Open main menu

The Prince of Novgorod (Russian: Князь новгородский, knyaz novgorodskii) was the chief executive of Novgorod the Great. The office was originally an appointed one until the late eleventh or early twelfth century, then became something of an elective one until the fourteenth century, after which the Prince of Vladimir (who was almost always the Prince of Moscow) was almost invariably the Prince of Novgorod as well.

The office began sometime in the ninth century when, according to tradition, the Viking (Varangian) chieftain Riurik and his brothers were invited to rule over the Eastern Slavs,[1] but real reliable information on the office dates only to the late tenth century when Vladimir the Great was prince of Novgorod. The office or title technically continued up until the abdication of Nicholas II in 1917 – among one of his titles (although his list of titles was rarely given in complete form) was Prince of Novgorod the Great.

After the chief Rurikid prince moved to Kiev in the late ninth century, he usually sent either his son or a posadnik (mayor), to rule on his behalf. Thus Sviatoslav I sent his son Vladimir the Great to rule in Novgorod, and after Vladimir became Grand Prince of Kiev, he sent his son, Yaroslav the Wise to reign in Novgorod.

Republican periodEdit

From the early twelfth century to 1478, the prince's power in the Republic of Novgorod was more nominal. Imperial and Soviet-era scholars often argued that the office was ineffectual after 1136, when Prince Vsevolod Mstislavich was dismissed by the Novgorodians, and that Novgorod could invite and dismiss its princes at will.[2] In this way, the prince of Novgorod was no longer "ruler" of Novgorod but became an elective or appointed executive official of the city-state.[3]

That being said, the traditional view of the prince being invited in or dismissed at will is an oversimplification of a long and complex history of the office. In fact, from the late tenth century to the fall of Novgorod in 1478, the princes of Novgorod were dismissed and invited only about half the time, and the vast majority of these cases occurred between 1095 and 1293, and not consistently so during that period. That is, the office was elective for perhaps two centuries and even then it was not always elective.[4] Even during this period, the nadir of princely power in the city, more powerful princes could assert their power independently over the city, as did Mstislav the Bold in the early 13th century, Alexander Nevsky in the 1240s and 50s, his brother Iaroslav in the 1260s and 70s, and others.[5]

According to a remark in the chronicles, Novgorod had the right, after 1196, to pick their prince of their own free will,[6] but again, the evidence indicates that even after that, princes were chosen and dismissed only about half the time, and Novgorod often chose the most powerful prince in Rus' as their prince.[7] That usually meant that the prince in Kiev, Vladimir or Moscow (who retained the title Grand Prince of Vladimir from about the 1320s onward, although there were several interruptions), either took the title himself or appointed his son or other relative to be prince of Novgorod. At times other princes, from Tver, Lithuania, and elsewhere, also vied for the Novgorodian throne. Thus Novgorod did not really choose its prince, but considering the political climate, they often very prudently went with the most senior or most powerful prince in the land if he did not impose himself (or his candidate) upon them.

What was different about Novgorod, then, was not so much that Novgorod could freely choose its princes - it really couldn't. Rather, what was unique was that no princely dynasty managed to establish itself within the city and take permanent control over the city. Rather, while other Rus' cities had established dynasties, the more powerful princes vied for control of Novgorod the Great, a most-desirable city to control given the vast wealth (from trade in furs) that flowed into the city in the medieval period.[8]

In the absence of firmer princely control the local elites, the boyars, took control of the city and the offices of posadnik and tysyatsky became elective.[9] The veche (public assembly) played a not insignificant role in public life, although the precise makeup of the veche and its powers is uncertain and still contested among historians. The posadnik, tysiatsky, and even the local bishop or archbishop (after 1165) were elected at the veche, and it is said the veche invited and dismissed the prince as well.

