Yaroslav the Wise

Prince Yaroslav

Yaroslav the Wise (978-1054 years.)
                   Yaroslav the Wise (978-1054 years)

Stage of further development of the Old Rus state began during the reign of Yaroslav, nicknamed the Wise contemporaries. He was the third-highest (after Vysheslav and Izyaslav) son Vladimir. His mother was a princess of Polotsk Rogneda. Was born crippled and could not walk at all until a certain time. When it came to his feet, then he went limp. Perhaps, therefore, Yaroslav did not feel special craving for military affairs and has always relied more on diplomacy than arms. Very reluctantly I rode, but happy to have read, studied foreign languages, writing and translating. Polish chronicler Anonymous Gall noted that Prince also liked fishing and devoted a lot of time to this task.

When Vladimir handing their sons specific possession, the ten-year Yaroslav went to Rostov first, and then, after Vysheslav death, he began to reign in Novgorod. Novgorod table was then considered the second after Kiev and Yaroslav sat on it for almost a quarter of the Hundred Years. There he spent his youth, formed in nature and it is here that he showed himself a good ruler, worthy to occupy Kyiv table. With the support of the Novgorod craft, trade and financial elite, in 1014, he ventured into the open revolt against his father – Kiev refused to pay an annual tribute of three thousand hryvnia. While preparing for a campaign against the rebellious son Vladimir died suddenly. The political situation in the country has deteriorated, began feudal war for supremacy.

Grand Buffet took Svyatopolk the Accursed, who wanted to exterminate all .pretendentov. The first was killed by Prince Boris. The same fate befell Murom Gleb and Svyatoslav Drevlyansky. The threat felt the rest of the sons of Volodymyr. Yaroslav the news of his father’s death and the events of Kiev found the preparations for war with Vladimir. They were called in to help troops Varangian mercenaries and collected a considerable army. But it was necessary to act against his brother. At the end of November 1015 in the Battle of Ljubech Svjatopolka troops were defeated and occupied Kiev Yaroslav. But the struggle for power continued. Svyatopolk fled to Poland, did not intend to recognize the rule of Yaroslav. In the summer of 1018 he, along with his father, the Polish King Boleslaw the Brave, he opposed Yaroslav, defeating the troops in the last battle on the river Western Bug. Yaroslav was forced to return to Novgorod, where he began to gather a new army. At the beginning of 1019, he again marched against Svatopluk and regained the capital. “And the victory of Svyatopolk Yaroslav, and Svyatopolk in Beja Pechenegs” – wrote Nestor. A few months later Sviatopolk using Pechenegs again tried to seize Kiev, but was finally defeated by Yaroslav at Alta River and died somewhere “mezhyu Czechs and Lyakhi”.

However, not all Vladimirovich recognized the new prince. Yaroslav had to sort things out with his brother, Tmutarakan Prince Mstislav and nephew, prince of Polotsk Bryacheslavom Izyaslavich. The latter had to give Polotsk land and recognize its autonomous rights. On the same Mstislav Jaroslav Russia agreed to divide along the Dnieper River: the left bank of Chernigov with Mstislav went to, and the right to Kiev – Yaroslav. “And he began to live peacefully and to brotherly kindness, and the mouth of strife and rebellion, And there was silence in the great land”, – says the “Tale of Bygone Years”. Only after Tmutarakan Duke’s death in 1036 Yaroslav finally managed to unite all the ancient Russian lands under their sole authority.

As the Grand Duke of Kiev Yaroslav the most important task of his government believed the preservation of integrity. That is why the basic principle of his domestic policy was the fight with the local autonomies for ab-lutely power of the prince of Kiev. In foreign policy, the main objective was to restore and strengthen the old frontiers in the west, as well as under-support of friendly and allied relations with neighboring countries.

Not the last place occupied and the struggle with the nomads. Yaroslav-lived continued his father’s work, strengthening the “kites shafts”: in 1032 “Night of staviti rods for Ros’, creating a new line of defense against the Pechenegs. And in 1036, he finally committed suicide Pecheneg threat, defeating their hordes near Kiev and forcing all to move away from the borders of Russia. “It was a cruel slaughter, and just the evening Yaroslav prevailed. And Pechenegs fled in different directions, and did not know where to go “, – says the chronicler.

Further reign was marked by Yaroslav the general rise of the country: the city grew, maintained constant relations with the leading countries of Central and Western Europe, Scandinavia, Byzantium, the eastern countries, Christianity spread and strengthened its position, Russia reached a territorial and political and legal unity.

