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Area/Ruler: Bulgaria: Ivan Alexander and Mihail
Reigned: 1330-1371
Denomination: AR gros (ducat d'argent), Imitation of AR Basilikon of the Byzantine Paleologus.
Date of Issue: 1330-1354
Obverse: Christ enthroned.
Reverse: Ivan? and Mihail? standing side by side, holding staff between them.
Reference: Yourakova 72-80, Ljubic I, 6 suiv.
Weight: 1.2 gms
Diameter: 20 mm
Comment: Mihail is presumably Ivan Alexander's son Mihail Assen who died 1354.

Tsar Ivan Alexander (1331 - 1371)

Ivan Alexander took the throne triumphantly in 1331, having ousted Tsar Ivan Stefan, Anna-Neda's son. He was initially successful in his battles with Bulgaria's eternal enemy, Byzantium, and a number of fortresses in Thrace and the Khodopes came under his rule. In the summer of 1332, the Bulgarians defeated the Byzantine army at Kusocastro, south of the Balkan range, and the Byzantine emperor was compelled to sue for peace. Ivan Alexander intervened in the power struggle in Byzantium, seeking a middle road between the mighty Serbian King Stefan Dusan and the Emperor. Although Ivan Alexander was the patron of artists and men of letters, and commissioned the construction of many churches and monasteries, he was not very talented as a politician and diplomat. Hence the power and importance of Bulgaria declined during Ivan's reign.

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