List of princesEdit

[10]

House of RurikEdit

Part of Kievan Rus'Edit

Ruler Born Reign Death Consort Notes
Rurik I   ? 862-879 879 Unknown
at least one son
Also Grand Prince of Rus'
Oleg the Seer   ? 879-912 912 Unknown Varangian kniaz of Holmgård (Novgorod) and Kønugård (Kiev). His relationship with the family is unknown. He was probably a regent, in name of Igor, son of Rurik. Also Grand Prince of Rus'
Igor I the Old
Igor Rurikovich
  c.878
Son of Rurik I
912-945 945
Iskorosten
aged 66–67
901 or 902
at least one son
Son of Rurik. Also Grand Prince of Rus'
Saint Olga of Kiev   c.890
Pskov
945-962 11 July 969
Kiev
aged 78–79
Regent on behalf of her minor son, she was baptized by Emperor Constantine VII but failed to bring Christianity to Kiev.
Sviatoslav I the Brave
Sviatoslav Igorevich
  c.942
possibly Kiev
Son of Igor I and Olga
962-969 March 972 Predslava
c.954
two children

Malusha/Malfrida[11][12]
c.958
at least one son
Also Grand Prince of Rus'
Vladimir I the Great
Vladimir Sviatoslavich
  c.958
Budyatychi
Son of Sviatoslav I and Malusha/Malfrida
969-977

979-988
15 July 1015
Berestove, Kiev
aged 57–58
Olava/Allogia
c.977
at least one son

A Greek nun
(widow of his brother)
c.980
at least one son

Rogneda of Polotsk
c.978
(possibly in bigamy)
eight children

Adela (of Bulgaria?)
at least two children (maximum four)

Malfrida (of Bohemia?)
Before 1000
two children

Anna Porphyrogenita of Byzantium
988
Cherson
three children

Regelindis (?) of Saxony (granddaughter of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor)
After 1011
one or two daughters

Unknown
two children
His early rule is characterized by a staunch pagan reaction but in 988 he was baptized into Orthodoxy and successfully converted Kievan Rus' to Christianity.
Yaropolk I
Yaropolk Sviatoslavich
  c.950
Son of Sviatoslav I and Predslava
977-979 980
Fort of Roden, near Kaniv
aged 29-30
A greek nun
at least one son
Also Grand Prince of Rus'
Viacheslav I
Viacheslav Vladimirovich
977
Son of Vladimir I and Olava/Allogia
988-1010 c.1010
Novgorod
aged 32-33
Anna
before 1052
at least two children
Yaroslav I the Wise
Yaroslav Vladimirovich
  c.978
Son of Vladimir I and Rogneda of Polotsk
1010-1034 20 February 1054
Vyshhorod
aged 75–76
Ingigerda of Sweden
1019
Novgorod
eight or nine children
During his reign Kievan Rus' reached the pinnacle of its power.
Vladimir II
Vladimir Yaroslavich
1020
Son of Yaroslav I and Ingigerda of Sweden
1034-1052 4 October 1052
Novgorod
aged 31-32
Anna
before 1052
at least two children
Iziaslav I
Iziaslav Yaroslavich
  c.1024
Son of Yaroslav I and Ingigerda of Sweden
1052-1054 3 October 1078
Nizhyn
aged 53–54
Gertrude of Poland
1043
three children
First King of Rus', Pope Gregory VII sent him a crown from Rome in 1075.
Mstislav I
Mstislav Iziaslavich
before 1054
Son of Iziaslav I and Gertrude of Poland
1054-1067 1069
aged at least 14-15
Unknown
one child
Gleb I
Gleb Sviatoslavich
  1052
Son of Sviatoslav II of Kiev and Cecilia
1067-1078 30 May 1078
Novgorod
aged 25-26
Unmarried
Sviatopolk I
Sviatopolk Iziaslavich
  8 November 1050
Son of Iziaslav I and Gertrude of Poland
1078-1088 26 April 1113
Vyshhorod
aged 62
(Barbara?) of Bohemia[13]
c.1085
three children

