In the case of Leo, it is appropriate to recall the situation with the figure of Roman Mstislavich, whom a number of chronicles for political reasons presented as a mediocre prince, or even complete mediocrity, but with a cross comparison of sources and analysis historical events, it turned out that everything was exactly the opposite. The Chronicle also characterizes Leo as a rather mediocre ruler, a despot incapable of constructive activity, or even a "dishonorable prince" who despised his family ties and acted purely in his personal interests. The prince was really hot-tempered and behaved independently, which is why he quarreled with almost all of his relatives. But it is precisely for this reason that he earned negative evaluations in the annals, including those written under the auspices of those very relatives who did not favor the independent Leo.
With a more skeptical approach to the sources, the inclusion of foreign chronicles in the work and an in-depth analysis of all the material, the heir to Daniil Galitsky appears before us in a completely different light, and this is precisely the point of view that prevails among modern historians. So, for example, for a long time after the death of Leo, falsification of letters continued on his behalf, since it was he who possessed the greatest weight in the eyes of the descendants as a just ruler, which added weight to the fakes. The good memory of the prince and in the people's memory has been preserved. Foreign chronicles also characterize Lev Danilovich as a rather successful and influential ruler, albeit not as skilled as a politician like his father, but probably as an even more talented commander and organizer.
The future prince of the Galicia-Volyn state was born around 1225. From childhood, he was constantly with his father as one of the eldest sons, and after the death of his brother Heraclius, and as his father's heir. He was smart, brave and skilled in military affairs. It is he who is credited with improving the throwing machines adopted from the Mongols. On the other hand, Leo was not without flaws. The most important of these was excessive fervor, resulting in flashes of poorly controlled anger. He was also very high-handed and independent and, under certain conditions, could go against the will of relatives and even his father, which subsequently led to conflicts within the Romanovich dynasty. Nevertheless, Daniel highly appreciated his heir - and that is why he mercilessly used his talents for his own purposes. For the first time he began to act independently after the invasion of Batu, when Daniel put his son to reign in Przemysl.
And this city, along with the land, it should be noted, was far from simple. Many trade routes converged here and there were deposits of important resources, primarily salt and swamp ore. The latter also led to a highly developed local metallurgy. As a result, back in the XNUMXth century, Przemysl boyars turned out to be richer than the Volyn one and in their behavior resembled more like Galician bigwigs, striving to become an independent political force and to concentrate in their hands all the places of “feeding” on the territory of the principality. Lev Danilovich, of course, with full dedication rushed to fight the boyars and to concentrate in his hands the fullness of local authority and sources of resources and wealth. It was this that led to the fact that later the elite of the principality, including the clergy, constantly supported Rostislav Mikhailovich in his claims to Galich, and therefore Przemysl.
Methods of combating the boyars turned out to be quite non-standard. In addition to the usual repressions and confiscations of property, a rather interesting method of occupying the land by the prince was also applied by creating communities controlled only by him. For this, both immigrants and refugees and prisoners of war of any ethnicity were used: Hungarians, Poles, Lithuanians, Polovtsy, Germans and Czechs. This method, in spite of its originality, turned out to be quite effective, and by the 1250s, the Przemysl boyars were significantly weakened and left the territory of the Romanovich state at an accelerated pace or joined the “new” boyars, much more loyal to the central government.
The first baptism of fire as a commander, Leo happened to accept in 1244, when his squad blocked the way for the Hungarians, led by Rostislav Mikhailovich. He lost that battle, and this was largely due to the passivity of the squad of the allied Belz prince, Vsevolod Aleksandrovich, who probably later joined Rostislav and was deprived of his land for this, although, alas, there is no specific information about his fate. Despite this, already in the next year, at the battle of Yaroslav, the initiative bold actions of Leo largely ensured victory over the applicant’s troops. In the future, Daniel made full use of the leadership talents of his son, and when he had to leave Russia due to the approach of Burundai, the king of Russia knew that he was leaving his state in good hands.
Fathers and Sons
The return of the king of Russia home in 1262 was a very difficult test for his eldest son. The lion was in his possession all this time, he saw the army of Burundai and kept his hand on the pulse of the Horde policy, knowing that the strife began to flare up there. Daniel also knew this, who, having returned power to his hands, immediately spoke of a great war with the steppes over Russia. He was not embarrassed by the fact that Burundai destroyed all the Romanovich unions, with the exception of Poland. He perceived the troubles in the Mongol Empire as dying cramps of all the power of the steppes, which prompted him to quickly oppose them and gain complete independence. The authority of Daniel was so strong that all sons, brothers and nephews obeyed him. Everything except Leo. Leo was well aware of the real state of things and believed that the campaign against the Horde would now lead the Romanovich state to dismemberment and death at the hands of the next Burundai, who would not be content with the humility of the princes and the destruction of city walls.
