The papal nuncio presents the royal crown to Prince Daniel Romanovich. Engraving by Julian Schubler based on a drawing by Claudius Lebedev from the collection of illustrations of the Niva magazine, 1894
Immediately after the battle of Yaroslav, the world around him reminded the prince of Galicia-Volyn that he had special views of South-Western Russia and he would not allow it to be solved in such a way. This battle became news, which reached all the near and far rulers and brought that the Romanovichs and their state already constitute a great force. One such news flew to the Tatars. After the invasion of Batu, they had little contact with the Principality of Galicia-Volyn, did not levy tribute to him and did not establish any special relations, but then, having decided that such a sedentary neighbor was too dangerous, they demanded that Galich be given to them without any extra foreplay, implying not only the city, but the whole principality.
Daniel's reaction was such that he could already be called a brave man and a great ruler. Not wanting to lose his state, clearly realizing that he could be killed at the slightest miscalculation, he decided to go directly to the headquarters of Batu Khan and agree with him personally, preserving his father’s inherited inheritance at such a heavy price. The trip took quite a long time: having left his native country at the end of 1245, Daniel was able to return only in the spring of 1246. Before the khan, he had to humiliate himself a lot, but the diplomatic and political talents of the eldest son Roman Mstislavich immediately showed themselves. He managed not only to defend Galich, but also to achieve recognition of him as the ruler of a single Galician-Volyn state, having received a Khan's label. In exchange, the Romanovichs became tributaries and vassals of the horde and, at the request of the khan, had to allocate troops for joint campaigns.
However, the dependence on the Tatars greatly burdened the prince (mainly morally) and therefore, immediately after returning home, he began to form a strong alliance against them. The first to respond were the Hungarians, who were the worst enemies yesterday: Bela IV, who was impressed by the actions of Daniel, decided to conclude an alliance with him and even marry his daughter Constantius as Prince Leo, heir to the Galician-Volyn principality. The wedding was played already in 1247. A few years later, a dynastic marriage was concluded and an alliance with Andrei Yaroslavich, the prince of Vladimir, who also wanted to free himself from the yoke of the Tatars. In the future, the camp of the anti-Mongol allies was constantly changing, new countries appeared, and the old ones left the agreements.
An attempt to independently create a powerful alliance against the steppes failed: too many contradictions accumulated in the old days in the region, and each primarily pursued personal goals, not wanting to get rid of the “hegemon” in the face of the steppes, which constantly interfered with everyone. The times of theories of the balance of power in Europe have not yet arrived, and the Hungarians turned out to be the most reliable ally of the Romanovichs (with many reservations). Prince Vladimir of Russia Andrei Yaroslavich was defeated by the Tatars during the Nevyrueva Rati in 1252 and lost his title, being forced to flee to Sweden. Understanding this, Daniel decided on a new bold, desperate step - to seek a religious union with the Catholics, so that the Pope convened a crusade against the Tatars and the Galician-Volyn principality regained its full independence.
Catholics, union and king of Russia
However, even without the anti-Horde coalition, there were enough reasons to conclude a union, and even more so, they prevailed. Since the 20s, Rome began to gradually change the rhetoric against Orthodoxy to an increasingly radical one. Particularly because of this, the crusaders began to attack the Russian lands more actively, now developing their crusades not only against the Gentiles, but also against the Eastern "heretics". It was with this process that the struggle for the city of Dorogochin turned out to be connected; therefore, Alexander Nevsky had to fight the Catholics on Lake Peipsi. Daniel absolutely did not like the prospect of facing once again the threat of an invasion of the combined forces of the Catholic powers again, or perhaps even turning out to be the goal of the crusade, so the solution came quickly: to conclude a church union with Catholics, become part of the Catholic world and reduce the threat on the western borders.
