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Vsevolod Yaroslavich
Vsevolod Yaroslavich
 Vsevolod Yaroslavich – the fourth son of Yaroslav the Wise and the Swedish princess Igigerda. In 1046 he married a relative (presumably a daughter) of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX Monomakh, from whom Vladimir Monomakh, the future Grand Duke, was born. Historians attribute to him the precedence among the rulers of Kyiv, who began to use the title “prince of all Russia” (it was reflected in his seals).[1]wikipedia

Together with Svyatoslav and Izyaslav, he ruled Kievan Rus in the alliance of the “Triumvirate of the Yaroslavichs” until 1073, when the alliance broke up. As a result of disagreements between the brothers, Vsevolod established himself in Kyiv from 1078.

Triumvirate of the Yaroslavichs

The Tale of Bygone Years puts into Yaroslav’s mouth the phrase that he loved Vsevolod more than his other sons. During the life of his father, Vsevolod was not his governor in any city and lived in Kyiv with his parents.

“My son, may it be good for you, because I hear and see your meekness and pious living, and I rejoice that you give rest to my soul. If God deigns for you to accept my throne after your brothers with truth, and not with violence, then I know that prosperity will be in all the Russian land. When the Almighty deigns to relocate you from this life, I command you to lie near my coffin, where I will be laid, because I love you more than all your brothers ” – Yaroslav the Wise to his son Vsevolod, V. N. Tatishchev “Domoskovsky Russia”

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

Biography of Izyaslav

Svyatoslav Yaroslavich. Portrait of a late artist
Svyatoslav Yaroslavich. Portrait of a late artist

Biography of Svyatoslav

From 1054 to 1073 – Vsevolod reigned in Pereyaslavl-Russian and Rostov, was a member of the so-called “triumvirate of the Yaroslavichs” (together with his older brothers Izyaslav of Kyiv and Svyatoslav of Chernigov). He took an equal part with them in government (the new edition of Russkaya Pravda, campaigns against nomads, the fight against Vseslav Polotsky). The Pereyaslav diocese (as well as the Chernigov diocese) rose during this period to the metropolitanate.
Triumvirate of Yaroslavichs - general scheme
Triumvirate of Yaroslavichs – general scheme

Battle of the Alta River in 1068

In 1068, the Polovtsy invaded Russia, led by Khan Sharukan, along the left bank of the Dnieper. The Yaroslavichs withdrew their troops towards them and were defeated.

Battle on the river Alte in 1068
Battle on the river Alte in 1068

Battle on the river Alte in 1068
Battle on the river Alte in 1068

Izyaslav and Vsevolod fled to Kyiv. Their unwillingness to organize a new campaign against the Polovtsy, who were plundering the outskirts of Kyiv, caused an uprising. A veche was convened on the market square of Kyiv, the demand of which was the arming of the townspeople. After this was not done, the crowd sacked the house of the voivode Konstantin. The Kievans released Prince Vseslav of Polotsk, who was being held by the Yaroslavich brothers in custody, and put him on the throne of Kyiv in the hope that he would be able to stop the Polovtsy.

Izyaslav at that time found refuge with the Polish king Boleslav II, who sent troops to help him. With these troops, Izyaslav returned to Kyiv in May 1069. By this time, Vseslav fled to Polotsk, and Kyiv was controlled by Svyatoslav and Vsevolod.

The Truth of the Yaroslavichs

Uprisings of the late 1060s – early 1070s demanded vigorous action from the princes and boyars. “Russian Truth”, compiled by Yaroslav the Wise, was supplemented by a number of articles and received the name “Truth of the Yaroslavichs”. The purpose of the additions was to protect the property of the feudal lord and his fiefdom.

In Pravda Yaroslavichi, the structure and procedure for managing the patrimony was regulated by the prince’s butler – ognischanin (from the word “ognishe” – house), the prince’s entrance was responsible for collecting taxes.

Truth of Yaroslav
Truth of Yaroslav

Truth of Yaroslav

The wealth of the patrimony was land, so the princely boundary was guarded by an extremely high fine. Dependent smerds and slaves (serfs, servants) worked on this land. The work was supervised by the ratai (novelye) elders, to whom the slaves obeyed, and the village elders who watched the smerds. There were also artisans in the patrimony.

“Pravda Yaroslavichi” abolished blood feuds and set a fee for the murder, depending on the category of the population to which the murdered belonged. The largest fine was paid for the murder of senior combatants, ognischanins, princely servants, whose life was estimated at 80 hryvnias. The life of the free population – people (husbands) – was estimated at 40 hryvnias; rural and military elders, as well as artisans – 12 hryvnias; smerds who lived in estates, and slaves – 5 hryvnias.

Reign in Chernihiv

In 1073, the triumvirate broke up: Svyatoslav and Vsevolod expelled Izyaslav, accusing him of allying with Vseslav of Polotsk against them. Vsevolod moved to Chernigov, giving Pereyaslavl to Davyd Svyatoslavich. Izyaslav did not receive help from his Polish allies, moreover, in 1076 Oleg Svyatoslavich and Vladimir Vsevolodovich led the Russian army in a campaign to help the Poles against the Czechs.