This caused a conflict between the Romanovichs and ultimately led to a split between them. No, the family still maintained unity, tried to resolve important issues together, but from now on, contradictions and conflicts began to grow between them. The most acute was the confrontation between Leo and his father, and Daniil Galitsky as a result actually removed him from the inheritance of the state, making heir to his brother, Vasilka, and after him - Schwarn, who became his beloved son, and began to conflict with his older brother. Thus, Daniel, striving all his life for unity of command, actually betrayed himself, leaving behind the old laws on inheritance, which he had not remembered all his life. In addition, a redistribution of specific principalities between relatives was made, as a result of which Leo lost Galich, retaining only Przemysl with Belz, although Burundai personally left him to rule the whole Galician principality, and Vasilka - the whole Volyn. Schwarn, who was not the heir, either by primogeniture or by ladder, received the two most valuable inheritances in the whole state - Galich and Kholm, which nominated him as the first and main heir to his father. Daniel was determined to fight the steppe, but soon became seriously ill, and died in 1264. He never had a chance to reconcile with his son.
After the death of Daniel in the Galicia-Volyn state, de jure divided into two parts, a strange situation with the authorities was established. According to the will of the deceased king of Russia, Vasilko remained at the head of the Romanovich’s state, but in fact he did not try to play the role of a leader, limiting himself to control over his Volyn principality. It is possible that Vasilko behaved this way out of a desire not to attract the attention of the khan, who could punish the prince for violating his will to separate Galicia and Volhynia. In the Principality of Galicia, two brothers jointly ruled, Leo and Schwarn, who somehow reconciled and became co-rulers, but the real power belonged to Leo, since Schwarn was at the same time busy with Lithuanian affairs with his relative Voyshelk, who voluntarily transferred power over the principality to his son-in-law and retired to a monastery in Volyn. With all this, both Vasilko and Schwarn recognized the supremacy of Leo, who thus turned out to be the sovereign of the Principality of Galicia-Volyn, although he de jure had a co-ruler and, moreover, did not control Volyn.
Such a separation of powers could not but weaken the potential of the Romanovich state, since after the death of Daniel it actually broke up. Vasilko reigned in Volyn, Schwarn controlled Hill and Galich, and Leo left his inheritance in Belz and Przemysl. The relatives remained bound by mutual assistance agreements, but very quickly began to weave intrigues against each other, as they objectively interfered with the self-assertion of any of the Romanovichs as king of Russia. Fortunately, this situation did not last long: in 1269 both Schwarn and Vasilko died. The closest relatives were only Mstislav Danilovich and Vladimir Vasilkovich, both of whom recognized the supreme power of Leo, even if they did not have special sympathy for him. This was especially true of Vladimir, at whose court the Galician-Volyn chronicle was written, which gave Leo the characterization of a vile, dishonorable prince. Meanwhile, the prince of the Galicia-Volyn state, Lev Danilovich, tried with all his might to keep the achievements of his father.
Prince Przemysl and Belz
In the early period of his reign, Prince Przemysl and Belz had a hard time. On the one hand, it was required to help relatives, and on the other hand, they did not favor him, sooner or later they could and should have betrayed him, and therefore they had to either dose out or not send them at all. With Schwarn, despite the reconciliation, relations still remained difficult, especially in the light of the receipt of Lithuanian themes. The time until 1269 was spent, in fact, on strengthening personal possessions and building up unions. The development of own possessions, begun back in the 1240s, continued during this period at even faster rates. Following the example of his father, who founded the Hill, Lev Danilovich in 1245 laid the foundation for a new city on the border of his two inheritances: the Belz and Przemysl principality. This city quickly reduced the area located near Zvenigorod to its minimum value, and also began to actively absorb the importance and influence of Galich and Przemysl, which during this period began to experience rapid decline. As some might already have guessed, Lviv became this city, where in the early 1270s Lev Danilovich moved his capital.