Olenna of the Kipchaks
c.1094
four children
Also Grand Prince of Rus'
Mstislav II the Great
Mstislav Vladimirovich
  1 June 1076
Turov
Son of Vladimir II Monomakh and Gytha of Wessex
1088-1094

1095-1117
14 April 1132
Kiev
aged 55
Christina of Sweden
1095
ten children

Liubava Dmitrievna of Novgorod
1122
two children
After his reign Kievan Rus' fell into recession starting a rapid decline.
David I
David Sviatoslavich
  1050
Son of Sviatoslav II of Kiev and Cecilia
1094-1095 1123
Chernigov
aged 72-73
Teodosia
five children
Son of Sviatoslav II of Kiev.

Feudal PeriodEdit

(Note: as the seat of this principality was elective (non-hereditary, the princes will be presented with their patronymic)

Ruler Born Reign Death Consort Notes
Vsevolod Mstislavich   1103 1117-1132 11 February 1138 Anna
before 1125
four children
Son of Mstislav the Great. 1st time.
Sviatopolk Mstislavich After 1096 1132 20 February 1154 Euphemia of Olomouc[14]
1143 or 1144
no children
Also Prince of Polotsk and Pskov. Son of Mstislav the Great. 1st time.
Vsevolod Mstislavich   1103 1132-1136 11 February 1138 Anna
before 1125
four children
2nd time.
Sviatoslav Olgovich   1106/1107 1136-1138 1164 Unknown
six children
Son of Oleg I of Chernigov. 1st time.
Sviatopolk Mstislavich After 1096 1138 20 February 1154 Euphemia of Olomouc[15]
1143 or 1144
no children
2nd time.
Rostislav Yurevich ? 1138-1140 6 April 1151 Unknown
before 1151
three children
Son of Yuri Dolgoruki. 1st time.
Sviatoslav Olgovich   1106/1107 1140-1141 1164 Unknown
six children
2nd time.
Sviatoslav Vsevolodovich   1123 1141 25 July 1194 Maria of Polotsk
1143
eight children
Son of Vsevolod II of Kiev.
Rostislav Yurevich ? 1141-1142 6 April 1151 Unknown
before 1151
three children
2nd time.
Sviatopolk Mstislavich After 1096 1142-1148 20 February 1154 Euphemia of Olomouc[16]
1143 or 1144
no children
3rd time.
Yaroslav Iziaslavich   1132 1148-1154 1180 'Unknown
1149
four children
Son of Iziaslav II of Kiev.
Rostislav Mstislavich   1110 1154 14 March 1167 Unknown
eight children
Son of Mstislav the Great.
David Rostislavich 1140 1154-1155 23 April 1197 Unknown
before 1197
seven children
Son of the predecessor.
Mstislav Yurevich   ? 1155-1158 after 1161 Unknown Son of Yuri Dolgoruki.
Sviatoslav Rostislavich ? 1158-1160 1170 Unknown Son of Rostislav Mstislavich. 1st time.
Mstislav Rostislavich the Eyeless before 1151 1160-1161 20 April 1178 Unknown
two children

Unknown
no children
Son of Rostislav Yurevich. 1st time
Sviatoslav Rostislavich ? 1161-1168 1170 Unknown 2nd time.
Roman Mstislavich the Great   1152 1168-1170 19 June 1205 Predslava of Kiev
1170 or 1180
two children

Anna Angelina of Byzantium
c.1197
two children
Son of Mstislav II of Kiev. Also King of Galicia-Volhynia.
Rurik Rostislavich   before 1157 1170-1171 1215 Unknown
1163

Anna of Turov[17]
before 1176
six children
Son of Rostislav Mstislavich.
Yuri Andreevich I Bogolyubsky c.1160 1171-1175 c.1194 Tamar I of Georgia
1185
(annulled 1187)
no children
Son of Prince Andrey Bogolyubsky.
Sviatoslav Mstislavich ? 1175 after 1176 Unknown SOn of Mstislav Rostislavich.
Mstislav Rostislavich the Eyeless before 1151 1175-1176 20 April 1178 Unknown
two children

