Mikhail Vsevolodovich Chernigovsky, a contemporary and the strongest and most consistent political opponent of both Daniel and Yaroslav, is much less known, despite living a long and very eventful life, rich in victories and defeats, martyred at the rate of Batu Khan and was subsequently even canonized saints, like Yaroslav's son Alexander Nevsky. I was interested in his personality as the personality of a typical representative of the princely family of Rurikovich of the first half of the XIII century, who, in my opinion, the circumstances were somewhat different, could be fixed at the head of the Russian state, become the ancestor of a different grand-princely dynasty and, who knows, could have managed history of Russia - Russia in a completely different direction. For good, it could be or for the worse, we won’t guess ... In order, by the way.
Mikhail Vsevolodovich was born in 1179 year in the family of Prince Vsevolod Svyatoslavich Chermny. His mother was the daughter of the Polish king Casimir II Maria. Michael belonged to the dynasty of Chernigov Olgovichi and was a direct descendant of Oleg Svyatoslavich (Oleg Gorislavich) in the fifth generation and Yaroslav the Wise in the seventh. At the time of the birth of Michael, his grandfather, Prince Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich, was the prince of Chernigov and the grand prince of Kiev.
All the ancestors of Michael in the male line at one time, albeit briefly, occupied the Kiev Grand-Ducal table, so Michael, as the eldest son of his father, knew from early childhood that he had the right to the supreme power by birthright. Mikhail's grandfather Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich dies in 1194, when Mikhail himself was already 15 years old. In 1198, Mikhail Vsevolod Svyatoslavich’s father received the Starodubskoe principality (one of Chernihiv’s lands) as an inheritance and was actively involved in the internecine princely struggle for power and, as the highest achievement in this struggle, for the Kiev great table. The first mention of Mikhail Vsevolodovich in the sources is 1206, when his father, having quarreled with Vsevolod the Big Nest, the head of Vladimir-Suzdal land, drove his protege and, concurrently, a cousin nephew, Rurik Rostislavich from Kiev, and tried to take his place. Pereyaslavl Russian (South), Vsevolod Svyatoslavovich gave just to his son Mikhail, for which the sixteen-year-old son of Vsevolod the Great Nest Yaroslav - the future Grand Prince of Vladimir Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, the father of Alexander Nevsky was expelled from the Pereyaslavl table. However, at the Kiev table Vsevolod Svyatoslavich lasted only a short time, a year later Rurik Rostislavich managed to return, expelling Vsevolod. In 1210, Rurik Rostislavich and Vsevolod Svyatoslavich were able to agree and according to this contract Vsevolod still occupied the Kiev table, and Rurik sat in Chernigov, where he soon died.
In 1206, a princely congress took place in Chernigov, where the general meeting of the princes of Chernihiv land decided to intervene in the struggle for the inheritance of the deceased a year before (1205) of the Galician-Volynsk prince Roman Mstislavich. Mikhail Vsevolodovich, of course, should have been directly involved in this congress, convened by his father. What the princes gathered in Chernihiv said and argued about is unknown. Modern historians, based on various indirect data, believe that representatives of the Seversky branch of the Olgovichi dynasty received the support of the Chernigov Olgovichi proper in the struggle for Galich and Volyn in exchange for abandoning claims to other lands within the Chernigov principality. So to say, at the same time, the conclusion of an offensive alliance, and the division of already existing territories, and, moreover, the division is uneven, with a large bias towards the Chernihiv branch.
Where was Michael and what he did in the period from 1207 to 1223 was unknown. It is assumed that at this time he occupied one of the secondary tables in Chernihiv land, not actively participating in strife.
Not later than 1211, Mr. Mikhail married Alena Romanovna, the daughter of Roman Mstislavich Galitsky and the sister of his future worst enemy Daniil Romanovich. With the date of the wedding of Michael is not so simple. According to some sources, it could have already taken place in 1189 or 1190, when Mikhail was only ten or eleven years old, but such a construction seems doubtful. Most likely, the marriage of Michael with Alena was indeed concluded closer to 1211, it was during these years that one of the peaks of activity in princely quarrels for the inheritance of Roman Mstislavich Galitsky occurred, when the positions of its active participants - Chernigov Olgovich, brothers Vladimir, Svyatoslav and Roman Igorevich. (the children of the protagonist “The Words about Igor's Regiment”) were weakened and they were finally, as it turned out, expelled from the tables of Galich, Vladimir Volynsky and Zvenigorod, respectively, who were occupied before. The marriage of a representative of the Chernigov princely home with a well-born bespriannitsey Alyona Romanovna could and should have strengthened the position of Ol'govichi in the struggle for Galich and Volyn, because in the case of the untimely death of minors at that time brothers Daniil and Vasilka Romanovich (ten and eight years old respectively), children of Michael and Alena Romanovna would become completely legitimate aspirants to the Galician-Volyn lands. However, Daniel and Vasilko survived, in 1217 a representative of Smolensk Rostislavs Mstislav Udaloy, who managed to capture and keep Galich, interfered in a feud, and Vladimir-Volynsky handed Daniel to his brother Vasilko, concluding an alliance with them through the marriage of Daniel and his daughter. For some time, the active actions stopped.
In 1215, the father of Mikhail Vsevolod Svyatoslavich dies. Michael was thirty-six years old this year, certainly an impressive age, especially for those times, but in the period from 1207 to 1223. Any mention of Mikhail Vsevolodovich in the sources are missing. Even such a grand event as the battle of Lipitsa in 1216, in which his rival in 1206, in the fight for Pereyaslavl Yuzhny, Yaroslav Vsevolodovich took the most active part, passed, judging by the annals, without him, which, however, is explained by the general detachment Chernigov princes from participating in this strife.