In search of allies, the prince's wife, Constance of Hungary, turned out to be an extremely valuable shot. She was the daughter of the Hungarian king and therefore could ask him for the support of her husband. To do this, Leo even visited Hungary itself several times, where he was fondled by his father-in-law, White IV, and received promises of support in the event of a war with relatives. The value of Constance was not limited to this alone: she was very friendly with her sisters Kunigunda and Yolanda, who were respectively married to the Krakow prince Boleslav V Shameful and Boleslav the Pious from Kalisz. They regularly corresponded, came to visit each other, and taking into account the fact that the Krakow prince was listening to his wife in everything, and the Kalish prince was also looking for friends and allies, this meant the formation of a “union of three princesses”. In the future, the relationship of Leo and Boleslavs will be very strong, and they will regularly help each other get out of trouble, showing a rare loyalty to the union for that time.
The Grand Duke of Lithuania Mindovg died in the same year as Daniil Romanovich. In view of the close family ties of the only king of Lithuania, the Romanovichs, primarily Schwarn, the Galician-Volyn princes could not help but take part in the upcoming struggle for power. However, they were not the only ones who were interested in Lithuania: as soon as they managed to bury Mindovg, his nephew Troinat took power in their hands. He had little support among the nobility, and besides, on the Lithuanian lands, which at that time were, from the point of view of the Catholic world, backward barbarian possessions, the Teutonic Order and Przemysl Otakar II, king of the Czech Republic, suddenly declared claims. Their ambitions were supported by the pope, who quickly got the order to abandon claims in favor of the Czech. Finally, the claims to the great reign were put forward by the brother of Troinat, the Polotsk Prince Tovtivil. Porridge was still brewed ....
The first to defeat Troinat and Tovtivil was by killing his brother and taking control of Polotsk. At the same time, the new Grand Duke, being an ardent supporter of paganism, quickly made enough enemies from among the nobility, especially the Christian part of it, which under Mindovg became quite numerous. As a result of this, he was killed in the same 1264, and instead of him they invited Wojshelk, the only surviving son of Mindovg. Tom already had to fight for this title, in which he was supported by two of the Romanovichs: Schwarn and Vasilko. At the same time, Voyshelk was a deeply spiritual man, he repeatedly refused worldly life, did not make an exception in this case either. Having landed on his own behalf to edit Schwarn, whom he also appointed his heir to, Voyshelk again went to a monastery located in Volhynia, determined to devote the rest of his life to God. The Lithuanian nobility recognized this decision, as Schwarn had long been considered “his own” and managed to gain a reputation as a good ruler and warrior.
This alignment was entirely in the interests of the Romanovichs, in this way they could inherit Lithuania and create a united state, which could already lay claim to an independent struggle against the Horde, and to actively confront any enemy, including the crusaders. It was a great perspective. However, Leo Danilovich, the eldest son of Daniil Galitsky, did not like all this at all. He got along so badly with Vasilk and Schwarn, and when the latter also became the de facto Grand Duke of Lithuania, his situation became critical. At any moment, the brother could despise family ties and try to take away Leo’s possessions in his favor, pursuing purely state goals. I had to look for allies, prepare the army for campaigns and, in general, do everything that Daniel did during constant conflicts for the revival of the state of Roman Mstislavich.
The Killing of Wojshelk
With the early period of the reign of Lev Danilovich, a very gloomy and controversial story about the murder of the prince-monk Voishelk by him, which took place in 1267, turned out to be connected. This act is a historical fact, but its details, Leo's motivation and the essence of what is happening still remain unknown. The version put forward by the Galicia-Volyn Chronicle may turn out to be true, or it may also be extremely biased, which is why it is not worth treating it as the truth. One thing is certain: this event put an end to the possible improvement of Lev Danilovich's relations with his relatives. In their eyes, he now became a cursed killer, apostate, and therefore did not deserve any respect. In the future, Leo will earn his dominant position over them exclusively by military strength and political influence.
The essence of official history is as follows. During the feast in Vladimir-Volynsky, where Vasilko was the owner, Leo and Vojshelk met. After the feast, when everyone had already gone to bed, Leo and Voyshelk were left to drink another glass, and along the way a quarrel ensued between them. The hot-tempered Leo was angry that Wojskelk did not give Lithuania to him, but to Schwarn, and killed him. As an alternative option: Voyshelk already left the place of the feast and went to his monastery, but Leo caught up with him, and even then a quarrel ensued between them, ending in the death of the Lithuanian.