Unknown
no children
2nd time.
Yaroslav Mstislavich the Red ? 1176-1177 1199 Unmarried Son of Mstislav Yurevich.
Mstislav Rostislavich the Eyeless before 1151 1177-1178 20 April 1178 Unknown
two children

Unknown
no children
3rd time.
Yaropolk Rostislavich ? 1178 1182 or after 1196 Unknown Son of Rostislav Mstislavich.
Roman Rostislavich   before 1149 1178-1179 14 June 1180 Maria of Novgorod
9 January 1149
three children
Son of Rostislav Mstislavich.
Mstislav Rostislavich the Brave   1143 1179-1180 13 July 1180 Two unknown wives
three children
Son of Rostislav Mstislavich.
Vladimir Sviatoslavich after 1143 1180-1181 1200 Maria of Vladimir-Suzdal
1178
five children
Son of Sviatoslav Vsevolodovich.
Yaroslav Vladimirovich ? 1182-1184 after 1176 Unknown Alanian wife
three children
Son of Vladimir III of Kiev. 1st time.
Mstislav Davidovich ? 1184-1187 1189 Unknown Son of David Rostislavich.
Yaroslav Vladimirovich ? 1187-1196 after 1176 Unknown Alanian wife
three children
2nd time.
Yaropolk Yaroslavich after 1174 1197 between 1212 and 1223 Vasilissa (of Chernigov?)
no children
Son of Yaroslav II of Chernigov.
Yaroslav Vladimirovich ? 1197-1199 after 1176 Unknown Alanian wife
three children
3rd time.
Sviatoslav Vsevolodovich   27 March 1196 1200-1205 3 Februaray 1252 Eudokia of Murom
one child
Son of Grand Duke Vsevolod the Big Nest. Also Grand Duke of Vladimir. 1st time.
Konstantin Vsevolodovich   18 May 1185 1205-1207 2 Februaray 1218 Agafia of Kiev
three children
Son of Grand Duke Vsevolod the Big Nest. Also Grand Duke of Vladimir.
Sviatoslav Vsevolodovich   27 March 1196 1207-1210 3 Februaray 1252 Eudokia of Murom
one child
2nd time.
Mstislav Mstislavich the Bold   1176 1210-1215 1228 Maria of Cumania
nine children
Son of Mstislav Rostislavich. 1st time.
Yaroslav Vsevolodovich   8 February 1191 1215-1216 30 September 1246 Unknown
1205
no children

Rostislava of Novgorod
1214
(annulled 1216)
no children

Theodosia of Ryazan
1218
twelve children
Son of Grand Duke Vsevolod the Big Nest. Also Grand Duke of Vladimir. 1st time.
Mstislav Mstislavich the Bold   1176 1216-1217 1228 Maria of Cumania
nine children
2nd time.
Sviatoslav Mstislavich ? 1217-1218 1239 Unknown Son of Mstislav III of Kiev.
Vsevolod Mstislavich [ru] ? 1218-1221 1239 Unknown Son of Mstislav III of Kiev.
Vsevolod Yurevich 1212 or 1213 1221 7 February 1238 Marina of Kiev
1230
no children
Son of Yuri II of Vladimir. 1st time.
Yaroslav Vsevolodovich   8 February 1191 1221-1223 30 September 1246 Unknown
1205
no children

Rostislava of Novgorod
1214
(annulled 1216)
no children

Theodosia of Ryazan
1218
twelve children
2nd time.
Vsevolod Yurevich 1212 or 1213 1223-1224 7 February 1238 Marina of Kiev
1230
no children
2nd time.
Saint Michael Vsevolodovich   1185 1224-1226 20 September 1246 Helena of Galicia-Volhynia
1210 or 1211[18]
seven children
Son of Vsevolod IV of Kiev. 1st time.
Yaroslav Vsevolodovich   8 February 1191 1226-1228 30 September 1246 Unknown
1205
no children