Battle on Nezhatina Field

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. Nevertheless, Vsevolod not only kept Chernigov, but also returned Pereyaslavl. But his nephews Oleg Svyatoslavich and Boris Vyacheslavich with the Polovtsy rose up against him and defeated him on the Sozhitsa River. Vsevolod fled to Kyiv for help and returned with Izyaslav to Chernigov, which was besieged in the absence of his princes.

Vladimir Monomakh launched a successful assault on the outer fortifications and forced the besieged inside the city. Upon learning that the nephews were going with the army to Chernigov, Izyaslav met them. Oleg did not hope to defeat the combined troops of the four princes and advised Boris to enter into peace negotiations, but he answered him: “Remain a calm spectator of my battle with them” and died in the battle.

Izyaslav stood among the infantry, and the enemy rider hit him with a spear in the shoulder, inflicting a mortal wound on the prince. Oleg took to flight and with a small number of soldiers went to Tmutarakan. Taking advantage of this victory, after the death of Izyaslav, Vsevolod, who passed to the reign of Kiev, retained Chernigov.

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

Grand reign of Vsevolod Yaroslavich

Vsevolod finally occupied the throne of Kyiv, according to the chronicler taking over the entire Russian power, despite the fact that Yaropolk and Svyatopolk Izyaslavich ruled in Volhynia and Novgorod.

In 1079, Oleg and his brother Roman again moved from Tmutarakan to Kyiv, but Vsevolod bribed the Polovtsy. The nomads killed Roman, and Oleg was sent to Byzantium on the island of Rhodes, where he stayed for another fifteen years. Tmutarakan came under the control of Kyiv.

The fierce struggle with Vseslav of Polotsk continued, which resumed immediately after the death of Svyatoslav Yaroslavich. At the turn of the 1070-1080s, Vseslav led a campaign near Smolensk, after which Vladimir Monomakh led a devastating campaign against the Polotsk principality, and then a second campaign with the Polovtsy, during which Minsk was captured.

In the early 1080s, two consecutive winter campaigns were carried out against the tribal union of the Vyatichi. Their prince Khodota is the last tribal East Slavic prince mentioned in the sources. The land of the Vyatichi finally became part of the Chernigov Principality.

Grand Prince Vladimir II Vsevolodovich Monomakh. Portrait from the Royal Titular. 1672
Grand Prince Vladimir II Vsevolodovich Monomakh.
Portrait from the Royal Titular. 1672

Foreign policy during the reign of Vsevolod was marked by intensive contacts with the Holy Roman Empire. The prince married his daughter, Eupraxia-Adelheida, to Emperor Henry IV. Vsevolod also contacted Pope Urban II, Henry’s opponent. Probably, the transition of Old Rus to the camp of the emperor’s opponents was associated with the scandalous conflict between Eupraxia and Henry: Vsevolod’s daughter fled from Germany to Verona and appeared before the pope, accusing her husband of bullying her, orgies and participating in satanic rituals.

On the initiative of the prince (apparently due to contacts with Rome), a feast was established in Rus for the transfer of the relics of St. Nicholas of Myra to Bari, which was not celebrated by the Greek church, which always regarded this transfer as a kidnapping.


Vsevolod Yaroslavich is one of the most educated people of his time. His son, Vladimir Monomakh, in his “Instruction” writes about his father, that he “sitting at home” spoke five languages. Apparently, among these languages were Swedish (the language of Vsevolod’s mother), Greek (the language of his wife), and also, possibly, English (the language of his daughter-in-law, Vladimir’s wife, Gita of Saxony) and the Polovtsian language.

The Laurentian Chronicle characterizes Vsevolod as follows:

“Izdstva was God-loving, loved the truth, endowed the poor, gave honor to bishops and presbyters, he especially loved Chernoriztsy, making donations to them, he himself abstained from drunkenness and lust, for which his father loved him more than all his children ‘.

Wives and children

First marriage — to “Monomakhin”, daughter or relative of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX Monomakh Mary, who died in 1067.


Vladimir Vsevolodovich Monomakh (1053-1125)
St. Yanka Vsevolodovna (Anna), died in 1112

Second marriage — to the Polovtsian princess Anna, who died in 1111.


Rostislav Vsevolodovich (1070-1093) – Prince of Pereyaslavl
Evpraksia Vsevolodovna (1069/1071 – 1109) – German Empress
Ekaterina (Irina) Vsevolodovna (d. July 11, 1108)

Death and burial

Graffiti in Kiev’s Hagia Sophia mentions his burial. Dmitri, Vsevolod’s combatant, wrote that “Andrey, the good Russian prince”, died on Wednesday “after dinner” and was buried the next day, on Maundy Thursday, April 14, 1093.

In addition, The Tale of Bygone Years contains a record of the death and burial of Prince Vsevolod:

Graffiti about the burial of Vsevolod Yaroslavich
Graffiti about the burial of Vsevolod Yaroslavich

«In the year 6601 (1093), indiction in the 1st year, Grand Prince Vsevolod, son of Yaroslavov, grandson of Vladimir, reposed on the 13th day of April, and was buried on the 14th day; the week was then Passionate, and then the day was great Thursday, when he was laid in a coffin in the great church of St. Sophia.»

Section “Yaroslav the Wise”

Список литературы

  1. wikipedia
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Опубликовано: 11.08.2022
Изменено: 11.08.2022