About the Serbian Princess and Bulgarian Empress Anne (A Contribution to the Study of Marriages of King Milutin) Cover Image

О српској принцези и бугарској царици Ани (Прилог познавању бракова краља Милутина)
About the Serbian Princess and Bulgarian Empress Anne (A Contribution to the Study of Marriages of King Milutin)

Author(s): Aleksandar Uzelac
Subject(s): History
Published by: Istorijski institut, Beograd
Keywords: Anne (Neda) Nemanjić, Stephen Uroš II Milutin, Michael III Šišman (Assen); Elizabeth Arpad; Constantine Nemanjić; Principality (Despotate) of Vidin; Serbo-Bulgarian Relations; Milutin’s Marriages; Medieval Genealogies

Summary/Abstract: Life and carrer of Anne (in later sources mentioned as Neda or Dominica), daughter of king Stephen Uroš II Milutin and wife of the despot of Vidin and the Bulgarian emperor Michael III Šišman Assen, reflect the turbulent changes in Serbo-Bulgarian relations during the first half of the fourteenh century. The aim of this article was to cast light on some aspects of her biography, including the identification of her mother, as well as the date of her birth and marriage. These questions are inseparably tied with the wexed problem of Milutin’s matrimonial policies and therefore they are discussed in the wider context. In Serbian historiography it is usually assumed that Anne‘s mother was a Serbian noblewoman, the first wife of king Milutin. However, material from Angevin archives, including Anne’s correspondence with Neapolitan king Robert I Wise (1309–1343) and his successor queen Joanna I (1343–1382) as well as several documents related to Anne’s son Lodovico, undoubtedly show that she must have been the daughter of Milutin and his Hungarian wife Elisabeth. The prevalent opinion in historiography is that the marriage between Milutin and Elisabeth was concluded at the end of 1283 and that it lasted less than a year. However, this is yet another long-held view that has to be rejected. As it was recently pointed out, the marriage could have been concluded only in the last decade of the thirteenth century, more precisely after the death of Elisabeth’s first husband, Czech noble Zavish of Falkenstein in 1290. Furthermore, it may be deduced that it took place after Milutin’s former fatherin- law, Bulgarian emperor George I Terter, was ousted from the power, i.e. around 1292. Taking into account that two daughters were born out of this marriage – Anne, as well as princess Zariza, the relationship between Milutin and Elisabeth couldn’t have been short-lived; probably, it ended shortly before late 1298, when the Serbian king entered the negotiations with Byzantine court about marital alliance. Anne was born at earliest around 1293 and she was married in the first decade of the fourteenth century. The precise date of her marriage is impossible to determine with certainty, but there is no doubt that it took place after the death of Nogai and establishment of Theodore Svetoslav as Bulgarian emperor, at the time when Milutin, according to the words of Serbian archbishop Danilo II saw “the commitment, obedience and service” of Šišman, Michael’s father and prince of Vidin, towards him.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 63
  • Page Range: 29-46
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Serbian