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Insignia and attire of the wives of the medieval Bulgarian rulers

Стенописен портрет на цар Константин Тих - Асен (1257-1277) и царица Ирина от Боянската църква
Портрет на цар Иван Александър (1331-1371), царица Теодора и престолонаследниците върху Лондонското четвероевангелие
Bulgarian rulers during the pagan period and immediately after the conversion to Christianity. It seems, that the wife of tsar Boris-Mihail got an attire of a noble Byzantine lady, and the wife of Simeon the Great /more exactly - his second wife/, who actually was the first Bulgarian tsaritsa, wore the insignia used before by the Byzantine empresses. The first and for the time being the only depiction of a rulers wife from the First Bulgarian kingdom is this of Maria-Irina, wife of tsar Peter I /927-970/ and granddaughter of the Byzantine emperor Rouman I Lakapin /920-944/. It is disputable if the younger daughter of Justinian II was sent to Pliska in the year 705 to become wife of the Caesar Tervel, but there is no doubt that Maria-Irina came in Preslav in the year 927. Until that moment there was not a precedent for it in the Byzantine history. According to the seals she was crowned with the stemma of the Byzantine empresses which consisted of two horns, a cross and propendules, and the body was covered in a chlamys. In such a guise she was the first wife of a ruler outside Constantinople, got the right to wear the regalia, worn only by the wives of the emperors. Perhaps they were used also by her heiress - the wife of Boris II and were held into Byzantine captivity in the year 971.
For the time being there is no information about the crowns and the attire used by the wives of the rulers of the Second Bulgarian kingdom. We could judge of the kind of the insignia by the earliest authentic portrait of the Bulgarian tsaritsa Irina, wife of Constantine Tih-Assen /1257-1277/ in the well-known church in Boyana near Sofia. She is depicted with a three-storeyed crown-tampanion with diamonds, pearls and pinnacles on the upper periphery, a scepter with spheres, a purple divitassion and a purple cloak. She is the first wife of a ruler outside Byzantium shown with the new ornate of the wives of the Byzantine emperors, which was imposed till the end of XI and XII century. Teodora-Irina, the wife of tsar Mihail Shishman /1323-1330/ is depicted with similar insignia on coins. So is the wife of tsar Ivan Alexander /1331-1371/ - Sara-Teodora - also on coins and in a miniature in the Gospel of London, as well as in a mural painting in church №14 on the Trapesitza hill in Veliko Turnovo. On some of the portraits Sara-Teodora is depicted also with a shield-terikion beneath the waist-band.
It seems, that these regalia were brought into use by the wife of tsar Ivan Assen II between the years 1230 and 1235 after the acknowledgement of his tsars title and were in use until the fall of Bulgaria into Ottoman yoke.

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Regalia, attire and religious beliefs of the first Bulgarian khans
Insignia and attire of the rulers of the First Bulgarian kingdom after the conversion to Christianity (864-1018)
Insignia and attire of the Bulgarian rulers during the period of the Second kingdom (1185-1396)
Insignia and attire of the Bulgarian high ranking dignitaries in the Middle Ages
About the treasure of Preslav and the insignia and the adornments of the noblest Bulgarian aristocrats during the Middle Ages