YAROSLAV the Wise

HUSBAND:
YAROSLAV the Wise. (Yaroslav Vladimirovich Mudrie).
Born (about 974-S1)(about 978-S3)(980-S2)(nearly 974-1054); son of Vladimir I, Grand Prince of Kiev, and Rogneda, Princess of Polotsk.

Early years of Yaroslav's life are enshrouded in mystery. He was one of the numerous sons of Vladimir the Great, presumably his second by Rogneda of Polotsk, although his actual age (as stated in the Primary Chronicle and corroborated by the examination of his skeleton in the 1930s) would place him among the youngest children of Vladimir. It has been suggested that he was a child begotten out of wedlock after Vladimir's divorce with Rogneda and his marriage to Anna Porphyrogeneta. Yaroslav figures prominently in the Norse Sagas under the name of Jarisleif the Lame; his legendary lameness (probably resulting from an arrow wound) was corroborated by the scientists who examined his relics.

In his youth, Yaroslav was sent by his father to rule the northern lands around Rostov the Great but was transferred to Novgorod the Great, as befitted a senior heir to the throne, in 1010. While living there, he founded the town of Yaroslavl (literally, Yaroslav's) on the Volga. His relations with father were apparently strained, and grew only worse on the news that Vladimir bequeathed the Kievan throne to his younger son, Boris. In 1014 Yaroslav refused to pay tribute to Kiev and only Vladimir's death prevented a war.

During the next four years Yaroslav waged a complicated and bloody war for Kiev against his half-brother Sviatopolk, who was supported by his father-in-law, Duke Boleslaus I of Poland. During the course of this struggle, several other brothers (Boris and Gleb, Svyatoslav) were brutally murdered. The Primary Chronicle accused Svyatopolk of planning those murders, while the Saga of Eymund is often interpreted as recounting the story of Boris's assassination by the Varangians in the service of Yaroslav.

After the death of Vladimir, power in Kiev was taken by Yaropolk-Sviyatopolk. He killed his brothers, Boris, Gleb, and Svijatoslav in order to hold the kingdom himself. Yaroslav, ruling from Novgorod, moved against Yaropolk and drove him from Kiev. But Yaropolk, operating with the support of his relative, polish king Boleslav Hrabrie, defeated Yaroslav in the year 1018 on the banks of the Burga. Yaroslav, gathering new companions, attacked Svijatopolk on the peninsula of Yalta in 1019. He fled, and died in an unknown location between Chekiej and Poland. Yaroslav became the Prince of Kiev, which title he held to the end of his life. After the death of his brother Mistislav (in 1036 AD), Yaroslav became the sole ruler of Russia, but allowed his brother Izyaslav to rule in Polotsk.

Yaroslav defeated Svyatopolk in their first battle, in 1016, and Svyatopolk fled to Poland. But Svyatopolk returned with Polish troops furnished by his father-in-law Duke Boleslaus of Poland, seized Kiev and pushed Yaroslav back into Novgorod. In 1019, Yaroslav eventually prevailed over Svyatopolk and established his rule over Kiev. One of his first actions as a grand prince was to confer on the loyal Novgorodians (who had helped him to regain the throne), numerous freedoms and privileges. Thus, the foundation for the Novgorod Republic was laid. The Novgorodians respected Yaroslav more than other Kievan princes and named a veche square after him. It is thought that it was at that period that Yaroslav promulgated the first code of laws in the East Slavic lands, the Yaroslav's Justice, better known as Russkaya Pravda.

Grand Prince of Kiev. (1019).

Yaroslav married Ingegerd Olofsdotter, daughter of the king of Sweden, In 1019 in Uppsala, Sweden; and gave Ladoga to her as a marriage gift. There are good reasons to believe that before that time he had been married to a woman named Anna, of disputed extraction. Others say that Ingegarde is Anna.

He drove out Svyatopolk I. Struggled with his brother Mstislav, shared the state with him (1026), in 1036 united the state again. Strengthened the south and west frontiers of Rus, set dynasty relations with many European countries. "Russkaya Pravda" - statute book of the ancient Russian feudal law was compiled at his time.

Leaving aside the legitimacy of Yaroslav's claims to the Kievan throne and his postulated guilt in the murder of his brothers, Nestor and later Russian historians often represented him as a model of virtue and styled him the Wise. A less appealing side of his personality may be revealed by the fact that he imprisoned his younger brother Sudislav for life. Yet another brother, Mstislav of Tmutarakan, whose distant realm bordered on the Northern Caucasus and the Black Sea, hastened to Kiev and inflicted a heavy defeat on Yaroslav in 1024. Thereupon Yaroslav and Mstislav divided Kievan Rus: the area stretching left from the Dnieper, with the capital at Chernigiv, was ceded to Mstislav until his death in 1036.

After the death of Vladimir, power in Kiev was taken by Yaropolk-Cviyatopolk. He killed his brothers, Boris, Gleb, and Svijatoslav in order to hold the kingdom himself. Yaroslav, ruling from Novgorod, moved against Yaropolk and drove him from Kiev. But Yaropolk, operating with the support of his relative, polish king Boleslav Hrabrie, defeated Yaroslav in the year 1018 on the banks of the Burga. Yaroslav, gathering new companions, attacked Svijatopolk on the peninsula of Yalta in 1019. He fled, and died in an unknown location between Chekiej and Poland. Yaroslav became the Prince of Kiev, which title he held to the end of his life. After the death of his brother Mistislav (in 1036 AD), Yaroslav became the sole ruler of Russia, but allowed his brother Izyaslav to rule in Polotsk.