There were other good reasons. First of all, the pope could bestow the title of king, which in the future could give certain advantages in the conduct of foreign policy, which Daniel loved and had many connections with Western Catholic "sworn friends." When converting to Catholicism, the Romanovich state received a trump card in the form of Western support in the struggle against other Russian princes, which would have made it possible to claim hegemony and unification of all of Russia under its rule. Finally, speaking of the Uniate aspirations of the Romanovichs, as a rule, they forget that at the same time negotiations were underway on the union of Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which was supposed to overcome the consequences of the Great Schism. In the case of the conclusion of such a union, the Russian princes and states that did not recognize it could become heretics officially, therefore, they had to act with an eye on what was happening in the Greek world, since Daniel, the son of the Byzantine princess, did this constantly and easily, having sufficient connections and in Constantinople, and in Nicaea.
Negotiations about the union were started back in 1246 by the papal legate Plano Carpini, who traveled to the Horde with a diplomatic mission, simultaneously securing relations with the next rulers. Following this, a constant correspondence between Daniel and Rome was established, which went on until 1248. Of course, the pope was interested in such a union, but the Russian prince was taking time: on the one hand, he kept his finger on the pulse of negotiations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and on the other, he expected the promised help against the Tatars, which never came. As a result of this, negotiations were temporarily interrupted. They resumed in 1252, when a union was just about to be concluded in Constantinople, Nevruy defeated the main ally of the Romanovichs in Russia, and relations with Beklarybek Kuremsa intensified at Daniel. As a result of these negotiations, at the turn of 1253 and 1254, the union was concluded, and Daniel was crowned in Dorogichin as king of Russia. The Pope called on the Catholic rulers of Europe to crusade against the Tatars.
However, very soon the Romanovichs were disappointed. Nobody responded to the call for a crusade, and Kuremsa, and then Burundi, had to deal with it on their own. The Crusaders continued to put pressure on the northwestern outskirts of the Galicia-Volyn state. At the same time, Rome increased pressure on Daniel in order to carry out church reform as soon as possible and transfer worship to the Catholic rite. Of course, the freshly baked king of Russia, not being a fool, did not go for it, since the union was to get concrete benefits, and without them it would lose all meaning. In addition, the negotiations of Rome with the Ecumenical Patriarchate soon broke and almost completely ended, as a result of which Daniel suddenly turned out to be an extreme and almost traitor to the whole Orthodox world. Already in 1255, the union began to crumble, and in 1257 it virtually ceased to exist after the call of Pope Alexander IV to punish the “apostate” and issuing permission for the conquest of Rus to the Lithuanian Catholic King Mindovg.
The union of the Galicia-Volyn state with Rome lasted only 3 years, but in fact, even during its operation, it did not lead to any special changes in the religious life of South-Western Russia, with the exception of the departure of the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia to the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality. After its completion, the political situation of the Romanovichs even worsened somewhat, which forced them to replace the Horde policy and closer cooperation with the Tatars in order to secure at least part of their borders. The only real benefit was the coronation of Daniel as king of Russia, which, according to the concepts of time, equated him in rights with all other monarchs of Europe and in the eyes of Europeans put Romanovich higher than any other branch of the Rurikovich. The relief was that the Europeans were in no hurry to put pressure on the Orthodox, and even with the most fervent Catholics like the Teutonic Order after 1254, the Romanovichs always had quite good relations. The threat of the invasion of Christian brothers from the West quickly dissipated, which eliminated one of the reasons for the conclusion of the union. True, a fly in the ointment also appeared in this barrel of honey: as in 1245, such a significant strengthening of Russia did not go unnoticed in the Horde, and therefore the large-scale consequences of the committed acts were already approaching.
