Map of Russia at the time indicated in the article. Volyn in the specified period can be called the entire territory of the South-West with the capital in the city of Vladimir
Southwest Russia for a long time remained outside the borders of the state of the Rurikovich. So, when Oleg was planning his raid on Constantinople, a number of local tribes joined him, including the Croats, Dulebs and Tiverts, but on the rights of allies, and not dependent tributaries. Moreover, while Igor and Olga ruled in Kiev, their relations continued to develop in the west and the first prototypes of local principalities appeared, headed by boyars from large cities. This primarily concerned Cherven cities, which by the beginning of the XNUMXth century had taken shape in the first state formation, which stood above the usual tribal union. In parallel with this, there was a process of formation of individual cities with suburbs in the framework of other tribal unions. Kiev could only be content the news about these processes, since he had many other interests, and the way to the west was blocked by the village residents, who fiercely resisted submission to princely power.
The first mention of a major western campaign concerns the reign of Svyatoslav Igorevich. Information about the hostilities is very vague, it is not even known with whom Svyatoslav actually fought: with Volynians, Poles or someone else. The result of these trips is also unknown. Even if Volynians were able to subjugate, the power over them did not last long, and soon after the death of Svyatoslav the Poles easily subjugated the Cherven cities without encountering much resistance. Most likely, after the death of the prince, all recently annexed territories in the west again separated from the state of the Rurikovich, which facilitated the task of the western neighbors. It is possible that at that time the Volhynians acted along with the Poles, resisting submission to the Rurikovich.
Only the Prince Vladimir the Great took up the southwestern issue thoroughly, having made a large campaign in Volyn in 981. It was from this moment that the establishment of the power of Russia over the tribes of Volyn, Duleb and others was documented. In addition, the western suburbs were recaptured from the Poles, including the two largest cities - Przemysl and Cherven. However, he did not stop there, and, as the chroniclers mentioned, he went as deep as no Russian princes went to the Polish lands anymore (which, however, is debatable). Vladimir Krasno Solnyshko acted thoroughly, toughly, because of which the Poles under his rule no longer encroached on the western borders of Russia.
No less thorough was the integration of the acquired territories into Russia. The lands of Volyn, Worms and others were united into one principality, and Vladimir’s son Boris, then Vsevolod, came to rule them. A new capital was built - the city of Vladimir, which quickly surpassed all the old cities and actually began to dominate them. In 992, a bishopric was founded in the same city. A new administration and a new boyars formed, loyal to the Rurikovich. New settlements and fortifications appeared on the western border, which were supposed to stop the invasion if the Poles decided to start the war again. In a fairly short time, a system was created that quickly and decisively linked the region to a united Russia - later on, local elites inextricably linked their future with the Rurikovich and Rus, and only occasionally representatives of the old boyars tried to rely on foreign rulers.
Beginning of strife
The border status of the Cherven cities together with Przemysl, as well as their late entry into the state of the Rurikovichs, led to the fact that for a long time this part of South-Western Russia turned out to be a disputed territory. Poles constantly claimed it, who did not miss the opportunity to take Cherven and Przemysl to themselves. After the death of Vladimir the Great, in connection with the strife that began in Russia, another such opportunity appeared. Using the request for help from Prince Svyatopolk Vladimirovich, who claimed the supreme power in Russia, the war was started by Prince of Poland Boleslav I the Brave. In the battle near the city of Volhynia in 1018, he defeated the Rus army and annexed the Cherven cities to his state. They managed to be returned only after two major campaigns in 1030 and 1031, when Yaroslav the Wise had already firmly established himself in Kiev as the Grand Duke of Russia, and solved the most pressing problems. After that, the Grand Duke established good relations with the Poles, and for some time they forgot about their claims to the western borderland of the state of the Rurikovich.
After the death of Yaroslav the Wise in 1054, one of his youngest sons, Igor Yaroslavich, became the prince of Volyn. He was part of the “triumvirate of the Yaroslavichi”, which for some time steadily ruled Russia, enjoyed the confidence of the brothers, and was generally the most ordinary prince. There were no particularly significant events in his reign in Volhynia, the Polish sympathies of Igor attributed by the Polish historian Jan Dlugosh remained unprovable.
