Anne of Kiev
|Anne of Kiev|
Anne of Kiev (Saint Sophia's Cathedral, Kiev)
|Queen consort of the Franks|
|Died||5 September c.1075|
|Spouse||Henry I of France|
Ralph IV of Valois
|Issue||Philip I of France|
Hugh I, Count of Vermandois
|Father||Yaroslav the Wise|
|Mother||Ingegerd Olofsdotter of Sweden|
Anne of Kiev (c. 1030 – 1075), also known as Anna Yaroslavna, Anne of Rus, Anne de Russie, or Agnes de Russie, was the queen consort of Henry I of France. She later served as regent during the minority of her son Philip I of France. Anne founded the Abbey of St. Vincent at Senlis.
Family and Childhood
Anne was a daughter of Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Kiev and Prince of Novgorod, and his second wife Ingegerd Olofsdotter of Sweden. Her exact birthdate is unknown; Philippe Delorme has suggested 1027, while Andrew Gregorovich has proposed 1032, citing a mention in a Kievan chronicle of the birth of a daughter to Yaroslav in that year.
Anne's exact place in the birth order of her siblings is unknown, although her sisters were almost certainly older. Anne had six brothers and at least two sisters:
- Vsevolod I of Kiev
- Sviatoslav II of Kiev
- Anastasie (born c.1023), wife of Andreas I of Hungary
- Elizabeth (b. 1025), wife of Harald III of Norway
Because of a mural found at St. Sophia's Cathedral in Kiev, it is believed that Yaroslav and Ingegerd had four daughters, but only Anastasie, Elizabeth, and Anne are known definitively. Possibilities for the other daughter include Marie Dobroniega, the wife of Casimir of Poland, (usually identified as a sister of Yaroslav), and Agatha, the wife of Edward the Exile (son of Edmund II "Ironside" of England).
Little is known about Anne's childhood or education. It is assumed that she was literate, at least enough to write her name, because her signature in Cyrillic exists on a document from 1061. Delorme has pointed out that Yaroslav founded a number of schools in his kingdom and suggests that education was highly valued in his family, leading him to propose a significant level of education for Anne. Gregorovich has suggested that Anne learned French in preparation for her marriage to Henry I.
Marriage to Henry I
This marriage was arranged in the late 1040s, after the death of Henry's first wife, Mathilda of Frisia. Although previously also betrothed to Mathilda, daughter of Conrad II, Henry was left with no heirs. His one daughter from Mathilda died young, in 1044, followed a few weeks later by his wife. Due to the pressing need for an heir, and the Church's growing disapproval of consanguineous marriages, it became necessary for Henry to find a bride totally unrelated to him. The Kievan Rus were not unknown to the French. Yaroslav had married several of his children to Western rulers in an attempt to avoid the influence of the Byzantines, including Anne's brother Vladimir, who likely was married to the sister of Mathilda of Frisia, Oda of Stade.
In the autumn of 1049 or the spring of 1050, Henry sent Bishop Gauthier of Meaux, Goscelin of Chauny, and other unnamed advisors to Yaroslav's court. It is possible that there were two diplomatic missions to the Rus at this time, with Roger of Chalons also present. No record of the marriage negotiations or the dowry arrangements survives, although Anne reportedly left Kiev with "rich presents." Gregorovich claims that part of the wealth she brought to France included the jacinth jewel that Abbot Suger later mounted on a reliquary of St. Denis. Anne left Kiev in the summer or fall of 1050 and traveled to Reims. Her wedding on 19 May 1051 followed the installation of Lietbert as bishop of Cambrai, and Anne was crowned immediately following the marriage ceremony, making her the first French queen to celebrate her coronation in Reims Cathedral.
Anne and Henry were married for nine years, during which time she gave birth to three sons, including the future king of France, Philip I. Anne is often credited with introducing the Greek name "Philip" to royal families of Western Europe, as she bestowed it on her first son; she might have imported this Greek name (Philippos, from Philos and hippos, meaning "loves horses") from her Eastern Orthodox culture. There may also have been a daughter, Emma, perhaps born in 1055; it is unknown if she married or when she died.
