One of the first vivid episodes of the direct confrontation between the prince and the Galician boyars: the burning of Nastasya Chagrovna. Figure Claudius Lebedev
Galich appears in the annals as a devil from a snuffbox. Until 1141 there was no specific mention of him, there is only indirect information that after the death of Vasilka, his eldest son ruled here. There is no specific date for the founding of this city or any stories about it. Nevertheless, by the 1140s, Galich was a large and developed city, in terms of population occupying one of the leading positions in Russia: according to various estimates, from 20 to 30 thousand. There were enough reasons for this. Galich was lying at a profitable crossroads. In addition to the already mentioned branch of the Amber Road, which went from the Vistula to the Dniester, another route was added, going from the east to Poland, the Czech Republic and Regensburg. The city was one of the main suppliers of salt in Eastern Europe, providing all of South Russia and neighboring countries. In addition, Galich was a major center for handicraft production, and its remoteness from the borders provided its population with fairly safe living.
There were in Galicia and its own characteristics associated with its history. Apparently, it was a relatively young city, and therefore did not have time to acquire so many tribal traditions that already existed in the form of remnants in the older settlements of this region. Because of this, the class stratification was stronger here, and the boyars already existed independently of the community, acting as a powerful oligarchy that controlled the main land holdings and trades, including super-profitable salt ones. The confrontation of the boyars with the community was not yet obvious, but they already completely felt like local kings in Galich. They most likely welcomed the creation of the princely table under Ivan Vasilkovich, since this actually denoted the special significance of Galich, however, the transfer of the capital of the entire princedom to the city promised big problems - the prince wanted centralized power and, most likely, began to struggle with an overly ambitious and rich local boyars with the help of Przemysl’s, who, however, was not devoid of his ambitions, and who was exactly the same latent oligarchy, which simply envied its former suburbs.
They added fuel to the fire and other events. It has already been said that Vladimir tried to expand the territory of his principality at the expense of Volyn, supporting Vsevolod Olgovich against Prince Izyaslav Mstislavich Volynsky. Allies needed the Galicians to maintain their independence, but in 1144, Vsevolod, in exchange for support, demanded that the principality be dependent on its power. Vladimir, of course, refused, relying on a strong local army and battle in the field. However, the battle itself did not happen - when the prince went away from Galich, the army of Vsevolod of Kiev arrived in a roundabout way and took the capital under siege. Such a move took Vladimir by surprise, and he was forced to admit Olgovich’s supremacy over himself, and also to pay a huge indemnity, which burdened the townspeople with a heavy burden. The wealthiest sections of society, i.e. the boyars who were supposed to lay out the most funds to pay Vsevolod.
That is why in the same year, as soon as the prince went on a hunt, the boyars rebelled and seized power in the city. Instead of Vladimir, his nephew, Ivan Rostislavich, who ruled in Zvenigorod, was invited to the board. Without much thought, he agreed, and for a short period of time became the ruler of the entire principality. However, Ivan ruled quite a bit - learning about the betrayal, Vladimir quickly gathered an army and besieged Galich. The nephew was forced to flee the city, and the prince, returning him to his control, organized mass repressions of the boyars who had betrayed him, having executed a number of them. Two years later, Vladimir refused to recognize the supreme power of Vsevolod of Kiev, and this time he was ready for all the surprises. The Grand Duke encountered a well-prepared defense, could not take Zvenigorod, and returned from the campaign with nothing. Soon after, he died.
The next round of confrontation turned out to be connected with the great strife for Kiev between Izyaslav Mstislavich, Prince of Volyn, and Yuri Dolgoruky, Prince of Rostov-Suzdal. Vladimirko acted as an ally of the latter, since the former posed a great threat to him, however, it was necessary to take into account the fact that both applicants for the grand princely title sought to take control of the rich Volyn, which would strengthen their position in Russia after the success of the struggle for Kiev. For the Principality of Galicia, the appearance of such a strong neighbor was extremely undesirable. I had to choose the lesser of evils, which means - to fight against the current Volyn prince. After 1146, Vladimir made several trips to the neighboring territory and occupied border cities, including Shumsk, Buzhsk, Tikhoml and several others.