Rostislava of Novgorod
1214
(annulled 1216)
no children

Theodosia of Ryazan
1218
twelve children
3rd time.
Saint Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky   13 May 1221 1228-1229 14 November 1263 Praskovia-Alexandra of Polotsk
1239
five children

Vassilissa
before 1263
no children
Son of the predecessor. 1st time.
Saint Michael Vsevolodovich   1185 1229 20 September 1246 Helena of Galicia-Volhynia
1210 or 1211[18]
seven children
2nd time.
Rostislav Mikhailovich after 1210 1229-1230 1262 Anna of Hungary
1243
five children
Son of the predecessor.
Yaroslav Vsevolodovich   8 February 1191 1230-1236 30 September 1246 Unknown
1205
no children

Rostislava of Novgorod
1214
(annulled 1216)
no children

Theodosia of Ryazan
1218
twelve children
4th time.
Saint Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky   13 May 1221 1236-1240 14 November 1263 Praskovia-Alexandra of Polotsk
1239
five children

Vassilissa
before 1263
no children
2nd time.
Andrey Yaroslavich   1220 1240-1241 1264 Justina of Galicia
three children
Son of Yaroslav Vsevolodovich.
Saint Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky   13 May 1221 1241-1252 14 November 1263 Praskovia-Alexandra of Polotsk
1239
five children

Vassilissa
before 1263
no children
3rd time.
Vasily Alexandrovich ? 1252-1255 1271 Unmarried Son of Alexander Yaroslavich.
Yaroslav Yaroslavich   1230 1255 16 September 1272 Natalia
before 1252
two children

Saint Xenia of Tarusa
1265
four children
Son of Yaroslav Vsevolodovich. 1st time.
Vasily Alexandrovich ? 1255-1257 1271 Unmarried 2nd time.
Saint Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky   13 May 1221 1257-1259 14 November 1263 Praskovia-Alexandra of Polotsk
1239
five children

Vassilissa
before 1263
no children
4th time.
Dmitry Alexandrovich   1250 1259-1263 1294 Unknown
four children
Son of Alexander Yaroslavich. 1st time.
Yaroslav Yaroslavich   1230 1264-1272 16 September 1272 Natalia
before 1252
two children

Saint Xenia of Tarusa
1265
four children
2nd time.
Dmitry Alexandrovich   1250 1272-1273 1294 Unknown
four children
2nd time.
Vasily Yaroslavich   1236 or 1241 1273-1276 1276 Unknown 3rd time.
Dmitry Alexandrovich   1250 1276-1281 1294 Unknown
four children
3rd time.
Andrey Alexandrovich   1255 1281-1285 27 July 1304 Vasilissa of Rostov
1294
three children
Son of Alexander Yaroslavich. 1st time.
Dmitry Alexandrovich   1250 1285-1292 1294 Unknown
four children
4th time.
Andrey Alexandrovich   1255 1292-1304 27 July 1304 Vasilissa of Rostov
1294
three children
2nd time.
Saint Michael Yaroslavich   1255 1304-1314 27 July 1304 Saint Anna of Rostov
1294
five children
Son of Yaroslav Yaroslavich. 1st time.
Afanasi Danilovich ? 1314-1315 1322 Anna
no children
Son of Daniel of Moscow. 1st time.
Saint Michael Yaroslavich   1255 1315-1316 27 July 1304 Saint Anna of Rostov
1294
five children
2nd time.
Afanasi Danilovich ? 1316-1322 1322 Anna
no children
2nd time.
Yuri Danilovich   1281 1322-1325 21 November 1325 Unknown
1297
one child

Konchaka of Mengu-Timur (baptised Agafia)
1317
no children
Son of Daniel of Moscow.
Alexander Mikhailovich   7 October 1301 1325-1327 29 October 1339 Anastasia of Galicia
1320
eight children
Son of Michael Yaroslavich.

