Rusian genealogy

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Bolesław “the Tall” of Poland

b. unknown – d. 1201 [1]


Władysław II of Poland [2]


Agnes of the German Empire [3]


In both 1141 and 1142 the Hypatian chronicle records Vsevolod as sending a daughter to the Poles. [5] However, in 1142 the entry is more extensive, saying that Vsevolod’s daughter Zvenislava was sent to the Poles for Bolesław. [6] It is such a rare example in the Rusian chronicles for the bride’s name, her father’s name, and the groom’s name to be recorded. The Vsevolod is Vsevolod Ol′govič, at that time ruler of Kyiv, and the Bolesław is Bolesław the Tall, the son of Władysław II, ruler of Silesia and contestant for the throne of Poland against his younger brother Bolesław IV. This marriage then can be shown clearly through primary sources.

The marriage between Vsevolod's daughter and Władysław’s son was designed to seal an agreement between the two factions so that Vsevolod could aid Władysław in his struggle with Bolesław IV, who, not coincidentally, was allied with the M′stislaviči, perennial enemies of the Ol′goviči. [7] It put the two warring sides in each kingdom in alliance with the each other. This purpose for the marriage was confirmed that same year when Vsevolod sent forces under the command of his son, Svjatoslav, to help his zjat′ Władysław against his younger brother. [8] This marriage represents some of the clearest evidence that exists for the purpose of dynastic marriage in the medieval world as a tool to seal alliances, very often specifically military alliances. Władysław called in other marital alliances as well and in 1146 his brother–in–law Conrad III led an expedition to help him against Bolesław IV. [9] Though the marriage between Zvenislava and Bolesław did not solve Władysław’s problem or give Vsevolod an ally on the Piast throne, it serves as a clear example of medieval dynastic marriage practice.


  1. Birth/Death: H. Grotefend. Stammtafeln der Schlesischen Fürstenbis zum jahre 1740 (Breslau: Josef Max and Comp., 1889), Table 1.[↑]
  2. Father: [↑]
  3. Mother: [↑]
  4. Marriage to Zvenislava Vsevolodovna: Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1141, 1142.[↑]
  5. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1141, 1142.[↑]
  6. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1142.[↑]
  7. For this marriage alliance, see Verxoslava Vsevolodovna.[↑]
  8. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1142.[↑]
  9. Norman Davies, God's Playground: A History of Poland in Two Volumes, vol. 1 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 68.[↑]