Rusian genealogy

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N.N. Mstislavna

b. unknown – d. unknown


Mstislav “Harald” Vladimirich [2]


Kristin Ingesdottir of Sweden [3]


Jaroslav was the second son of Svjatopolk Izjaslavič, as far as is known. This assumption is made based on the passage in the PVL story of the “Blinding of Vasil´ko” where M′stislav is listed first as a son of Svjatopolk and assigned to rule Volodymyr, while Jaroslav is listed second and sent on a mission to Hungary. [5] Jaroslav’s mother is unknown and he is referred to simply as the “son of Svjatopolk,” with no reference to his mother as there was for M′stislav. Perhaps, because Jaroslav made the majority of dynastic marriages among the Svjatopolčiči, he was born of a “wife” rather than a “concubine,” however as noted above (under the entry for Svjatopolk Izjaslavič), there is insufficient information on the women from which a reasonable conjecture could be formed.

Jaroslav’s first dynastic marriage was arranged sometime before 1091. In that year there is an entry in a Hungarian chronicle referring to Jaroslav as the “gener” (son-in-law) of King Ladislaus. [6] So, by this point, as the later chronicler understood it, Jaroslav was already married to the daughter of Ladislaus. This was an important marriage for the Izjaslaviči to maintain their foreign connections. The Izjaslaviči had always had a power base in the west of Rus´, and so creating a powerful tie with the Hungarians was an important part of keeping the peace there so that they could focus on internal Rusian politics. This was tested soon after, when the Polovcians invaded Hungary, either in 1091 or 1092. [7] After routing the Polovcians in his country, Ladislaus attacked Rus´, so the Hungarian chronicle informs us, “for it was by their advice that the Comans [Pechenegs] [8] had come into Hungary.” [9] Nazarenko, I believe correctly, interprets this to mean that certain Rusian parties, namely either Vsevolod Jaroslavič or Davyd Igorevič, were attempting to create strife with an ally of the Izjaslaviči. [10] This may also have provided additional impetus for Svjatopolk to make peace with the Polovcians, as he did in 1094. [11] We are not told whether it affected the relationship between Jaroslav and his wife or father-in-law, but it seems unlikely in light of later events. After Svjatopolk’s ascension to the throne this alliance becomes very important, as during the Blinding of Vasil´ko Svjatopolk sends Jaroslav to the Hungarians to seek help. [12] This is recorded in multiple places, including the Chronica de Gestis Hungarorum, [13] and Tatiščev’s Istorija Rossijskaja. [14] Tatiščev adds to the story saying that Jaroslav was sent to his “zjat´” for help. “Zjat´” traditionally meant “brother-in-law,” but here it can be interpreted more broadly for his cousin-in-law whom he brought back, King Koloman. [15] Though their army was defeated, spectacularly according to the Chronica de gestis Hungarorum, [16] the dynastic marriage did allow Sviatopolk2 to call on a foreign army for domestic political assistance. It probably also allowed him the freedom to do so without worrying about a permanent Hungarian presence in Rus´.

The date of the death of Jaroslav’s first wife is unknown, but it is believed that he remarried around 1106/7. Interestingly, there may have been a breakdown in relations between Svjatopolk and the Hungarians as in 1104, Svjatopolk’s daughter Peredslava married a Hungarian prince, most likely Almos, Koloman’sbrother.25 [17] The reason this might suggest a breakdown in relations is because Almos and Koloman spent most of Koloman’s reign fighting over who should rule. [18] This is supported by the marriage in 1112 betweenKoloman and a daughter of Volodimer Monomax, Evfimija. [19] However, there is not enough evidence to prove such a breakdown, and in 1123 there were reportedly Hungarians fighting on the side of Jaroslav against Monomax. [20] This example illustrates the enormous complexities in understanding and untangling the dynastic marriage situation nearly a millennium after the fact.

Jaroslav’s next marriage was reputedly to a Polish princess, the daughter of Władysław Herman. Unfortunately, there is no solid evidence for this marriage, but it does seem plausible. One of the daughters Władysław Herman is said to have “married a husband in Rus´.” [21] This entry comes in the form of a biographical note and is thus undated, but it is clear that Jaroslav has a very close relationship later with Bolesław III, his putative wife’s brother, though this could also be explained by the marriage of Bolesław III to Jaroslav’s sister Sbyslava. [22] Oswald Balzer, historically the definitive genealogist of the Piasts, used as evidence for the marriage the 1106/7 mediation of Jaroslav between the feuding brothers Bolesław III and Zbigniew. [23] Gallus Anonymous writes that Jaroslav and Bishop Baldwin of Cracow were able to bring Zbigniew peacefully before Bolesław III to pledge obedience. [24] Jaroslav’s part in this mediation seems to be major, but the question remains, why is he doing it? The Rusian sources add to the picture by telling us that in 1106 Zbigniew took refuge with Svjatopolk in Rus´. [25] Gallus Anonymous does not mention this at all, but does say that Bolesław III called on the king of the Rusians to assist him in his war with his brother, and that his armies arrived just before Jaroslav acted as mediator. [26] Thus it stands to reason that Jaroslav may have led the army to Poland and yet supported a peaceful solution to the conflict. Whether or not this was because of his kinship with Bolesław III, and to what degree that kinship existed, is unknown.

Despite the fact that this marriage lacks solid evidence, it is quite plausible. The purpose of the marriage would have been to tie Jaroslav, now knjaz´ of Volodymyr-Volyn´, more closely to his Polish neighbor. In this it was similar to the purpose of the marriage with the Hungarians, though more urgent, as Jaroslav now personally possessed the borderland between Rus´ and Poland. He also may have been looking forward to the future, when he would need protection at his back as well as support in the upcoming contest to succeed his father. This marriage has been conjecturally accepted in the tables of part 2, though the nature of the evidence has been made clear here.

