Gleb Svyatoslavich

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Gleb Svyatoslavich
Prince of Tmutarakan
1st reign
2nd reign
3rd reign
before 1064–1064
1067–1067 or 1068
Predecessor Sviatoslav Iaroslavich
Rostislav Vladimirovich
Rostislav Vladimirovich
Successor Rostislav Vladimirovich
Rostislav Vladimirovich
Oleg Svyatoslavich (?)
Prince of Novgorod
Reign 1067 or 1068–1078
Predecessor Mstislav Izyaslavich
Successor Sviatopolk Izyaslavich
Born c. 1052
Died 30 May, 1078 (aged 25–26)
Zavoloch'e district (Principality of Novgorod)
Burial Holy Savior Cathedral, Chernigov (Chernihiv, Ukraine)
Dynasty Rurik
Father Sviatoslav Iaroslavich
Mother Killikiya

Gleb Svyatoslavich (c. 1052 – 30 May 1078) was Prince of Tmutarakan and Novgorod. He ruled Tmutarakan under the overall authority of his father Sviatoslav Iaroslavich, Prince of Chernigov. He was twice expelled from his principality by one of his cousins Rostislav Vladimirovich.

His father appointed him prince of Novgorod in 1067 or 1068. He suppressed a rebellion incited by a sorcerer against the bishop of the town. Later he was expelled from Novgorod, and was killed by the Chudes. The Russian Primary Chronicle writes that he "was kindly toward the poor and hospitable to strangers, zealous toward the church, warm in faith, peaceful, and fair in appearance".[1][2]

Early life

Gleb was the eldest of the fours sons of Sviatoslav Iaroslavich, Prince of Chernigov by his first wife, Killikiya.[3] According to historian Martin Dimnik, Gleb was born around 1049.[4] He was named after his father's holy uncle, Gleb.[5] His father appointed him to rule Tmutarakan,[6] an important port by the Strait of Kerch, but the year of his appointment is unknown.[7]

Prince of Tmutarakan

According to the Russian Primary Chronicle, Gleb's cousin Rostislav Vladimirovich "fled to Tmutorakan"[8] in 1064.[9] He expelled Gleb from Tmutorakan and "occupied his principate for himself".[8][9][10] Although Gleb was restored by his father in 1065, once Sviatoslav Iaroslavich had returned with his army to Chernigov, Rostislav invaded again and displaced Gleb from power once more.[9][11]

However, the Byzantine katepano or governor of Cherson poisoned Rostislav who died on 3 February 1067.[10][11][12] According to the Life of Feodosy, the citizens of Tmutorakan requested the monk Nikon the Great to persuade Sviatoslav Iaroslavich to again appoint Gleb as their prince.[13] The saintly monk succeeded and Gleb returned to Tmutarakan.[13] According to the inscription of the "Stone of Tmutarakan", Gleb had the width of the frozen Strait of Kerch measured in the winter of 1067-68.[14]

Prince of Novgorod

Map of the Kievan Rus'
Principalities in the Kievan Rus' (1054-1132)

Gleb was transferred—according to historian Martin Dimnik, by his father—from Tmutarakan to Novgorod in 1067 or 1068.[14] A distant relative of his, Vseslav Briacheslavich lay siege to Novgorod "on October 23, the day of the Lord's brother, St James, a Friday, at the sixth hour of the day",[15] according to the Chronicle of Novgorod.[16] However, Gleb and the Novgorodians routed him on the brook Gzen near the town.[17][18]

Gleb's rule in Novgorod was confirmed when his father became the Grand Prince of Kiev in 1073.[19] According to the Hypatian version of the Russian Primary Chronicle, Gleb visited his father in Kiev and witnessed the death of the saintly Abbot Feodosy of the Monastery of the Caves in 1074.[20] He seems to have been on friendly terms with his cousin, Vladimir Monomach whose first son was born in his court at Novgorod.[21] A late source—Vasily Tatishchev's compilation of medieval chronicles—writes that Sviatoslav Iaroslavich appointed Gleb and Vladimir Monomach to command the Rus' troops sent to fight against the Bulgarians at Cherson upon the request of the Byzantine Emperor Michael VII Ducas, but the source's reliability is doubtful.[22]

