Principality of Turov and Pinsk

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Duchy of Turov and Pinsk
(part of Kievan Rus)
Турава-Пінскае княства

10th century–14th century Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Capital Turov
Languages Old Belarusian
Religion Eastern Orthodox Church
Government Monarchy
Prince of Turov
 -  950-980 Tur
Legislature Veche
 -  Established 10th century
 -  Incorporation into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania 14th century

The Duchy of Turov and Pinsk (Belarusian: Турава-Пінскае княства, Ukrainian: Турово-Пінське князівство) was a medieval principality and important subdivision of Kievan Rus since the 10th century on the territory of modern southern Belarus and northern Ukraine. Princes of Turov often served as the Grand Princes of Rus early in 10th-11th centuries. The principality's capital was Turov, other important cities were Pinsk, Mazyr, Slutsk, Lutsk, Berestia, and Volodymyr.

Until the 12th century the principality was very closely associated with the principalities of Kiev and Volyn. Later for a short period time until the Mongol invasion it enjoyed a wide degree of autonomy when it was annexed to the Kingdom of Rus. In the 14th century it became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Ruthenia and Samogitia.


The duchy originated mainly from the Dregovich tribe and partially the Drevlyans. While circumstances of its creation are not clearly known, the duchy as mentioned in the Primary Chronicle existed in 980. According to the legend, the town of Turau was founded around 950 (1st mentioned in 980) by prince Tur, a brother of Rogvolod.

Kiev Principality[edit]

During the times of Vladimir the Great the city of Turov with its near adjacent area became part of the realm of Kievan Rus. Sometime at the end of the 10th century Svyatopolk was appointed by Vladimir a prince of Turov. Svyatoslav was taken to jail later by his father for unknown reason, however, after the death of Vladimir he was freed and the Kiev city veche elected him the Grand Prince of Rus. In 1016 Yaroslav the Wise who ruled in Novgorod threw a challenge against the newly elected Grand Prince. Yaroslav was successful in the battle near Lyubech which became the decisive. Svyatopolk, however, retreated to Poland and in couple of years came back under the military support of Boleslav the Brave. Yaroslav was forced to retreat, but not for long. Soon during one of the engagements Svyatopolk was wounded and died sometime in 1019. Yaroslav became the Grand Prince of Rus claiming all the other regions of it as well.


In 1042 after marrying Gertrude of Poland, Izyaslav Yaroslavich became regional administrator of Principality of Turov and Pinsk. During the 11th century three of the Turov's princes held the title of Grand Prince of Rus. The region was for some time also left for his descendants. Upon the death of Izyaslav the principality was given to his oldest son Yaropolk Izyaslavich who also was awarded the administration of Volyn by the new Grand Prince Vsevolod. Yaropolk assisted Vsevolod and his Vladimir Monomakh in the fight for the principality of Chernigov against Oleg of Chernigov. With times Yaropolk has developed an unease relationship with the neighboring Rostislavichi who ruled the land of Halych and wanted to expand into Volyn as well. The Grand Prince, however, installed Davyd Igorevich in Volyn setting Yaropolk in a bitter opposition to him. During his conflict with Kiev Yaropolk was forced to flee to Poland leaving his family in Lutsk. He, however, was allowed to return, but soon was murdered under unknown circumstances.

Opposition to Vladimir Monomakh[edit]

The Turov principality was passed to his younger brother Sviatopolk II who administered the land of Novgorod. When Svyatopolk became the Grand Prince of Rus, he passed the principality of Turov to his nephew and son of Yaropolk Vyacheslav. Later Svyatopolk has given to his sons Yaroslav and Mstislav Volodymyr-Volynskyi and Brest. As the Grand Prince Svyatopolk also tried to conquer the rebellious Rostislvichi who established themselves well in the land of Halych. However, his attempts were rather unsuccessful. In 1100 the principality of Turov was passed to Yaroslav Svyatopolkovich who ruled both lands of Turov and Volyn. During another conflict between the prince of Turov and the Grand Prince of Rus Yaroslav was eliminated out of his realm in 1118. The land of Turov then was passed to another son of Svyatopolk Bryachislav, while Volyn was given to one of the sons of Vladimir Monomakh Roman.


After the death of Bryachislav Vladimir, Monomakh gave the Turov principality to his Vyacheslav who kept it until the middle of the 12th century. Around the 1150s Turov belonged to the descendants of Yuri Dolgoruki Andrei and Boris. Finally in 1162 the principality was passed by Yuri Dolgoruki back to one of the Izyaslavichi Yury Yaroslavich, grandson of Svyatopolk II of Kiev, who gained full independence from Kievan Rus'. However, at the same time the duchy became more and more divided between several sons of the duke Yury. A semi-independent Duchy of Pinsk was created. Along with the Duchy of Smolensk, the army of Turau participated in the Battle of the Kalka River in 1223.