Again we do not know the death date for Jaroslav’s second wife, but it is generally dated to before 1112. In that year, Jaroslav sent to M′stislav Volodimerič of Novgorod to marry his daughter. [27] This dynastic marriage was meant to connect the Izjaslaviči and Monomaxoviči, perhaps in an attempt to end the struggles between the two. Unfortunately it did not work as planned. In 1118, Volodimer and M′stislav launched a campaign against Jaroslav, forcing him to flee Rus´, [28] because of his poor treatment of Volodimer’s granddaughter (Jaroslav’s M′stislavna wife). [29] The same entries record that the next year, Jaroslav repudiated the M´stislavna. It appears that the gulf between the Izjaslaviči and the Vsevolodoviči had grown too wide to be bridged by a dynastic marriage. However, there are two particularly instructive points about this marriage, the first quite simply that dynastic marriage was chosen as the tool that the Volodimeroviči attempted to use to bridge the divide. Of all the alliances that could have been made between the Izjaslaviči and Monomaxoviči, it was a marital one that attempted to cease the internecine warfare, a typical purpose for dynastic marriages externally, but not always internally. [30] Second, that this was one of the first non-Polack, intra-Rusian dynastic marriages. This is a trend that will only continue over the course of the twelfth century as the Volodimeroviči grow in numbers.

Jaroslav’s life seems to have been structured around the importance of dynastic marriage. He married three times, each time for political reasons. The importance of dynastic marriage is illustrated at the end of his life when he was thrown out of Volodymyr-Volyn´ because of his close ties with Hungary and Poland. [31] In exile he is able to use both his Hungarian and Polish connections to attempt to regain his throne. The Hypatian Chronicle records that in his final attempt, in 1123, he brought with him soldiers from Hungary, Poland, and Bohemia to fight for him. [32] Though he lost his throne and eventually his life, he, was always able to call on connections created through his and his family’s dynastic marriages.


  1. Birth/Death: [↑]
  2. Father: NPL s.a. 1113.[↑]
  3. Mother: Conjectural based upon the dates of Mstislav's marriages, and Kristin's death date.[↑]
  4. Marriage to Iaroslav Sviatopolchich: Hypatian Chronicle s.a. 1112.; NPL s.a. 1113.; Voskresenskaia Chronicle s.a. 1112.; Tver Chronicle s.a. 1113.[↑]
  5. PVL, s.a. 1097.[↑]
  6. Codex diplomaticus Hungariae, 469. Wertner discusses this in more depth, including explaining the connection between “Gerazclauus” and Jaroslav. Wertner, Az Árpádok családi története, 205.[↑]
  7. Chronica de gestis Hungarorum, 129.[↑]
  8. The chronicler rather than the editor is correct here. It was most likely the Cumans/Polovcians/Qipchaks who invaded, not the Pechenegs.[↑]
  9. Chronica de gestis Hungarorum, 129.[↑]
  10. Nazarenko, Drevnjaja Rus′ na meždunarodnyx putjax, 555–56.[↑]
  11. PVL, s.a. 1094.[↑]
  12. PVL, s.a. 1097.[↑]
  13. Chronica de gestis Hungarorum, 131.[↑]
  14. Tatiščev, Istorija Rossiiskaja, vol. 2, 119.[↑]
  15. PVL, s.a. 1097.Terminology for brothers and first cousins is often interchangeable in the medieval period in chronicles of various languages.[↑]
  16. “Rarely did Hungarians suffer such slaughter as in this battle.” Chronica de gestis Hungarorum, 132.[↑]
  17. PVL, s.a. 1104. The identification of the groom is supported by Wertner. Wertner, Az Árpádok családi története, chart, 242–56.[↑]
  18. For example, Chronica de gestis Hungarorum, 132. Interestingly, one chronicle records that they inherited the throne jointly, and this may provide a less Koloman–centric view than the Chronica de gestis Hungarorum. “"Chronici Hungarici,"” 126.[↑]
  19. Chronica de gestis Hungarorum, 132. There is an interesting story that Koloman had a Rusian bodyguard who protected him in Hungary, the truth of the story is unknown, though Kotliar tells it dismissively. N. F. Kotliar, Diplomatija iuzhnoi Rusi (St. Petersburg: Aleteija, 2003), 63.[↑]
  20. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1123.[↑]
  21. Gallus Anonymous, Gesta principum Polonorum, 117.[↑]
  22. For more information on this marriage, see the entry for Sbyslava Svjatopolkovna below.[↑]
  23. Balzer, Genealogia Piastów, 124. The mediation can be found in Gesta principum Polonorum, 189.[↑]
  24. Gallus Anonymous, Gesta principum Polonorum, 189.[↑]
  25. PVL, s.a. 1106.[↑]
  26. Gallus Anonymous, Gesta principum Polonorum, 187–89.[↑]
  27. NPL, s.a. 1113; Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1112.[↑]
  28. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1118; NPL, s.a. 1118.[↑]
  29. Nikon Chronicle, s.a. 1119. See also, Voskresenskij Chronicle s.a. 1118, Tver Chronicle s.a. 1118.[↑]
  30. For examples of such peacemaking marriages in Rus´, see Raffensperger, Reimagining Europe, ch. 3.[↑]
  31. Pašuto, Vnešnjaja politika Drevnei Rusi, 151.[↑]
  32. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1123. Długosz even records that it was Bolesław III and Koloman themselves that led their armies to aid Jaroslav. The action during the battles, as he records it, was primarily motivated by them. However, Koloman had been dead since 1114, so it was unlikely that he participated in person. Długosz, Annales, 297–98.[↑]