Next time we find mention of Mikhail Vsevolodovich in the annals for 1223 in connection with the battle on the r. Kalka between the united army of the princes of the South Russian lands (Kiev, Galitsko-Volyn and Chernigov) and the Mongolian expeditionary force under the command of Jebe and Subedei. Mikhail Vsevolodovich fights as a part of the Chernigov regiment and he manages to avoid death and return home, while his uncle Mstislav Svyatoslavich, Prince of Chernigov, dies. In this campaign, which ended so unsuccessfully for the Russian princes, the forty-four-year-old Mikhail Vsevolodovich had the opportunity to personally communicate with his brother-in-law and his future irreconcilable rival, twenty-two-year-old Daniel Romanovich, Prince of Volyn, the future Galician, and also the “King of Russia”. Both are listed as secondary participants of the campaign, Mikhail - in the retinue of Mstislav of Chernigov, Daniel - in the retinue of Mstislav Galitsky (Mstislav the Remote).
Upon returning from an unsuccessful campaign to Kalku no later than 1224, Mr. Mikhail, as the eldest in the Olgovichi family, after the death of his uncle Mstislav Svyatoslavich, became the prince of Chernigov. This situation opened up completely new opportunities for Mikhail to realize the political ambitions of his energetic, enterprising and active nature. From a petty prince of purely regional significance, he turned into a political figure of an all-Russian scale. We can say that in the forty-sixth year of his life his star finally rose.
One of the first steps of Michael as Prince of Chernigov was the establishment of friendly relations with the Grand Duke Vladimir Yury Vsevolodovich, the head of the Suzdal princely home. His own sister Agafya Vsevolodovna, Yuri's wife, probably helped him in this.
Yuri Vsevolodovich, unlike his younger brother Yaroslav, probably did not differ in ambition, energy and militancy, he saw the expansion of Russian possessions to the east, the conquest of Mordovian tribes and the struggle for influence with Volga Bulgaria, but at the same time he had to pay considerable attention to relations with his northern neighbor, Novgorod. However, Novgorod dealt with more, just, Yaroslav, who had already been the prince of Novgorod twice. His first reign of Novgorod was marked by a conflict with the city community, as a result of which Yaroslav was forced to leave Novgorod. That conflict ended in 1216 in the Battle of Lipica, in which Yuri and Yaroslav suffered a crushing defeat, and Yaroslav even lost his helmet, which the peasants subsequently accidentally found at the beginning of the 19th century.
The second time, Yaroslav Vsevolodovich reigned in Novgorod in 1223-1224, made a campaign with Novgorod on Kolyvan (Revel, Tallinn), but again quarreled with them because of their passivity and, demonstrating their offense, left the willful city. Instead of Yaroslav, Yury Vsevolodovich sent his son Vsevolod to reign in Novgorod, who, however, cursed him for a very short time.
Towards the end of 1224, the relationship between the Suzdal princes and Novgorod became strained again. The prince in Novgorod, Vsevolod Yuryevich was forced to flee from it, settled in Torzhok, arrested all the property of Novgorod there and blocked the trade route. Yuri supported his son by arresting the Novgorod merchants within the Vladimir-Suzdal principality. The conflict had to be settled, and at that moment Mikhail Chernigovsky appeared on the scene. For some reason, probably of a personal nature, it is to him that Yuri proposes the Novgorod reign, Mikhail agrees and departs to Novgorod, which receives him with joy. In Novgorod, Mikhail leads a populist policy, promises a lot, including making a military campaign in the interests of Novgorod (probably, in Livonia or on Lithuania), and also promises to settle the conflict with Yuri. And if the latter, thanks to the influence on Yuri, he succeeds (Yuri releases all the prisoners and returns their goods to Novgorod), then the former turns out to be much more difficult to accomplish. Faced with the boyar opposition in Novgorod and a self-willed veche, Mikhail succumbs, voluntarily refuses the reign of Novgorod and leaves for Chernigov. Mikhail’s hasty departure to Chernigov may also be related to the fact that his position there has been shaken. Claims on the Chernigov principality presented his distant relative, a representative of the Seversky branch of Olgovichi Prince Oleg Kursky.
Oleg's pedigree can only be established hypothetically, since his patronymic is not mentioned in the annals. Most likely, it was Mikhail's second cousin, who by virtue of his score had more rights to Chernihiv, but according to the decision of the princely 1206 congress, as a representative of the Seversky branch of Olgovichi, he could not claim it. For help in curbing the "rebel", Mikhail again turned to Yury Vsevolodovich, who in 1226 gave him shelves to march on Prince Oleg. The battle did not come to the end: Oleg, seeing the overwhelming advantage of Michael, resigned himself and did not demonstrate any ambitions in the future.
In Novgorod, after the departure of Mikhail, Yaroslav Vsevolodovich became involved in the third time. However, the quick-tempered and militant nature of this prince again led to conflict with the people of Novgorod. Having made successful marches to Lithuania and his country (the ancestors of modern Finns) in the interests of Novgorod, in 1228 he conceived a campaign against Riga, the center of the crusading movement in the Eastern Baltic, however, he came across active resistance from part of the Novgorod elite and open opposition from Pskov where he was not even allowed to, shutting the gate. Annoyed by his helplessness, the Novgorodian political myopia and the passivity that it engenders, Yaroslav left Novgorod again, leaving his young sons Fedor and Alexander (the future Nevsky) in it.
In Novgorod that year (1229) there was a poor harvest, famine began, people died in the streets, popular discontent turned into an open riot, as a result of which Fyodor and Alexander were forced to leave the city, and in their place Novgorod again called Mikhail Vsevolodovich. Yaroslav was categorically against such a development of events and even tried to intercept Novgorod messengers in Chernigov, but did not succeed. Mikhail found out about the invitation and immediately responded. Mikhail's calculation was on the passivity of Yuri Vsevolodovich and on the fact that in Chernigov his position was finally established, and at the expense of the Novgorod reign he would be able to significantly expand his capabilities. The interests of Yaroslav they were not taken into account and, as it turned out, in vain.
