Roman Mikhailovich (Prince of Chernigov)

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Roman Mikhailovich the Old[1] (c. 1218 – after 1288[1] / after 1305) was a Rus' prince (a member of the Rurik dynasty).[2] He was prince of Chernigov (1246/1247 – after 1288), and of Bryansk (1246 – after 1288).[1]


Roman was the second son of Mikhail Vsevolodovich (who later became prince of Chernigov, and grand prince of Kiev) by his wife, Elena Romanovna[1] (or Maria Romanovna), a daughter of prince Roman Mstislavich of Halych.[2] His mother most likely persuaded her husband to name their second son after her father.[1] Around 1243, Roman’s elder brother, Rostislav Mikhailovich was disowned by their father when he decided to stay in Hungary.[1]

On September 20, 1246, Mikhail Vsevolodovich was executed by the Tatars; Roman’s patrimony was Bryansk which controlled the water routes from Chernihiv (today Chernihiv in Ukraine) to Smolensk and across the Vyatichi lands to Suzdalia.[1] The Lyubetskiy sinodik and the Ermolinskiy Chronicle identify him as the prince of Chernihiv.[1] In the light of Batu Khan’s directive that only those princes who submitted to him would receive a yarlik (a patent), Roman obviously visited the khan after his father’s execution.[1] The chronicles do not report his visit, but John de Plano Carpini alludes to it.[1]

And leaving Comania we met Duke Roman who was going to the Tartars with his retinue, and Duke Oleg who was leaving with his. In fact the ambassador of the Duke of Chernigov left Comania with us and went a long way through Russia with us, and all of these are Ruthenian dukes.

— Giovanni DiPlano Carpini: The Story of the Mongols whom We Call the Tartars[3]

If, as is most likely the case, this reference was to Roman, Batu Khan gave him the yarlik not only for his patrimonial domain of Bryansk, but also for Chernihiv.[1] On the other hand, other chronicles never refer to Roman as the prince of Chernigov.[1] Available evidence suggests that, even though he held the yarlik for Chernihiv, the town was probably occupied by Batu Khan’s official (baskak), who requisitioned it for himself; therefore Roman was merely the titular prince of Chernigov.[1] Nevertheless, he was probably instrumental in having the bishop of Chernigov transferred to Bryansk.[1]

Under the year 1264, the Hypatian Chronicle reports that Roman of Bryansk sent his eldest son, Mikhail Romanovich to escort Olga Romanovna, one of his sisters, to her betrothed, Vsevolod Vasilkovich of Volhynia.[1] 10 years later the same chronicler states that Khan Mengu-Timur ordered a number of princes, including “Roman of Debryansk” (i.e. Bryansk) and his son Oleg Romanovich, to campaign against the Lithuanians.[1]

In 1288, according to an account of the foundation of the Uspenskiy Svenskiy Monastery in Bryansk, Roman became blind and was cured through the intervention of an icon of the Mother of God.[1] In thanksgiving for his cure, he founded the Uspenskiy Monastery near the Desna River.[1]

According to some accounts, the Tatars killed him at the Golden Horde.[1]

Marriage and children[edit]

#: Anna[1][2][4]

  • Prince Oleg Romanovich of Chernigov and Bryansk;[1][2]
  • Mikhail Romanovich;[1][2]
  • Olga Romanovna (Elena Romanovna),[2] wife of Prince Vsevolod Vasilkovich of Volhynia.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Dimnik, Martin. The Dynasty of Chernigov - 1146-1246. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Charles Cawley (2009-03-14). "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 2009-04-05. 
  3. ^ DiPlano Carpini, Giovanni. The Story of the Mongols whom We Call the Tartars. Branden. p. 119. ISBN 9780828320177. 
  4. ^ According to the account of the Uspenskiy Svenskiy Monastery, however, his wife was named Anastasia; perhaps Anastasia was the name of his second wife; Dimnik, Martin op. cit. p. 376.


  • Dimnik, Martin: The Dynasty of Chernigov - 1146-1246; Cambridge University Press, 2003, Cambridge; ISBN 978-0-521-03981-9.
  • DiPlano Carpini, Giovanni (Author) - Hildinger, Erik (Translator): The Story of the Mongols whom We Call the Tartars; Branden Publishing Company, Inc, 1996, Boston, MA; ISBN 0-8283-2017-9.
Roman Mikhailovich (Prince of Chernigov)
Born: 1218 Died: 1288
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Prince of Bryansk
1246–after 1288
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Mikhail Vsevolodovich
Prince of Chernigov
1246/1247–after 1288
Succeeded by
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Vasily of Kostroma
Grand Prince of Kiev
Succeeded by
Lev I
Preceded by
Vasily of Kostroma
2nd in line to Grand Prince of Kiev
Succeeded by
Lev I