Rusian genealogy


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N. N. Vasilkovna

b. unknown – d. unknown

Marriages

Two marriages with the family of Polack rulers occurred in, or around, the year 1143. [5] The second, discussed below, was between Rogvolod Borisič and a daughter of Izjaslav M′stislavič. The first was between the son of the reigning ruler of Kyiv, Vsevolod Ol′govič, and the daughter of the ruler of Polack, Vasil′ko Svjatoslavič. This marriage, like the other Polack marriages discussed, was, in part, about reintegrating the Polack family back into the larger Volodimeroviči clan after an absence of five generations. The three main branches of Jaroslav Volodimerič’s family (Izjaslaviči, Svjatoslaviči, and Vsevolodiči) were all vying for connections with the Polack rulers, and as such, made connections with three different children of Vseslav Brjačeslavič and their respective families. The Polack family of rulers was the largest branch outside of the main line of Jaroslavichi descent and represented a powerful, and hitherto untapped marital connection, as well as occupying an increasingly politically important territory. This marriage seems to have been an attempt by Vsevolod Ol′govič to make a connection to reinforce both his family’s and Vasil′ko Svjatoslavič’s family’s hold on their respective thrones. His own usurpation of the Kyivan throne was bound to be unstable after being passed on, but he was connected by marriage already to his main rivals, the M′stislaviči, through his own marriage. An alliance with the ruler of Polack, one heretofore unallied might have been not only advisable for his eldest son’s dynastic position, but one of the few internal marriages that was possible within the bounds of consanguinity. [6]

The marriage may have also given the people of Polack the reinforcement needed to change rulers in the next decade. In 1151, Rogvolod Borisič was kicked out of Polack and he was sent to Minsk. He was replaced with Rostislav Glěbovič, and the Hypatian Chronicle notes that the people then sent to Svjatoslav Ol′govič, asking Svjatoslav to be as their father. [7] Perhaps this is simply recognition of Svjatoslav’s growing power in Rus′, but more likely marital politics and the growing web of Polack connections played a large role. Rogvolod Borisič was the son–in–law of Izjaslav M′stislavič, co–ruler of Kyiv with his uncle Vjačeslav Volodimerič, and as such it was likely that Izjaslav might have had an interest in his son–in–law retaining the Polack throne. [8] Rostislav Glěbovič was the in–law of the Izjaslaviči who were nowhere in power at the time, and would not be until Jurij Jaroslavič’s (Rostislav’s brother–in–law) rule in Turov, slightly later in the decade. That left the Svjatoslaviči (broadly construed). Svjatoslav Ol′govič was the uncle of Svjatoslav Vsevolodič and, at times, his friend and protector. As such, he may have been an ideal person to turn to because of his family’s prior connection to Polack, and antipathy for Izjaslav M′stislavič, and his growing power in Rus′. Thus, the marriage, though most likely for larger dynastic reasons, may also have had concrete applications as well, allowing the people of Polack to change rulers without repercussions.

Footnotes

  1. Birth/Death: [↑]
  2. Father: [↑]
  3. Mother: [↑]
  4. Marriage to Sviatoslav Vsevolodich : Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1143.; Laurentian Chronicle, s.a. 1143.; Voskresenskaia Chronicle, s.a. 1143.; Rogozhskii Chronicle, s.a. 1143.; Nikon Chronicle, s.a. 1143.[↑]
  5. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1143. The second marriage is listed in 1144 in the Laurentian Chronicle, s.a. 1144[↑]
  6. For a discussion of consanguinity in general, as well as in regard to Rus’, please see the Introduction.[↑]
  7. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1151.[↑]
  8. Rogvolod would, in fact, receive such help a few years later from Roman Mstislavič, Izjaslav’s brother. Hypatian Chronicle, s.a. 1159.[↑]