Frederick II Warlike
Statue of Frederick II von Babenberg, nicknamed the Warlike. Militaryhistorical museum in Vienna
In 1230, Frederick II von Babenberg became the Duke of Austria (at that time not that majestic and influential Austria, but just one of the major German duchies). He was only 20 years old, and the young romantic nature sought the pink dream of any medieval knight, namely, to become famous in the military field, “bending” with as many people as possible and expanding his possessions. Do not be surprised that after this Austria quarreled with all its neighbors, including the Holy Roman Emperor, and waged constant wars, for which Frederick became known as the Warlike. Especially he fought a lot with the Hungarians (which did not prevent them from allied a couple of times). And if for some time the war with them was facilitated by the fact that the Arpad was “stuck” in the struggle for Galich, then after 1245, having refused to support claims for the principality of Rostislav Mikhailovich, the Austrians and Hungarians had to face each other to the utmost.
Daniil Galitsky had his own interest in Austrian affairs, which did not interfere even with the ongoing struggle for Galich. The reason was the same as that of his father: family ties with the princes of the Holy Roman Empire, namely Frederick II, who was probably the second cousin of the Galician-Volyn prince. Apparently, between them in the 1230s, certain contacts were established, which was especially important in the light of the confrontation of both rulers with Hungary. The emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Frederick II, who monitored the development of relations between Frederick and Daniel, opposed this. When it came to the latter’s entry into the war, the emperor decided to take the path of least resistance and damage and simply bought Daniel’s neutrality for 500 silver marks and a royal crown. True, the pope did not legalize the latter, and the future coronation of the king of Russia took place with other regalia. It is believed that Daniel did not initially plan to intervene in the war that was far from necessary to him at that time, by purely diplomatic means having knocked out a lot of money and a title from scratch.
The main battle in the life of Frederick II von Babenberg took place on June 15, 1246 near the Leita River (Laita, Lithuania), which was located on the border between the two states. A large number of different myths and theories are associated with this battle. For example, there is a theory that Daniil Galitsky took part in the battle on the side of the Hungarians, but this is unlikely: he hardly had time to return from a trip to the Horde that year, gather an army, advance towards the Hungarians and fight the Austrians on their borders in June . In addition, relations with the Hungarians have not yet been so adjusted that it was a question of such support in the war. However, a certain number of Russian soldiers participated in the battle: they were Rostislav Mikhailovich, the beloved son-in-law of the Hungarian king, and his supporters from the time of the struggle for Galich, who remained faithful to their leader.
Descriptions of the battle in the various chronicles are different. One of the most popular versions sounds like this: the duke rode forward in front of his troops to push a fiery speech, but he was suddenly attacked by vile rusichi from behind and killed him, at the same time crushing the Austrian knights. They even indicated the killer - “the king of Russia”, under which Daniil Galitsky was the first to come to mind, but most likely, Rostislav Mikhailovich was meant. Everything would be fine, but the sudden secretive attack of the Russian avant-garde of the Hungarian army on Frederick, standing next to his troops, who, in theory, saw everything that was happening ahead, and this - in the open field, looks somehow strained. Some sources indicate the nature of the duke's mortal wound - a strong stab in the back, and therefore there are two versions of what could actually happen. The first is based on the fact that there was no blow to the back, and the duke died in a fair battle, beaten by some of the Russian soldiers, which is even mentioned in the Hungarian chronicles, as he was especially noted by King Bela IV. The second agrees with a vile stab in the back, but one of his own is indicated as killers, since not all Austrian nobles liked the ongoing wars of recent years.
Be that as it may, Frederick II the Warlike fell on the battlefield. The funny thing is, his troops still won, but this did not bode well due to dynastic problems. The duke did not have male heirs, nor male representatives of the Babenberg dynasty. According to the Privilegium Minus adopted by the emperors back in 1156, in the case of suppression of the Babenbergs on the male line, the right to the duchy was transferred on the female. Only two women survived: Margarita, the sister of Frederick, and his niece, Gertrude. The latter has long been considered the official heiress and therefore was an enviable bride. Negotiations about her marriage went on for a long time, but only after the death of Frederick did the Czech king Vaclav I practically forcefully force her to marry his son, Vladislav Moravsky. However, Gertrude herself seemed to love Vladislav and therefore was not opposed. But the trouble is: shortly after the wedding, the new duke of Austria died, which served as a prologue to a large-scale crisis of power in the duchy. A long struggle began for the Austrian inheritance, in which the Romanovichs and the Galician-Volyn state had an important role to play ....
