Daniel of Galicia

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Mosaic of Daniel (1989) in the Zoloti Vorota station of the Kyiv Metro.
King of Ruthenia
SuccessorLeo I
Prince of Galicia
PredecessorVladimir Igorevich
SuccessorVladimir Igorevich
PredecessorVladimir Igorevich
SuccessorMstislav Yaroslavich
PredecessorAndrew of Hungary
SuccessorAndrew of Hungary
PredecessorAndrew of Hungary
SuccessorMikhail Vsevolodovich
PredecessorRostislav Mikhailovich
SuccessorLeo I
Prince of Volhynia
PredecessorAlexander Vsevolodovich
SuccessorVasilko Romanovich
Died1264 (aged 62–63)
SpouseAnna Mstislavna of Novgorod
Niece of King Mindaugas
Iraklii Danylovich
Lev I of Galicia
Roman Danylovich
FatherRoman Mstislavich
MotherAnna from Byzantium

Daniel Romanovich (Ukrainian: Данило Романович, romanizedDanylo Romanovych;[1][2] 1201–1264),[3][4] also known as Daniel or Daniil of Galicia,[5] or Danylo of Halych,[6][a] was Prince of Galicia (1205–1207; 1211–1212; 1230–1232; 1233–1234; 1238–1264), Volhynia (1205–1208; 1215–1238), Grand Prince of Kiev (1240), and King of Ruthenia (1253–1264).[7]


Early life and reign[edit]

Daniel's father, Roman Mstislavich, united the principalities of Galicia and Volhynia in 1199.[3] After his death in 1205, the boyars of Galicia forced the four-year-old Daniel into exile with his mother Anna of Byzantium and brother Vasylko Romanovich. After the boyars proclaimed one of their own as prince, the Poles and Hungarians invaded the principality, ostensibly to support the claims of young Daniel and Vasylko, and divided it between themselves. In 1219, he renounced his claims to Galicia in favor of his father-in-law, Mstislav the Bold.[8][failed verification]

In 1221, Daniel re-established his rule over Volhynia, where the boyars and populace had reaffirmed their loyalty to his dynasty. In 1234, he defeated Alexander Vsevolodovich, taking the Duchy of Belz. By 1238, he had defeated former Dobrzyń Knights at Drohiczyn (Dorohochyn), and regained most of Galicia,[9] including the capital. While the Prussians were under pressure from the Teutonic Order, Daniel attempted to conquer a related people, the Yatvingians.[10]

Mongol invasions[edit]

The following year, with the advancing Mongols, Michael, the grand prince of Kiev, who was married to Daniel's sister, quickly left Kiev and petitioned Daniel for help. Daniel dispatched his voivode, Dmytro, to defend the city. However, after a long siege, its walls were breached and, despite fierce fighting within the city, Kiev fell on 6 December 1240 and was largely destroyed. A year later, the Mongols passed through Galicia and Volhynia while campaigning against the Poles and Hungarians, destroying Galicia in the process.[11]

On 17 August 1245, Daniel defeated a combined force of the prince of Chernigov, disaffected boyars, and Hungarian and Polish elements at Yaroslav, and finally took the remainder of Galicia, thus reconstituting his father's holdings. He made his brother Vasylko the ruler of Volhynia and retained the Galician title for himself, though he continued to exercise real power in both places.[12]

Territorial boundaries of the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia (1245-1349).

Daniel's domestic policies focused on stability and economic growth. During his rule, German, Polish, and Rus' merchants and artisans were invited into Galicia, and numbers of Armenians and Jews established themselves in the towns and cities. Daniel founded the towns of Lviv (1256) and Kholm, naming the former for his son, and fortified many others. He appointed officials to protect the peasantry from aristocratic exploitation and formed peasant-based heavy infantry units.[13]

Yet Daniel's successes and his failed defense of Kiev attracted the further attention of the Mongols. In 1246, he was summoned to the capital of the Golden Horde at Sarai on the Volga River and was forced to accept Mongol overlordship. According to Ukrainian historian Orest Subtelny, Daniel was handed a cup of fermented mare's milk by the Mongol khan, Batu, and told to get used to it, as "you are one of ours now". They exchanged hostages whereby 100 families of Keraites were re-settled in Carpathian Galicia. According to James Chambers,[14] the following dialogue took place between Batu and Daniel of Galicia: "At a banquet Batu asked if he drank kumiz like the Mongols and Daniel answered: 'Until now I did not, but now I do as you command and I drink it'. To which Batu replied: 'You are now one of ours,' and since he was more used to it ordered that Daniel be given a goblet of wine." This was due to Daniel's notorious love of wine.[citation needed]

