Roman Galitsky receives the ambassadors of Pope Innocent III. Painting by N.V. Nevrev (1875). Details of this episode will be described in the next article.
Roman Mstislavich is a rather controversial figure, but rather not by itself, but because of some features of the information that has been preserved about him and the lack of, until recently, a comprehensive analysis with cross-comparison of foreign and Russian sources. In the Kiev annals, this ruler is described as a brawler and squabbler, in the chronicles from the Vladimir-Suzdal principality - as clearly a secondary prince, the same brawler (all these are the conclusions of the Soviet historian Tolochko). In short, mediocrity and insignificance, an inconsistent, inept politician and diplomat, incapable of any serious creative work and not possessing any significant political weight in Russia, according to the chronicles as the ultimate truth. He even died stupidly in a random battle. True, the annals in Russia were written under the auspices of this or that prince, and therefore, in the first place, they glorified him, belittling the roles of competitors and enemies, but who cares? And what matters is that the Kiev Chronicle was written under the auspices of the prince, who was seriously in conflict with Roman Mstislavich, and in Vladimir-Suzdal in the first place (and rightly so) magnified their own rulers such as Vsevolod the Big Nest?
However, already in the XVIII century, the attitude towards Roman Mstislavich was revised. True, this revision was connected with the activity of Tatishchev, a well-known in narrow circles, who devoted his life to the search for the “truthful” stories Russia, and not politicized codes written in the interests of individual rulers. Some believe that he simply engaged in fraud, while others claim that he probably had access to a number of sources that have not reached our time, and that, at least in some cases, be right. It was Tatishchev who first granted Roman as a Grand Duke not by title, but by mindset, by a skilled politician and commander, reformer, who sought to stop the strife in Russia and strengthen its statehood. However, officially Tatishchev and his works were declared a lie, and therefore in the future the figure of Roman Mstislavich again acquired the character of complete mediocrity (in the eyes of Russian historians).
And then came the magical XNUMXst century, when many new sources, including foreign ones, suddenly appeared, new work methods and ambitious historians like A.V. Mayorov appeared (leading specialist in the Galicia-Volyn principality in our time, many of his works formed the basis of this cycle articles) that became interested in the issue, began searching - and found a lot of new references about Roman Mstislavich and his activities. When these sources were cross-compared with old ones, a picture quite distinct from former views began to emerge, which was much closer to Tatishchev’s characteristic than to the traditional annals (which makes one wonder how Tatishchev was a storyteller and whether he was at all). Moreover, some of the fabulous assumptions about Roman made by the XNUMXth century historian suddenly began to sparkle with new colors and received confirmation, although indirect, but still confirmed, and the old theories about the mediocre ruler suddenly began to remind us of the now familiar journalistic "chernukha", only authorship chroniclers ... It is from this, the most modern and currently recognized point of view, that will be told about the life of the founder of the Galicia-Volyn principality.
This is how modern Ukrainian artists imagine Roman Mstislavich. It seems to be close to the verbal portrait of this prince, although the emblem of Volyn clearly does not correspond to the time, because it will appear later
Roman was born around 1150 in the family of Prince Mstislav Izyaslavich (which was already described in previous articles) and the Polish Princess Agnieszka, daughter of Boleslav III Krivoustoy. While his father actively participated in the strife and fought for Kiev, Roman was brought up in Poland - however, it is not clear which of his relatives on the mother's side. In the future, his relations with the Poles will remain fairly close, and by the will of fate it is they who will play a fatal role in his life ...
For the first time, Roman established himself as a ruler in Novgorod, being invited there by the inhabitants of the city. There he stayed the prince with nothing at all - from 1168 to 1170, but this period was associated with many events caused by the strife going on in Russia, where Andrei Bogolyubsky was the main opponent of the coalition of princes, which included Roman. Military operations included raids on the Polotsk land, at that time allied with the Vladimir-Suzdal principality, repulsing the return raids and preparing for big battles. Bogolyubsky’s offensive on Novgorod ended with an ever-increasing It is not known what role the young prince himself played in these and subsequent events and battles (perhaps the active Novgorodians themselves did most of the work, but the prince simply did not bother them, or he led the whole preparation for the defense), but this campaign ended in a great defeat for Andrei and his allies. There were so many prisoners that the Novgorodians sold them for nothing, only 2 legs. However, the city could no longer continue to fight because of the increasing hunger, because peace was concluded with Bogolyubsky, and Roman was asked to leave according to the conditions of the world.
