This is a story about one Bulgarian tsaritsa from Byzantine origin. When in the whole Europe women hadn’t any rights, in Bulgaria the whole destiny of a nation depended from her decisions. Maria sit on the throne in Tarnovo in time difficult for Bulgaria. The attacks from north – Golden horde continuously “plough the ground” and from south the Byzantine empire gathered strength under ruling of Michael Paliologos The personal politics of Maria for hostile relationship with Byzantium coincided with Bulgarian interests. She maintained good relationship with Neapols king Karl – a sworn enemy of Michael VIII . Undoubted is her role for hard and uncompromising politics of Bulgaria and Tarnovo Patriarch toward union between Byzantium and Papacy. Maria supported the Constantinople patriarch and her mother’s party within Byzantium. At 1276 with support of Bulgarian patriarch the patriarch of Jerusalem anathematized the union with Papacy and promised to influence the patriarchs of Alexandria and Antochia /bulg spelling/ to do the same. The proposed form Bulgarians alliance with Egyptian sultan was not accepted but this didn’t mean that it wasn’t unserious. Sultan Baybaras /bulg. Spelling/ is with Cuman origin, and the queen decided to use the connection between the two nation /part of Bulgarian aristocrats are Cumans and the sultan is with good relationship with Nogai – the leader of Golden horde and the biggest ally of Byzantines against Bulgaria/.
Here is her brief story:
Maria is a Bulgarian tsaritsa /queen/ and wife first of tsar Constantine Tih Asen/1257-1277/ and then Ivaylo /1278-1279/. She was from Byzantine origin – daughter of Joan Kantakuzin and Irina Paliologos, sister of emperor Michael VIII Paliologos. Maria has been married for Constantine Asen after the death of his previous wife Irina and the initiative was her uncle’s, who wanted to stop Bulgarian aspirations toward towns and important ports - Nessebar /Messebria/ and Pomorie /Anhilano/. The emperor promised the towns as a dowery. Maria arrived at Tarnovgrad in the beginning of 1269 and soon has been crown for a tsaritsa. Soon after the emperor postponed the decision about the towns with pretence that was needed an inheritor, who to legalize the Bulgarian authority over the towns. That provoked strong dissatisfaction in the Tarnovo’s palace and decreased Constantine’s authority. Understanding that her uncle’s actions strongly compromised Maria in the palace, the queen manifestly incited Constantine to war against Byzantine. The followed war didn’t change the situation and only exhausted the country. Additional reason for hostile behaviour of the tsaritsa against the emperor was the union with the Papacy and the repression over Irina - Maria’s mother and her Orthodox party. Until end of her days tsaritsa Maria stayed loyal to the orthodox and orthodoxies traditions
An absurd incident at 1275 made tsaritsa Maria the leading figure in the country- during a hunt Constatine Asen fell from his horse and break his leg. The queen took the helm of the country and didn’t stop at nothing to straighten her position. She removed the disobedient and just uncomfortable bolyars with the help of the traditional arsenal for the time – poisons and assassins. A victim of her became one of the closest friends of her husband – Yakov Svetoslav /Jason on English/. He was poisoned by the order on the tsaritsa, exactly after was adopted by her on official ceremony in the palace.
The tensions additionally increased in the country after a bad financial reform and non stopping Tatars attacks. The result was – a civil war and its leader was Ivaylo. The coming events wasn’t in favor of Maria – tsar Constantine was killed on the battlefield. Using the situation her uncle Michael VIII decided to remove his hated niece and sent an army to Tarnovo. Meantime Ivaylo reached the capital and besieged it. Clearly understanding the situation and knowing that both sides hadn’t time for losing Maria made a temptation proposal to Ivaylo – to became her husband. Although his hesitations Ivaylo accepted the proposal and at the spring of 1278 became tsar of Bulgaria. For Ivaylo that was a big reward, but for Maria – aristocrat and on practical ruler of a big country with title equal to emperor that wasn’t so “inspiring”. Additionally the prince had to call "father" the killer of his own father. The answer from Michael VIII didn't late. At the end of 1278 a big tatar army attacked from the north and while the tsar was busied with them, from south a Byzantine army besieged Tarnovo. The capital made a strong resistance, but when the news that the king was killed /although he was alive/ on the battlefield came, those who long hated Maria and wanted to see her out of Tarnovo, opened the gates and accepted the new king – Ivan III Asen. From Tarnovo Maria was sent to Adrianapoll /Odrin-Edrine today/ and then to Constantinople, where soon the ex tsaritsa found again path to the politics – in the Orthodox party of his mother. At 1283 this party took supremacy and the union with the Papacy was broken. At 1269 in Constantinople appeared false Ivaylo. The emperor called Maria and she denied any connection of this person with her husband. In this connection is mentioned that Maria had a daughter with unknown name, but in 15 cent. a Byzantine diplomat signed himself as Lahana /the nickname of Ivaylo/ Paliologos. The last mention of the tsaritsa is from 1300 when a part of bolyars wanted to remove the new tsar Theodore Svetoslav and were seeking for an alternative - the Maria’s child from her marriage with Constantine
I hope I did it well, without many mistakes :)
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