Campaigns of Yaroslav the Wise against Mazovia and allied tribes – a series of military actions of the Kyiv prince, carried out under an alliance agreement with the Polish king Casimir I in the period from 1038 to 1047.
After the death of King Mieszko II of Poland in 1034, his son Casimir I was expelled from the country by the Polish nobility. The struggle between the local nobility and the peasants resulted in a peasant uprising in 1037-38, directed against the feudal lords and forced Christianization.
The territories of the pagan Pomerania were separated from Poland, as well as Mazovia, the independence of which was proclaimed by the local prince Maslav (Mechislav, Metslav). He allied with Pomerania, as well as with the tribes of Lithuanians and Yotvingians, trying to resist Casimir I.
By joining forces with Yaroslav the Wise and enlisting the military support of the German Emperor Henry III, Casimir I was able to return eastern Pomerania and Mazovia under the control of Poland.
Reasons for campaigns
- Opportunity to build relationships with the new ruler of Poland
- Moislav began to create his own state in the north of Europe. He took control of some Lithuanian tribes, including the Yatvyags, who were previously tributaries of Russian sovereigns.
- Mazovia arose from a pagan uprising in Poland, becoming a threat on the western border for the newly converted Kievan Rus
Background of the conflict and chronology of events
Death of Mieszko II and uprising in Poland
The central authorities practically ceased to exist, the country was divided into several territories ruled by self-proclaimed rulers. Mazovia, headed by Prince Moislav (in different sources – Meslav, Meclav, Mechislav, presumably a relative of Mieszko II, who was a cupbearer), as well as Pomorie, declared their independence.
Union of Casimir I and Yaroslav the Wise against Mazovia
Casimir I returned to Poland, finding the states in great ruin. The Czech prince was stopped, at the cost of the loss of Silesia, but still were Pomerania and Mazovia, which declared themselves free. To restore influence in these territories, Casimir decided to enlist the support of Yaroslav the Wise – the Russian-Polish union was sealed by two dynastic marriages at once: in 1038/1039, Casimir married Yaroslav’s sister (or niece) Dobronega, and his sister, Hera, a little later , about 1043, married Izyaslav, son of Yaroslav the Wise.
As a sign of reconciliation with Kievan Rus, Casimir released all the Russian captives (about 800 people) captured by his grandfather Boleslav I during a campaign against Kyiv in 1018 and they had to return to Russia with their property and families.
Yaroslav, from that moment, begins systematic military campaigns against Mazovia (“on the Mazovians”) and the tribes allied to them:
- In the winter of 1038/39 – Campaign against the Yotvingians: the Kievans won in an open battle, but could not capture the cities
- 1040 – Campaign against Lithuania: successful, tribute taken from the tribes
- 1041 – Boat trip to Mazovia: prisoners captured, valuable booty
- 1044 – March on Lithuania: successful
- 1047 – Campaign to Mazovshan – the murder of the Prince of Mazov Moislav and the conquest of Mazovia in favor of the Polish king Casimir I
According to other versions, the Prince of Mazov Moislav was not killed during the campaign of 1047, but was able to escape to his allies, the Prussians, who, blaming him for the failure of the confrontation with the Poles and Kievans, hanged Moislav.
According to the Polish chronicler Zdzisław Pietras, Casimir participated in the battle of 1041 near the village of Pobedziska (modern city in Poland). The participation of Yaroslav the Wise allowed Casimir I to return the eastern part of Pomerania under the control of Poland, defeating the troops of local princes in 1046 or 1048.
Russian chronicles on the conclusion of peace with Poland:
In the Radzivilov Chronicle, in an article of 6551, after the story of the campaign against Constantinople, there is a story about the marriage of Casimir to the sister of Yaroslav the Wise:
“In those days, Yaroslav gave his sister for Casimir, and gave Casimir to return 800 people whom Boleslav captured by defeating Yaroslav.” (18, 66)
According to the Tver Chronicle, the wedding took place in the fall. (19, 149) In the Nikiforov Chronicle under the year 6549, which also dates the campaign against Constantinople, it is reported:
“The same autumn Yaroslav gave his sister for Casimir… and said to Casimir: “once your father defeated me and captured my people, now give them to me.” And Casimir gathered Yaroslav’s people 800 people, except for wives and children, and gave them to Yaroslav, his brother-in-law. (14, 23)
The chronicler erroneously calls Boleslav the father of Casimir, while he was his grandfather. With the released captives, their families returned to Russia, which they managed to acquire. The difference between the two dates of the wedding is two years, which indicates the influence of the “era – 5506”. The date in the older chronicles has an “era – 5508”, in the Nikiforov Chronicle – “era – 5506”. Overseas campaigns of the Rus fell in the summer. The wedding, taking into account the September reckoning, took place in the autumn of 1042. rus-istoria.ru
Tatishchev on the conclusion of peace:
Description of Campaigns in Tatishchev:
“6546 (1038). Yaroslav went to the Yotvingians and defeated them, but he could not take their cities, because he did not want to fight with the walls and lose people, but having taken a lot of cattle and estates in the villages, he returned …
6548(1040). Yaroslav went to Lithuania, whom he conquered, laid tribute to and returned.
6549 (1041). Yaroslav went to Mazovshans in boats along the river. Bug, fought a lot, and ruined the city, and, taking a lot of captivity, returned.
6552(1044). … Yaroslav went to Lithuania and returned with a great victory, and in the spring laid Novgorod and made the same summer …
6555 (1047). Yaroslav, at the request of the Polish prince Casimir, his son-in-law, went to the Mazovshans, whom he defeated in a fierce battle and killed their prince Moislav, conquered the land of that Casimir. ”История Российская, кн.2, гл.8, В. Н. Татищев
“The Prince of Russia Yaroslav, knowing that Poland was mired in internal and external war and was very weak, having gathered a strong army, came by land and on ships to the Mazovian region, devastated it with fire, sword and robbery and, capturing rich booty, and moreover captivating a large number of people of both sexes returned to Russia. (27, 251)
Results and accomplishment
- After the conclusion of a peace treaty with Poland in 1037/38, Casimir I released about 800 captives captured by his grandfather Boleslav I during his campaign against Kyiv together with Svyatopolk in 1018.
- Prince of Mazov Moislav was killed, the territories came under the control of Poland
- The Yatvingian tribes and Lithuania are obliged to pay tribute to Kievan Rus again
- Slightly expanded the borders of Kievan Rus in the western direction
- East Pomerania returned by Casimir I to Polish control
The victory of Prince Yaroslav in Mazovia and the Polish prince Casimir in Pomerania and Silesia united Poland and expanded the borders of Russia to the west (slightly west of Berestye). At the same time, in the political aspect, significantly increased the role and importance of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, the head of the largest European state at that time.