There are enough “holes” in this story. First of all, in Leo's motivation. He was nobody for the Lithuanians, and it was at least strange to demand from Wojscielk the transfer of the Grand Duchy to his hands, because Schwarn was Mindowg's son-in-law and already received some claims against Lithuania because of this. In addition, it was impossible not to take into account his support for the Lithuanian nobility, which did not mean so little. In analyzing this whole situation, historians generally faced with the fact that regarding this incident the Galician-Volyn annals (the main source of information about the events that took place in South-West Russia then) were subjected to the most thorough editing. Unlike all other places, words and sentences are clearly verified, as if written by a witness of those events, who perfectly remembered everything that happened. Alas, this contradicts the very course of events, since Leo and Voyshelk, according to the annals themselves, remained alone after the feast.
Many events related to the feast itself cause a lot of questions. For example, everything allegedly happened not at the court of Vasilka, but at the house of a wealthy city dweller, which already looks not like a feast, but as a secret meeting of two princes. It is possible that it was so, and in fact Leo tried to convince Wojschelk not to at least transfer Lithuania to Schwarn. However, these are just guesses. According to the text of the annals, one gets the impression that Vasilko tried as much as possible to disown what was happening, making excuses to the descendants, and maybe to Schwarn for organizing a meeting that could play against him.
Do not forget that both Vasilko and Voyshelk were afraid of Leo. The first was simply afraid of his nephew due to a conflict of characters: the indecisive and gentle Volyn prince, capable of playing the second roles, could not help but conflict with the decisive nephew, who was supposed to obey, but instead sought to subordinate himself. Voishelk had much more serious reasons for fear: he had recently become one of the organizers of the abduction and murder of Roman, Leo’s brother, with whom they probably had the best relations among all the sons of Daniil Galitsky.
Be that as it may, Leo and Voyshelk definitely met in Vladimir-Volynsky with the mediation of Vasilka. It can be argued that the negotiations were successful and that in the course of them the princes were engaged in libation (it is possible that in excessive quantities), since then they were still left alone on the last cup. What happens to older men under the influence of wine vapor? That's right, they do not monitor their language. An ordinary quarrel between princes could happen for any reason. And then ordinary physiology began to play: a pious, observant of all posts and having a shaky body, the Lithuanian prince came across a man who from childhood was accustomed to martial art and for a long time literally did not get out of the battle. Even a simple punch in this case could be fatal, not to mention all sorts of accidents. In this case, an important political event in the history of relations between the Romanovichi and Lithuania could be triggered by the usual excess of alcohol in the blood of the participants.
It’s no longer destined to know exactly what happened then. However, even a very biased chronicler calls this murder accidental and indicates that Leo did not plan it. Nevertheless, in the short term, this act even played into the hands of Prince Peremyshl: without Vojshelka, Schwarn was no longer the so legitimate ruler of Lithuania, and although he still ruled until 1269, the matter was greatly complicated due to the opposition of the nobility led by Troiden whose ally quickly became Leo. The possibility of the union of Lithuania and Galicia-Volhynia was no longer presented. However, it is worth remembering that Shvarn Danilovich did not have direct heirs, and therefore the unification under his command of the Galicia-Volyn principality and Lithuania could not be long-term in any case: the Lithuanian nobility would not recognize Shvarn’s brother or nephew as a prince, and among his brothers and nephews there was no man capable of holding Lithuania in his hands, except perhaps Leo. At the same time, without a victory over Leo, Schwarn could not unite both states. Therefore, any constructions that would lead to the victory of Schwarn as a result would be very shaky, because without direct heirs such an outcome could not only lead to the collapse of a barely formed single state, but also to the rapid decline of the Galician-Volyn principality itself, which reality still had to play an important role in the history of the region until the end of the century.
In Hungary, even in its heyday, it was very powerful to know, which sometimes dictated conditions to the king or even got up somersaults, from which the neighbors had blood run cold. A vivid example is the fate of Queen Gertrude of Meran, the wife of Andras II, who was killed by the nobility during the king’s absence and, in fact, was not punished: only a few instigators who were made scapegoats were executed. The son and heir of Andras, the future king Bela IV, probably witnessed the murder of his mother and therefore until the end of his life he retained a tender, reverent hatred for the established order in Hungary. Alas, the fighter with the system did not work out of him: in the end, he also had to make concessions to the omnipotent nobility in order to conduct his own policy.