In the early 13th century the Duchy of Turov became dependent of the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia. To liberate itself from it, the dukes of Turov cooperated more and more with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In the early 14th century the Duchy non-violently joined the Grand Duchy. By that time Hleb Narymunt, the son of Gediminas, was already ruler of Pinsk, while Turov and Haradok were still ruled by Rurikids. Later the territory of the Duchy became part of Brest Litovsk, Nowogródek, and Minsk Voivodeships.

Regions of the Principality[edit]

  • Duchy of Turov (10th century - 14th century)
  • Duchy of Pinsk (12th century - 16th century)
  • Duchy of Kletsk (12th century - 15th century)
  • Duchy of Slutsk-Kopyl (12th century - 16th century)
  • Duchy of Dubrovytsia (12th century - 13th century)


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Main article: Prince of Turov

Prince of Turov[edit]

  • Sviatopolk I Accursed (980-1019)
  • Iziaslav I Yaroslavich (about 1045-1078)
  • Yaropolk Petr Izyaslavich(1078–1087)
  • Sviatopolk II Mikhail Izyaslavich (1087–1094)
  • Vyacheslav Yaropolkovich (1094-1104/1105|5)
Monomakh (of Smolensk)
  • Vyacheslav Monomakhovich (1125–1132)
  • Iziaslav II Monomakhovich (1133–1134)
  • Vyacheslav Monomakhovich (1134–1141)
  • Vyacheslav Monomakhovich (1142–1146)
  •  ?
  • Andrei I Bogolubski (1150–1151)
  •  ?
  • Borys I (1155–1157)
Yuryevichi (Izyaslavichi's branch)
  • Yuri Yaroslavovich (1157–1167)
  • Ivan Yuryevich (1167–1190)
  • Gleb (1190–1195)
  • Ivan Yuryevich (1195–1207)
  • Rostislav Glebovich (1207–1228)
  •  ?
  • Yuri Volodymyrovich (?-1292)
  • Dmytro Yuryevich (1292-)
  • Danylo Dmytrovich (?-before 1366)

Prince of Pinsk[edit]

Yuryevichi (Izyaslavichi's branch)
  • Jarosław Juriewicz (-1184-)
  • Włodzimierz Glebowicz (-1228-)
  • Rościsław Włodzimierzowicz (-1242-)
  • Fiodor Włodzimierzowicz (-1262-)
  • Jerzy Włodzimierzowicz (-1292)
  • Demid Włodzimierzowicz (1292-to 1292)
  • Jarosław Juriewicz (to 1292-)
  • Jerzy Dymitrowicz
  • Giedymin (1320- ?)
  • Narymunt Gleb (1340–1348)
  • Michał Glebowicz Narymuntowicz (1348-?)
  • Wasyl Michajłowicz Narymuntowicz (14th century)
  • Jerzy Nos Wasylewicz Narymuntowicz (before 1398- after 1410)
  • Jerzy Semenowicz (before 1440-after 1471)
  • Maria Olelkowicz (1471–1501)
  • Wasyl Olelkowicz (1480–1495)
  • Fiodor Iwanowicz Jarosławicz (1501–1521)

Prince of Kletsk[edit]

Yuryevichi (Izyaslavichi's branch)
  • Wiaczesław Jarosławicz (1127- ?)
  •  ?
  • Michał Zygmuntowicz (1442–1452)

Prince of Slutsk-Kopyl[edit]

  • Jarosław Izasławowicz ? (1148)
  • Światosław Olegowicz (1148–1162
  • Włodzimierz Mścisławowicz (1162–1164) ?
  •  ?
  • Włodzimierz Olgierdowicz (1395–1398)
  • Aleksander Olelko (1398–1454)
  • Michał Olelkowicz (1454-1470/1481)
  • Szymon I Olelkowicz (1481–1505)
  • Jerzy I Olelkowicz (1505–1542)
  • Szymon II Olelkowicz (1542–1560)
  • Jerzy II Olelkowicz (1560–1572)
  • Jerzy III Olelkowicz (1572–1586)

Prince of Dubrovytsia[edit]

  • Iwan Juriewicz (1166–1182) ?
  • Gleb Juriewicz (1182–1190)
  • Aleksander Glebowicz (1190–1223)


Bibliography and External links[edit]

  • Primary Chronicle
  • (Belarusian) Ermolovich M.I., Ancient Belarus - Polotsk and Novogrudskii period, 1990 (Ермаловіч М. І. Старажытная Беларусь. Полацкі і Навагародскі перыяд. Мн., 1990.)
  • (Belarusian) Saganovich G., Outline of the History of Belarus from antiquity to the end of 18th century (Сагановіч Г. Нарыс гісторыі Беларусі ад старажытнасці да канца XVIII ст. Мн., 2001.)
  • (Ukrainian) Hrushevsky, M. "History of Ukraine-Rus". Vol.2 Ch.4 (page 5)

Coordinates: 52°10′N 26°45′E / 52.167°N 26.750°E / 52.167; 26.750