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Ivan II

IVAN II

(13261359), prince of Moscow and grand prince of Vladimir.

In the 1340s Lithuania encroached into western Russia and challenged the Golden Horde for control of Russian towns. Thus the prince of Moscow and other princes had to establish relations with both foreign powers. Ivan's elder brother Simeon and father Ivan I Danilovich "Kalita" ("Moneybag") had collaborated with the Tatars to promote Moscow's interests against princely rivals and against Lithuania. Ivan, a weak ruler under whose reign Moscow's authority declined, charted a different course. After Simeon died in 1353, Ivan traveled to Saray, where Khan Jani-Beg, against the objections of Novgorod and Suzdal-Nizhny Novgorod, gave him the patent for the grand princely throne of Vladimir. Later, however, he was persuaded to establish cordial relations with Lithuania and to decrease Moscow's subordination to the khan. He formed a treaty with pro-Lithuanian Suzdal, arranged a marriage alliance with Lithuania, and prevented Tatar envoys from entering Muscovite lands. His change of policy kindled serious opposition. Many of his councilors fled to pro-Tatar Ryazan, thus weakening Moscow's internal solidarity. Metropolitan Alexei also sided with the defectors. When the khan himself challenged Ivan, he yielded to the pressure. In 1357 he submitted to Berdi-Beg, the new khan, and was reconciled with his disgruntled boyars. But he failed to increase Moscow's territories, and Novgorod ignored him. Moreover, in the testament he issued before his death, he confirmed the practice of hereditary appanages, which his brother Simeon had first espoused, and which further fragmented the Moscow principality. He died on November 13, 1359.

See also: golden horde; moscow

bibliography

Fennell, John L. I. (1968). The Emergence of Moscow 13041359. London: Secker and Warburg.

Martin, Janet. (1995). Medieval Russia 9801584. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Martin Dimnik

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Ivan II

Ivan II or Ivan Asen (ē´vän ä´sən), d. 1241, czar of Bulgaria (1218–41). On the death (1207) of his father, Kaloyan, founder of the second Bulgarian empire, the throne was usurped by Ivan's cousin Boril. Ivan fled to the duchy of Halych (see Galicia, historic region, Poland and Ukraine) and secured its aid. Returning in 1218, he captured Trnovo, had Boril blinded, and was crowned czar. Under Ivan II the Bulgarian empire reached its zenith, becoming the strongest power in the Balkans; he added Macedonia, Epirus, and much of Albania and Serbia to his lands. He campaigned (1235) with John III of Nicaea against the Latin Empire of Constantinople, but later helped the Latins oppose John. Ivan's generally mild conduct and sincere faith endeared him even to his foes. He restored the autonomy of the Bulgarian church, established a central administration, and encouraged the settlement of Ragusan merchants. For his repudiation (1232) of the union with Rome and his support of the heretic Bogomils, he was excommunicated (1236) by Pope Gregory IX. Ivan II was succeeded by his sons Kaliman I, who reigned 1241–46, and Michael, who reigned 1246–57. With Michael's death the direct Asen line became extinct.

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