Reckoning came in 1150, when Izyaslav Mstislavich was able to pay close attention to Galich. Having achieved an alliance with the Hungarians, he carried out a large-scale invasion of the territory of the principality that once belonged to Volyn. The bribing of the Hungarians by Vladimir was able to stop the Volyn attack, but only for a while. In 1152, everything was repeated in the same form, and the Galician prince had to ask for peace, and return everything won back to Izyaslav, kissing on that cross. Soon after this, he violated the agreement by refusing to return the captured, showing complete disregard for the fact that he took an oath and kissed the cross (for which some modern bloggers for some reason consider him an atheist). A new war was brewing, but in 1153 Vladimir Galitsky died, and a year later Izyaslav Mstislavich died. The power in the principality passed to Yaroslav Vladimirovich, who is better known in history as Yaroslav Osmomysl.
Speaking about the history of the Principality of Galicia, it is impossible not to briefly mention the fate of Ivan Rostislavich, who, after an unsuccessful attempt at a coup in Galich, was forced to flee abroad, namely to Berladye (Berlad), the interfluve of the Dniester and the Danube, where the Moldavian principality will arise in the future. In the middle of the XII century, this territory was practically not controlled by Russia, however, it was inhabited by Russian people - runaways, carers, various freemen. Information on the structure and development of Berladi is extremely scarce, it is only known that immigrants from Russia founded quite a lot of settlements there, including the cities of Barlad and Galati. The latter was probably originally called Galich, and was founded by immigrants from Subcarpathia. There he managed to recruit some squad, and in the future his ties with this region will remain strong enough, as a result of which Ivan will become better known to historians not as a middle name, but as Ivan Berladnik.
Already in 1045, he returned to Russia, and entered the service of Vsevolod of Kiev, hoping sooner or later to return to the Principality of Galicia and head it, albeit in a subordinate position. Soon Vsevolod died, and Ivan Berladnik had to look for new patrons in the hope of obtaining at least some inheritance. For many years he wandered around Russia, and for many years he did not succeed. Nevertheless, together with his squad, he was able to gain some popularity, turning into the first serving prince in Russia, a mercenary prince, having managed to fight in both the South and the North. After all his victories and failures, which will be described later, he will be disappointed in life and leave Russia, having arrived in Byzantium and settled there. The prince died in 1162 in Thessaloniki, and, most likely, he was poisoned. After himself, he left his son Rostislav Ivanovich, who will become one of the last representatives of the Rostislavich Galitsky dynasty, the side branch of the Rurikovich, and lay his head in the fight for Galich.
Reconstruction of the appearance of Yaroslav Osmomysl
Yaroslav Vladimirovich received the nickname Osmomysl either for his outstanding mind, or for knowing many languages. He is considered the most prominent prince of the Rostislavichs, and the best ruler of South-Western Russia before the arrival of the Romanovichs. Thanks to his skillful rule, the Principality of Galicia reached the peak of its strength, and Galich - the highest level of its development and wealth. The Principality under him played the largest political role in its history in Russia, reaching the peak of its capabilities without taking into account neighboring Volyn. The growth of the economy and population accelerated significantly, the land became famous for its goods, crafts, Galich controlled a significant share of Russian trade. The prince himself was very rich by the standards of his time thanks to control of such a rich city and provided a good inheritance to his children. It was his eldest daughter, Efrosinya, who became famous thanks to one of the main roles in “The Word about Igor's Regiment”. Yes, "Crying Yaroslavna" - this is about her!
Yaroslav began by raking up the problems that he inherited from his father, namely, from the war with Izyaslav Mstislavich. Two troops, Galician and Kiev, converged at Terebovli. The battle was very bloody, the Galicians suffered heavy losses - and still achieved victory. But, as they say, this victory was tactical, and Izyaslav got the strategic one. Using cunning, he was able to capture part of the Galicians' troops, and shortly after the battle ordered them to be executed. The principality could no longer fight, having lost many of its soldiers, and therefore Yaroslav was forced to go to peace, recognizing the supremacy of Izyaslav and returning the Volyn cities captured by his father. But after that, the long-awaited peace came, and Izyaslav himself, if he had any plans for the Principality of Galicia, did not have time to put them into practice, he died already in 1154. After this, Galich’s dependence on Volyn immediately evaporated, and the principality again went into free swimming.