Yaroslav, irritated by the passivity of his brother Yuri, and also suspected him of conspiring with Mikhail to the detriment of his interests, Yaroslav tried to organize an “anti-jurevic” coalition, to which he drew his nephews, sons of his late brother Konstantin Vsevolodovich - Prince of Rostov Vasilyk Konstantinovich ( married, by the way, to the daughter of Mikhail of Chernigov) and prince of Yaroslavl Vsevolod Konstantinovich. In fairness, I must say that the actions of Yuri really could cause discontent princes Vsevolodovich, because they were in clear discrepancy with the interests of the dynasty. In order to resolve the conflict in 1229, Mr. Yuri convened a general princely congress, at which misunderstandings were resolved. Yaroslav, meanwhile, was not inactive, he, considering Michael to be the usurper of the Novgorod table, captured the Novgorod suburb of Volokolamsk and refused to make peace with Mikhail until Mikhail joined the peace talks as a mediator of Metropolitan Kirill. By that time, Mikhail had already returned to Chernigov, leaving his son Rostislav in Novgorod.
Despite the peace concluded with Mikhail, Yaroslav continued to prepare revenge. In Novgorod there remained his numerous supporters who continued to defend his interests on the banks of the Volkhov. In some ways, this was facilitated by the continuation of the famine in 1230 in Novgorod, because of which the situation in the city was very far from calm. Unable to withstand constant tension and the threat of insurrection, Prince Rostislav Mikhailovich fled from the city and settled in Torzhok, where, with food, it was probably much better. For a young man who was barely eighteen years old (the date of his birth is unknown, but could not be before 1211, the year of Mikhail Vsevolodovich’s marriage to Rostislav’s mother, Alena Romanovna), such an act could be quite natural, but as an authorized representative of his father in the city , to do so, of course, he had no right. It should be remembered that in 1224, his cousin and, perhaps, the same age, Vsevolod Yuryevich, under similar circumstances, also fled from Novgorod to Torzhok, which led to a temporary loss of the Novgorod table by the Suzdal dynasty. Outraged by the behavior of Rostislav, the Novgorodians revolted, Yaroslav’s party prevailed in the meeting, the agreement with Michael was terminated and Yaroslav was invited to reign again, for the fourth time. It was his final victory, from that time only he and his descendants reigned in Novgorod.
To consolidate this success in 1231, Yaroslav, together with his brother Yuri, made a military campaign in Chernihiv land, to finally dot the i's and once and for all prevent Mikhail from interfering in their affairs in the north. From the battle, Michael declined, concluding an agreement with the brothers, the conditions of which he later adhered to. At this "northern epic" of Mikhail of Chernigov ended. He was waiting for other things, this time in the south.
In 1228 in Torchesk, prince Mstislav Mstilavich the Remaining Prince Galitsky dies. After an eleven-year break, the war for the Galician inheritance resumed. A few words about the ancient Galicia.
The exact date of founding Galic unknown. In the Russian chronicles it was first mentioned under 1140, although, of course, it existed long before this date. In the XI century. Galich was part of the Terebovl principality, but by the middle of the XII century. stood out in an independent reign. In 1141, Vladimir Volodarevich, Prince Terebovlsky, moved the capital of his principality to Galich. The Galician principality reached its greatest prosperity under Prince Yaroslav Osmomysl (1153-1187), in whose rule Galich became the economic and political center of the region, became a city comparable in importance to Kiev, Chernigov, Vladimir-Zalessky, Veliky Novgorod.
Being very favorably located geographically, Galich was a major center for transit trade along the east-west line, had along the Dniester, on the bank of which was actually located, free passage for ships to the Black Sea, in the territory of the principality there were salt deposits, in the Carpathian Mountains there were open deposits of copper and iron. In combination with a warm, mild climate that contributed to the development of agriculture, Galich was the pearl that could beautify the crown of any sovereign.
The ethnic composition of the Galician principality and, especially, Galich itself was also different from the majority of the Russian principalities. In addition to the Russians, who, of course, were the majority, the Polish and Hungarian diasporas lived in the city, which had a significant impact on the internal life of the settlement.
Among the cities of ancient Rus, Galich, like Novgorod, was distinguished by the traditions of popular law. Probably, this similarity is due to the fact that transit trade was the main source of income for the population in both Novgorod and Galicia. Merchant associations had significant funds, the income from trade exceeded the income from land ownership, therefore the land aristocracy in cities such as Novgorod and Galich did not have such absolute dominance as in other lands of ancient Russia. The population of Galich, like the population of Novgorod, possessed its own political will, able to resist the princely will. Absolutely all the Galician rulers, including Yaroslav Osmomysl, who enjoyed the unquestioned authority, were constantly forced to fight a powerful boyar-merchant opposition, even resorting to mass executions. It was in Galicia that an unprecedented case of execution of princes by the boyars opposition was recorded - in 1211, in front of the ten-year-old Prince Daniil Romanovich (the future Galitsky), the Roman and Svyatoslav Igorevich princes were hanged out specially from the Hungarian captivity and were representatives of the dynasty of Seversky Olgovich.
So, in 1228, the struggle for Galich, this noisy, rich, capricious and self-willed city, taking in everyone and able to expel anyone, entered a new phase.