In the same year, his father, Mstislav Izyaslavich, died, and our hero suddenly inherited the Volyn principality. And then the stars stood in a row. Roman himself was an active, pragmatic and young man, he had already managed to show himself during a short reign in Novgorod. The Volyn community was ready to make certain concessions and support the figure of the new prince as “his” ruler in exchange for upholding her interests. As far as one can judge this after centuries, Roman agreed.
True, a small “surprise” awaited him upon arrival in the Volyn principality - active relatives managed to pluck the lion's share of his possessions into their inheritance. First, Prince Yaroslav Izyaslavich separated from Lutsk and the eastern lands from the territory of Volyn and did not share power with his nephew. The captured kus was so large that it was him, and not the prince of Vladimir, who was now considered the lord of Volhynia. Secondly, Prince Svyatoslav, the illegitimate son of Father Roman, who had previously been a prince in Berestye and Cherven, decided to go free swimming, and to protect his own interests he swore allegiance to Prince Mazovia Prince Boleslav IV Kudryavy; it is possible that the Pole, in addition to patronage, also took the city of Drogochin (also Drogichin, Dorogochin) from the Beresteans, who at that time was lost by the Russians and passed into the hands of the Poles. Thirdly, Roman’s other brother, Vsevolod, occupied the city of Belz and also sent to hell the “central” power in Vladimir-Volynsky. The situation was awful - the freshly baked Volyn prince under direct control left only the capital city with its surroundings!
And yet he got down to business. Acting through diplomacy, the available squad and the strength of the Volyn boyars with the Vladimir city regiment, he gradually began to return the unity of the principality, which had disintegrated into destinies. Brother Vsevolod was gradually subordinated to his will; Svyatoslav was expelled from Berestye, and cruel punishment awaited the townspeople who supported him. The Poles will later try to return Cherven and Berestye to Svyatoslav, but will fail, and the prince himself will die soon after. Roman's uncle, Yaroslav Izyaslavich, died in 1173, and his children did not manage to seize power - the prince of Vladimir was already right there. Soon, the Volyn principality was restored, and Roman received considerable forces and means at his disposal and could from now on plan “big politics” in Russia and beyond, and most importantly, develop his possessions as a fiefdom, which was to be inherited by his children. At the same time, the local community, together with the boyars, fully supported the prince, and freedom-loving relatives sharply abandoned their ambitions - it is possible that under pressure from both the prince and the communities of their own cities. The long-awaited peace reigned, practically no long wars were waged, and therefore the development of the economy, which was highly dependent on the world, accelerated significantly. By the mid-1180s, Roman Mstislavich had at his disposal a very wealthy principality with a large army, a loyal population and loyal boyars.
And most importantly, the ambitions of Roman and the great opportunities of his current possession pushed him to expand and take possession of the immediate territories, the most valuable of which was the Principality of Galicia. Probably, Volyn communities also had certain views of Galich, which did not forget that the Subcarpathian region was once subordinate to them, and its current wealth looked at least seductive. If these two lands of Southwest Russia were united, a strong state formation could appear on the map of the region, capable of pursuing an independent policy and claiming dominance among the other principalities of the Rurikovichs, not to mention protecting their own interests from other external forces. The creation of the Galicia-Volyn principality was just around the corner ...
