Prince Svyatoslav

Prince Svyatoslav
                            (942-972 )

Prince Svyatoslav famous as a brave.

In 964, the Grand Buffet took Prince Svyatoslav. It is not known exactly when he was born, nor do we know almost nothing about his childhood and youth. According to the “Tale of Bygone Years”, son of Igor and Olga was born in 942, the elderly have already parents – Princess Olga was at that time 42-44 years. And, obviously, he was not the first child in the princely family were still children (perhaps girls or boys who died in childhood), but at the time of the death of Igor had no male heirs over Svyatoslav. Speaking about the campaign on Drevlyane, which was attended by Svyatoslav with his tutor Asmudom chronicler emphasizes that in the year 946 prince was still so small that it could not properly throw a spear.

There is also a version that Prince Svyatoslav was born around 935, and thus reached the age of majority in the middle of the X-50’s in. Confirmation of this version is the fact that starting in 969, during the second Bulgarian campaign, the prince ordered Russia’s own sons, two of whom have already been ruled independently and adults. From the annals and know that his son Svyatoslav Yaropolk personally led his wife, t. E. At 969, the eldest son of Prince was already married.

The fate of the young Sviatoslav evolved happily. Grand Duke he was still in his early childhood, having received appropriate training. Great, possessed various weapons, was a brave and resolute, loved the long ride. The guards often came from different lands, spoke about the rich prince distant countries. Patron and protector of these people were the pagan gods, sanctifies war and violence, seizure of foreign lands and human sacrifice; while Perun, the pagan god of thunder, was the embodiment of the ideals of a male warrior.

Mother Svyatoslav, Olga Christian, tried to attach his son to the new faith, but to no avail. Brought up in a pagan environment, he categorically refused to be baptized. “How can I be baptized one? And my squad will laugh about it “, – said prince’s mother. Moreover, Svyatoslav grew fanatical advocate of the old pagan religion and an ardent enemy of Christianity. While Olga was alive, he would keep his mood, but remained a staunch opponent of Christianized layer feudal elite, which relied Princess.

Dedicating all his time to military affairs, to the management of the state Svetoslav felt no special desire, happily shifting political fortunes of the country on the shoulders of an aging mother. Almost all of his adult life, Prince Warrior spent in campaigns, the war for profit, for the glory of war was the meaning of his existence. Careless attitude to domestic problems caused discontent, even by his entourage. “You, Prince, looking for a foreign land, a forgotten” – accused his Kiev boyars.

Experienced and talented military leader, who divided with his warriors all the hardships of camp life exhausting. In “Tale of Bygone Years”, when it comes to early military career of Prince in 964, we read: “Prince Svyatoslav vzrastshyu and vzmuzhavshyu, have started howling evkuplyati many brave and baa well as the very brave. And it is easy to walk, like a Pardus, War, many tvoryashe.

Shopping cart does not vozyashe, no boiler, no cooking meats, but the horsemeat potonku Rugged whether Feral whether or beef baked on carbon yadyashe or tent imyashe but postlashe lining and seat in the heads. Takozh and other howl, all ye his byahu “. A detailed description of the exterior left Svyatoslav Byzantine writer Leo the Deacon: “… medium height, not too high and not too low, with shaggy eyebrows and pale blue eyes, snub-nosed, beardless, with thick, extremely long hair on the upper lip. His head was completely naked, but on the one hand it hung a tuft of hair – a sign of nobility kind; strong neck, broad chest and all other body parts quite commensurate … In one ear he had vdet gold earring; It was decorated with emerald, framed by two pearls. His clothing was white and differed from the clothes only approximate purity. ”

Interestingly, Prince Svyatoslav warned enemies about the beginning of the campaign, “and the verb posylashe countries:” I want you to go ‘. ”

The first, on whom “went” in Svyatoslav, 964 were vyatichi – Slavic tribes living in the upper reaches of the Oka and Don, and to pay tribute to the Khazars. Khazar Khanate, was once a powerful state, the main rival of Russia in Eastern Europe, in the era of Svyatoslav experiencing not the best of times, but still held a significant Eastern European territory. Conquest Vyatichi inevitably led to a clash with the Khazars and became the beginning of the Eastern war 965-966 years. Fire and Sword was Svyatoslav the lands of the Volga Bulgars, Burtases, jars and Kasogs – longtime allies of the Khazars.

During this campaign it was captured by well-fortified fortress Sarkel that in Russia called White Vezhey, defeated the Khazar capital of Itil in the Lower Volga, as well as a number of cities on the Caspian coast. Capturing rich booty, Sviatoslav triumphantly returned to Kiev. A Khazar Khanate, having received such a crushing blow after a few years ceased to exist at all.

The importance attached Svyatoslav problems of the Balkan region. He decides their traditionally – by military force. The impetus for the new campaign was the arrival of the Byzantine ambassador to Kiev to ask for help in the war with the Bulgarian kingdom. The Byzantine Empire controlled the Emperor Nicephorus Phocas, was in a very difficult situation, she had to fight simultaneously on three fronts її help Kiev would be very appropriate. His proposal “to march against the Bulgarians” Emperor reinforced the rich gifts. According to Leo the Deacon, Svyatoslav was paid in 1500 kentinariev (about 455 kg) of gold. Nevertheless, taking advantage of the Byzantine money, Sviatoslav chose “to subdue and keep the country for his own residence.”

