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This is a list of Bulgarianmarker monarchs from the earliest historical records to 1946, when the monarchy in the country was abolished. Early Bulgarian rulers are believed to have used the title Khan (see Bulgar society for more details), later possibly kniaz, and still later the title tsar. According to Djagfar tarikhy (a 17th century Volga Bulgar source which is widely suspected to be a hoax and is generally not used in historical research), the earliest Bulgar leaders bore the title of baltavar, i.e. the Turkic "Elteber", a viceroy, known from the Chinese annals by its Chinese equivalent "Sylifa" and documented in the 10-th century by Al-Masoudi as a title used among the Dagestani Bulgars. The title Elteber or its variations like Ilutwer, Ilutver was recorded between the North Caucasian Huns, and Yiltawar or İltäbär (ibn Fadlan) in the Volga Bulgaria.

The title tsar, the Bulgarian form for caesar or emperor, was first adopted and used in Bulgaria by Simeon I following a decisive victory over the Byzantine Empire in 913. It was also used by all of Simeon I's successors until the fall of Bulgariamarker under Ottoman rule in 1396 . After Bulgaria's liberation from the Ottomans in 1878, its first monarch Alexander I adopted the title kniaz, but as complete independence was officially proclaimed under his successor Ferdinand in 1908, the title was changed to tsar again. Tsar was used by Ferdinand and later by his heir Boris III until the abolition of monarchy in 1946.

Note: before reaching the historical rulers (see below), the Nominalia of the Bulgarian khans mention two legendary or semi-legendary rulers who are described as having lived for centuries: Avitokhol (sometimes identified as Attila the Hun, 300 years) and Irnik (sometimes identified as Attila's son Ernakh, 150 years), as well as a regent, Gostun (2 years).

List of Bulgarian rulers (632-1946)

Old Great Bulgaria (632-681)

The Dulo clan (first reign, 605-753)

At times, the reign in the Bulgar lands was split.

  • Kubrat (605 - 665) over Onogunduri

First Bulgarian Empire (681-1018)



Khan From

Khan Until

Asparukh 668 700

Tervel 700 721

Kormesiy 721 738

Sevar 738 753

The Ukil clan (753-766)



Khan From

Khan Until

Kormisosh 753 756

Vinekh 756 762

a member of the Ugain clan
762 765

Sabin 765 766


766 766

The Ugain clan (766-803)



Khan From

Khan Until

  Toktu 766 767

  Pagan 767 768

  Telerig 768 777

  Kardam 777 803

Krum's dynasty, or possibly a second reign of the Dulo clan (803-997)



Khan/Emperor From

Khan/Emperor Until

Krum 803 13 April 814

Omurtag 814 831

Malamir 831 836

House of Comitopuli (976-1018)

Byzantine rule (1018-1186)

Second Bulgarian Empire (1186-1395/1422)

House of Asen (1186-1280)

House of Terter (first reign, 1280-1292)

House of Smilets (1292-1298)

Mongol monarch in Bulgaria (1298-1300)

House of Terter (second reign, 1300-1323)

House of Shishman (1323-1396/1422)

Ottoman rule (1396/1422-1878)

Principality of Bulgaria (1878-1908)

House of Battenberg (1879-1886)

House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1887-1946)

Kingdom of Bulgaria (1908-1946)

House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1887-1946)

Death of the Bulgarian monarchs

See also

Presian I 836 852

Boris I 852 889 (died on 2 May 907)

Vladimir 889 893

Simeon I the Great 893 27 May 927

Peter I 27 May 927 969 (died on 30 January 970)

Boris II 969 971

Roman I 976 997 (simultaneously with Samuil 976 - 997)



Emperor From

Emperor Until

--> Samuil 997(simultaneously with Roman I 976 - 997) 6 October 1014

Gavril Radomir October 1014 August 1015

Ivan Vladislav August 1015 February 1018

Presian II 1018 1018

Peter II Delyan 1040 1041

Peter III 1072 1072



Emperor From

Emperor Until

  Peter IV 1185 1190

Ivan Asen I 1190 1196

  Peter IV 1196 1197

  Kaloyan 1197 1207

  Boril 1207 1218

Ivan Asen II 1218 1241

Kaliman I Asen 1241 1246

  Michael I Asen 1246 1256

Kaliman II Asen 1256 1256

Mitso Asen 1256 1257

Constantine Tikh Asen 1257 1277

Ivailo 1277 1280 (a peasant rebel leader)