In 1057, Igor Yaroslavich was replaced by a new Rurikovich, Rostislav Vladimirovich. By that time he was already a special person, with a special history. His father, Vladimir Yaroslavich, the eldest son of Yaroslav the Wise, died before he became the Grand Duke of Kiev, and therefore Rostislav became the first rogue prince in the history of Russia, i.e. an orphaned prince, to whom his father did not have time to transfer his inheritance to the inheritance. Nevertheless, the ladder did not completely exclude him from the line of inheritance of certain principalities, as a result of which he managed to get to his rule first Rostov, and then Volyn.
Despite the fact that the Volyn principality at that time was quite large and rich, the grandson of Yaroslav the Wise considered his position too precarious and unpromising, because in 1064 he left the princely table in Vladimir-Volynsky and went to Tmutarakan. There he managed to expel a cousin, Gleb Svyatoslavich. He, however, did not accept the loss and recaptured the city - but only to immediately lose it again. Having thoroughly strengthened its position in Tmutarakan, Rostislav began to levy tribute to the nearest cities and tribes, strengthening central authority. The Kherson Greeks did not like this very much, as a result of which, in 1067, Rostislav was poisoned by the sent Roman military commander, having managed to stay the local prince for only 3 years.
After Rostislav Vladimirovich left Volhynia, there was no information about the local princes for a long 14 years. It seems that the local power was seized by the community and the boyars of Vladimir-Volynsky, and the principality itself was in fact subordinate to the will of the Kiev prince through some governor. The problem was that just at that time, a struggle broke out for Kiev between the Rurikovich. It all began in 1068, when the rebellious community of Kiev forced the Grand Duke Izyaslav Yaroslavich to leave the city. He returned the following year, receiving the support of the Polish prince Boleslav II the Bold, and was able to regain Kiev - only then in 1073 to lose him again. In 1077, Izyaslav again regained the capital, but a year later he died. In Volhynia, this struggle affected indirectly, but rather unpleasantly: after the campaign in 1069, Polish troops settled down in various cities and villages of South and South-West Russia. This caused outrage and the killing of Polish soldiers, after which Boleslav was forced to withdraw troops. However, in large border cities, including Przemysl, he left his garrisons, effectively retaining control over those territories that the Poles considered their own. In 1078, his prince reappeared in Vladimir-Volynsky - Yaropolk Izyaslavich, son of Izyaslav Yaroslavich.
Community Strength and Will
The entire XI century was very important for the development of Volyn. At that time, as part of Russia, it was a single conditional administrative unit, due to which the ties of all its territories were significantly strengthened, and the local boyars had the beginnings of self-awareness as part of something single. Relations with Kiev were also actively developing, which had two foundations. The first of them was economic - trade with the capital of Russia led to the rapid development of the welfare of the region. The second reason was military - the Volyn boyars themselves could not yet face off against the centralized Polish state, as a result of which they had to choose under whose authority to be. The orders of the state of the Rurikovich at that time were much more profitable, and therefore the choice was made in favor of Kiev, while relations with the Poles gradually deteriorated. The mentality of local residents over time entrenched awareness of themselves not as a separate tribe, but as Russian people. At the same time, the first signs of a future riot of political life appeared: as the economy of Volhynia developed, the boyars accumulated more wealth in their hands and the faster they began to separate from the communities, forming an independent estate, a local aristocracy with its own ambitions and views on the future of cities.
With the beginning of strife and the expansion of the fragmentation of inheritance in Russia, a significant place began to occupy the community. When the supreme rulers, i.e. the princes could change almost every year, and even were constantly busy with wars with each other, some kind of mechanism of self-government of cities, suburbs and rural settlements was required. Such a mechanism was the community, which began to sparkle with new colors. On the one hand, it was already a relic of the tribal system, but on the other, under the prevailing conditions, it acquired a new form and even taking into account the progressive stratification of society began to act as a major political force. Due to the peculiarities of the constantly changing supreme power in Russia, caused by strife and inheritance laws, a unique system of managing cities and destinies began to be created, which was practically not connected with the figures of princes, living separately from them.
