Rusian genealogy


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Mieszko of Poland

b. unknown – d. 1089 [1]

Father

Bolesław II “the Bold” of Poland [2]

Mother

Vysheslava Sviatoslavna [3]

Marriages

The name of the daughter of Izjaslav Jaroslavič is not properly known, but she is called Eudoxia because of a brief reference to that name in a version of Długosz’s chronicle, one of the only sources for her marriage. [5] As with many other Rusian royal daughters, she is not mentioned at all in the PVL. However, due to her marriage to a Polish prince, her existence, and I would argue her identity, are known and the knowledge of her dynastic marriage has survived.122 [6]

In 1088 both Władysław Herman, duke of Poland, and his nephew Mieszko, son of Bolesław II of Poland, took brides. This was the third marriage for Władysław, but only the first for Mieszko, who was nineteen and was called back from Hungary expressly for the purpose. He had been living in Hungary, raised by King Ladislaus, since his father Bolesław II’s death in exile there between 1079 and 1081. [7] Władysław called his nephew back from Hungary because the Rusians wanted to make a dynastic marriage with the Poles, [8] and he was already set to marry Judith, the widow of Salomon of Hungary and the daughter of Emperor Henry III. Długosz, in his chronicle, expressly refers to the fact that Svjatopolk Izjaslavič had long held an interest in dynastic marriage, one of the few such overt references on the subject. [9] While her name is not known, Gallus Anonymous refers to Mieszko’s bride as “a girl from Ruthenia,” [10] while Długosz is more explicit: “the sister of Duke Svjatopolk of Kyiv.” [11] Unfortunately, nothing more is known of this this Izjaslavna, as Mieszko died (possibly poisoned) the next year in 1089, [12] and his line passed out of the Polish chronicles. It is possible to assume that Eudoxia returned home to Kyiv to live or potentially joined a nunnery, [13] but the Rusian chronicles maintained their silence in regard to women and her fate is unknown.

The most notable feature of this marriage is the fact that one chronicler records explicitly the purpose of the wedding as the creation of ties with the neighboring kingdom of Rus´. However, the question remains, who arranged the marriage and why? In 1088 Vsevolod Jaroslavič, not Svjatopolk, was ruling in Kyiv, and only a few years before, Svjatopolk 's brother Jaropolk had fled to Poland after rising up against Vsevolod. Jaropolk may have even attempted to press Władysław Herman for assistance in claiming the throne of Kyiv, and only returned to make peace when that failed. Vsevolod then may have wanted to make an agreement with Władysław to prevent such things from happening in the future, but if so, an Izjaslaviči would not have been the instrument he would have chosen. Which leads us to the other occurrence of 1088: following his brother’s death in 1087, Svjatopolk moved from Novgorod, a premier spot in the realm, to Turov, perhaps the family seat but still less prestigious than Novgorod, though much closer to Kyiv. [14] The speculation of historians on this move has generally led to the consensus that he wanted to solidify his familial power base at Turov and be near to Kyiv should old age finally claim Vsevolod. A marriage tie with Władysław Herman would enhance Svjatopolk’s position by reinforcing his Izjaslaviči relations with their most powerful ally, as well as perhaps keeping his back safe should he attempt to move on Kyiv. This reasoning is admittedly speculative, but the marriage of an Izjaslavna and a Polish prince at this time fits the political situation within Rus´ in such a manner that it seems to be a logical conclusion.

Footnotes

  1. Birth/Death: Anonymous, Gesta principum Polonorum, 101–3.[↑]
  2. Father: Anonymous, Gesta principum Polonorum, 101.; Długosz, Annales, 161.[↑]
  3. Mother: Conjectural, but she is Bolesław's only known wife.[↑]
  4. Marriage to N.N. “Evdoksia” Iziaslavna: Anonymous, Gesta principum Polonorum, 101; Długosz, Annales, 161.[↑]
  5. Długosz, Annales, 161, see especially note 5.[↑]
  6. Balzer working from the same primary sources acknowledged these various pieces but believed the best that could be said was that she was a Rusian princess, not specifically an Izjaslavna. Oswald Balzer, Genealogia Piastów (Cracow: Nakładem Akademij Umiejętności, 1895), 113[↑]
  7. Gallus Anonymous, “Gesta principum Polonorum” , 101.[↑]
  8. Długosz, Annales, 161.[↑]
  9. Ibid. “Quatenos Russie regiones a patre suo subacte hac affinitate magis sinceres et devote in fide persisterent,” emphasis added.[↑]
  10. Gallus Anonymous, Gesta principum Polonorum,, 101.[↑]
  11. Długosz, Annales, 4:161.[↑]
  12. Gallus Anonymous, Gesta principum Polonorum,, 101-3.[↑]
  13. Długosz records a belief that Mieszko and Eudoxia joined a monastery together in Poland. Długosz, Annales, 214.[↑]
  14. PVL, s.a. 1088.[↑]