The Galician principality has already been told about the first attempt to take control of it, earlier, in the corresponding topic. It is worth adding only that this attempt turned out to be big problems for Roman and almost quarreled him with the community in Vladimir-Volynsky. The reason was that, for the sake of Galich, Roman easily abandoned his current possession, transferring it to his brother Vsevolod. For the community, it looked like a betrayal. But, as you know, the venture with Galich failed, and Roman had to return back to the capital city Vladimir ... who refused to accept him, declaring that now their prince is Vsevolod, according to the will of Roman Mstislavich himself. I had to attract the strength of my father-in-law, Rurik Rostislavich Ovruchsky, to regain control of the city. However, a lesson was learned from this event - no special repressions against the Vladimir nobility, which refused to accept Roman, did not follow, and the prince’s agreement with the community was restored. In the future, Roman was wary of such harsh decisions regarding his main internal ally in Volhynia.
A lesson was also learned from the failure near Galich. Realizing that it would not be possible to directly seize Galich, Roman led a much more cautious and long-playing policy. Contacts were established with Vladimir Yaroslavich. It was the Magyars who “fooled” him with Galich, at the same time taking the applicant for the principality into custody, and he was not at all opposed to getting anyone's support. In the future, agreements with Roman, among other things, will provide Vladimir with the marriage of his son from a horse, Vasilka, with the daughter of Prince Volhynia. In addition, it is possible that it was with the help of the prince from Volyn that Vladimir escaped from custody to Germany, where he received support from Staufenov (relatives of Roman!) For the return of his principality. As a result, Galich returned to the hands of the stupid prince, the last representative of the first Galician dynasty, and Roman unexpectedly asserted his influence in this principality.
After that a decade of calm followed. The novel, of course, did not waste time in vain: he joined the fight for Kiev, began to look for new allies, managed to take part in Polish wars, repelled several raids of the Yotvyag and made return trips. The power in Volhynia has further strengthened over time. Finally, when Prince Vladimir Yaroslavich died in 1199 and the Rostislavich Galitsky dynasty was completely stopped, Roman immediately gathered his army, called up the Allied Poles and quickly appeared under the walls of Galich. Apparently, he managed to enlist the support of part of the boyars and the Galician community, from which the large boyars had already completely separated, and he brought with him an ally, the Polish prince Leszek Bely, because he got the city without any problems, and with it the Principality of Galicia. At the same time, Roman did not refuse his past inheritance, and therefore what many had been expecting for a long time happened - Volyn and Galich merged into a single Galician-Volyn principality.
Galich became the formal capital of the principality. The Vladimir community took this with understanding: the Galician nobility was a great danger and required constant control over it. At the same time, the prince was in no hurry to abandon the table in Vladimir-Volynsky and did not even appoint a prince-governor, keeping it under his direct control. The novel launched real repressions against the Galician boyars, trying to suppress their freedom: by using Vladimir’s weakness, by 1199 they seized all sources of income and even tried to invite the descendants of Yaroslav Osmomysl on the female side, princes Igorevich, to reign. The two most active boyars, the Kormilichichi brothers, were expelled from the city and went to Hungary. Crafts, customs and other places of "feeding" the boyars were "nationalized", returning to the hands of the prince, and all those who were dissatisfied were waiting for new deprivation, pads or death. It is significant that the Galician community itself did not show much discontent with the massacres - the boyars in her eyes no longer looked like those “first among equals” who they were before the process of separation of the masses and the aristocracy was finally completed. All this allowed without special excesses to exist a single Galician-Volyn state until the death of Roman Mstislavich.
My father-in-law, my enemy
Prince Rurik Rostislavich, one of the prominent political figures of Southern Russia at the end of the XNUMXth century
In 1170, having become the prince of Volyn, Roman married Predslava Rurikovna, daughter of the Ovruch prince Rurik Rostislavich. In the future, Roman was little interested in the conflicts taking place around Kiev, while Rurik actively joined in them and claimed the title of Grand Duke, now entering into alliances, then declaring war. When it was time to help each other, the princes were not in a hurry to help each other, but they did not become an obstacle either. So, Roman rendered some help to Rurik during the fight with Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich in 1180-1181, and Rurik in response helped his son-in-law to return Vladimir-Volynsky after the failure of the Galician adventure in 1188. In general, their relationship remained good, but not the closest: each had their own areas of interest, goals and battles.
