How Monomakhs Crushed Polovtsy
Civil strife 1097 - 1100
The decisions of the princes about a fraternal alliance at the Lyubech congress remained well-intentioned and did not stop the fratricidal wars. Immediately after the congress, Prince Davyd Igorevich, with the consent of the Grand Duke Svyatopolk, blinded Vasilka Rostislavich. Davyd envied Vasilka and wanted to take away Terebovl from him. Such atrocities in Russia did not yet know. Bloody battles and fights were common, but cold-blooded and foul massacres seemed wild.
Monomakh, who was most eager for reconciliation, was the first to sound the alarm, and appealed to the enemies of Svyatoslavich yesterday. He wrote: “The knife is thrown into us. If we do not correct this, then more evil will appear among us. ” Davyd and Oleg Svyatoslavich responded, led the squad. United army entered against Kiev. The Grand Duke demanded an answer. He cowardly, began to shift all the blame on Davyd Igorevich. Like, he slandered Vasilka and blinded him. Princes did not suit such an answer - the crime was committed with the knowledge of the Grand Duke, in his city. Spas Svyatopolk Metropolitan Nikolai. He went to the prince's camp and accused them of unleashing new strife. Princes yielded, left Svyatopolk alone. But Davyd Igorevich the Grand Duke had to punish.
Blinding Cornflower. Miniature from the Radziwill Chronicles, 15th century
All this resulted in a new internecine war in Western Russia, in Volyn. Davyd went to war with Brother Vasilka, Volodar Peremyshlsky. Davyd tried to occupy Terebovl, but on the way he was met by Volodar Rostislavich and sat down under siege in Buzhsk. Volodar forced Davyd give Cornflower. Then they together began to fight with Davyd, seize his city. Davyd at this time tried to justify himself, dumped all the blame on the Grand Duke, said that he acted on his orders. And from Kiev he went to Svyatopolk himself. Davyd fled to Poland, wanted to hire Poles for help, but Svyatopolk paid off them. Svyatopolk planted his son Mstislav in Vladimir-Volynskii, but was not satisfied with this and spoke out against Rostislavichi, having decided to tidy up the rich Prikarpat. Peremyshl and Terebovl at one time were part of Yaropolk Izyaslavich's Volyn inheritance (“the volost of my father and brother”). Svyatopolk decided to give these cities to his second son, Yaroslav. Rostislavich not scared and brought their shelves to the battle. In 1099, the Battle of Roznoy Field took place. Blind Vasilko, before the battle, went forward, raised the cross and shouted to the Grand Duke: “Do you see the avenger, the perjurer? ... The Holy Cross will be our judge!” In the bloody battle, Svyatopolk was defeated.
Svyatopolk fled to Vladimir-Volynsky, but did not calm down. Called allies. Yaroslav Svyatopolchich brought against the Rostislavich troops of the Hungarian king Koloman I, his brother-in-law. In this case, the Hungarians decided to seize the Carpathians not for Svyatopolk, but for themselves. With the army went the bishops for the new baptism of the Russians to Catholicism and the officials of the new administration. And Yaroslav Svyatopolchich was ready to rule in the captured cities as a vassal of Hungary. Volodar took defense in Przemysl. At this time, Rostislavich reconciled with Davyd Igorevich, united against a common enemy. Davyd brought to the aid the troops of the Polovtsian Khan Bonyak. The decisive battle took place on the Vyar River (a tributary of Sana'a). The Polovtsi used the ancient tactics of the steppe warriors: they broke the line with a false attack and flight and lured the enemy to the ambush site. There, the main forces of Bonyak fell upon the frustrated forces of the Hungarian troops. Demoralized Hungarians could not stand it and ran. Many Hungarians drowned in the river.
As a result, Rostislavich defended their possessions in the Carpathian region. Davyd Igorevich took advantage of the defeat of the enemy, and went on the offensive. There were battles in Volyn, the cities passed from hand to hand. During the siege of Vladimir-Volyn prince Mstislav Svyatopolchich was killed. But the Kiev voivode Putyata managed to come to the aid of the besieged and discarded Davyd. Then Davyd again brought the Polovtsy Bonyak and beat off Lutsk, and then Vladimir.
