Mstislav I Vladimirovich Monomakh (Russian: Мстислав Владимирович Великий; Ukrainian: Мстислав Володимирович Великий; February, 1076 – April 14, 1132), also known as Mstislav the Great, was the Grand Prince of Kiev (1125–1132), the eldest son of Vladimir II Monomakh by Gytha of Wessex.[1] He is figured prominently in the Norse Sagas under the name Harald, to allude to his grandfather, Harold II of England. Mstislav's Christian name was Theodore.

Mstislav I Monomakh
Grand Prince Mstislav I Vladimirovich
PredecessorVladimir II Monomakh
SuccessorYaropolk II of Kiev
BornFebruary 1076
Turov, Kievan Rus'
Died14 April 1132(1132-04-14) (aged 55)
Kiev, Kievan Rus'
Noble familyMonomakhovichi
Spouse(s)Christina Ingesdotter of Sweden
Liubava Dmitrievna Zavidich
Issueby Christina:
Ingeborg of Kiev
Vsevolod of Novgorod and Pskov
Maria Mstislavna of Kiev
Iziaslav II of Kiev
Rostislav of Kiev
Sviatopolk of Pskov
by Liubava:
Vladimir III Mstislavich (1132–1171)
Euphrosyne of Kiev
FatherVladimir II Monomakh
MotherGytha of Wessex

Biography edit

Mstislav was born in Turov. As his father's future successor, he reigned in Novgorod from 1088 to 1093 and (after a brief stint at Rostov) from 1095–1117. Thereafter he was Monomakh's co-ruler in Bilhorod Kyivskyi, and inherited the Kievan throne after his death. He built numerous churches in Novgorod, of which St. Nicholas Cathedral (1113)[2] and the cathedral of St Anthony Cloister (1117) survive to the present day. Later, he would also erect important churches in Kiev, notably his family sepulchre at Berestovo and the church of Our Lady at Podil.

St Nicholas Cathedral, built by Mstislav I near his palace at Yaroslav's Court, Novgorod, contains 12th-century frescoes depicting his illustrious family

Mstislav's life was spent in constant warfare with Cumans (1093, 1107, 1111, 1129), Estonians (1111, 1113, 1116, 1130), Lithuanians (1131), and the princedom of Polotsk (1127, 1129). In 1096, he defeated his uncle Oleg of Chernigov on the Koloksha River, thereby laying foundation for the centuries of enmity between his and Oleg's descendants. Mstislav was the last ruler of united Rus, and upon his death, as the chronicler put it, "the land of Rus was torn apart". He died in Kiev, aged 55.

In 1095, Mstislav married Princess Christina Ingesdotter of Sweden, daughter of King Inge I of Sweden.[3] They had many children:

  1. Ingeborg of Kiev, married Canute Lavard of Jutland, and was mother to Valdemar I of Denmark
  2. Malmfred, married (1) Sigurd I of Norway; (2) Eric II of Denmark
  3. Eupraxia, married Alexius Comnenus, son of John II Comnenus
  4. Vsevolod of Novgorod and Pskov
  5. Maria Mstislavna of Kiev, married Vsevolod II of Kiev
  6. Iziaslav II of Kiev
  7. Rostislav of Kiev
  8. Sviatopolk of Pskov
  9. Rogneda, married Yaroslav of Volinya
  10. Xenia, married Briachislav of Izyaslawl

Christine died on January 18, 1122; later that year Mstislav married again, to Liubava Dmitrievna Zavidich, the daughter of Dmitry Saviditsch, a nobleman of Novgorod. Their children were:

  1. Vladimir III Mstislavich (1132–1171)
  2. Euphrosyne of Kiev, (c. 1130 – c. 1193) married King Géza II of Hungary in 1146.

Through Euphrosyne, Mstislav is an ancestor of both Philippa of Hainault and King Edward III of England, hence of all subsequent English and British monarchs. Through his mother Gytha, he is part of a link between Harold II of England and the modern line of English kings founded by William the Conqueror, who deposed him.

Ancestry edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Philip Line, Kingship and State Formation in Sweden 1130-1290, (Brill, 2007), 597.
  2. ^ George Heard Hamilton, The Art and Architecture of Russia, (Yale University Press, 1983), 43.
  3. ^ The Kiev State and Its Relations with Western Europe, F. Dvornik, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Vol. 29 (1947), 41.

External links edit

Mstislav I Vladimirovich the Great
Born: 1 June 1076 Died: 14 April 1132
Regnal titles
Preceded by Prince of Novgorod
1088–1093, 1095-1117
Succeeded by
Prince of Rostov
Preceded by Grand Prince of Kiev
Succeeded by