Mstislav III Glebovich (Prince of Chernigov)

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The Kievan Rus’ in 1237

Mstislav III Glebovich (before 1215/1220 – after October 18, 1239) was a Rus' prince (a member of the Rurik dynasty).[1] He was probably prince of Rylsk[2] (1212–1239/1241) and of Chernigov (1235–1239/1241).[2][3] During his reign, the Tatars (the Mongols) invaded and pillaged the towns of the Principality of Chernigov.[2]

His life[edit]

Early life[edit]

He was the son of Prince Gleb Svyatoslavich of Chernigov and Anastasia Ryurikovna, a daughter of Grand Prince Ryurik Rostislavich of Kiev.[1] His father died between 1215 and 1220.[2]

By 1225, Mstislav had already been second in seniority among the Olgovichi (the ruling dynasty of Chernigov), and therefore during the absence of his cousin, Mikhail Vsevolodovich, he commanded them.[2] On April 6, 1231, he attended a snem (a meeting of some leading princes of Rus’ organized by Grand Prince Vladimir III Rurikovich) in Kiev, but the reasons for convoking the council are not given.[2] It appears that his domain probably lay west of the Snov and Desna rivers.[2]

Prince of Chernigov[edit]

Although the chronicles never tell us that he ruled Chernihiv, but his seniority merited him that post.[2] Moreover, the evidence that the onus of defending the town fell on his shoulders supports this.[2]

In the autumn of 1239, the Tatar horde advanced against Chernihiv along the northern shore of the river Seym.[2] Presumably, the invaders captured Hlukhiv, Kursk, Rylsk, and Putivl, and on reaching the river Desna, they advanced towards Chernihiv.[2] When Mstislav heard that the Tatars were attacking the town, he came with his troops to confront them.[2] The nomads used catapults that hurled stones the distance of a bowshot and a half.[2] Mstislav barely escaped, but many of his men were killed.[2] After Chernihiv fell on October 18, the Tatars pillaged the towns in the surrounding countryside.[2]

Before departing from Chernihiv, the Tatars sent messengers to Kiev proposing peace, and they were pacified, we are told, with Mstislav.[2] The chronicler probably made only a passing reference to his capitulation in an effort to underplay the nature of his commitments.[2] He must have submitted to Batu Khan’s authority and agreed to campaign with him and to pay a tithe in everything.[2]

In 1241, his cousin, Mikhail Vsevolodovich, who had returned from Masovia when the Tatars invaded his lands, gave Chernihiv to his own son, Rostislav Mikhailovich.[2] Mikhail Vsevolodovich may have repudiated Mstislav because, contrary to his wishes, he had formed a pact with the enemy; or (although the chronicles fail to tell us) Mstislav may have died following his pact with the Tatars.[2] The possibility of his demise is implied by the silence of the chronicles, which never mention him again.[2]

Marriage and children[edit]

The name of her wife is not known.[1]

Ancestors[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Charles Cawley (2008-05-19). "Russia, Rurikids - Grand Princes of Kiev, Princes of Chernigov, descendants of Sviatoslav II, Grand Prince of Kiev (fourth son of Iaroslav I)". Medieval Lands. Foundation of Medieval Genealogy. Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Dimnik, Martin. The Dynasty of Chernigov - 1146-1246. 
  3. ^ “Obsidian” (2009-02-17). "Regnal Chronologies". Ukraine - Chernigov. Foundation of Medieval Genealogy. Retrieved 2009-03-07. 

Sources[edit]

  • Dimnik, Martin: The Dynasty of Chernigov - 1146-1246; Cambridge University Press, 2003, Cambridge; ISBN 978-0-521-03981-9.
Preceded by
Roman Igorevich
Prince of Rylsk
1212–1239/1241
Succeeded by
Andrey Mstislavich
Preceded by
Mikhail I Vsevolodovich
Prince of Chernigov
1235–1239/1241
Succeeded by
Rostislav I Mikhailovich