The end of this massacre was laid by Vladimir Monomakh. At his suggestion, in 1100, a new princely congress was held in the city of Uvetichi (Vitichev) on the right bank of the Dnieper near Kiev. At first, the princes "made the world one to another." For reconciliation, they decided to make only Davyd Igorevich extreme, leaving the dark deeds of Grand Duke Svyatopolk in the shadows. The brotherly will was announced to Davyd: “We don’t want to give you Vladimir’s table, because you threw a knife at us, which did not happen in the Russian land yet”. He was deprived of Vladimir-Volynsky (the son of Svyatopolk, Yaroslav, was imprisoned there). In return, he received the townships of Buzhsky, Ostrog, Duben, Chartoryysk and the virus in 400 hryvnia from the rest of the brothers from Svyatopolk (200 from Vladimir and 200 from Svyatoslavich). Later, Svyatopolk conveyed Dorogobuzh to Davyd. Regarding Rostislavichi, it was decided to deprive Vasil'ka of his table - Terebovlya. Apparently, because the blind prince was considered incapable. Ambassadors were sent to Volodar with an order to either take the blind brother to him or send him to Kiev, where the princes promised to take care of him. However, Rostislavich did not obey. Vasilko remained a Terebovl prince until his death.
Conflicts continued. Against the Grand Duke Svyatopolk, his nephew Yaroslav Yaropolchich rebelled, trying to lay claim to any possessions in Volyn. The Grand Duke was able to defeat him and rot in prison. In 1102, Svyatopolk wanted to send his son Yaroslav to reign in Novgorod, which would correspond to the old tradition - Novgorod should belong to the one who owns Kiev, and demanded the exchange of lands. Let the son of Monomakh Mstislav take Volyn ravaged by the war, and Yaroslav Svyatopolchich will sit in Novgorod. But the people of Novgorod declared: “We do not want neither you nor your son”. The Grand Duke became angry, began to threaten. And Novgorod responded: "If your son has two heads, let him come." As a result, the Novgorodians insisted on the candidacy of Mstislav, the son of Vladimir Monomakh.
Russian princes make peace in Uvetichi. Painting S.V. Ivanova
War with Polovtsy
In 1101, Svyatopolk, Vladimir Monomakh, Oleg and Davyd Svyatoslavich at the congress at Sakov concluded a peace agreement with the Polovtsy. They made an oath about the world "forever and ever" and exchanged noble hostages. But a year went by and Bonyak suddenly invaded Pereyaslavl lands, crossed over to the right bank of the Dnieper and walked through the Kiev region, took it full, and was able to go to the steppe. Russian squad did not have time to intercept the steppe. The hostages turned out to be useless, the steppe princes had the same Russian hostages.
At the beginning of 1103, Monomakh organized a congress at Dolobsky Lake near Kiev. Pereyaslavl prince outlined a campaign for early spring. Kiev boyars objected. They say that the time is inconvenient, you have to take horses in farms, and they are needed for tillage. Vladimir answered them: “I am surprised, the squad, that you pity the horses with which you plow! Why don’t you think that the smerd will start plowing and, when he arrives, the polovchanin will strike him with an arrow, and the horse will take him, and having arrived at his village, he will take his wife, his children, and all his property? Horses are a pity to you, but isn't it a pussy? ”Boyars Svyatopolk were forced to give consent.
They collected a large army - Kiev, Chernigov, Pereyaslavts, Volyn, Novgorod, etc. Came even from distant Zalesy. Only Prince Oleg Svyatoslavich, the ruler of Novgorod-Seversky, refused to go on the march. Said: "I do not hello." In 1103, in early spring, the Allied army of Russian princes moved into the steppe. The calculation was made on the weakening of the Polovtsian cavalry. After a long winter, the horses did not even have time to gain strength, while the Russian army included, in addition to the horse-drawn princely squads, and large infantry forces. The foot army moved along the Dnieper in boats, the cavalry proceeded in parallel. They came along the Dnieper below the rapids and became near the island of Khortytsya. Then the whole army turned deep into the steppes. Vladimir decided to impose his will on the steppe inhabitants, to go to their villages and to force them to fight in direct combat. The oldest of the Polovtsian princes, Urusoba, offered to make peace: “We will ask peace from Russia, because they will fight hard against us, because we have created a lot of evil on the Russian land.” But he was in the minority, the other khans hoped for a big victory and rich booty. And after the victory, immediately make a big march to Russia: “Having interrupted these, let’s go to their land and take possession of the cities, and who will deliver them from us?”
