Mstislav I of Kiev

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Mstislav I of Kiev
Закладення Пирогощі.jpg
Grand Prince Mstislav I Vladimirovich built the Pirogoshcha Church of the Mother of God in Kiev
Spouse(s) Christina Ingesdotter of Sweden
Liubava Dmitrievna Zavidich
Noble family Rurik Dynasty
Father Vladimir II Monomakh
Mother Gytha of Wessex
Born (1076-06-01)1 June 1076
Turov
Died 14 April 1132(1132-04-14) (aged 55)
Kiev

Mstislav I Vladimirovich the Great (Russian: Мстислав Владимирович Великий, Ukrainian: Мстислав Володимирович Великий, Belarusian: Мсціслаў Уладзіміравіч Вялікі) (June 1, 1076, Turov – April 14, 1132, Kiev) was the Grand Prince of Kiev (1125–1132), the eldest son of Vladimir II Monomakh by Gytha of Wessex. He figures prominently in the Norse Sagas under the name Harald, taken to allude to his grandfather, Harold II of England. Mstislav's Christian name was Theodore.

Biography[edit]

As his father's future successor, Mstislav reigned in Novgorod the Great from 1088–93 and (after a brief stint at Rostov) from 1095–1117. Thereafter he was Monomakh's co-ruler in Belgorod Kievsky, and inherited the Kievan throne after his death. He built numerous churches in Novgorod, of which St. Nicholas Cathedral (1113) 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".

In 1095, Mstislav wed Princess Christina Ingesdotter of Sweden, daughter of King Inge I of Sweden. 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, 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, the daughter of Dmitry Zavidich, 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 King Edward III of England and 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]

External links[edit]

Mstislav I Vladimirovich the Great
Born: 1 June 1076 Died: 14 April 1132
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Sviatopolk Iziaslavich
Prince of Novgorod
1088–1093
Succeeded by
Davyd Sviatoslavich
Prince of Rostov
1095–1117
Preceded by
Vladimir II Monomakh
Grand Prince of Kiev
1125–1132
Succeeded by
Yaropolk II Vladimirovich