Information about Tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria

Tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria ((unknown) - 17 February 1371)

Ivan Alexander (Bulgarian: Иван Александър, transliterated Ivan Aleksandǎr; original spelling: ІѠАНЪ АЛЄѮАНдРЪ), also sometimes Anglicized as John Alexander, ruled as Emperor (Tsar) of Bulgaria from 1331 to 1371, during the Second Bulgarian Empire.

The date of his birth is unknown. He died on 17 February 1371. The long reign of Ivan Alexander is considered a transitional period in Bulgarian medieval history. Ivan Alexander began his rule by dealing with internal problems and external threats from Bulgaria's neighbours, the Byzantine Empire and Serbia, as well as leading his empire into a period of economic recovery and cultural and religious renaissance.

Following established Byzantine tradition, the Emperor co-opted his young sons as co-rulers: Mihail Asen IV from 1332 to 1355, and Ivan Asen IV from 1337 to 1349. Both of them died in battles, leaving Ivan Alexander as sole ruler again after 1355.

However, the emperor was later unable to cope with the mounting incursions of Ottoman forces, Hungarian invasions from the north-west and the Black Death. In an ill-fated attempt to combat these problems, he divided the country between his two remaining sons, thus forcing it to face the imminent Ottoman conquest weakened and divided.

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