Rusian genealogy

Maintained by: Christian Raffensperger ( and David J. Birnbaum ( [Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 Unported License] Last modified: 2021-03-01T12:09:18-0500 About this site:

Introduction | About | Browse | Query | Sources | Maps

Gleb Vseslavich

b. unknown – d. 1119 [1]


Vseslav Briacheslavich [2]


unknown [3]



The marriage of Glěb Vseslavič and a a daughter of Jaropolk Izjaslavič exemplifies the lacunae that exist in studying Rusian history. The marriage is recorded only upon the death of the Jaropolkovna in 1158, approximately forty years after her husband’s death. [6] The Hypatian Chronicle provides a glowing recollection of she, including the donations that she and her husband made to various monasteries and her burial in the Caves Monastery in Kyiv. It also notes that after Glěb’s death she donated additional money, as well as leaving money in her will, all incredibly rare details about women in Rus´, even royal women. The rarest and most interesting detail only increases our curiousity about the marriage, that upon Glěb's death, the Jaropolkovna took over as ruler of Minsk and ruled for forty years until her own death. [7] Apart from Ol′ga in the tenth century there are very few other examples of female rulers in Rus´, and none for long. [8]

All of this interesting detail aside, however, there is very little information to allow for a discussion of the marriage itself. The Jaropolkovna was born in approximately 1074, [9] and given typical practices would have been married by 1094 at the latest. Her father Jaropolk Izjaslavič died in 1086, [10] potentially before arranging her marriage, which would have left the arrangement in the hands of her uncle Svjatopolk. Glěb enters the chronicle record only a couple of times: his rule in Minsk is noted in 1116 in relation to raiding of the Smolensk lands, and his death is recorded in 1119, following his defeat and capture by Volodimer Monomax. [11] The politics of that period are understood in relation to Kyiv and the seekers for its throne, the Vsevolodoviči, Izjaslaviči, and Svjatoslaviči, but the Polack rulers, of which Glěb was one, are absent from the chronicle records of those struggles. As such, there is little basis for discussion, beyond noting two items. First, Turov, ruled by her uncle Svjatopolk, Volodymyr, which had been ruled by her father, and Polack are all territories that border one another, which is often enough cause to build relationships. This might especially be true to overcome any legacy of bitterness between the heirs of Izjaslav Jaroslavič, and Vseslavič Brjačeslavič, Izjaslav’s usurper. [12] Second, both the Vseslaviči and the Izjaslaviči were opposed to the Vsevolodiči, the patriarch of which family ruled in Kyiv until 1093, as indicated by Jaropolk’s many fights with Vsevolod and his son Volodimer, and Glěb Vseslavič’s later conflicts with Volodimer. These two reasons may be enough to explain the marriage, but it should be acknowledged that there are many lacunae in our sources, and though we might want to know the history of this marriage and especially the remarkable Jaropolkovna, there is very little information to go on.

The last item to note about this marriage is that it is the first intra-Volodimeroviči dynastic marriage. The line of Izjaslav Volodimerič was the most distant from the main Jaroslaviči lines that dominate the story of Kyivan Rus´. [13] That genealogical separation allowed for a rebuilding of ties in the seventh generation, counting in the traditional Roman model of consanguinity that was followed in both Constantinople and the West (though the Roman Church changed the model in this period and it was only returned the Roman model in 1215). [14] Though at the outer limits of consanguinity, this was the first time the Volodimeroviči had been plentiful, and divided, enough to make dynastic marriages with their own kin. Following this, the house of Polack would often be a source for such internal Rusian dynastic marriages as the descendants of Jaroslav Volodimerič vied with one another for supremacy in Rus´.


  1. Birth/Death: Laurentian Chronicle s.a. 1119.; Hypatian Chronicle s.a. 1119.; Voskresenskaia Chronicle s.a. 1119.; Nikon Chronicle s.a. 1119.[↑]
  2. Father: Laurentian Chronicle s.a. 1119.[↑]
  3. Mother: Conjectural based upon a son cited in the Laurentian Chronicle s.a. 1119.[↑]
  4. Kniaz′ of Minsk: Hypatian Chronicle s.a. 1116.; Laurentian Chronicle s.a. 1119.; Hypatian Chronicle s.a. 1119.; Voskresenskaia Chronicle s.a. 1119.; Nikon Chronicle s.a. 1119.[↑]
  5. Marriage to N. N. Iaropolkovna: Hypatian Chronicle s.a. 1158.; Voskresenskaia Chronicle, s.a. 1158.; Nikon Chronicle, s.a. 1158.[↑]
  6. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1158.[↑]
  7. Ibid. See the article by Inés García de la Puente, ““Anastasia of Minsk: Neglected Evidence on the Rule of a Woman in Rus’ History?”” Russian History 39 (2012): 347–78, which discusses this woman’s remarkable forty-year rule in more detail[↑]
  8. The wife of Svjatoslav Olgovič rules briefly in Černihiv after her husband’s death. However, the Greek bishop sends to Svjatoslav Vsevolodič, her nephew, informing him of Svjatoslav Ol′govič’s death and his wife’s mismanagement of the territory. Once Svjatoslav Vsevolodič and his cousin Oleg Svjatoslavič arrive in Černihiv, she is displaced as ruler. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1164.[↑]
  9. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1158. Upon her death her age, eighty–four, is recorded, thus placing her birth in approximately 1074.[↑]
  10. PVL s.a. 1086.[↑]
  11. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1116, 1119.[↑]
  12. PVL s.a. 1068.[↑]
  13. See Part 2, Table 2.[↑]
  14. For more on consanguinity, see the introduction.[↑]