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Information about reign: Цар Михаил Асен III (Tsar Mihail Asen III)

CountryBulgaria, Second Kingdom of
To31 July 1330
Personal InformationTsar Mihail Asen III of Bulgaria (1280 - 1330)

Michael Asen III (Bulgarian: Михаил Асен III, Mihail Asen III, commonly called Michael Shishman (Михаил Шишман, Mihail Šišman)), ruled as emperor (tsar) of Bulgaria from 1323 to 1330. The exact year of his birth is unknown but it was between 1280 and 1292. He was the founder of the last ruling dynasty of the Second Bulgarian Empire, the Shishman dynasty. After he was crowned, however, Michael used the name Asen to emphasize his connection with the Asen dynasty, the first one to rule over the Second Empire.

An energetic and ambitious ruler, Michael Shishman led an aggressive but opportunistic and inconsistent foreign policy against the Byzantine Empire and the Kingdom of Serbia, which ended in the disastrous battle of Velbazhd which claimed his own life. He was the last medieval Bulgarian ruler who aimed at military and political hegemony of the Bulgarian Empire over the Balkans and the last one who attempted to seize Constantinople. He was succeeded by his son Ivan Stephen and later by his nephew Ivan Alexander, who reversed his policy by forming an alliance with Serbia.