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Izyaslav Yaroslavich. Engraving. 1819
Izyaslav Yaroslavich. Engraving. 1819

Izyaslav Yaroslavich became the second son in the family of the Kyiv prince Yaroslav the Wise and the Swedish princess Ingigerda, was born in 1024. In baptism he received the name Demetrius.

After the death in 1052 of the elder brother of the Novgorod prince Vladimir, Izyaslav appointed his son Mstislav to rule in Novgorod. According to the then dynastic rules, this made him the heir to the throne of Kyiv (although Vladimir left a son). February 20, 1054, after the death of his father, he became the Grand Prince of Kyiv.[1]wikipedia

Triumvirate of the Yaroslavichs

The system of government that dominated Kievan Rus in 1054-1073 is often referred to by historians as the “triumvirate of the Yaroslavichs”. Very soon, two younger Yaroslavichs, Igor and Vyacheslav, died. After the poisoning in Tmutarakan of the eldest grandson of Yaroslav the Wise Rostislav Vladimirovich (1066) and the defeat of the eldest great-grandson of Vladimir Svyatoslavich Vseslav Bryachislavich (1067) on Nemiga, not only the southern Old Russian lands, but the whole of Rus ended up in the hands of the three Yaroslavichs.
Triumvirate of Yaroslavichs - general scheme
Triumvirate of Yaroslavichs – general scheme

A serious test for the triumvirate was the defeat of the Polovtsians and the Kiev uprising of 1068, after which Izyaslav led the Poles to Russia, and Svyatoslav and Vsevolod defended Kyiv.

In 1071, Vseslav the Sorcerer managed to return to Polotsk, after which the brothers suspected Izyaslav of being in league with him and expelled him. In 1073-1076, Svyatoslav Yaroslavich reigned in Kyiv.

Quarrel with brothers

In 1073, the younger brothers Svyatoslav and Vsevolod entered into a conspiracy against Izyaslav. Svyatoslav captured Kyiv, Vsevolod moved to Chernigov, giving Pereyaslavl to Davyd Svyatoslavich. Izyaslav again fled to Poland, where this time he was expelled by the Polish authorities, who made an alliance with Svyatoslav and Vsevolod. At the same time, the Polish king Boleslav II took part of the jewelry brought by Izyaslav.

The exile Izyaslav went to Germany to Emperor Henry IV and asked him for help in the fight against his brothers. He gave him gigantic riches as payment for his help; however, the emperor, whose forces were diverted by internal strife in Germany, also did not support him.

Svyatoslav Yaroslavich. Engraving
Svyatoslav Yaroslavich. Engraving

Biography of Svyatoslav

In 1075, Izyaslav sent his son, Prince Yaropolk of Volhynia, to Rome, where he visited Pope Gregory VII (the future opponent of Henry IV). The Pope limited himself to general exhortations to the Russian princes.

Under the influence of the pope, Boleslav was forced to make peace with Izyaslav, as this became one of the conditions for receiving a blessing from the pope for anointing him with the title of Polish king. On December 25, 1076, Izyaslav and his wife took part in the coronation of Boleslav in Gniezno.

In December 1076, Svyatoslav died suddenly. Vsevolod took his place, but six months later he returned the throne to Izyaslav, who moved to Kyiv with the Poles.

Vsevolod Yaroslavich
Vsevolod Yaroslavich

Biography of Vsevolod

Return and death

Izyaslav’s wanderings were put to an end by the sudden death of Svyatoslav Yaroslavich on December 27, 1076. Vsevolod, as a defender of Kyiv from the Poles and Izyaslav, made peace with him and returned the Kiev reign to him, and he retired to Chernigov (1077). Davyd Svyatoslavich was withdrawn from Pereyaslavl, and city returned under the control of Vsevolod (which also retained Smolensk). Oleg Svyatoslavich was withdrawn from Volhynia, where Yaropolk Izyaslavich sat, and died Gleb Svyatoslavich was replaced in Novgorod by Svyatopolk Izyaslavich.

Immediately after the death of Svyatoslav, a fierce struggle began with Vseslav of Polotsk, which continued under rule of Vsevolod Yaroslavich. It began with Vseslav’s campaign against Novgorod against Gleb in the spring of 1077. In the summer of 1077 and in the winter of 1077/1078, two campaigns against Polotsk followed, including the second with the participation of Svyatopolk Izyaslavich and the Polovtsians (for the first time in the history of Russia).

In 1078, a new internecine war began. Against their uncles – Izyaslav and Vsevolod – their nephews Oleg Svyatoslavich and Boris Vyacheslavich rebelled. Having united with the Polovtsy, they defeated Vsevolod on the Sozhice river. Vsevolod fled to Kyiv for help, returned with Izyaslav and laid siege to Chernigov in the absence of princes.

The decisive battle took place on October 3, in which Izyaslav and Boris were killed. The battle on Nezhatina Niva and the death of Izyaslav and Boris are mentioned in “The Tale of Igor’s Campaign”.

Izyaslav Yaroslavich was buried in the Cathedral Sophia in Kyiv.

Battle on Nezhatina Neva October 3, 1078 (art. Alexander Tereshchenko)
Battle on Nezhatina Neva October 3, 1078
(art. Alexander Tereshchenko)

Appearance and character

Describing the burial of Izyaslav, the chronicler speaks of the prince as follows:

“But Izyaslav’s husband was handsome with a look, a great body, a gentle disposition, he hated lies, loved the truth, but there was no flaw in him, he was not flattering, but he was simple in mind, did not repay evil for evil; which the people of Kiev did to him, he was driven out, and his house was plundered, and he did not repay them for it.

Citing this review, N. M. Karamzin and S. M. Solovyov enter into correspondence polemics with the chronicler. The first one writes: “But Izyaslav was just as cowardly. He wanted the throne, but did not know how to sit on it. The atrocities of the son reveal the weakness of the father. The disaster of Minsk and the perfidious imprisonment of Vseslav contradict the praises of the chronicler.

“Is it possible to call a prince gentle, who allowed his son to torture many residents of Kyiv, even innocent ones in his exile, cruelly persecuted Vseslav Polotsky, in relation to whom he himself was more to blame, persecuted people in Kyiv whom he suspected of being friendly to Vseslav, even not respecting them’s the sanctity of life, finally pursued the unfortunate sons of Svyatoslav? , – asks the second.

About the character traits of Izyaslav, one can also draw a conclusion from the surviving prayers of his wife Gertrude, written during the years of their wanderings around Europe. During this period, obviously, disagreements often occur between Izyaslav and Gertrude. In one of her prayers, she asks God to turn the heart of her husband, whom she calls the king, away from hatred, annoyance and anger and inspire him with meekness, kindness and peacefulness, but at the same time also protect him from all dangers and make his way to his homeland happy. In another prayer, Gertrude asks the Lord to hear the groan of her heart, relieve her of torment, expel all sorrows and avert the evil that fell upon her because of her husband’s rudeness and his unwillingness to talk with her and listen to advice, make him merciful and supportive of her, but and calm her own frenzied temper and turn her into a meek, calm, good-natured woman.

Section “Yaroslav the Wise”

Список литературы

  1. wikipedia
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Опубликовано: 11.08.2022
Изменено: 11.08.2022