In 1194, Rurik became the Grand Duke in Kiev and donated five cities in Poros to Roman as a reward for his support. The emerging connection between Kiev and Volyn did not like the leading figure in Russia at that time, Vsevolod the Big Nest, Prince Vladimir-Suzdalsky. In 1195, he was able to skillfully drive a wedge between his allies and relatives, forcing Rurik to transfer the cities of Porosia to him, returning two of them in return as compensation to the son of the Kiev prince. To this was added the growing contradictions between Rurik and Roman themselves, as well as the fact that Predslava Rurikovna was unable to provide the male offspring by giving birth to only two daughters. The former alliance came to an end when both princes clearly went into confrontation. In the same year, Roman sent Predslava to his father, having obtained a divorce from her. In search of new allies, Roman had to intervene in the Polish feuds, supporting his immediate Piast relatives in exchange for a promise of future support.
Because of the conflict with Rurik, Roman was drawn into squabbles for Kiev, in which he did not particularly want to participate before. After a short reconciliation in 1196, hostilities resumed. The novel became an ally of the candidate for Kiev, Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, and Rurik made trips to Volyn at once of three princes, including Vladimir Yaroslavich Galitsky. Thanks to the support of the communities, the Volyn prince managed to repel enemy invasions, and the retaliatory strike on Kiev land was very painful. However, if Roman himself performed quite well, then his ally was defeated and was forced to abandon claims to Kiev.
When Roman united Galich and Volhynia under his command, Rurik took it as a threat and began to prepare a big campaign against his former son-in-law. The Galician-Volyn prince was ahead of the curve and was the first to strike at Kiev. Rurik was forced to flee, and Roman put his cousin Ingvar in the city, who turned out to be a compromise figure between the Volyn prince and Vsevolod the Big Nest. Rurik returned to Kiev in 1203, having entered into an alliance with the Olgovichi and Polovtsy, while the latter plundered the city, which caused great anger from the city community. In response, the novel made a new campaign against the former father-in-law, besieging him in Ovruch at the beginning of 1204. Rurik was forced to make concessions and returned to Kiev only at the cost of abandoning the alliance with the Olgovichi.
It seemed that this was followed by a reconciliation of the two princes, and they, together with other rulers of Russia, went on a large raid against the Polovtsy, but Roman only took time and prepared. The kulbits of Rurik angered not only the Volyn prince himself, but also the Kiev community; Rurik was already disturbing Vsevolod the Big Nest and a number of other Russian princes. As a result of this, upon returning from a campaign over Rurik in Kiev (his own city!), A large trial was held with the participation of church hierarchs who supported the position of Roman (who was completely absent from the trial). By the verdict of this court, Rurik, his wife Anna, as well as the daughter of Predslav were forcibly tonsured as monks. The reason for this was a violation of the church canon, which was widespread in Greece since the 6th century, but was not always fulfilled in Russia - the prohibition of closely related marriages up to and including the 1195th degree, i.e. marriages between second cousins. A “combo” happened here - the second cousin was not only Rurik and his wife Anna, but also Roman and Predslava, as a result of which, from the point of view of church laws, the mother-in-law and father-in-law of the Galician-Volyn prince were guilty of double violation. It was this that allowed him to easily divorce Predslava in 1196-XNUMX, and that is precisely why the Kiev hierarchs, dissatisfied with the recent plunder of the city by Rurik, did justice and forcibly tonsured the whole trinity as monks. The novel, however, came out of the water dry - with a new wife, sending its main enemy to the monastery, and, moreover, being recognized as a pious man and an ardent guardian of church canons.
The two sons of Rurik and Anna were taken hostage by Roman, but by agreement with Vsevolod the Big Nest, one of them, Rostislav, was soon planted by the Grand Duke in Kiev. Kiev itself was not interested in Roman as such - in his hands was a strong Galician-Volyn principality, which made it possible to pursue a completely independent policy in Russia and beyond its borders, as well as communicate on equal terms (or almost equal terms) with the most powerful prince of that time, Vsevolod Vladimir-Suzdalsky. The position of the prince was becoming increasingly significant ...
To be continued ...