Rusian genealogy

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Evfrosiniia Mstislavna

b. unknown – d. 1175 [1]


Mstislav “Harald” Vladimirich [2]


unknown daughter of Dmitrii Zavidich [3]


Evfrosinija M′stislavna was the youngest of the daughters of M′stislav Volodimerič of Kyiv, born near the end of his reign to his second wife, the daughter of Dmitrij Zavidič of Novgorod. [5] Evfrosinija’s marriage is not explicitly recorded in any sources that I have been able to find, but there is plentiful ancillary evidence to identify her, her husband, and even her name. The best source on the marriage itself is Abbot Wilhelm’s genealogy of the Danish kings, which mentions that Ingeborg M′stislavna’s sister was married to a Hungarian king and was the mother of Béla, the then current Hungarian king. [6] From the date of composition of the genealogy, it is easy to see that the current Hungarian king was Béla III, whose father was Géza II, and thus Ingeborg’s sister was married to Géza II. The name of Ingeborg’s sister was not recorded by Abbot Wilhelm or by any Rusian chronicle, but another child of hers did record her mother’s name. Wertner cites a Latin document of Elisabeth, daughter of Géza II, in which she refers to her mother as “Eurosine,” from whence we get the Rusian Evfrosinija. [7] This type of a name also confirms the Slavic ancestry of Elisabeth’s mother and Géza II’s wife, adding to the identification of Abbot Wilhelm. Though the Rusian sources do not mention Evfrosinija explicitly there are multiple mentions of her husband. Izjaslav M′stislavič, Evfrosinija’s brother, had become ruler of Kyiv in 1146, [8] and in at least one of his many battles to retain his power he called on his zjat′ the king of Hungary. [9] Furthermore, there is a fascinating note in the Hypatian chronicle under the year 1155, when Volodimer M′stislavič, the youngest of the M′stislaviči, sent his mother to Hungary to his zjat′ the king, essentially because she is the Hungarian king’s mother–in–law (teščia). [10] These small pieces of evidence built around Abbot Wilhelm’s identification of the marriage show a complete picture in which Evfrosinija M′stislavna married Géza II of Hungary.

The purpose of the marriage also becomes clear from the evidence that has been presented here. Izjaslav M′stislavič needed to maintain his throne against a variety of claimants and he needed allies to do that. In 1149 he not only called on his zjat′ from Hungary, but various svat′(s) from Poland, for military assistance. [11] Géza II intervened multiple times to help his brother–in–law remain in Kyiv and thus the marriage was well arranged by Izjaslav to advance his and the M′stislaviči’s position in Rus′. This dynastic marriage also had an interesting additional angle, part of which was the role of Boris, son of Koloman of Hungary and grandson of Volodimer Monomax. Boris, as mentioned above under his mother’s, Evfimija’s, entry, fought for most of his life to attempt to regain what he considered his birthright, the Hungarian throne. In those battles, he allied with the Byzantine emperors, the Comneni, and fought against Géza II. [12] For Izjaslav, this was probably not even part of his consideration, as he was also fighting off Monomaxoviči uncles, such as Jurij of Suzdal′, to maintain his throne. [13] The marriage of Evfrosinija and Géza II was part of a much larger struggle for power in which Jurij of Suzdal′, Volodimerko of Halyč, and the Comneni emperors were allied against the M′stislaviči, Géza II of Hungary, and the Boleslaviči of Poland. This enormous struggle was played out for control over the kingdoms of Hungary, Rus′, and Poland, with only the Byzantine Empire safe. Understanding the place of one small dynastic marriage in such a morass of politics, infighting, and war is essential to understanding the place of Rus′ in Europe as a whole.


  1. Birth/Death: Wertner. Az Árpádok családi története, 313.[↑]
  2. Father: Wilhelm, "Wilhelmi abbatis genealogia regum Danorum," 182.[↑]
  3. Mother: Conjectural based upon her potential age at the time of marriage.[↑]
  4. Marriage to Geza II of Hungary: Wilhelm, "Wilhelmi abbatis genealogia regum Danorum," 182.[↑]
  5. See above for M′stislav Volodimerič’s marriages.[↑]
  6. Wilhelm, “"Wilhelmi abbatis genealogia regum Danorum,"” 182.[↑]
  7. Wertner, Az Árpádok családi története, 314.[↑]
  8. NPL, s.a. 1146; Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1146; Laurentian Chronicle, s.a. 1146; NČL, s.a. 1146; Voskresenskij Chronicle, s.a. 1146; Rogozhskij Chronicle, s.a. 1146; Tver Chronicle, s.a. 1146; Nikon Chronicle, s.a. 1146.[↑]
  9. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1149.[↑]
  10. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1155.[↑]
  11. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1149.[↑]
  12. Kinnamos, 93.[↑]
  13. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1146, for example. Franklin and Shepard discuss the situation well. Shepard and Franklin, The Emergence of Rus 750–1200, 330.[↑]