The troublemaker was the twenty-seven-year-old Daniel Romanovich, Prince of Volyn. Mstislav the Uncleaner, under the pressure of urban communities, bequeathed the city and princedom to Hungarian prince Andrei (son of the king of Hungary Andrei II) before his death. Daniel, on the other hand, considered Galich to be his fiefdom “in his father’s place” and was not going to give up the city to the Hungarians. For a start, he decided to somewhat consolidate his own lands and expand his sphere of influence - he captured the local princes Lutsk and Chartoryisk. These aggressive actions of the young and promising prince attracted the attention of the “big uncles” - Mikhail Vsevolodovich Chernigov and Vladimir Rurikovich Kievsky. Having formed a coalition, to which Polovtsian Khan Kotyan was attracted, they moved to Volyn against Daniel. Realizing that in the open field battle his army would not stand, Daniel occupied the Kamenetz fortress in the east of his region, reasonably believing that the princes would not risk going deeper into his lands, having an undefeated army in the rear, and would be compelled to distract from the siege. So it happened. The Allied princes laid siege to Kamenetz and began negotiations with Daniel. During these negotiations, Daniel managed to split the coalition. Khan Kotyan (the native grandfather of his wife Daniil) left the Kamenetz near the steppe, on the way fairly plundering the Galician region, Mikhail Vsevolodovich and Vladimir Rurikovich retired to their lands. It is noteworthy that from this time on, Vladimir became a faithful ally of Daniel and, in the continuation of civil strife, always stood with him in a united front against Mikhail of Chernigov.
So, the princes' campaign against Daniel turned into nothing, but the political alignment in the south of Russia changed. In 1229, Mr. Daniel managed to capture Galich, expelling Prince Andrey, but he felt extremely insecure there. The annals marked the discontent of the boyar and merchant elite of Galicia with the fact of the expulsion of Andrei, it even came to an attempt on the life of Daniel. In 1230, Mr. Andrew, at the head of the Hungarian army, whom Daniel could not oppose, returned to Galich, driving Daniil to Volyn, thus restoring the status quo.
In the same, 1230, Mr. Mikhail Chernigovsky, who had just been defeated in the struggle for Novgorod, decided to seize the Kiev table under his former ally Vladimir Rurikovich. Probably preparing his trip to Kiev, Michael enlisted the support of Hungary and Galich in the person of Prince Andrey. His preparations became known to Vladimir, who, realizing that he could not cope with Michael alone, turned to Daniel for help. For Daniel, the alliance with Kiev opened up significant opportunities in the struggle for Galich, so already in 1231, he and his team arrived in Kiev. Upon learning of the arrival of Daniel in Kiev, Mikhail revised his plans and refused to go, reconciling with Vladimir.
In 1233, prince Andrew with the Hungarian army and Galicians invades Volyn, but in the battle of Shumsko is suffering a crushing defeat from Daniel and his brother Vasilka. The retaliatory invasion of Daniel in the same year leads to another defeat of Andrew in the battle on the Styr river, after which Daniel besieged Galich. Nine weeks Galicians were under siege, but after the sudden death of Andrew, the reasons for which the sources are not specified, obeyed Daniel and let him into the city. However, the position of Daniel in Galicia remained precarious, the prince understood that at the first opportunity, the Galicians would betray him.
In 1235, Mr. Mikhail Chernigovsky decided to repeat the attempt to capture Kiev. This time, his ally was made by Prince Izyaslav Mstislavich, possibly the son of Mstislav the Bold, who reigned at that time in Torchesk. Once again, Daniel comes to the aid of Vladimir Kievsky, the coalition of Mikhail and Izyaslav falls apart, the latter runs towards the Polovtsy, and Mikhail returns to Chernihiv. However, now Daniel and Vladimir are pursuing him all the way to Chernigov, ravaging Chernihiv lands along the way. In Chernigov land, the cousin of Mikhail Mstislav Glebovich joined the Allied princes. Historians assess his role in this strife with a diametrical opposite. Some believe that Mstislav, joining Vladimir and Daniel, pursued his own goals - hoping to seize the Chernihiv table under his brother, others believe that he, in fact, acted in the interests of Mikhail, confusing the allies and trying to split their coalition. Anyway, Vladimir and Daniel firmly fought the Chernihiv land, plundered several cities, the chronicle notes the seizure Again, Khorobor and Sosnitsa and went up to Chernigov. Michael himself in Chernigov was not, he and his retinue circled not far from the allies, waiting for their careless actions. The chronicle speaks of some deception of Daniel by Michael, as a result of which Michael attacked the army of Daniel alone, inflicting heavy losses on him, after which Daniel and Vladimir left Chernihiv, not venturing to storm the city.
However, this was only the beginning of major troubles for them. Near Kiev near Torchesk they met the Polovtsian horde, led by Prince Izyaslav Mstislavovich, and suffered a crushing defeat from it. Vladimir Rurikovich was captured and was taken to the steppe, and the Kiev table went to Mikhail Izyaslav Mstislavovich's ally. Daniel managed to escape and arrived in Galich, where brother Vasilko was waiting for him. As a result of the provocations cleverly conceived by the Galichans, the Vasilka detachment, the only effective force at the time under Daniel’s hand, left Galich and the local nobilite immediately pointed to Daniel at the door. Not wanting to tempt fate, Daniel left the inhospitable city and went in search of allies to Hungary, in the hope that the new king of Bela IV would change the political course of Hungary and bend from the alliance with Chernihiv towards the alliance with Volyn.
Galicians left without a prince in the best traditions of Veliky Novgorod invited themselves to reign ... Michael Vsevolodovich of Chernigov. Thus, Michael managed to unite under his own hand two of the three most important princely tables in southern Russia - Chernigovsky and Galitsky. The third table, Kiev, was in the hands of his ally Izyaslav.
It is clear that such a situation could not suit Daniel and should have been waiting for a new round of confrontation. The following year, both sides spent on the search for new allies in the west - in Poland, Hungary and even in Austria, where Daniel managed to make friendly contacts with the Duke Frederick Babenberg. The result of these diplomatic maneuvers was the following. Hungary, under the pressure of threats from Austria, refused to take any part in the conflict between Daniel and Mikhail, in Poland Daniel was defeated - Michael managed to win over the former ally of Daniel Konrad Mazoviecki and persuade him to take part in military actions against Volyn. Along the way, with active diplomatic actions, the parties did not forget to periodically disturb each other with raids, ruining the borderlands.
