Tsar Kaloyan
Faction Bulgarian Tsardom
Role Ruler
Fief(s) Tarnovgrad

Tsar Kaloyan is the ruler of the Bulgarian Tsardom.

Historical Background Edit

Tsar Kaloyan was the ruler of Bulgaria from 1197 to 1207. He was born around 1168 as the third and youngest brother of Tsar Petar IV and Tsar Asen, who liberated the country from Roman rule in 1185-1186. During the campaign of 1187, after failing to seize the stronghold of Lovech, the Roman emperor managed to capture the wife of Tsar Asen and thus sue for peace. The truce was concluded, Bulgaria was recognized as independent, but Kaloyan had to be sent to Constantinople as a hostage to guarantee the truce will be kept. About two years later he managed to escape and took part in the 1190 battle of Tryavna, where the Roman armies were decisively crushed.

In 1196 his brother, Tsar Asen, was killed by their cousin Ivanko, who tried to take the throne in Tarnovgrad, but was ousted by the senior Bulgarian ruler, Tsar Petar. Petar himself, however, was killed by unknown conspirators on the following year. Thus, the first years of Kaloyan's reign passed in attempts to stabilize the newly liberated country, establish control over the rebellious lords and keep the Roman agents at bay. Probably in order to achieve this, Kaloyan allied himself with his brother's murderer, Ivanko, who had created his own autonomous realm in the Rhodopean Mountains, as well as with the treacherous Dobromir Hris in the Macedonian lands, who for the time being submitted to Kaloyan's rule.

Kaloyan continued Asen's anti-Roman policy, due to which he eventually got the byname "Romeoktonos" (Roman-slayer; in response to Emperor Basil II's "Bulgarian-slayer"). Around 1202 he started negotiating with Pope Innocent III with the aim to get an international recognition of his imperial title, as well as to keep good relations with the approaching Fourth Crusade and to renounce the claims of the Kingdom of Hungary, which had temporarily occupied Bulgaria's north-western lands in the same year. The conclusion of these negotiations was the 1204 Unia, which subjugated the Bulgarian Orthodox church to the See of Rome. However, the newly created Latin Empire remained hostile to the Bulgarian state, which eventually forced Kaloyan to ally himself with the now subjugated Greeks against the Latins. At the battle of Adrianople in 1205 the Latin army was annihilated, the Emperor Baldwin of Flanders was captured, Doge Enrico Dandolo died from exhaustion while fleeing and many other knights perished on the battlefield. The war with the Latins continued on for several years, with Kaloyan gaining a number of further victories and lands, including against the Greeks who switched to the side of the Latins.

In 1207 another leader of the crusade, Bonifacius de Montferrat, was killed by a Bulgarian ambush in the Rhodopean lands and Kaloyan amassed a large army to capture Thessaloniki. During the first night of the siege, however, Kaloyan was "wounded" in his tent and passed on the following day. There are several theories as to what had happened. Some claim that he was killed by Manastar, his Cuman ally and commander of the army, on behalf of his nephew, Boril, who eventually succeeded him on the throne. The people of Thessaloniki created the legend that he was personally killed by St. Demetrios, the patron saint and protector of both the city and the Asenid dynasty, which Kaloyan was a part of. Another modern analysis of the sources suggests that Kaloyan might have died from pleurisy.

In 1972 a burial (the so-called "burial 39") was found in the Holy Forty Martyrs church in Tarnovo, where a signet ring bearing Kaloyan's name has suggested the burial might be the one of Tsar Kaloyan. The height of the buried man was around 190 cm (a similar height is reported for the supposed burials of Tsar Petar, Tsar Asen and Despot Ivanko) and anthropologists have found a fracture on his skull, received from a battle axe during his youth, which would have occasionally pressed the nerves on his neck and caused considerable pain and outbursts of rage.

More information about him can be found on his Wikipedia page.

Game Info Edit

Family Edit

Family (Historical) Edit

Gallery Edit

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.