The first Bulgarian campaign 967-968 gg. It was successful. Svyatoslav fleet with a 60-thousand army defeated the army of the Bulgarian Tsar Peter the Great in the Battle of Dorostol (modern Silistra) and, as the Chronicle, “captured 80 cities on the Danube.” New ground was so pleased with the prince, that he even wanted to move his capital from Kiev to the Danube, in the town Pereyaslavets: – “… Sede reign in Pereyaslavets, emlya tribute to Gretseh”. Here he wanted to live, collecting “from the Greek Zlato, dragged (expensive fabrics -. Ed.), Wine and ovoscheve raznolichnyya from Cech as from Eel srebro and Caumont.” To carry out these plans did not succeed.

The defeat of the Khazars, which served for many years quite strong shield against Asian nomads, had unexpected consequences: West rushed a horde of Pechenegs, who quickly captured the steppe zone and located in the vicinity of Kiev. Already in 968, taking advantage of the absence of Sviatoslav and persuaded by the Byzantine Empire, the Pechenegs suddenly attacked the town, where the “shutter” Olga Sviatoslav and his three sons. Over Kiev hung a terrible threat. Significant military contingent in the city was not, and withstand a long siege Kiev could not. In the annals preserved a story about a brave young man who at great risk to life his way through the enemy camp and warned about the dangers of Svyatoslav.

After receiving the news of the siege of the capital, the prince had to urgently return from the campaign and help out a family in distress. However, not far from the Pechenegs went to the end of X century. We stood on Stugna, 30 km from Kiev, creating permanent military threat.

He was buried in 969, Princess Olga, Svyatoslav becomes absolute ruler of Russia and finally gives vent to his anti-Christian sentiment. The period of horrific mass repressions directed against the foreign Christians and Rus-Christians. Among those killed was the prince Gleb, who was considered a step-brother Svyatoslav. Perhaps it was he who was accompanied by Olga in her journey to Constantinople and was the mysterious nephew, who is mentioned in the sources. For faith Svetoslav pursued as the representatives of the elite, including his relatives, and ordinary Christians, the death toll has reached several thousand. Hate Duke extended to Christian churches, particularly in Kiev, destroyed the church of St. Sophia and St. Nicholas at Askold grave, built by Olga.

Get even with Christians and in fact transferred control of Rus to his sons, Svyatoslav collect a new army and the fall of 969 is sent to the second Bulgarian campaign. Initially, the campaign was rather successful: in 970 he was able to subdue almost the whole of Bulgaria, capturing its capital, and “almost reached to Tsaryugradu”. With unprecedented cruelty of the prince deals with the locals-Christians. So, taking Filiopol, he destroyed 20 thousand Bulgarians Christians, that is, almost the entire population of the city. It is not surprising that in the future the tide has turned against the prince. At the Battle of Arkadiopole it for the first time received a crushing defeat and was forced to withdraw and gain a foothold in Dorostol. Military Initiative passes to Byzantium, decided to put an end to the presence of Rus in the Balkans.

971 Spring was marked by the beginning of the offensive of the new Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimisces in the Bulgarian capital Preslav. April 14 she was captured by Bulgarian Tsar Boris, together with his family was captured, and the remnants of Russian garrison fled in Dorostol, which housed rate Svyatoslav. This is where the most important events unfolded Bulgarian war. After enduring almost three-month siege, July 21, Svyatoslav went to battle under the walls of the city. Exhausting war, which killed about 15,000 Russ, was lost. Large losses suffered and the Emperor’s troops. However, Svyatoslav was not going to give up, even though he realized the hopelessness of his position – to military setbacks added hunger. Can Prince and retreat to Russia – Byzantine fleet blocked the mouth of the Danube.

In late July, the Emperor finally agreed to start negotiations for proposals Svyatoslav, which culminated in the signing is extremely disadvantageous for Russia Treaty (the text of this agreement is contained in the “Tale of Bygone Years”). Treaty deprived Russia almost all the advantages of previous mined princes, in particular Kiev refused the claims on the Byzantine possessions in the Crimea. Black Sea ceased to be “Russian”. At the same time, the emperor ensured the squad Svyatoslav free passage home, and promised to provide food for the return trip. Rehabilitated and trade relations between the states.

After signing the contract Svyatoslav quite a long time in the Balkans and I was only in the autumn went home. On the way, the Russian army was divided: one part, led by the warlord Svineldom, moved by land, and the Prince “with a small squad” and the spoils of war sailed on the Danube and the Black Sea to the Dnieper. However, on the Dnieper rapids waiting for his Pechenegs warned messenger Tzimisces Theophilus Evhaitskim about returning a weakened opponent. Svyatoslav did not dare to battle and remained in Beloberezhe winter at the mouth of the Dnieper.

That was the last journey of Prince Svyatoslav, a courageous warrior and commander, is more like a epic hero than a wise and far-sighted statesman.


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