At the beginning of 1236, Vladimir Rurikovich redeemed from the Polovtsian captivity, he immediately drove Izyaslav from Kiev and, having regained control over the Kiev principality, began to render active military aid to Daniel. The detachment sent to them crushed the Galician army, returning from the raid on the territory of the Volyn principality. Union of Volyn and Kiev was restored. Take advantage of the victories of 1235. Michael could not or did not manage, carried away by diplomatic maneuvers.
However, the issue with Daniel had to be resolved. By the summer of 1236, Michael decided to realize his superiority achieved in 1235 a year. An invasion of Volyn from three sides was planned with multiple superior forces: from the west Konrad Mazowiecki, one of the largest and most influential Polish feudalists of that time, was to attack, Mikhail himself with Chernigov troops from the east, Galicians with the support of the Polovtsi army, led by Izyaslav Mstislavich. Volyn, of course, could not withstand such a triple strike, it seemed that the song of Daniel was sung, especially since Vladimir Rurikovich did not have time to render any military assistance to him - Kiev was too far from the scene. Daniel was in despair and, according to the chronicler, he prayed for a miracle.
And the miracle happened. Suddenly, for all participants in the events, except, perhaps, Vladimir Rurikovich, who may be suspected of preparing this “miracle”, the Polovtsi, who came with Izyaslav Mstislavovich, refused to go to Volyn, drove the Galician army into Galich proper, and then plundered the Galician lands and left in the steppe. Izyaslav Mstislavovich, for whom such a turn of events was just as unexpected as for the others, hurriedly rushed to look for Michael. In view of the ambiguity of the situation, Mikhail, as usual, stopped the campaign and returned to Chernigov. Konrad Mazowiecki was left alone with Daniel. With all this, he was the only member of the coalition who had managed to invade the hostile territory and, accordingly, most of all risked falling under the counter-attack of Daniel. Therefore, having received news of the treason of the Polovtsy and the departure of Mikhail, he hastily also turned down his camp and, right at night, which indicates his extreme haste, began moving home to Poland. Daniel did not follow him.
So, by the end of 1235, a stalemate had developed in the territory of southern Russia. Mikhail of Chernigov owned Chernihiv and Galicia, but there was no direct communication between his possessions. To get from one part of possessions to another one should cross the hostile territories of the Kiev and Volyn principalities. Hungary, thanks to the efforts of Daniel, eliminated from participating in a feud, Konrad Mazowiecki, as the representative of Poland, also being convinced of the unreliability of Mikhail of Chernigov as an ally, refused to oppose Daniel further. Forces in order to deliver the decisive blow to the enemy, not Mikhail Vsevolodovich, not Daniel and Vladimir Kievsky. In such cases, it is customary to conclude peace agreements, but Daniel could not take such a step. Considering Galich his “patronage”, he was ready to fight for him to the last.
It is not known which of the two princes - Daniel Romanovich or Vladimir Rurik had the idea to connect the feud Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, the prince of Pereslavl-Zaleski and Novgorod, rival and foe Michael of Chernigov and, concurrently, the brother of Grand Duke Vladimir Vsevolodovich. However, it was done. And they promised Yaroslav for help and participation not something, but the Kiev Great Table itself, which Kiev Prince Vladimir Rurikovich voluntarily gave way to Yaroslav Vsevolodovich.
Such offers are not refused, and Yaroslav, who was at the time of receiving the invitation in Novgorod, gathered a small army of Novgorod and Novorogorzhtsa and, directly through Chernihiv lands, betraying them to fire and sword, moved to Kiev, where he arrived at the beginning of 1237.
In historical science there are discrepancies regarding the relationship between Vladimir Rurikovich and Yaroslav Vsevolodovich during the period when Yaroslav was in Kiev. Some scientists believe that Yaroslav and Vladimir created a kind of duumvirate, some say about Vladimir Rurikovich’s temporary return to his domain ownership in the Smolensk principality (he was a representative of the Rostislav Smolensk dynasty), some call the city of Ovruch a hundred and sixty kilometers from Kiev as his place of residence .
Anyway, the unexpected appearance in the political game of a new and so heavy figure was a terrible blow for Mikhail Vsevolodovich. Now, in the event of any of his aggressive actions against Daniel, his domain possessions would inevitably come under attack from the north — the Chernigov principality, which had no one to defend. It is noteworthy that Yaroslav arrived in Kiev with an insignificant volunteer squad of Novgorod and Novotorzh people, which literally a week after his arrival sent back. This certainly shows that Yaroslav did not plan any military actions on the territory of southern Russia. His appearance in Kiev was, rather, a demonstration of the support of Daniil Romanovich by the Suzdal House.
During the spring and summer, 1237 bound hand and foot Michael watched helplessly as Daniel neutralized his allies in the west one by one — knocking out the Teutonic Order's crusaders from Dorogochin’s castle, where Konrad Mazowiecki had put them, hoping to create a buffer between his lands and Volhynia, he intervenes in the Austro-Hungarian conflicts, putting significant pressure on Bela IV and forcing him to maintain neutrality. Daniel could allow himself to hold such bold foreign policy actions, since he was confident that his possessions were completely safe from the south and east. In the summer of 1237, a peace was concluded between Daniel and Mikhail, which, by all indications, was just a legally formalized pause in preparation for further battles. According to the terms of the peace between Michael and Daniel, the latter received under his power the Peremyshl principality, which was previously in the sphere of influence of Galich. Everything went to the fact that Daniel, having collected a sufficient number of forces, would launch an attack on Galich and Mikhail, who is in political isolation, could hardly oppose this attack.
It could have happened, but it did not. And the reasons for this “did not happen” stem from the Talan-Daba steppe tract, located somewhere far to the east. In this, before unremarkable place in 1235, the Great Khan Ugedei gathered a kurultai, where the expansion of the empire to the west and, as a result, the organization of the all-Mongolian campaign in Europe, “towards the last sea. On the western borders of the empire, which at that time were somewhere between the Urals and the Volga, there was a war between the Mongols and the Itil Bulgaria, a powerful and developed state with the center on the Middle Volga in the area of its confluence with the Kama. Few people know that after the victory over Kalka over the Russian princes, the Jebe and Subedei tumens invaded the territory of this state and were defeated by the Bulgars in a bloody battle, after which only four thousand Mongols survived and managed to retreat into the steppes. Since 1227, incessant hostilities have been going on with varying success between the Mongols and the Bulgars. The head of the Mongols Khan Batu did not have military contingents, sufficient to conquer the Volga Bulgaria.