War of the Austrian Succession
King Przemysl Otakar the Second. Picture of Alphonse Mucha
Upon learning of the death of Vladislav, Emperor Frederick II von Hohenstaufen, in violation of the law of the still bearded 1156, declared the territory of the duchy a black sheep, deciding to simply appropriate it for himself. Gertrude with supporters was forced to flee to Hungary, fleeing from imperial troops. And she had a lot of supporters, it must be said: tired of oak knights and ever-fighting dukes, the Austrian estates wanted peace and quiet development. The Dowager Duchess could provide them with this, since by her nature she was an honest, calm and fair woman. The pope supported her, and together with the Hungarian king they returned Austria to the Babenbergs. Daniil Galitsky also participated in negotiations with Frederick II on the Hungarians side, who decided to boo and came to the meeting in a purple cloak, the “status” attribute of the Byzantine emperors. Somewhat shocked and confused, the negotiators asked the Galician-Volyn governor to change clothes, and the emperor even suggested his own, if only the prince would not distract them and suppress them morally by demonstrating such attributes ...
In exchange for help from Rome, Gertrude agreed to marry a papal candidate, Herman VI, Margrave of Baden. He died in 1250, leaving behind his son and daughter. All the years of his reign, he did not enjoy the special support of the population, often entering into conflict with the estates. The people demanded a hubby more adequately ... Rome again proposed its candidate, but he was so doubtful that the duchess refused, thereby depriving herself of the support of the pope.
Meanwhile, sharp changes were taking place in the north. Przemysl Otakar II became the king of the Czech Republic - a nature like that of Frederick II the Warlike, only much more enthusiastic and fanatical in terms of military glory and “bending” of the neighbors, but also much more capable. Having married Margarita von Babenberg (who was 29 years older than him), he invaded Austria in 1251 and forced the local nobility to recognize him as duke. And here the “fan attack” went to the full: none of the neighbors liked the outcome. Gertrude turned for help to the Hungarian king, Bele IV, and he turned to his friend and ally Daniil Galitsky.
Since the bride needed a husband, preferably as neutral as possible, so that he would be accepted by the Austrian estates, the gaze immediately fell on the sons of the Galician-Volyn prince. As a result, in 1252, Roman Danilovich and Gertrude von Babenberg got married. Shortly thereafter, the Hungarian and Russian armies drove the Czechs out of Austria and put them in there to rule the new duke and duchess. Of all the spouses of Gertrude, Roman, being a fairly balanced and adequate ruler, liked the Austrian estates most of all, as a result of which he quickly received considerable support, and the rather distant location of his father's estate made him a much lesser obstacle for local elites than neighboring German princes . From the point of view of history, an extremely interesting situation developed: the Romanovich-Rurikovich had all chances to remain dukes of Austria, and history would go on a completely different path!
And here Pope Innocent IV, who had hesitated before, said his weighty word in favor of Przemysl Otakar II. The Austrians could not argue with this decision on their own, and the coalition that supported them began to crumble: the Hungarians slowly began to seize Styria, Daniil Romanovich was forced to give up all his strength against the Kuremsa who attacked him, and the joint campaign with the Poles ended in dubious success ... besieged by the troops of Przemysl Otakar II in the Gimberg castle near Vienna, Roman and Gertrude, realizing the futility of their struggle, decided to get out of the situation with the least losses. However, there is another version: the son of Daniel of Galitsky was simply frightened. Roman ran home to his father; Gertrude, with her newborn daughter, gave herself up under the protection of the Hungarians and even received part of Styria in the future. Their marriage was soon declared invalid. The participation of the Galician-Volyn state in the struggle for Austria ended, and this struggle itself will continue until 1276, when the Habsburgs took possession of the rich duchy.
To be continued ...