Elena Asenina of Bulgaria

Elena of Bulgaria was an empress consort of Nicaea, married to Theodore II Laskaris (r. 1254–1258). She was daughter of Bulgarian Emperor Ivan Asen II and Anna Maria of Hungary.


Born in c. 1224 to Bulgarian Emperor Ivan Asen II and Anna Maria of Hungary, she was the sister of emperor Kaliman I of Bulgaria and princess Tamara of Bulgaria.[1] Her maternal grandparents were king Andrew II of Hungary and Gertrude of Merania. On the paternal side, Emperor Ivan Asen I of Bulgaria and Elena of Bulgaria.

She was betrothed to Baldwin II of Courtenay, the last Latin emperor before marrying Theodore.

As part of an alliance between her father and the Nicaean emperor John III Vatatzes, negotiations began in 1233 on a marriage between her and Vatatzes' son and heir, Theodore II Laskaris. This took place finally in 1235 at Gallipoli.[1] She died in the spring or summer of 1252.[2]

Her husband died in 1258 and their son, John IV Laskaris, who was only seven years old, became emperor.


Elena and Theodore had five children:[1]


  1. ^ a b c PLP, 6000. Ἑλένη.
  2. ^ Angelov, D. The Byzantine Hellene: The Life of Emperor Theodore Laskaris and Byzantium in the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge / New York 2019, p. 128, 129.


  • Fine, John V. A. Jr. (1994) [1987]. The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-08260-4.
  • Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. (1991). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504652-8.
  • Trapp, Erich; Beyer, Hans-Veit; Walther, Rainer; Sturm-Schnabl, Katja; Kislinger, Ewald; Leontiadis, Ioannis; Kaplaneres, Sokrates (1976–1996). Prosopographisches Lexikon der Palaiologenzeit (in German). Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. ISBN 3-7001-3003-1.
Elena Asenina of Bulgaria
Born: c. 1224 Died: 1252
Royal titles
Preceded by Empress consort of Nicaea
Succeeded by