Maria, wife of Ivan Vladislav

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Empress consort of Bulgaria
Spouse Ivan Vladislav of Bulgaria
Born Unknown
Died Unknown

Maria was the wife of tsar Ivan Vladislav of Bulgaria. She was the last empress-consort (tsaritsa) of the First Bulgarian Empire.

Her antecedents are unknown. It is believed that Maria was married to Ivan Vladislav in the late 10th century. Her husband was the son of Aron, who was the brother of Emperor Samuel (Samuil) of Bulgaria. In 987 Samuel ordered his brother Aron executed for treason together with his entire family. The massacre was survived only by Ivan Vladislav, who was saved through the intercession of his cousin, Samuel's son Gabriel Radomir.

Tsar Samuil died in 1014 and the Bulgarian throne was inherited by his son Gavril Radomir. In 1015 Ivan Vladislav murdered his savior Gavrail Radomir, while the latter was hunting near Ostrovo (Arnissa), and seized the Bulgarian throne.

Maria's husband followed the determined policy of his predecessors to resist the ongoing Byzantine conquest over Bulgaria, but he was killed before the walls of Dyrrhachium in the winter of 1018. After his death the widowed empress Maria and much of the Bulgarian nobility and court submitted to the advancing Basil II in exchange of guarantees for the preservation of their lives, status, and property. Maria together with her children were sent to Constantinople, where she was granted the title zostē patrikia (lady-in-waiting of the empress). Her family was integrated into the Byzantine court and provincial aristocracy.

In 1029 Maria together with her son Presian entered a conspiracy against emperor Romanos III Argyros. The plot was discovered, Presian was blinded and Maria was exiled to a monastery in Asia Minor.


Maria and Ivan Vladislav had several children, including:

  1. Presian, who briefly succeeded as emperor of Bulgaria 1018
  2. Aron, Byzantine general
  3. Alusian, who was briefly emperor of Bulgaria in 1041
  4. Trayan. Father of Maria of Bulgaria, who married Andronikos Doukas.
  5. Catherine (Ekaterina), who married the future Byzantine Emperor Isaac I Komnenos



  1. ^ Златарски, История. Приложение 19
Preceded by
Irene of Larissa
Empress consort of Bulgaria
Succeeded by