Vladimir II Monomakh


Vladimir II Monomakh

:"For the cruiser see Russian armoured cruiser Vladimir Monomakh, for the submarine see RFS Vladimir Monomakh"

Vladimir II Monomakh ( Russian: Владимир Мономах; Ukrainian: Володимир Мономах; Christian name "Vasiliy", or "Basileios") (1053–May 19, 1125)—or Vladimir in English — was a famous "Velikiy Kniaz" (Grand Prince) of Kievan Rus'.

Family

He was the son of Vsevolod I (married in 1046) and princess Anastasia of Byzantium (d. 1067), daughter of Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos, from whom he takes his nickname of "Monomakh" (Greek: "One who fights alone").

Through his maternal grandmother's family, Vladimir was apparently a descendant of the Argyros and Skleros families of the Byzantine Empire, and thus could have traced his bloodline to several other emperors such as Romanus I and Leo V. These Greek connections played an important role in his foreign affairs.

Eupraxia of Kiev, a sister of Vladimir, became notorious all over Europe for her divorce from the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV on the grounds that he had attempted a black mass on her naked body.

Reign

In his famous "Instruction" to his own children, Monomakh mentions that he conducted 83 military campaigns and 19 times made peace with the Polovtsi. At first he waged war against the steppe jointly with his cousin Oleg, but after Vladimir was sent by his father to rule Chernigov and Oleg made peace with the Polovtsi to retake that city from him, they parted company. Since that time, Vladimir and Oleg were bitter enemies who would often engage in internecine wars. The enmity continued among their children and more distant posterity.

From 1094, his chief patrimony was the southern town of Pereyaslav, although he also controlled Rostov, Suzdal, and other northern provinces. In these lands he founded several towns, notably his namesake, Vladimir, the future capital of Russia. In order to unite the princes of Rus' in their struggle against the Great Steppe, Vladimir initiated three princely congresses, the most important being held at Lyubech in 1097 and Dolobsk in 1103.

When Sviatopolk II died in 1113, the Kievan populace revolted and summoned Vladimir to the capital. The same year he entered Kiev to the great delight of the crowd and reigned there until his death in 1125. As may be seen from his "Instruction", he promulgated a number of reforms in order to allay the social tensions in the capital. These years saw the last flowering of Ancient Rus, which was torn apart 10 years after his death.

Vladimir Monomakh is buried in the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev. Succeeding generations often referred to his reign as the golden age of that city. Numerous legends are connected with Monomakh's name, including the transfer from Constantinople to Rus of such precious relics as the Theotokos of Vladimir and the Vladimir/Muscovite crown called Monomakh's Cap.

Marriages and children

Vladimir was married three times. His first wife was Gytha of Wessex, daughter of Harold of England who fell at Hastings and Ealdgyth Swan-neck. They had at least five children:

*Mstislav I of Kiev (1 June, 1076 - 14 April, 1132).
*Izyaslav Vladimirovich, Prince of Kursk (c. 1077 - 6 September, 1096).
*Svyatoslav Vladimirovich, Prince of Smolensk and Pereyaslav (c. 1080 - 16 March, 1114).
*Yaropolk II of Kiev (1082 - 18 February, 1139).
*Viacheslav I of Kiev (1083 - 2 February, 1154).

The following daughter has been attributed to both the first and the second wife:
*Marina Vladimirovna (d. 1146). Married Leon Diogenes. A pretender to the throne of the Byzantine Empire, claiming to be a son of Romanos IV. Rose to the rank of khan of the Cumans in Ossetia.

The second wife is considered to have been a Byzantine noblewoman. The Primary Chronicle records her date of death on 7 May, 1107. However the Chronicle does not mention her name. They had at least six children:

*Roman Vladimirovych, Prince of Volhynia (d. 6 January, 1119).
*Eufemia of Kiev (d. 4 April, 1139). Married Coloman of Hungary.
*Eupraxia Vladimirovna (d. 1109).
*Agafia Vladimirovna. Married Vsevolod Davidovich, Prince of Gorodno. Her husband was a son of Davyd Igorevych, Prince of Volhynia (d. 1113).
*Yuri Dolgoruki (d. 15 May, 1157).
*Andryi Vladimirovych, Prince of Volhynia (11 July, 1102 - 1141).

His third marriage is thought to have been to a daughter of Aepa Ocenevich, Khan of the Cumans. Her paternal grandfather was Osen. Her people belonged to the Kipchaks, a confederation of pastoralists and warriors of Turkic origin.

However the Primary Chronicle identifies Aepa as father-in-law to Yuri Dolgoruki. With Vladimir negotiating the marriage in name of his son. Whether father and son married sisters or the identity of intended groom was misadentified is unclear.

External links

* [http://www.arco-iris.com/George/monomakh.htm English biography]
* [http://www.kulichki.com/inkwell/text/special/history/karamzin/kar02_07.htm Karamzin's account of Monomakh]
* [http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/Monomakh.html Instruction of Vladimir Monomakh]
* [http://www.dur.ac.uk/~dml0www/vladmono.html The Pouchenie of Vladimir Monomakh]
* [http://www.monomah.vladimir.ru/pouchenie.htm The Pouchenie of Vladimir Monomakh] (on Russian)
* [http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/RUSSIA,%20Rurik.htm#VladimirMonomachdied1125B His listing in "Medieval lands" by Charles Cawley.]


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