Ivan Asen III 1279 1280



Emperor From

Emperor Until

George I Terter 1280 1292



Emperor From

Emperor Until

Smilets 1292 1298



Emperor From

Emperor Until

Chaka 1299 1300



Emperor From

Emperor Until

Teodor II Svetoslav 1300 1321

  George II Terter 1321 1322



Emperor From

Emperor Until

Michael III Shishman 1323 1330

  Ivan Stephen 1330 1331

Ivan Alexander 1331 1371

Ivan Shishman 1371 1395

  Ivan Stratsimir 1356 1396

  Constantine II 1396 1422



Knyaz From

Knyaz Until

Alexander I 29 April 1879 7 September 1886



King From

King Until

Ferdinand I 7 July 1887 3 October 1918 (abdicated)

Boris III the Unifier 3 October 1918 28 August 1943

Simeon II 28 August 1943 15 September 1946 (deposed)



Asparukh Perished in battle against the Khazars in 700

Tervel Died of natural death in 721

Kormesiy Died of natural death in 738

Sevar Died of natural death in 753

Kormisosh Murdered in 756

Vinekh Murdered in 762

Telets Murdered in 765

Sabin Fled to Constantinoplemarker in 766, unknown year of death

Umor Fled to Constantinople in 766, unknown year of death

Toktu Killed in the forests of the Danube in 767 by the opposition

Pagan Killed near Varnamarker in 768 by the opposition

Telerig Fled to Constantinople in 777, unknown year of death

Kardam Died of natural death in 802

Krum Died of natural death (very likely of Brain attack) on 13 April 814

Omurtag Died of natural death in 831

Malamir Unknown reason of death, some presume a violent death

Presian Died of natural death in 852

Boris I Abdicated in 889 died of natural death on 2 May 907

Vladimir Deposed in 893, unknown death

Simeon I the Great Died of heart attack on 17 May 927

Peter I Abdicated in 969, died of Stroke on 30 January 970

Boris II Abdicated in 971, killed accidentally by a Bulgarian border patrol in 977

Roman Captured again in 991, died in prison in Constantinople in 997

Samuil Died of natural death on 6 October 1014

Gavril Radomir Murdered by his cousin Ivan Vladislav in August 1015 during hunting

Ivan Vladislav Killed in а duel with the head of Drachmarker fortress in February 1018

Peter II Delyan Captured in the battle of Ostrovo in 1041, according to e legend died in the Seven Altars Monasterymarker

Peter III Captured in December 1072, later King of Serbia until his death in 1101

Peter IV Abdicated 1190, murdered during his second reign in 1197

Ivan Asen I Murdered by his cousin Ivanko in 1196

Kaloyan Murdered by the cuman chief Manaster (physical killer) after a plot (unknown planners) in October 1207

Boril Deposed in 1218, died of natural death in monastery

Ivan Asen II Died of natural death on 24 June 1241

Kaliman I Asen Poisoned by his step-mother Irina in September 1246

Michael II Asen Muredered by his cousin Kaliman in 1256

Kaliman II Asen Murdered in 1256 by the opposition

Mitso Asen Fled in 1257, died of natural death in Byzantium c.1277

Constantine Tikh Asen Killed in battle by Ivailo in 1277

Ivailo Killed by the Tatars in 1280

Ivan Asen III Fled to Constantinople in 1280, died of natural death in 1303

George I Terter Abdicated in 1292, died of natural death in 1308/9

Smilets Died of natural death in 1298

Chaka Strangled and beheaded in 1300

Theodore Svetoslav Died of natural death in November 1321

George II Terter Died of natural death in December 1322

Michael III Shishman Mortally wounded in the battle of Velbazhd, died four days later on 31 July 1330

Ivan Stefan Deposed in 1331, died of natural death in 1343

Ivan Alexander Died of natural death on 17 February 1371

Ivan Shishman Killed in 1395 (presumed)

Ivan Sratsimir Deposed in 1396, strangled in 1397

Constantine II Died of natural death on 17 September 1422

Alexander Abdicated on 8 September 1886, died of natural death on 23 October 1893

Ferdinand Abdicated on 3 October 1918, died of natural death on 10 September 1948

Boris III Died on 28 August 1943

Simeon II Alive, Deposed on 15 September 1946

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