- Philip I of France (23 May 1052 – 30 July 1108)
- Robert (c. 1055 – c. 1060)
- Emma (1055 – c. 1109)
- Hugh I, Count of Vermandois (1057 – 18 October 1102)
Queen of France
As queen, Anne would have had the privilege of participating in the royal council, but there are almost no records of her doing so. In one 1058 charter, Henry granted a privilege to a couple of villages associated with the monastery of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés doing so "with the approval of my wife Anne and our children Philippe, Robert, and Hugh." Anne seems to have possessed territories in the same region under the terms of her dowry.
In 1059, Henry began feuding with the Church over issues related to Gregorian Reform. During this time, Pope Nicholas II sent Anne a letter counselling her to follow her conscience to right wrongs and intervene against oppressive violence, while also encouraging her to advocate with her husband so that he might govern with moderation. According to Delorme, some historians have interpreted this letter from the Pope as being indicative of Anne's conversion to Roman Catholicism from Eastern Orthodoxy.
Various documents from Henry's reign mention Anne. In them, she is referred to as regina (queen), coniunx mea (my spouse), or Anna regina uxor eius (Queen Anna his wife).
Anne's name appears on twenty-nine royal charters, seven issued during Henry's reign and twenty-two during that of Philip I. After Henry's death, Count Baudouin of Flanders was assigned to be Philip's guardian, as he was not yet eight years old. Anne may still have played an active role in government at that point; an act from 1060 shows her name following Philip's, and her name appears in four times as many charters as Baudouin's. She also hired Philip's tutor, who was known at court by a Greek title.
Anne's only existing signature dates from this period, inscribed on a document issued at Soissons for the abbot of Saint Crepin le Grand, now held in the National Library of Russia. Under the symbol of the king, Anne added a cross and 8 letters in Cyrillic, probably the words for "Anna Reina." Evidence for Anne's role in government, however, disappears in 1061, around the time of her second marriage.
Anne remarried in 1061 to Count Raoul of Crepy-en-Valois. The marriage was controversial for multiple reasons, including consanguinity (Raoul was Henry I's cousin) and bigamy, since Raoul was still technically married to his second wife, Haquenez. Raoul was excommunicated because of this. During her second marriage, advisors to her son King Philip may have encouraged him to turn away from his mother, perhaps mistrusting Raoul's influence. Raoul began referring to himself as the king's stepfather in the late 1060s. He died in 1074, leaving Anne a widow once again.
In 1062, Anne gave a significant amount of money to restore a dilapidated chapel at Senlis, originally dedicated to St. Vincent of Saragossa, bequeathing lands and income to the new establishment so that the organization could sustain itself. She also wrote a letter explaining her reasons for dedicating the monastery. The letter betrays an adherence to Greek Orthodox theology. For instance, the term "Mary, mother of God" is used rather than the more common "Our Lady", perhaps referring to the Eastern concept of the Theotokos. Some scholars believe that Anne did not write this letter herself.
The exact date of Anne's death is unknown. Delorme believes that she died on 5 September—the day commemorated at Senlis—in 1075 (the year of her last signed document), while others have proposed 1080. A terminus ante quem is provided by a 1089 document of Philip I, which includes the phrase "on behalf of the souls of his father and mother," indicating that Anne had died by then.
In 1682, the Jesuit antiquary Claude-Francois Menestrier announced that he had discovered Anne's tomb at the Cistercian Abbey of Villiers. The discovery was subsequently disputed, as Villiers was not built until the thirteenth century, although it's possible Anne's remains had been moved there at some point following her death. Whatever monument may have been there was destroyed in the French Revolution.
In the twentieth century, while Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, Anne became a symbol of Ukrainian nationalism. On the other hand, a film was produced in the Soviet Union, "Yaroslavna, the Queen of France" (1978), which was not related with "Ukrainian nationalism" in any way. An opera called "Anna Yaroslavna," written by Antin Rudnytsky, was first performed at Carnegie Hall in 1969. In 1998, the Ukrainian government issued a postage stamp in her honor. In 2005, the government of Ukraine sponsored the construction of a bronze statue of Anne at Senlis, which was unveiled by President Viktor Yushchenko on 22 June.
|Ancestors of Anne of Kiev|
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