Daniel of Moscow
|Daniel of Moscow|
Fresco in the Cathdral of the Archangel, Moscow
|Died||4 March 1303|
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Prince Daniel of Moscow was the fourth and youngest son of Saint Prince Alexander Nevsky—famous in the history of the Russian State and the Russian Orthodox Church—and his second wife, Princess Vassa. Daniel was born in 1261 in Vladimir, the capital of the Great Vladimir principality. One of the most junior princes in the House of Rurik, Daniel is thought to have been named after his celebrated relative, Daniel of Galicia.
His father died when he was only two years old. Of his father's patrimonies, he received the least valuable, the Moscow. When he was a child, the tiny principality was being governed by tiuns (deputies), appointed by his paternal uncle, Grand Prince Yaroslav III.
Daniel took part in his brothers'—Dmitri of Pereslavl and Andrey of Gorodets—struggle for the right to govern Vladimir and Novgorod, respectively. After Dmitry's death in 1294, Daniel made an alliance with Mikhail of Tver and Ivan of Pereslavl against Andrey of Gorodets of Novgorod.
Daniel's participation in the struggle for Novgorod in 1296 indicated Moscow's increasing political influence. Constantine, the prince of Ryazan, tried to capture the Moscow lands with the help of a Mongol force. Prince Daniel defeated it near Pereslavl. This was a first victory over the Tatars, though not a tremendous victory, but it was noteworthy as a first push towards freedom. In 1300, he imprisoned the ruler of the Ryazan Principality "by some ruse", as the chronicle says. To secure his release, the prisoner ceded to Daniel his fortress of Kolomna. It was an important acquisition, as now Daniel controlled all the length of the Moskva River. In 1302 his childless nephew and ally, Ivan of Pereslavl, bequeathed to Daniel all his lands, including Pereslavl-Zalessky.
During the Mongol occupation and internecine wars among the Rus' princes, Daniel created peace in Moscow without bloodshed. During 30 years of ruling Daniel participated in battles only once. According to legend, Daniel was popular and respected by his subjects for his meekness, humility and peacefulness.
Daniel has been credited with founding the first Moscow monasteries, dedicated to the Lord's Epiphany and to Saint Daniel. On the right bank of the Moskva River, at a distance of 5 miles from the Kremlin not later than in 1282 he founded the first monastery with the wooden church of St. Daniel-Stylite. Now it is the Danilov Monastery. At the age of 42 on the 17-th (4-th in old style) of March in 1303 St. Daniel died. Before his death he became a monk and, according to his will, was buried in the cemetery of the St. Daniel Monastery.
Marriage and children
His wife was named Maria. They had at least six children:
- Yury of Moscow (1281 – 21 September 1325).
- Aleksandr Daniilovich (died Autumn 1308).
- Boris Daniilovich, Prince of Kostroma (died 1320).
- Afanasy Daniilovich, Prince of Novgorod (died 1322).
- Fedora Daniilovna. Married Yaroslav Romanovich, Prince of Ryazan (died 1299).
- Ivan I of Moscow (1288 – 31 March 1340).
|Prince of Moscow||Succeeded by