This “shameful trampling” was noted on the 1235 kurultai and they decided to provide Batu with all possible assistance in expanding the “Juchi ulus” to the west. (Jochi - the eldest son of Genghis Khan and father of Batu, according to his father's will, were given possession of all the lands of the empire west of the Irtysh, including those not yet conquered).
In the winter of 1236-37. by the combined efforts of seven Mongol khans, who headed every tumen (ten thousand horsemen), Volga Bulgaria was crushed, its largest cities (Bulgar, Bilyar, Zhukotin, etc.) were destroyed, many of them were never restored.
In the winter of 1237-38. it was the turn of Russia. Khan Batu, who carried out the overall command of the invasion troops, calculated correctly and began the conquest of Russia from the most powerful and cohesive formation on its territory - Vladimir-Suzdal Russia. For almost four months, from December 1237 to March 1238, the Mongolian troops ravaged the region after the region in North-Eastern Russia, the largest cities of this region, including the capital Vladimir, were captured, ravaged and burned. The victory was given to the invaders not cheaply, according to various calculations, about 60% of the participants in the campaign did not return from it, in the hard and bloody battle of Kolomna, won by the Mongols with great difficulty, Genghis Khan’s son, one of the seven khans participating in the Kulkan campaign, died. This, by the way, is the only case of the death of Khan-Chingizid on the battlefield in the entire history of the Mongolian empire. It was also on the territory of Russia that the Mongols were forced to carry out the longest siege - for seven weeks they could not take Kozelsk, a small town in Chernihiv land.
Nevertheless, the military defeat of northeastern Russia was evident, the supreme ruler Grand Prince Vladimirsky Yury Vsevolodovich and his entire family died during the invasion.
We have already seen with the example of the southern lands of Russia that, on the eve of the invasion, the most capable and gifted Russian princes, not paying attention to anything, selflessly found out the relationship between themselves. I wonder if their behavior changed after the invasion began? We'll see.
Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, having received information about the Mongol invasion of Suzdal lands, immediately threw Kiev into the care of Vladimir Rurikovich and departed north to Novgorod, where his son Alexander was sitting, to gather troops to help his brother Yuri. However, the Mongols attacked too quickly and, probably, managed to block the access road to Novgorod, since in the winter of 1238 the city of Yaroslav did not appear in Novgorod. In March, 1238, the city of Yaroslav, immediately after the departure of the Mongols, appears in Vladimir and is engaged, together with the surviving princes, in the restoration and settlement of the devastated lands.
Mikhail Vsevolodovich takes Yaroslav’s departure from Kiev as his chance to find the coveted Kiev table, and immediately occupies him bloodlessly, expelling Vladimir Rurikovich who has remained “on the farm”. Of course, the Mongol invasion, which destroyed the military power of the Vsevolodovich dynasty, untied his hands and, as he saw it, provided an excellent chance in the struggle for sovereignty. The fact that Chernihiv, Kiev and the rest of the Russian lands are standing next to Khan Batu, as they say, “next in line” he did not think at that time. In Galich, Mikhail left his son Rostislav, who by that time was already twenty-five or twenty-sixth year, who immediately again took away from Daniel Romanovich Przemysl, transferred to the last one a year before by a peace agreement. At this moment, Daniel with his Volyn principality, far from being of paramount importance in the region, was left alone against the combined forces of Chernigov, Kiev, and Galich, and he could not oppose anything to this force. It would seem that the triumph of Mikhail Vsevolodovich was complete. It is not clear why at that moment he did not take active steps against Daniel, probably really considered his victory complete and unconditional, and the death of Daniel was a matter of time. Apparently, there was no so-called “killer instinct” necessary for a high-level politician in Michael. A short and powerful blow to Volyn by the combined forces with the seizure of Vladimir-Volynsky would turn Daniel and his brother Vasilka into impoverished outcasts, forced to wander through towns and villages in search of allies and food, of course, if they could survive in this war . Perhaps Michael hoped to strengthen in Kiev and take a trip to Daniel in the winter of 1238-39. or in the summer of 1239, but as it turned out, no one was going to give him the time to prepare such an expedition.
The conventional wisdom that after the departure of 1238 in the steppe in the spring, the Mongols licked their wounds and did not appear in the Russian limits right up to the siege of Kiev in the 1240 year, is completely wrong.
In 1239, the Mongols made as many as three campaigns against Russia, however, with limited forces. The first attack was subjected to Pereyaslavl Russian (Yuzhny), the same one from which, thirty years before, in 1206, Mikhail Vsevolodovich and his father had expelled the young Yaroslav Vsevolodovich. The city, located in one day's passage from Kiev, where Mikhail Vsevolodovich was at that time, was captured and destroyed, virtually destroyed. It happened in March 1239.
The next victim of the Mongols was Chernigov - the birth of Michael. In contrast to Pereyaslavl, which was taken almost immediately, probably by exile, the siege preceded Chernigov, and a real battle broke out under its walls, which the Mongols did not give to the Mongols, but Mstislav Glebovich, the same prince who defrauded Daniel’s head and Vladimir Kievsky in 1235 during the last siege of the same Chernigov. With his small retinue, without any hope of victory, he rushed under the walls of the city, attacked the Mongolian army and, in all likelihood, died along with the retinue, since we no longer mention any mention of it in the sources. Michael himself during the defeat of Chernigov sat bezvylazno, looking at the destruction of his fatherhood from the side.