Part of MoscowEdit

GediminidsEdit

House of RurikEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Dmitry Likhachev, ed. and trans., Povest Vremennikh Let (Moscow and Augsburg: Im Werden Verlag, 2003), 7.
  2. ^ Boris Grekov, “Revoliutsiia v Novgorode v XII veke,” Uchenye zapiski Instituta Istorii Rossiiskoi assotsiatsii nauchno-issledovatel’skikh institutov obshchestvennykh nauk (RANION) vol. 4 (1929): 13-21; V. L. (Valentin Lavrent’evich) Yanin, “Problemy sotsial'noi organizatsii novgorodskoi respubliki,” Istoriia SSSR, 1 (1970), 44; Valentin Yanin, Novgoroskie Posadniki (Moscow: Yazyki Slavianskoi kul'tury, 2003), 64-135.
  3. ^ Michael C. Paul, "Was the Prince of Novgorod a 'Third-rate bureaucrat' after 1136?" Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 56, No. 1 (Spring 2008): 72-113.
  4. ^ Paul, "Was the Prince of Novgorod a 'Third-rate bureaucrat' after 1136?" 94-97.
  5. ^ Michael C. Paul, “The Iaroslavichi and the Novgorodian Veche 1230-1270: A Case Study on Princely Relations with the Veche,” Russian History/ Histoire Russe 31, No. 1-2 (Spring-Summer, 2004): 39-59.
  6. ^ Arseny Nasonov, ed., Novgorodskaia Pervaia Letopis Starshego i mladshego izvodov (Moscow and Leningrad, ANSSSR, 1950), 43, 236; Novgorodskaia chetvertaia letopis, vol. 4 of Polnoe Sobranie Russkikh Letopisei (Moscow: Iazyki russkoi kul'tury, 2000), 177; George Vernadsky, Kievan Russia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948), 197.
  7. ^ N. L. (Natalia L’vovna) Podvigina, Ocherki sotsial’no-ekonomicheskoi i politicheskoi istorii Novgoroda Velikogo v XII-XIII vv. (Moscow: Vysshaia shkola, 1976), 114; Paul, "Was the Prince of Novgorod a 'Third-rate bureaucrat' after 1136?" 82-94.
  8. ^ On the fur trade, see Janet Martin, Treasure of the Land of Darkness: The Fur Trade and Its Significance for Medieval Russia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985); Paul, "Was the Prince of Novgorod a 'Third-Rate Bureaucrat' after 1136?"; see also the relevant sections (re: Novgorod) in Janet Martin, Medieval Russia: 980-1584, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995).
  9. ^ See Yanin, Novgoroskie Posadniki.
  10. ^ See also the list in Paul, "Was the Prince of Novgorod a 'Third-rate bureaucrat' after 1136?" 109-113.
  11. ^ Vladimir Plougin: Russian Intelligence Services: The Early Years, 9th-11th Centuries, Algora Publ., 2000
  12. ^ History of Ukraine-Rus': From prehistory to the eleventh century, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, 1997
  13. ^ According to A. Nazarenko. It was thought not long ago that the first wife of Sviatopolk was Barbara Komnene, a supposed daughter of Alexios I Komnenos. However, the lack of tradition of such a name in the Byzantine Empire led to doubt. Today she may be considered fictional.
  14. ^ Л.Войтович КНЯЗІВСЬКІ ДИНАСТІЇ СХІДНОЇ ЄВРОПИ
  15. ^ Л.Войтович КНЯЗІВСЬКІ ДИНАСТІЇ СХІДНОЇ ЄВРОПИ
  16. ^ Л.Войтович КНЯЗІВСЬКІ ДИНАСТІЇ СХІДНОЇ ЄВРОПИ
  17. ^ Template:ВТ-МЭСБЕ
  18. ^ a b Thurston, Herbert (Editor). Butler’s Lives of the Saints - September.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)

External linksEdit