While formally accepting the Mongols as overlords, and supplying them with soldiers as required, Daniel built his foreign policy around opposition to the Golden Horde.[citation needed] He established cordial relations with the rulers of the Kingdom of Poland and Kingdom of Hungary, and requested aid from Pope Innocent IV in the form of a crusade. In return for papal assistance, Daniel offered to place his lands under the ecclesiastical authority of Rome, a pledge never realised.[15] Wooed by the prospect of extending his authority, the Pope encouraged Daniel's resistance to the Mongols and his Western orientation, and in 1253, had a papal representative crown Daniel as king at Dorohochyn on the Bug River. However, Daniel wanted more than recognition, and commented bitterly that he expected an army when he received the crown.[16] From then on, Daniel was known as rex Russiae and sometimes by the title korol.[15]

The following year, Daniel repelled Mongol assaults led by Orda's son, Kuremsa, on Ponyzia and Volhynia and dispatched an expedition with the aim of taking Kiev. Despite initial successes, in 1259, a Mongol force under Burundai and Nogai Khan entered Galicia and Volhynia and offered an ultimatum: Daniel was to destroy his fortifications or Burundai would assault the towns. Daniel complied and pulled down the city walls.[12]

In the last years of his reign, Daniel engaged in dynastic politics, marrying a son and a daughter to the offspring of Mindaugas of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and acquiring territorial concessions in Poland from the latter. Another daughter of his, Ustynia, was married to Andrey Yaroslavich of Vladimir-Suzdal. He also arranged for the marriage of his son Roman to Gertrude, the Babenberg heiress, but was unsuccessful in his bid to have him placed on the ducal throne of Austria.[citation needed]

By his death in 1264, Daniel had reconstructed and expanded the territories held by his father, held off the expansionist threats of Poland and Hungary, minimized Mongol influence in the territories of present-day western Ukraine, and raised the economic and social standards of his domains. He was succeeded in Galicia by his son Leo.[citation needed]


A monument to him was erected in 1998 in the city of Halych.[17]

On 7 September 2011, the parliament of Ukraine (Verkhovna Rada) issued a resolution on "celebration of the 810th Anniversary of the birth of the first King of Ruthenia-Ukraine Daniel of Galicia".[18]








  1. ^ Ukrainian: Данило Галицький, romanizedDanylo Halyts'kyi.


  1. ^ Katchanovski et al. 2013, p. 197.
  2. ^ Magocsi 2010, p. 124–126.
  3. ^ a b Langer, Lawrence N. (15 September 2021). Historical Dictionary of Medieval Russia. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-5381-1942-6.
  4. ^ Biographical Index of the Middle Ages. Walter de Gruyter. 1 March 2011. p. 296. ISBN 978-3-11-091416-0.
  5. ^ Martin 2007, p. 178.
  6. ^ Plokhy 2017, p. 85.
  7. ^ Войтович, Леонтій Вікторович (1992). Генеалогія Рюриковичів і Гедиміновичів (in Ukrainian). Avtor. p. 87. ISBN 5-7702-0506-7.
  8. ^ "Daniel Romanovich | Prince of Ruthenia, Grand Prince of Kiev | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 2023-12-28.
  9. ^ Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Daniel Romanovich". Encyclopedia Britannica
  10. ^ Synytsia, Yevhen. "YATVYAGI". The encyclopedia of the history of Ukraine.
  11. ^ Alexander, Maiorov (March 2015). "The Mongol conquest of Volhynia and Galicia: Controversial and unresolved issues". Research Gate.
  12. ^ a b Kotliar, Mykola. "Daniel of Galicia". The encyclopedia of the history of Ukraine.
  13. ^ "Daniel rhe Galicia". The magical city of Zviagel.
  14. ^ Chambers, James. The Devil´s Horsemen. The Mongol Invasion of Europe. New York 1979. page 120
  15. ^ a b Oresko, Robert; Gibbs, G. C.; Scott, H. M. (30 January 1997). Royal and Republican Sovereignty in Early Modern Europe: Essays in Memory of Ragnhild Hatton. Cambridge University Press. p. 355. ISBN 978-0-521-41910-9.
  16. ^ John Joseph Saunders. (2001). The history of the Mongol conquests. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, p. 101
  17. ^ "Пам'ятник королю Данилу Галицькому — Галич - Галицька міська рада". www.galych-rada.gov.ua. Archived from the original on 4 November 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  18. ^ Law of Ukraine. Official document.


External links[edit]

Media related to Daniel of Galicia at Wikimedia Commons

Daniel of Galicia
Born: 1201 Died: 1264
New title King of Ruthenia
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prince of Galicia-Volhynia