Vsevolod I of Kiev

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Vsevolod I redirects here. It can also refer to Vsevolod I Svyatoslavich (c. 1153–1196).
Vsevolod I
Grand Prince of Kiev
Vsevolod yaroslavich.jpg
Reign 1078–1093
Predecessor Izyaslav I
Successor Sviatopolk II
Prince of Pereyaslav
Reign 1054–1073
Prince of Chernigov
Reign 1073–1078
Born ~1030
Died 13 April 1093 [aged ~63]
Spouse Anastasia (?–1067)
Anna, a daughter of the Cuman Khan (?–1111)
Issue with Anastasia: Vladimir, Ionna
with Anna: Eupraxia, Rostislav, Catherine, Maria
Full name
Vsevolod Yaroslavovich (Andrei)
Dynasty Rurik dynasty
Father Yaroslav the Wise
Mother Ingegerd Olofsdotter (a daughter of Olof Skötkonung)

Vsevolod I Yaroslavich (Ukrainian and Russian: Всеволод I Ярославич, Old Norse: Vissivald), (1030 – 13 April 1093) ruled as Grand Prince of Kiev from 1078 until his death.

Early life

He was the fifth[1] and favourite son of Yaroslav I the Wise by Ingigerd Olafsdottir. He was born around 1030.[2] On his seal from his last years, he was named "Andrei Vsevolodu" in Greek, implying that his baptismal name was Andrew.[3]

To back up an armistice signed with the Byzantine Empire in 1046, his father married him to Byzantine Anastasia (d. 1067), who tradition holds was a daughter of Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos by his second wife (he gained the Imperial throne through his third marriage), but no reliable source has ever been found to confirm this. However, the couple's son Vladimir Monomakh bore the family name of the Roman/Byzantine emperor, giving the story credence.

Upon his father's death in 1054, he received in appanage the towns of Pereyaslav,[4] Rostov, Suzdal, and the township of Beloozero which would remain in possession of his descendants until the end of Middle Ages. Together with his elder brothers Iziaslav and Sviatoslav he formed a sort of princely triumvirate which jointly waged war on the steppe nomads, polovtsy, and compiled the first East Slavic law code. In 1055 Vsevolod launched an expedition against the Torks who had in the previous years expelled the Pechenegs from the Pontic steppes.[5] He also made peace with the Cumans who appeared for the first time in Europe in the same year.[5] The Cumans invaded his principality in 1061 and routed Vsevolod in a battle.[5] Vsevolod persuaded his brother, Iziaslav, and their distant cousin, Vseslav to join him and they together attacked the Torks in 1060.[5]

In 1067 Vsevolod's Greek wife died and he soon married a Kypchak princess, Anna. She brought him another son, who drowned after the Battle of the Stugna River, and two daughters, one becoming a nun and another, Eupraxia of Kiev, marrying Emperor Henry IV.

The Cumans again invaded Kievan Rus' in 1068.[6] The three brothers united their forces against them, but the Cumans routed them on the Alta River.[6] After their defeat, Vsevolod withdrew to Pereyaslav.[7] However, its citizens rose up in open rebellion, dethroned Iziaslav, and liberated and proclaimed Vseslav their grand prince.[8] Vsevolod and Sviatoslav made no attempt to expel the usurper from Kiev.[9]

Vsevolod supported Sviatoslav against Iziaslav.[10] They forced their brother to flee from Kiev in 1073.[10] Feodosy, the saintly hegumen or head of the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev remained loyal to Iziaslav, and refused to had a lunch with Sviatoslav and Vsevolod.[2]

Iziaslav granted Sviatoslav's former principality to Vsevolod, but Sviatoslav's sons considered the Principality of Chernigov as their own patrimony or otchina.[10] Oleg Sviatoslavich made an alliance with the Cumans and invaded Chernigov.[11] Iziaslav came to Vsevolod's rescue and they forced Oleg to retreat, but Iziaslav was murdered in the battle.[11][12]

Kievan court in the times of Vsevolod I


After Iziaslav's death, Vsevolod, as their father's only surviving son, took the Kievan throne, thus uniting the three core principalities—Kiev, Chernigov and Pereyaslavl—in Kievan Rus'.[13] He appointed his eldest son, Vladimir Monomach to administer Chernigov.[14][12]

The Russian Primary Chronicle writes that the "people no longer had access to the Prince's justice, judges became corrupt and venal",[15] Vsevolod followed his young councilors' advice instead of that of his old retainers in his last years.[16]

Vsevolod spoke five foreign languages, according to Vladimir Monomach's Autobiography.[17] Historian George Vernadsky, these probably included Greek and Cuman, because of the nationality of his two wives, and he likely spoke Latin, Norse and Ossetian.[18] he lost most of his battles, his eldest son, Vladimir Monomakh, a grand and famous warrior, did most of the fighting for his father. The last years of his reign were clouded by grave illness, and Vladimir Monomakh presided over the government.


Vsevolod and his first wife Anastasia (daughter of Constantine IX Monomachos) had only one known son:[19]

  • Vladimir II Monomakh (1053 – 19 May 1125).
  • Ianka or Anna Vsevolodovna (d. 3 November 1112) who was engaged to Constantine Dukas in 1074, but she never married[20] She became a nun and started a school for girls.[21]

Vsevolod and his second wife had five known children:


See also


  1. Martin 1993, p. 32.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Raffensperger 2012, p. 99.
  3. Raffensperger 2012, pp. 36, 99.
  4. Vernadsky 1948, p. 83.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Martin 1993, p. 54.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Martin 1993, p. 55.
  7. Vernadsky 1948, p. 86.
  8. Martin 1993, pp. 31, 55.
  9. Martin 1993, p. 31.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Martin 1993, p. 33.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Martin 1993, p. 57.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Vernadsky 1948, p. 87.
  13. Martin 1993, pp. 33, 35.
  14. Martin 1993, pp. 35, 41.
  15. Russian Primary Chronicle (year 6601), p. 174.
  16. Vernadsky 1948, pp. 87, 183.
  17. Vernadsky 1948, p. 291.
  18. Vernadsky 1948, p. 292.
  19. Kazhdan 1989, p. 416.
  20. Vernadsky 1948, p. 351.
  21. Vernadsky 1948, pp. 154, 351.
  22. Vernadsky 1948, p. 340.


  • 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>
  • Kazhdan, Alexander (1989). "Rus'-Byzantine Princely Marriages in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries". Harvard Ukrainian Studies. Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.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>
  • Raffensperger, Christian (2012). Reimagining Europe: Kievan Rus' in the Medieval World. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-06384-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • 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.
  • 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>

External links

Vsevolod I of Kiev
Born: 1030 Died: 1093
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Prince of Pereyaslavl
Succeeded by
Vladimir Vsevolodich
Preceded by
Sviatoslav Yaroslavich
Prince of Chernigov
Succeeded by
Vsevolod I
Preceded by
Sviatoslav Yaroslavich
Grand Prince of Kiev
Succeeded by
Sviatopolk II