The Russian Primary Source narrates that a "magician"[23] arrived in Novgorod and stirred up the townsfolk against the bishop.[24] The magician planned to murder the prelate but Gleb and his druzhina or retinue remained loyal to him.[25] Gleb dared the sorcerer who had stated that he could foretell the future to predict "what was about to happen that very day",[23] according to the Russian Primary Chronicle.[25] The magician declared that he would "perform great miracles",[23] but Gleb pull out an axe from his cloth and killed him.[25] After the magician's death, his followers broke up.[26][25]

Gleb's father died on 27 December 1076.[27] According to Novgorodian sources, the citizens of the town rose in revolt and dethroned Gleb in 1078.[28][29] He fled beyond the lands beyond the river Volkhov, known as Zavoloch'e, where the Chudes killed him on 30 May.[30] His body was transferred to Chernigov where he was buried in the Holy Savior Chatedral on 23 July.[2] No source makes mention of Roman's marriage or his children, suggesting that he never married and died childless.[31]

See also


  1. Russian Primary Chronicle (year 6586), p. 165.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dimnik 1994, p. 143.
  3. Dimnik 1994, pp. 38-39.
  4. Dimnik 1994, p. 40.
  5. Dimnik 1994, p. 78.
  6. Vernadsky 1948, p. 84.
  7. Dimnik 1994, pp. 55-56.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Russian Primary Chronicle (year 6572), p. 144.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Dimnik 1994, p. 58.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Martin 1993, p. 41.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Vernadsky 1948, p. 85.
  12. Dimnik 1994, p. 59.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Dimnik 1994, p. 64.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Dimnik 1994, pp. 64-65.
  15. The Chronicle of Novgorod (year AD 1068 AM 6576), p. 5.
  16. Dimnik 1994, pp. 71-72.
  17. Dimnik 1994, p. 72.
  18. Franklin & Shepard 1996, p. 256.
  19. Dimnik 1994, p. 93.
  20. Dimnik 1994, p. 95.
  21. Dimnik 1994, p. 97.
  22. Dimnik 1994, pp. xv-xvi, 99.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Russian Primary Chronicle (year 6579), p. 154.
  24. Franklin & Shepard 1996, p. 229.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Dimnik 1994, p. 108.
  26. Franklin & Shepard 1996, p. 246.
  27. Dimnik 1994, p. 127.
  28. Dimnik 1994, p. 144.
  29. Franklin & Shepard 1996, p. 260.
  30. Dimnik 1994, pp. 143-144.
  31. Dimnik 1994, p. 41.


Primary sources

  • The Russian Primary Chronicle: Laurentian Text (Translated and edited by Samuel Hazzard Cross and Olgerd P. Sherbowitz-Wetzor) (1953). Medieval Academy of America. ISBN 978-0-915651-32-0.
  • The Chronicle of Novgorod, 1016–1471 (Translated from the Russian by Rober Michell and Nevill Forbes, with an introduction by C. Raymond Beazley, and an account of the text by A. A. Shakhmatov) (1914, 2011). BiblioLife.

Secondary sources

  • Dimnik, Martin (1994). The Dynasty of Chernigov, 1054–1146. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. ISBN 0-88844-116-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Franklin, Simon; Shepard, Jonathan (1996). The Emergence of Rus 750–1200. Longman. ISBN 0-582-49091X.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Martin, Janet (1993). Medieval Russia, 980–1584. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-67636-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Vernadsky, George (1948). A History of Russia, Volume II: Kievan Russia. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-01647-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Gleb Svyatoslavich
Born:  ???? Died: 1078
Regnal titles
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Yaropolk Izyaslavich
Grand Prince of Kiev
Succeeded by
Vladimir Monomakh