Volodar Glebovich, Prince of Minsk

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Volodar Glebovich of Minsk was a prince of Minsk belonging to the so-called Polish police dynasty (or the Polovts) after the Belarusian the city and the principality Polotsk, from where it originated. He was the son of Gleb Vseslavich of Minsk (death 1119) and Anastasia, a daughter of Yaropolk Izyaslavich. Volodar died after 1167, possibly 1176.

Volodar's family had long been in conflict with the Grand Prince of Kiev, Vladimir Monomach, who in 1113 (according to some information 1119) conquered Minsk from Volodar's father. Later, the remaining possessions of the Polish dynasty had been conquered by Vladimir's son Mstislav I of Kiev and its members were forced into exile to, inter alia, Constantinople. However, after Mstislav's death in 1132, the Kiev Empire slowly collapsed and the Polish dynasty could return to the Russian political scene.

Volodar married June 5, 1135 (probably while in exile in Poland) with Richeza of Poland, Queen of Sweden, daughter of Bolesław III Wrymouth and widow of the Danish prince and short-lived king Magnus I of Sweden, who the year before fell in the Battle of Fotevik. Volodar and Rikissa got the daughter Sofia of Minsk, who later married Valdemar the Great of Denmark.

The marriage of Volodar and Rikis was a political move by her father directed against the then alliance between Erik Emune of Denmark and the descendants of Monomach. Since several central actors in this conflict died and the position of the Monomies in Russia greatly weakened, the foundation of the marriage also fell, which was dissolved in divorce, after which Rikissa married Sverker I of Sweden.

Misconception[edit]

In ancient history research, Volodar was usually confused (among others by Nikolaj von Baumgarten) with the half-mythical prince Vladimir Vsevolodic of Novgorod.

References[edit]

  • John Lind "The Russian Marriages. Dynamic and Political Coalitions During the Danish Civil War of the 1130s" in (Danish) Historical Journal No. 2 1992.