Following this, problems began because of Ivan Berladnik, who claimed Galich. In 1056, he was with Yuri Dolgoruky, when he agreed to extradite the former prince to Yaroslav Osmomysl. Having almost sent him to certain death, under the pressure of the clergy and entourage, Yuri changed his mind, and instead of Galich sent the outcast prince to Suzdal. On the way there, Berladnik was intercepted by the people of Izyaslav Davydovich Chernihiv, who the next year became Prince of Kiev. Of course, Ivan became a political tool in the hands of the ambitious Izyaslav, and he himself did not mind being used for his own purposes, urging his new patron to action. As a result of this, the prince of Kiev advanced on a campaign against the Galician principality, with the support of the Polovtsy, Torquay and Berendey. The first thing that came under attack was Yaroslav's ally, Mstislav Izyaslavich, who was besieged in Belgorod-Kiev.
It seemed that the prince of Kiev is on a horse .... But the Berendees betrayed Osmomysl very well, as a result of which the campaign failed, and then Izyaslav had to leave Kiev altogether. The new Kiev prince, Rostislav Mstislavich, was chosen together by his father Mstislav and Prince Galich. Later, Yaroslav several times intervened in the affairs of Kiev, supporting the relatives of his ally, Mstislav Izyaslavich. Now the main military operations were conducted beyond Kiev, away from Galich, and the principality could calmly develop and solve its problems. In addition, this liberated the Galician troops, which subsequently regularly participated in campaigns against the Polovtsy, which became traditional for Southern Russia. The chroniclers describe the army of Yaroslav Osmomysl as “iron regiments”, indicating its multiplicity and high combat qualities. Most likely, at that time it had already noticeably changed in structure due to losses incurred earlier - the role of the prince's squad decreased, while the importance of the boyar militias significantly increased. In addition, mercenaries — both from neighboring countries and “free hunters” from among the Russians, could appear in the service of Osmomysl. The role of city regiments remained unchanged - but they seem to be used less and less from now on.
In 1159, Ivan Berladnik again made himself felt. Gathering in his army of hawkers and Polovtsy, he set out on a campaign on the Galician land, besieging the important suburb of Ushitsa. Nevertheless, the siege failed due to the soon approaching princely army, which defeated the army recruited from the steppes and freemen. Deciding not to postpone for later, Yaroslav Osmomysl immediately began a series of campaigns to the south, in Berladye, as a result of which soon this whole territory recognized its dependence on Galich. Chronicles claim that the power of the Galician prince reached the mouth of the Danube, where he built his merchant ships, which sent from there to many countries. Nevertheless, control over this territory remained very weak, and later Berlad continued to be land inhabited by various kinds of freemen, who poorly recognized any supreme power.
Initially, relations with the boyars in Yaroslav developed quite good. During the battle of Terebovli, the Galician boyars, who had recently rebelled against his father, did not let the prince into the thick of the battle, fearing to lose their ruler. In the early years of the reign of Osmomysl, they continued to support him, but gradually the relationship began to deteriorate. Yaroslav began to behave independently, and pursue the same policy of centralizing power and limiting the power and influence of the oligarchs. The Galitsky boyars did not like this approach at all, and already in 1160-61 they sent letters to Ivan Berladnik that they were ready to hand over the city to him or at least not to interfere with taking Galich if he suddenly tried to fight for the princely table again. However, these letters remained unanswered.
In the early 1170s, relations between Yaroslav Osmomysl and his wife, Olga, intensified. The reason was that for some time the prince had been living openly with his mistress, Nastasya (Anastasia) Chagrovna, who came from the Polovtsian or Berendey clan Chagrov. From both women Yaroslav had sons - Vladimir from Olga, and Oleg from Nastasya. The first from an early age showed outstanding abilities in fooling around and drinking everything that burns, while Oleg was a much more reasonable and balanced person. Added to this is the lack of love between husband and wife, which was the norm for political marriages. In the end, they simply began to live separately, which also cannot be called an extraordinary event.