And, finally, the third Mongol campaign on Russia was sent to the region of northeastern Russia, not affected by the first campaign — Moore, Gorokhovets and other cities along Klyazma and Oka were burned down. If you do not take into account the battle given to the Mongols by Mstislav Glebovich’s retinue, nowhere they actually met no resistance.
In 1240, the turn came to Kiev. In March, sent by Khan Batu Khan Mengu arrives to the city for reconnaissance and negotiations. In the city sent ambassadors with some kind of "flattery", in the words of the chronicle, that is, deception. Michael did not listen to the ambassadors, but simply ordered them to kill. Considering that the custom of killing ambassadors was not cultivated among the Russian princes, this was considered a terrible crime, such an act of Michael requires explanations and there may be several such explanations.
The first is that the personalities of the ambassadors did not match their status. So, before the battle on Kalka, the Mongols also sent ambassadors to the Russian camp ... local roving people who speak Russian. The princes did not speak with them, they just executed them. Tramps and bandits, why stand on ceremony with them? It is possible that in this case there was a similar situation.
Secondly, the ambassadors' behavior did not match their status and mission. Perhaps one of them committed, unknowingly or intentionally, an act incompatible with the title of ambassador. For example, he tried to get hold of someone's wife or daughter, or did not show respect to any cult object. From the point of view of the Mongolian, such an act can be and does not carry anything reprehensible from the point of view of the Russians, this could be regarded as a gross violation of ethical norms. However, such an episode would most likely be reflected in the annals.
The third, as it seems to me, the most correct explanation is that Michael simply lost his nerve. During the year he was sitting in Kiev without fail, receiving information about various defeats that the Mongols committed in Russia. But besides the Mongols, there were also the worst enemies among the Russian princes - Yaroslav Vsevolodovich and Daniil Romanovich. The first of these, in the autumn of 1239, made a raid on the Chernihiv lands (revenge for the seizure of Kiev) and took Mikhail Vsevolodovich’s wife as a prisoner, while with the second cunning, he lured Mikhail Rostislav’s son from Galich and captured the city. Rostislav was forced to flee to Hungary.
Michael pursued by the bad the news, was afraid to leave Kiev, thinking that anyone, yes, even the same Daniel, would immediately take it, take it away. And at the same time, he understood that the Mongols would certainly get to Kiev, and the appearance of the Mongolian ambassadors clearly showed that everyone had reached the end. Perhaps this combination of circumstances gave rise to a nervous breakdown in the prince.
His further behavior to some extent indirectly confirms the loyalty of such an explanation - the prince, after beating the ambassadors, immediately fled from the city to the west - to Hungary to his son. In Hungary, at the court of King Bela IV, Michael behaved, at least, strangely. Apparently, wanting to enlist the support of the king in the fight against the Mongols, he achieved a diametrically opposite result with his behavior - he upset his son's marriage with the royal daughter, and then both his father and son were driven out of the country and forced to move to Poland. Already from Poland, Mikhail was forced to begin negotiations with Daniel, who from this time can rightfully be called Galitsky, about peace.
Daniel, after the capture of Galich did not sit with folded arms. He immediately organized a campaign against Kiev and ousted Prince Rostislav Mstislavich, a representative of the Smolensk princely family, who had captured the city, but he did not rule him himself, but left his governor there, thus giving Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, who was busy with affairs in the north, that he believed Kiev is his patrimony and he does not claim it. Yaroslav appreciated such delicacy of Daniel and sent him the captive wife of Mikhail Vsevolodovich - the sister of Daniil Galitsky himself.
Meanwhile, negotiations between Daniel Galitsky and Mikhail Chernigovsky about peace in the summer of 1240 finally began to vaguely resemble an attempt to create an anti-Mongolian coalition. In the future, Hungary, Poland, and even Lithuania could also be attracted to this coalition, where the political genius of Prince Mindovg, with whom Daniel had effective contacts, began to emerge. If such a coalition were created and held out until a real fighting with the Mongols, the outcome of such a battle would be difficult to predict. However, by the summer of 1240, the parties had only managed to agree on the unimpeded passage of Mikhail into the Chernihiv lands to gather troops in order to organize the defense of Kiev. Under the same contract, Daniel returned to Mikhail his wife, handed over to Daniel Yaroslav Vvvolodovich. According to the plan of the coalition, Michael was to speak in its vanguard, taking the brunt of the Mongolian army upon itself. However, it was too late. In the process of negotiations and fees, Michael received the news of the fall of Kiev, he again threw all the affairs, forgot about the agreements reached, and fled to Poland, to Konrad Mazovia. From there, when the Mongols approached during their European campaign, he went to Silesia, was robbed there, lost his entire retinue, on the eve of the Battle of Legnitz, in which he personally refused, returned to Conrad, and at his court waited for the Mongols to leave.
At the beginning of 1242, when the wave of the Mongol invasion rolled back into the Black Sea steppes, Mikhail decided to return to Russia. Having secretly followed through the lands of Daniel, he arrived in Kiev and rode there, which he did not hesitate to inform others about. Daniel took this news calmly, because the actions of Michael were quite consistent with their joint 1240 agreements of the year - Mikhail takes Kiev and does not claim to Galich. However, Mikhail Rostislav, the son of Mikhail Rostislav, who had fairly matured and approached thirty years, disagreed with such a formulation of the question. It is not known, with the knowledge of an aged father of sixty-three or independently, but he made an attempt to seize the Galician lands. The attempt was unsuccessful, his army was defeated, after which Daniel was punished and the allies of Rostislav, posing as a performance on his side.
At the end of the summer 1242, the city of Rostislav again provokes a demonstration against Daniel, now in Galicia himself. And again, Daniel’s quick reaction helps him cope with the rebellion, Rostislav and his conspirators are forced to flee to Hungary, where he still succeeds in fulfilling his long-standing dream of marrying the daughter of King Bela IV.