The age of Yaroslav was a time of internal stability, and afforded the growth of the international authority of Russia; as seen by the marriage of his daughters Anna to France, Elizabeth to Norway, and Anastasia to Hungary. Yaroslav himself was married to Ingegarde, daughter os the Swedish King Olaf. The chronicles report that in the name of Yaroslav was begun an intensive period of translation and literature. The first Russian monasteries were introduced, among them the famous Kiev-Pecherski monastery, that played an important role in the establishment of Russian literature and histories. In 1054, Yaroslav established the first Metropolit in Russia, Illarion. Before this the Metropolits were all Greek. He also created the church-political document "Words of Law and Benevolence."

In his foreign policy, Yaroslav relied on the Scandinavian alliance and attempted to weaken the Byzantine influence on Kiev. In 1030 he reconquered from the Poles Red Rus, and concluded an alliance with king Casimir I the Restorer, sealed by the latter's marriage to Yaroslav's sister Maria. In another successful military raid the same year, he conquered the hypothetical Estonian fortress of Tarbatu, built his own fort in that place, which went by the name of Yuriev (after St George, or Yury, Yaroslav's patron saint) and forced the surrounding province of Ugaunia to pay annual tribute.

One of many statues of Yaroslav holding the Russkaya Pravda in his hand. See another image here.In 1043 Yaroslav staged a naval raid against Constantinople led by his son Vladimir and general Vyshata. Although the Rus' navy was defeated, Yaroslav managed to conclude the war with a favourable treaty and prestigious marriage of his son Vsevolod to the emperor's daughter. It has been suggested that the peace was so advantageous because the Kievans had succeeded in taking a key Byzantine possession in Crimea, Chersones.

To defend his state from the Pechenegs and other nomadic tribes threatening it from the south he constructed a line of forts, composed of Yuriev, Boguslav, Kanev, Korsun, and Pereyaslav. To celebrate his decisive victory over the Pechenegs (who thereupon never were a threat to Kiev) he sponsored the construction of the Saint Sophia Cathedral in 1037. Other celebrated monuments of his reign, such as the Golden Gates of Kiev, have since perished.

Yaroslav was a notable patron of book culture and learning. In 1051, he had a Russian monk Ilarion proclaimed the metropolitan of Kiev, thus challenging old Byzantine tradition of placing Greeks on the episcopal sees. Ilarion's discourse on Yaroslav and his father Vladimir is frequently cited as the first work of Old Russian literature.

Before the death of Yaroslav, he divided his kingdom among his sons; creating therewith the beginnings of a feudalistic system.

He died 20 FEB 1053-1054 in Kiev, Ukraine.

WIFE:
INGEGARDE Olofsdotter. (known as Irene in Russian).
born in 1001 in (Uppsala)(Sigtuna-S5), Sweden; daughter of Olof Skötkonung, King of Sweden, and Astrid (Estrid) of the Obotrites.

She was engaged to be married to Norwegian King Olaf II, but when Sweden and Norway got into a feud, Swedish King Olof Skötkonung wouldn't allow for the marriage to happen.

Instead, her father quickly arranged with a marriage to the powerful Yaroslav I the Wise of Novgorod. Once in Russia, her name was changed to the Greek Irene. According to several sagas, she was given as a marriage gift Ladoga and adjacent lands, which later received the name Ingria (arguably a corruption of Ingigerd's name). She set her friend jarl Ragnvald Ulfsson to rule in her stead.

She initiated the building of the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev that was supervised by her husband, who styled himself czar. They had six sons and four daughters, which became Queens of France, Hungary, Norway, and (arguably) England. The whole family is depicted in one of the frescoes of the Saint Sophia. Upon her death on 10 Feb. 1049, she was buried in the same cathedral.

Ingigerd-Irene is sometimes confused with Yaroslav's first wife, whose name was Anna. She was declared a local saint in Novgorod because of her initiative of building the Cathedral of St Sophia in Novgorod, where she is buried.

She died on 10 February 1050 in Kiev, Ukraine.

CHILDREN of YAROSLAV the Wise and Ingigerd:
  1. Ilya. Said to be the son of Yaroslav by a previous wife, Anna.
  2. ANNA of Kiev. (Anne, Agnesa). She married HENRY I, King of France.
  3. Elizabeth. She married Harald III of Norway. He attained her hand by his military exploits in the Byzantine Empire.
  4. Vladimir. best remembered for building the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod, predeceased his father.
  5. Iziaslav I. Reigned in Kiev.
  6. Sviatoslav. Reigned in Kiev.
  7. Vsevolod I, Grand Prince of Kiev. (Vsevolod I Yaroslavich). Born in 1030. He ruled as Grand Prince of Kiev from 1078 until his death on 13 April 1093 AD.
  8. Anastasia. She married Andrew I of Hungary.
  9. (Agatha?). Married Edward the Exile, heir to the throne of England, and the mother of Edgar Atheling and St. Margaret of Scotland.
  10. Igor of Volynia
  11. Vyacheslav of Smolensk.


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