Another example would be the fate of the sons of Rostislav Mikhailovich, beloved son-in-law of King Bela IV, who for some time was a contender for the throne of Galician. He had two of them: the eldest Bela and the younger Mikhail. The latter was killed in obscure circumstances in 1270. Bela, for some time, enjoyed great popularity among part of the nobility and was considered as a contender for the throne instead of Laszlo IV Kuhn, the son of Polovka, who became king in 1272. Realizing the threat posed by Bela, the Kesegov family, a former supporter of Laszlo, chopped it into pieces during the coronation feast, mocked the remains for a long time, and then scattered them in different parts of the castle. Sister Bela, nun Margit, then had to collect parts of her brother for burial for a long time ...
Sooner or later, Hungary should have pulled. An excellent reason for this was the beginning of the reign of the young Laszlo Kun, a son from Polovtsa, which many representatives of the nobility perceived as the most complete bad manners. Fuel to the fire was added by the fact that a considerable number of Polovtsians under the command of Khan Kotyan, who was the grandfather of the new king, had once emigrated from the steppe to Hungary, fleeing the Mongols. Instead of a warm welcome as in Russia they were met by the fierce resistance of the Hungarian feudal lords. As a result, already in 1272, the country went downhill: large-scale conflicts began between individual tycoons, their parties, a new candidate for the throne, Andras Venetsianets (by the way, the protege of the killers Bela Rostislavich, Kesegov, who sharply changed sides) appeared. All that chaos, constant intrigue, betrayal, murder and massacre of the Polovtsy by the Magyars and the Magyars by the Polovtsy are worthy of separate material. The state, in spite of all efforts to stay together, actually collapsed, and some order was restored only to the reign of Charles I Robert of Anjou (1307-1342). Laszlo IV will fight for the unity of his country until 1290, when, by an irony of fate, the Polovtsy will kill him, killing him in his own tent.
The Hungarian question in general began to disturb Lev Danilovich immediately, from 1272, sometimes from unexpected sides. He was not close to Bela Rostislavich, but the brutal murder of such a famous Hungarian aristocrat could not but provoke any reaction. Not only the Romanovichs flared up; Poles and Czechs, the Pope, the Horde Beklarbek Nogai quickly became interested in what was happening in Hungary, and all showed unanimity that such a situation was unacceptable and it would be necessary to somehow resolve it by joint efforts. On the nose of Hungary, which until recently actually claimed to be hegemonic in the region, there was suddenly a war against all its neighbors.
The forming coalition was hastened to smash Baron Gutkeled, who manipulated the young king Laszlo Kun in the first years of his reign. First of all, he ... married Mary, the daughter of Gertrude von Babenberg and Roman Danilovich, who, among other things, was the Duchess of Styria. Thus, he wanted to attract the attention of Lev Danilovich and incline him to his side, but the idea failed: the support of the Russians was still received by the opponents of Gutkeled. Moreover, the baron because of this marriage quarreled with the Dowager Queen, the mother of Laszlo Kuna, which exacerbated the chaos in Hungarian politics. As a result, the only ally of the Hungarian king from 1273 was the king of Germany, Frederick I von Habsburg, who was about to return Austria to the fold of the Holy Roman Empire, which pushed him to war with Przemysl Otakar II. The lion with the Poles was in alliance with the latter and in the future was to take part in the great war in Central Europe.
The war began unexpectedly, in 1276. The Czech king was taken by surprise, he did not even have time to gather his army, as a result of which, without much resistance, he was forced to admit defeat and sign the corresponding treaty. However, this agreement turned out to be a useless piece of parchment: under cover of it and in every possible way postponing the fulfillment of its obligations, the Czech king was preparing for war. As part of this training, he finally decided to conclude an alliance with the Poles and Romanovich. In 1278, Przemysl went to war on Rudolph I, refusing to abide by the conditions of the world. Most likely, in the ranks of his army were units of the army of Lev Danilovich, and perhaps the prince himself. However, in the Moravian field, this army suffered a severe defeat, and Przemysl Otakar II died in battle.
The conflict between the Romanovic and Hungary after this did not stop and began only to gain momentum. It did not stop after the annexation of Transcarpathia in about 1279-1281, which, apparently, passed quite easily and bloodless, with the full support of the local population. Using the forces of his own army and the Tatar cavalry, which the Tatar Beklyarbek Nogai regularly sent him, Leo in 1283 and 1285 made two more large campaigns in Hungary. With great difficulty, Laszlo Kun was able to defend Pest, who had been under siege for some time. This Leo was enough to secure its own borders and guarantee the safety of Transcarpathia, which turned into a sword hanging over Hungary. After all, with him the Carpathians, which had previously served as reliable protection against large intrusions, were now completely controlled by the Galicia-Volyn state.
To be continued ...