Mikhail Vsevolodovich, who is in Kiev, could not prevent his son this time; however, having learned about the wedding, he immediately got ready and went to Hungary. What happened between King Belaya and Rostislav Mikhailovich, on the one hand, and Mikhail Vsevolodovich, on the other hand, during his last visit to Hungary, what was the essence of the conflict that broke out again between Belaya and Mikhail, is unknown to us. Probably, Michael had some unknown reasons for us to sharply oppose the marriage of his son with Bela's daughter. Another thing is known: having quarreled with his son and matchmaker, Mikhail returned to Russia, but not to Kiev, but to Chernigov. Such a route was probably due to the fact that Kiev had already been recognized by Khan Batu as the patrimony of Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, and it was not worth it to annoy the Khan once more. From Chernigov, Mikhail went directly to the headquarters of Khan Batu, who shortly before that sent an urgent invitation to all the Russian princes to come to him to clarify the relations that had formed lately.
Most likely, in the rate of Batu, Mikhail had to confirm his ownership of Chernigov. In order to meet with the Khan, Michael had to undergo a pagan ritual of purification by fire, however, according to contemporaries, he categorically refused to do so, which caused the anger of the Khan and 20 of September 1245 was executed. Talking about the prediction of his fate even before arriving at Batu’s headquarters seems to me not enough reason, although, of course, the killing of Khan Meng’s ambassadors in Kiev in 1240 could and should have influenced Batu’s decision. Nevertheless, Mikhail remained the most authoritative ruler of Russia, was its nominal head at the time of the beginning of the Mongol invasion and, among other things, political considerations about creating a counterbalance to the power of Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, creating effective opposition to his rule, could incline Batu to leave Michael to life. However, the aged prince (at the time of his death he was sixty-six years old), tired and morally broken, apparently did not seem to Batu any useful, while his execution could serve as a rather obvious lesson of the need to demonstrate submission to the khan's will for the rest of Rurik.
Ironically, almost simultaneously with Michael in September 1245 in the Mongolian Karakorum, his eternal rival Grand Prince Vladimir Yaroslav Vsevolodovich was poisoned, sent by Khan Batu as his plenipotentiary to the kurultai held there, dedicated to the election of the new Khan after the death of the Great Khan Ugedei.
Daniel Galitsky lived for a long time, he died in 1264, at the age of sixty-three years, having managed to build a powerful state in the territories subject to him - the Galician-Volyn kingdom. With 1253, Mr. Daniel wore the title of “King of Russia”, obtained along with the crown from the Pope of Rome.
After the death of Mikhail Vsevolodovich, his body was secretly buried, and then transferred to Chernihiv, where he was reburied with honor. The cult of Michael of Chernigov as a saint began in Rostov - a city in Suzdal, where the princess was his daughter Maria, the wife of Prince Vasilko Konstantinovich, executed by the Mongols immediately after the battle on the City and also canonized. Mikhail himself was canonized in 1572, after which his relics were transferred from Chernigov to Moscow and put to rest in the family tomb of Rurikovich - the Archangel Cathedral, where they rest to this day.
The eldest son of Mikhail Rostislav made another attempt to win back from Daniel Romanovich Galich, for which he came to Russia in the summer of 1245 at the head of a large Hungarian army, but 17 August 1245, six weeks before the death of his father, was defeated in the battle of Yaroslav head on, he managed to escape from the battlefield and return to Hungary, where the donkey had finally decided to return to Russia, if he had thought about it, he did not take any action for it. Did Mikhail Vsevolodovich know on the day of his execution about the next defeat of his son in the fight against Daniil Galitsky, whom he himself could not overcome? Maybe he knew.
Numerous younger brothers of Rostislav became petty princes of the Chernigov land and gave rise to many famous noble families. For example, the Obolensky, Odoevsky, Vorotynsky, Gorchakov and many others lead their origin from Mikhail of Chernigov.
It is time to give a general assessment of the activities of Mikhail Vsevolodovich Chernigov, but for me it somehow does not add up, or rather, it develops in one word - mediocrity.
Michael for his life is not that he won, he didn’t even have a single battle - and this was at the time when everyone and everywhere fought, and he himself was often one of the most active participants in conflicts. The only battle that we reliably know that Mikhail took part in it was the battle of 1223 on Kalka, but Mikhail did not play a leading role in it. As a commander, one cannot speak of him from the word "in general."
As a politician, Mikhail did not show himself either. He underestimated the energy of Yaroslav Vsevolodovich in the struggle for Novgorod's reign, made a change of attitude towards himself on the part of Yury Vsevolodovich, quarreled with Vladimir of Kiev, making him a faithful ally of Daniil Galitsky, after quarreling with his own son and beating the Mongolian ambassadors in Kiev do not stand any criticism. In all the coalitions in which he participated, he showed himself as an indecisive, cowardly and unfaithful ally.
Perhaps Mikhail Vsevolodovich was a good administrator, otherwise, why would Novgorod and Galich, cities with pronounced, so-called "democratic institutions", hold on to him so? However, it is known that in Novgorod, Mikhail led a purely populist policy - abolished taxes and fees, gave indulgence and liberties all that Novgorod asked him for. Compared with Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, who constantly tried to strengthen his power in Novgorod and maximize the princely powers, Mikhail, of course, won. And, although we have no information about Mikhail’s domestic policy in Galich, but the assumption that in Galicia Michael behaved similarly to Novgorod, which he sought to support Galicians, seems to me quite acceptable.
And even the fact that the veneration of Michael as a saint did not begin in Chernigov, where he ruled and was buried, not in Kiev and not in Galich, where he was well known, but in Rostov, where he was not known at all, but enjoyed great authority daughter Maria, says a lot.
What does Michael owe his political successes? Thanks to what qualities, for twenty years he was at the top of the political Olympus of the ancient Russian state, constantly expanding his already significant possessions? Starting studying this topic for writing an article, I hoped to find answers to these questions, but my hopes did not come true. Mikhail Vsevolodovich Chernigovsky remained a mystery to me.