Russian squads destroyed the Polovtsian avant-gardes under the command of Khan Altunopa, who was famous for his military skills. On the river Suteni, the Russes discovered a large army of the enemy: “And the Polovtsian regiments went like a forest, there was no end in sight ...”. The decisive battle took place on April 4 on Suteni. Monomakh used the tactics of the great Russian warrior Svyatoslav. He was able to beat the well-armed cavalry of the Khazars and the Byzantine cavalry in armor - cataphracts. Monomakh put up against the strong and swift Polovtsian cavalry the “wall” of infantry, armed with spears and long shields. Archers and fighters with axes, clubs and brakes stood behind the spearmen, preventing the enemy from breaking through the front line. The infantrymen in the center (“brow”) were supposed to reflect the first, the most violent attacks of the enemy cavalry, and then the princely cavalry squads standing on the wings entered the battle, knocking over the weary enemy. It turned out as Monomakh had planned. The Russian infantry took the steppe men to spears, the Polovtsian cavalry could not knock over the Russian "wall". From the flanks hit heavy princely squads. Polovtsi mixed and ran. Many riders on tired horses could not leave and were chopped. It was a great victory. 20 of the Polovtsian princes were killed, and one of Belduzy-Prince was taken prisoner. The Polovtsian prince offered a large ransom — gold, silver, horses, and cattle. Monomakh did not take the ransom, he decided to punish for breaking the oath: "Let your blood be on your head!" Polovtsi was executed. Russian troops marched through the Polovtsi villages (towers), took a huge booty and returned to Russia with a lot of great, and with glory.
After a terrible defeat, the Polovtsi were silenced for a while. For three years no rider broke the boundaries. But it was only a lull before the new battles. The Russian campaign did not affect the possessions of the most powerful Polovtsian rulers - Bonyak, who owned the lands of the Dnieper and Bug, and Sharukan - on the Don. In 1105 and 1106 Bonyak and Sharukan made several raids on Russian lands, conducted "reconnaissance by force." It became clear that the Polovtsy are preparing a big hike. The same was reported by prisoners, border Torks and friendly Polovtsy. In the spring of 1107, Bonyak made another foray.
In the summer of 1107, the steppe men went on the offensive again. Prince Bonyak with Dnieper Polovtsy and Sharukan Stary with the Don invaded the Pereyaslav principality. The Polovtsi laid siege to the city of Luben. But Monomakh was ready for this. In Pereyaslavl, a squad of several princes gathered, ready to immediately embark on a campaign. Among them was the squad of Prince Oleg Svyatoslavich, who had previously avoided fighting with the Polovtsy. Bonyak's raid in the spring, so that the Russians after the return raid dismissed the army, did not deceive Monomah. Pereyaslavl prince waited for a new strike and did not disband the retinue. Having received the news of the arrival of enemies to Luben, the squads immediately came out. Having forced Sulu on the move, the Russians hit the steppe inhabitants. The blow was struck from the steppe side, from the border and became unexpected. Polovtsi could not stand the fight and fled. Most fleeing Polovtsy were chopped by horse guards, or taken prisoner. Among the dead was the brother of Khan Bonyak Taz, and Khan Sugr and his brothers were taken prisoner. Bonyak himself and the “Great Khan” Sharukan were able to leave.
This defeat forced many Polovtsy to abandon the raids on Russia. Princes Aepa Osenevich and Aepa Girgenevich sent embassies. They offered eternal peace and union, they wanted to intermarry. As a result, the son of Oleg Svyatoslavich Svyatoslav and the son of Vladimir Monomakh Yury married the daughters of the Polovtsian khans. Monomakh was not against such a union, having received allied Polovtsian troops. In addition, in Russia valued the "red girls Polovtsian." Contrary to the Steppe myth, they were not Mongoloids. They were with Russians of the same Aryan-Indo-European kind. Russia and the Polovtsy, and later the Horde (“Tatar-Mongols”), were direct heirs and parts of Great Scythia. Polovtsi were representatives of the white race, their girls - tall, stately blondes were considered the first beauties, and were loyal, faithful wives. Yes, and female warriors-Fenders - great riders, archery.
To be continued ...
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