The boyars, perhaps, would have avoided this family drama if, together with Nastasya, her relatives had not appeared at the court, who began to occupy important posts in the government of Yaroslav Osmomysl, pulling a blanket over themselves while sharing the “feedings”. In addition, the boyars were looking for a way to somehow restrain the prince, who began to devote too much attention to issues of government. As a result of this, when in 1171 Olga and Vladimir left Galich, the boyars fanned a tragedy of a state scale and raised a rebellion. The Chagrovichs were killed, and Nastasia was burned at the stake right in front of the prince. They unambiguously made it clear to Yaroslav that they would not put up with “princely arbitrariness,” and forced him to reconcile with his wife, wanting to see weak Vladimir in the heirs of Osmomysl.
This episode was not the first in a long history of confrontation between princely power and the Galician political elite, but the first when the actions of the boyars reached a new, completely unbridled level. They wanted a strong prince, but that in matters concerning the boyars he should be soft and supple, he would easily follow the will of the boyars; the boyars themselves for the first time showed a high level of cohesion in such intrigues, declaring themselves to be a new omnipotent elite, dictating its will to the monarchs, as it was in Hungary, and will still be in Poland. Yaroslav could not fight rich boyars, depending on them, and was further forced to adjust his policy according to their requirements.
Family Drama and Politics
After the burning of Nastasya Chagrovna, Princess Olga and her son Vladimir returned to Galich ... only so that Vladimir would soon run away from his father again, this time to Lutsk, where he was protected by Prince Yaroslav Izyaslavich, who was considered the eldest of the Volyn princes. Osmomysl this time did not trifle, and went for his son, led by an army, which included mercenary Poles. The Lutsk prince was forced to stop his patronage, but the son did not return to his father, having gone on a large voyage in Russia. For some time he passed from hand to hand either as a trump card against Osmomysl, or as a valuable hostage, until at last he was exchanged for other captured princes and returned to his father in Galich.
God loves the trinity, and therefore Vladimir decided to run away for the third time, in 1182 he went to the Volyn prince, Roman Mstislavich, where he was sent on all four sides, because any adequate prince did not want to deal with him. Having received several more similar refusals from the closest princes, Vladimir came to Turov, where for some time he received the patronage of Prince Svyatopolk Yuryevich, and then went on wandering around Russia. Having managed to visit Vsevolod the Big Nest and stay with his sister in Putivl, he returned home in 1184. Apparently, the mother's tramp ran out of money, and kind relatives were tired of enduring the progressive alcoholism and the dissolute lifestyle of this stunned, as a result of which he simply had to return home with nothing.
In 1187, Yaroslav Osmomysl lived out his last days. Already bedridden, he forced the boyars and both his sons, Vladimir and Oleg, to swear on the cross that they would keep his will. According to him, Oleg was to become the prince in Galich, who all these years was with his father and showed good inclinations of the ruler. Przemysl got to Vladimir, and then rather for the sake of appeasing the boyars, who otherwise could have arranged another rebellion on the deathbed of the prince. All those present kissed the cross and tearfully swore that it would be so, the will of the prince would be respected, and Oleg Nastasich would become the next ruler of the Principality of Galicia .... But Yaroslav Osmomysl barely lost his breath, as it became clear that no one except Oleg was interested in such an outcome. There came a new period in the history of Galich - a period of constant change of rulers and a struggle for power between many applicants and opposing factions.
The extinction of Rostislavich
A modern monument to King Bele III of Hungary in the city of Szentgotthard. The first Magyar ruler who decided to annex the Principality of Galicia to his country. What is curious, this husband was a physique of a heroic build and more than 2 meters tall - this was in the Middle Ages, when the average growth of peasants was less than today. That is, by the standards of time, it was a real giant, and in our time it would also be considered such
Almost immediately after the death of Yaroslav, the boyars rebelled in Galich, and called on the reign of Vladimir Yaroslavich. Oleg was forced to flee the city, and began to seek help from other Rurikovich. He arrived in Ovruch, to Prince Rurik Rostislavich, but did not receive the proper support, and went on. Arriving in Poland, he immediately found sympathy, received an army under his command, and easily defeated the army of Vladimir, who at the crucial moment was thrown by the Galician boyars. Oleg sat down to rule in Galich ... and was soon poisoned. Of course, everyone nodded at omnipotent boyars, and meanwhile Vladimir Yaroslavich, who again became prince in Galich, quickly returned from Hungary. Being a complete insignificance as a ruler, he seemed to become a puppet of the boyars.
