all revisions
Item: i36829
Authentic Ancient Coin of:

Medieval Bulgaria
Ivan Shishman - Emperor: 1371-1395 A.D.
Bronze 18mm (1.08 grams) Struck 1371-1395 A.D.
Reference: Angel Radishev & Gospodin Zhekov, Catalog of Bulgarian Medieval Coins, p 204
Ivan's monogram.

You are bidding on the exact item pictured, provided with a Certificate of Authenticity and Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity.

In the medieval history of Europe, Bulgaria's status as the Bulgarian Empire (Bulgarian: Българско царство, Balgarsko tsarstvo ), wherein it acted as a key regional power (particularly rivaling Byzantium in Southeastern Europe) occurred in two distinct periods: between the seventh and eleventh centuries, and again between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. The two "Bulgarian Empires" are not treated as separate entities, but rather as one state restored after a period of Byzantine rule over its territory.


First Bulgarian Empire

The First Bulgarian Empire was established on the territory both north and south of the lower course of Danube River, and is usually described as having lasted between 681 and 1018, when it was subjugated by the Byzantine Empire and Kievan Rus' despite Samuel's fierce resistance. It gradually reached its cultural and territorial apogee in the 9th century and early 10th century under Boris I and Simeon the Great, when it developed into the cultural and literary centre of Slavic Europe, as well as one of the largest states in Europe.

Second Bulgarian Empire

The medieval Bulgarian state was restored as the Second Bulgarian Empire after a successful uprising of two nobles from Tarnovo, Asen and Peter, in 1185, and existed until it was conquered during the Ottoman invasion of the Balkans in the late 14th century, with the date of its subjugation usually given as 1396. The Empire became vassal of the Mongolian Empire, particularly Golden Horde, in the 13-14th century. Under Ivan Asen II in the first half of the 13th century it gradually recovered much of its former power, though this did not last long due to internal problems and foreign invasions.

File:Ivan Alexander.jpg












Ivan Shishman (Bulgarian: Иван Шишман) ruled as emperor (tsar) of Bulgaria in Tarnovo 1371–1395. He was born about 1350/1, and was executed on June 3, 1395.

Ivan Shishman was the eldest son of Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria and his second wife Theodora, a Jewess converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Either because of his mother's intrigues or because of being born first after his father's accession to the throne, Ivan Shishman became the preferred heir and was crowned co-emperor in or shortly before 1356. This caused the effective secession of Ivan Shishman's older half-brother, Ivan Sratsimir (Ivan Sracimir) in Vidin. Together with his father and younger brother Ivan Asen V, Ivan Shishman presided over the church synods at Tarnovo in the late 1360s.

Second Bulgarian Empire after 1371

After the death of Ivan Alexander in early 1371, Ivan Shishman inherited the central portion of Bulgaria with the capital Tarnovo. Ivan Sratsimir of Vidin and Dobrotitsa/Dobrotici of Dobrudzha were completely independent. Although in 1371 Wallachia still recognized the suzerainty of Ivan Alexander as seen in a request concerning commercial, in 1386, during an obscure war in which Ivan Shishman defeated and killed Dan I of Wallachia, it was probably already independent. That year, Ivan Shishman had attacked Ivanko, the new despot of Dobrudzha, who was the nephew of Dan I, but although he killed Ivanko's ally, he didn't manage to bring Dobdruja under his influence.

The reign of Ivan Shishman is inextricably connected with the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman domination. Shortly after Ivan Shishman came to the throne, the united forces of the Serbian nobles led by King Vukašin Mrnjavčević were defeated by the Ottoman Turks in the battle of Černomen on September 26, 1371. The Ottomans advanced on Bulgaria, and Ivan Shishman was forced to recognize Ottoman overlordship and to send his sister Thamar (Kera Tamara) as a spouse for Sultan Murat I by 1373.

In spite of this capitulation, the Ottomans continued their conquest of Bulgaria, with the fall of Ihtiman in 1378, Sofia in 1383 and Niš in 1385. Encouraged by the Serbian and Bosnian victory over the Ottomans at the Battle of Pločnik in 1387, Ivan Shishman refused to support Murat I or to recognize his suzerainty. The Ottoman reprisal was swift, and the enemy overran the Bulgarian defenses, besieging Ivan Shishman in Nikopol on the Danube in 1388. Ivan Shishman had no choice but to submit, and was allowed to keep most of his realm, but was required to surrender Drastar (Silistra) to the Ottoman Sultan. Ivan Shishman tried to go back on his promises, and found himself besieged in Nikopol again, surrendered Drastar, and allowed the introduction of Ottoman garrisons in other important fortresses.

In spite of the murder of Sultan Murat I before the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, the Ottomans crushed the Christian coalition, and could turn their attention more closely to Ivan Shishman. In 1393 the new Sultan Bayezit I invaded Bulgaria unexpectedly and besieged the capital Tarnovo. The capital was defended under the supervision of the Bulgarian Patriarch Evtimiy, while Ivan Shishman had taken refuge in Nikopol once more. After a siege of three months, Tarnovo fell by treason on July 17, 1393, a point sometimes taken as the end of the Second Bulgarian Empire, although both Ivan Shishman and Ivan Sratsimir survived.

Ivan Shishman continued to rule in Nikopol as an Ottoman vassal, and perhaps counted on the imminent anti-Ottoman crusade prepared by the Hungarian king Sigismund of Luxemburg. Returning from a failed campaign against Mircea I of Wallachia, Sultan Bayezit I had Ivan Shishman beheaded at Nikopol on June 3, 1395. The remainder of Ivan Shishman's territory was annexed by the Ottoman Empire, while Bulgarian emperors continued to rule at Vidin until 1422.

Folklore tradition (legends and songs) presents Ivan Shishman's exploits and death as the heroic deeds of the last emperor of Bulgaria but Ivan Shishman was in fact survived by his half-brother Ivan Sratsimir in Vidin and the latter's son Constantine II. Although it cannot be denied that Ivan Shishman was a far more energetic ruler than Ivan Sratsimir, there is little evidence for his heroism in historical sources. In them he appears as a vacillating politician whose inopportune choices speedily guided him to his violent end and the subjugation of the country by the enemy. This judgment has the natural benefit of hindsight, and the decline of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom was hardly entirely Ivan Shishman's doing.


Ivan Shishman was married first to a Bulgarian named Kira Maria, who died in the early 1380s. He married as his second wife Dragana Lazarević, a daughter of Prince Lazar of Serbia and Milica Nemanjić, kin to the previous Serbian dynasty. From either of his marriages, Ivan Shishman had several children, including:

  1. Alexander (Aleksandăr), who converted to Islam under the name Iskender, and died as governor of Smyrna in 1418
  2. Fruzhin (Fružin), who participated in revolts and campaigns against Ottoman rule, and died in Hungary after 1444, perhaps in 1460. Fruzhin had a son named Shishman.

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