The Rurikovichs at the head of the principality could change one after another, but the capital city itself, along with subordinate suburbs and villages, remained constant, which put their role forward and almost equated the Rurikovichs themselves. At the veche, the gathering of all free community members, important questions were decided regarding the life of the community; by decision of the veche, the city could provide support to the prince, or, conversely, deprive him of any help from the city. The prince himself was forced to actively play politics, trying to win the sympathy of this very community. Separately stood the boyars, who just at that time began to gradually separate from the de facto community, increasing their wealth and influence. In fact, however, going directly against the will of the community for the boyars still remains an occupation too dangerous, fraught with serious losses, and therefore they also have to maneuver and incline the sympathies of the community members in their favor.
The community itself could not represent a serious political force if it had not been at the disposal of any military force. Such a force was the militia, which by its nature was different. The most massive, but also the worst was the rural militia. They preferred not to collect it at all or to collect it only in case of emergency - as a rule, to protect the nearest settlements or suburbs. The level of training and armament of these militias, of course, remained extremely low, and they were mainly represented by infantry or light cavalry. The only people of considerable value among the troops from among the villagers were archers, because it was long and difficult to train a good archer, and there were already well-trained shooters who were engaged in hunting in peacetime.
However, all this was just flowers, and the city's shelves were real berries. Cities concentrated in themselves resources from all over the district and therefore could provide fairly good equipment for their militias; cities also needed to fight for their rights and interests, because they tried to keep the city regiment in the best possible way; Community residents were directly interested in protecting the interests of their community, and the community itself was a fairly cohesive formation, because the soldiers of the city regiment, as a rule, were distinguished by fairly high (by the standards of their time) indicators of morale and discipline. Most often, the city regiment was represented by pawns, well armed and protected, but it also included its own cavalry, represented by petty boyars. The prince, wanting to use the city regiment, had to get permission from the community.
The most famous city regiment was the militia of Novgorod, which, being predominantly on foot, more than once showed its high combat efficiency and became one of the factors that allowed this city to continue independent. independent policy. It was the city regiments that formed, perhaps, the only combat-ready infantry on the territory of Russia, since the rest of the infantry, represented by the tribal or rural militia, did not differ in particular endurance and solidarity, and could not afford such good equipment. An exception could be only the prince's squad, but she preferred to fight in horse riding. By their organization and potential, Russian city regiments had analogues in Western Europe, which can be called the Flemish city police or the Scottish infantry, which had a similar foundation to the community and could likewise abundantly distribute “lyuley” to French and English knights. These are examples already from the XIII-XIV centuries, but there are similar examples from antiquity - the hoplite phalanx, which were also formed from the townspeople of ancient polis and were distinguished by their cohesion and ability to stand firmly against an unorganized enemy. However, even with high combat readiness by the standards of time, the infantry remained infantry and so far could not compete with heavy cavalry, showing good results only in skilled hands and against not the most intelligent or numerous enemy.
If you add to this all the rapid economic growth of Russia, which was adjacent to the rapidly growing strife, it becomes clear a fairly high position of cities. The number of strong cities with their own ambitions constantly grew, and therefore the political mess of that time became even more fat and rich, or, in simple terms, the situation becomes difficult, but at the same time interesting. Cities were interested in their own development both due to the internal growth of the economy and trade of the principality, and due to expansion. There was constant competition between cities and communities: both between cities as the highest link in the specific hierarchy, and between them and the suburbs, since the latter themselves sought to separate themselves and become independent cities. In Rurikovichi, urban communities saw not only legitimate (the result of the thorough work of Vladimir the Great and Yaroslav the Wise) supreme rulers, but also guarantors of upholding its interests. The wise prince strove with all his might to strengthen and develop the community of his capital city, receiving in return loyalty, support from the city regiment and growing prosperity. At the same time, the rapidly growing number of Rurikovich in Russia, coupled with strife, made it possible, if necessary, to deprive the careless prince of support, as a result of which he was immediately replaced by the closest relative on the ladder, who could be much better. Therefore, when describing the history of that period, one always needs to remember the complex political structure of Russia and the fact that the capital city was far from always acting as a bargaining chip in the hands of the princes, blindly obeying every new Rurikovich who could change at a staggering frequency.
To be continued ...