However, Vladimir did not rule for long. Having a clear conflict with his father, clearly despising Nastasia Chagrovna and his half-brother Oleg, he decided that he could not follow in his father's footsteps. Therefore, becoming quickly drowned in alcohol and profligacy, he did not take a berendaika as a concubine, but simply stole a certain ass from his still living spouse, and began to live with her as if with a princess. The boyars and the community could endure such excesses of the puppets, but the trouble was that Vladimir suddenly decided to take power on himself, and began to try to rule on his own. Of course, he was immediately accused of profligacy, and asked for a way out. Vladimir’s reign took months, after which he went into exile, taking the love of his life, not married to him, with his children ...
A large political circus began, which later became for several decades traditional for the Principality of Galicia. The exiled Vladimir went to the Hungarian king, asking for his help. Help was received by them, as a result of which the Magyar army invaded the principality. In parallel with this, the Galician boyars, anticipating something was amiss, invited Prince Roman Mstislavich, who ruled in Volhynia, to be the largest player in South-Western Russia at that time, to reign. He left everything and went to Galich to rule, leaving his brother, Vsevolod Mstislavich, in Vladimir. However, having arrived in his new principality, Roman was depressed - local boyars immediately began to put sticks in his wheels, fearing that an active prince would immediately cut their wings, and the Hungarian army was getting closer and closer every day. The prince had to leave the city and look for allies to fight the Magyars ...
Vladimir, bringing Vengrov to Galich, thought that they would put him there to rule him, but he was deeply mistaken. King Bela III, having thought carefully and having estimated the wealth of the city, put his son Andras there to rule, providing his “legitimacy” with the numerous Hungarian garrison. Prince Roman’s attempts, together with his father-in-law, Rurik Rostislavich, to recapture the city, failed, and Rurik himself did not really try to help his son-in-law. As a result, Roman had to abandon Galich and return to Volyn. The Hungarian authorities began to tighten the screws more than ever, having offended not only willful boyars, but also the Galician community, which had not been in a hurry to participate in the strife. As a result, Rostislav Ivanovich, the son of Ivan Berladnik, who took part in the anti-Hungarian uprising along with his squad recruited from the same freemen with Berladi, was called up by the townspeople. The warriors dissuaded Rostislav from this campaign, but he decided that he would either win or die. He could not win, the squad fell in full force, and the outcast prince was captured. According to one information, he died from wounds received in battle, and according to another, the Hungarians poisoned him by applying poison to his wounds.
It seemed that Magyar power was about to be established over Galich, but it wasn’t there. Vladimir, betrayed by his patrons, decided to continue what was started, changing the “daddy” to a more promising one. The strongest “daddy” that he could find at that time was the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, who still supported the last of the Rostislavichs, and forced the de jure vassals to him to return the prince to his possession. The Hungarians were not ready for this, and the local boyars, having tasted the foreign occupation, decided that they simply had no better option than an alcoholic and a womanizer. As a result of this, already in 1189, Vladimir again began to rule in Galich, the Hungarians were expelled, and the emperor received a modest monetary compensation of 2000 hryvnias, which had to be scraped off by all the Galician people.
Having sworn allegiance to Vsevolod the Big Nest, who at that time was the strongest and most influential prince in Russia, Vladimir continued to rule Galich, until he drank himself and did not split himself to death in 1199. After his death, the Rostislavich Galitsky dynasty was suppressed, which began so well and continued, and so sadly ended its relatively short history of government. Under them, the Principality of Galicia was finally formed as a fairly independent state entity, and inheritance within its borders went separately from the general ladder, which was a useful precedent for the future. The economy was seriously developed, and the southern territories expanded significantly due to conquests and colonization. At the same time, by the end of the existence of the Rostislavichs, domestic political mess and intrigues involving a large number of actors reached the point of no return and became chronic. The boyars seized upon the power and was ready for it for any betrayal and cruelty. A large and complex action with many participants was about to begin.
To be continued ...