House of Shishman

House of Shishman
Parent house House of Komnenos
House of Assen
Country Principality of Vidin
Principality of Karvuna
Tsardom of Tarnovo
Principality of Valona
Tsardom of Vidin
Principality of Serres
Ethnicity Bulgarian, partially Cuman
Founded 1280
Founder Prince Shishman of Vidin
Current head Extinct
Final ruler Prince Rostislav of Tarnovo
Titles Knyaz, Tsar, Despot
Dissolution 1686
Cadet branches Shishmanoğlu family

Shishman (Bulgarian: Шишман), also Shishmanids or Shishmanovtsi (Bulgarian: Шишмановци), was a medieval Bulgarian royal dynasty of Cuman[1] (or partial Cuman)[2] origin.

The Shishman dynasty consecutively ruled the Second Bulgarian Empire for approximately one century, from 1323 to 1422, when it was conquered by the Ottomans. The Shishmanids were related to the earlier Asen dynasty, and according to the Ragusan historian Lukarić, also to the immediately preceding Terter dynasty.[2] In Plamen Pavlov's view, the Shishman dynasty's founder, despot Shishman of Vidin, may have been the brother of George I, the first Bulgarian Terterid ruler, thus also coming to Bulgaria from the Kingdom of Hungary after 1241.[2]


Among its more notable members were:

Main branch:

Sratsimir branch:

List of monarchs

Principality/Tsardom of Vidin

Portrait Name From Until Short description
Shishman12801308The founder of the dynasty.
Michael I13081323Son of prince Shishman, elected to tsar of Bulgaria and uses the name Michael III.
Belaur13231337Brother of prince Michael I.
Michael II13371356Son of prince Michael I.
Sratsimir13561397Third son of Ivan Alexander. Ruled in Vidin. Captured by the Ottomans in 1396 and imprisoned in Bursa where he was strangled.[4]
Constantine13971418Spent most of his life in exile. Most historians do not include him in the list of the Bulgarian monarchs.

Principality of Karvuna

Portrait Name From Until Short description
Sratsimir13001330Father of tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria.
Keratsa13301340Wife of Sratsimir and mother of tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria.

Tsardom of Tarnovo

Portrait Name From Until Short description
Michael III Shishman13231330Bolyar of Vidin. Mortally wounded in the battle of Velbazhd on 28 July 1330 against the Serbs.[5]
Ivan Stephen13301331Son of Michael III Shishman. Deposed in March 1331 and fled to Serbia.[6] Might have died in 1373.
Ivan Alexander13311371Bolyar of Lovech. Descended of the Asen, Terter and Shishman dynasties. Second Golden Age of Bulgarian culture. Died of natural death on 17 February 1371, leaving Bulgaria divided among his sons.[5]
Ivan Shishman13711393Fourth son of Ivan Alexander. Beheaded by the Ottomans on 3 June 1395.[7]

Principality of Valona

Portrait Name From Until Short description
Komnenos13461363Brother of tsar Ivan Alexander.
Alexander13631368Son of prince Komnenos.
Komnena13681396Daughter of prince Komnenos. Married with Balša II Balšić (1372–1385), Lord of Kanina and Valona, and eventually Duke of Albania.

Principality of Serres

Portrait Name From Until Short description
Helena13551367Daughter of Sratsimir of Kran and Keratsa Petritsa and the sister of Tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria.


^ a: Only Ivan Alexander and Ivan Shishman claimed the title Emperor of all Bulgarians and Greeks.
^ a: The numbers designate which wife each child was born to.


  1. Vásáry, István. Cumans and Tatars: Oriental Military in the Pre-Ottoman Balkans, 1185-1365 (PDF). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-83756-1.
  2. 1 2 3 Павлов, Пламен (2005). "Метежници и претенденти за търновската царска корона през XIV в.". Бунтари и авантюристи в средновековна България (in Bulgarian). Варна: LiterNet.
  3. Павлов, Пламен (2007-06-15). "Щрихи към портрета на Вселенския патриарх Йосиф ІІ" (in Bulgarian). Nobility BG. Archived from the original on 2008-07-27. Retrieved 2008-08-25.
  4. Andreev, p. 298
  5. 1 2 Andreev, p. 263
  6. Andreev, p. 267
  7. Andreev, p. 286



  • Андреев (Andreev), Йордан (Jordan); Милчо Лалков (Milcho Lalkov) (1996). Българските ханове и царе [The Bulgarian Khans and Tsars] (in Bulgarian). Велико Търново (Veliko Tarnovo): Абагар (Abagar). ISBN 954-427-216-X. 
  • Ivanov, Yordan (1970). Bulgarian Antiquities from Macednia (in Bulgarian). Sofia: BAN. 
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