Under Yaroslav the first collection of legal provisions has been made, so-called “Russian Truth” and the new church charter issued. The church got new privileges, the efforts of its importance in the socio-social and spiritual life of society. Novgorod was granted on the Appropriation of municipal law – the first we know of similar documents in Russia.

An important event ideological Yaroslav was the election in 1051 Metropolitan of Kiev-known church leader, philosopher and writer, Rusich origin, Hilarion. “And he set Yaroslav Larion Metropolitan”, – says the chronicle. This act was the first step towards the creation of independent from Constantinople Kyiv Metropolis. Of great importance was the first Russian and canonization of saints. They were hailed as Prince Vladimir of Rus to Christianity communion and brothers Jaroslaw, martyrs Boris and Gleb, who died in 1015, his own canonization of saints became the impetus for the development of hagiographic literature, designed to justify the right candidate for this role.

Under Yaroslav begins active ecclesiastical and civil construction in Kiev, the scope of which meet the international prestige of the state and the value of its capital. Greatly increased the territory of the city, were built powerful fortifications. The new center of Kiev is almost seven times higher than the area but old. In 1037 built parade topped Church of the Annunciation, the Golden Gate. In the same year it was started the construction of a new architectural complex, the center of which was the Cathedral of St. Sophia, the Wisdom of God Temple of the residence of Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Rusi.- place where the solemn state ceremony and the reception of foreign ambassadors. When the cathedral was founded a library and center knigopisannya. Particularly striking beauty of the interior of the church. Frescoes and mosaics were covered with walls, pillars, arches, doorsteps window openings. Extremely works of ancient masters are image-Christ Pantocrator, Virgin Orans, as well as multi-figure compositions “Eucharist” and “Church Fathers”, laid out on a gold background smalt 177 shades. South and north walls of the nave were decorated with frescoes depicting the family of Yaroslav the Wise, the western (eventually collapsed) – a portrait of the founder of Sophia. The towers were placed images of hunting scenes, taming wild horses, action buffoons, musicians, dancers. Of particular interest are the frescoes depicting the visit of Princess Olga to Constantinople, making it the Byzantine Emperor, visiting the racecourse. The important elements of decoration are ornaments Sofia. They are present on all the walls and wear floral character. The artistic effect is enhanced mosaic floors, carved marble altar decoration fence, marble sills, carved slate plates.

Around Sofia Yaroslav raises similar in type, but much smaller temples George and Irene (in honor of the holy patrons of Yaroslav and his wife Ingigerd), as well as the Mother of God Church. In their construction is widely used mosaics and frescoes, carved stone, majolica tiles. And erected a new magnificent princely palaces – the so-called Great or Yaroslav yard. knights spacious mansions are built next to the house, and ordinary citizens.

For contemporaries Kiev was the “mother of Cities s what”, “capital city”, a model for the construction of other ancient cities. Adam of Bremen, the German chronicler XI century., Called it “the rival of Constantinople” and the beginning of XI writer. Thietmar of Merseburg, emphasizing the greatness and beauty of the city, reported that the then Kiev had about 400 churches and 8 markets.

Significant construction unfolded in other cities. In Novgorod and Polotsk on the model of St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev under construction, in Chernigov – majestic Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral. All the temples are decorated with mosaics and frescoes, carved icons. True masterpieces of ancient arts and crafts are church utensils.

With the name of Yaroslav the Wise, and associated significant development of Old Russian culture and scientific knowledge. Prince cares about education and chronicle, a transfer to Old Russian language and rewriting the necessary books. Of course, most of the literature was the church, liturgical, but gradually spread and the secular character of the book, including treatises on history, philosophy, law, legal sciences. Through the efforts of the Prince created a library at the St. Sophia Cathedral, where carefully preserved not only books, but also important public documents. Each book represents a significant value. The text written on parchment, frame decorated with precious stones, enamel, gold and silver. Unfortunately, the book collection of Yaroslav did not make it to this day. Perhaps the book died during the Mongol invasion of 1240, and may simply have been divided among several monastic libraries. Sofia Kiev and connected a new stage in the development of the Kiev chronicle. The articles in this period not only contain a story about historical events, but also summarize the activities of Prince Yaroslav.

On increasing the prestige of Russia and showed dynastic ties its rulers. Kiev dynasty maintained the relationships with the majority of feudal Europe. Behind every marriage there were political agreement, peace and allied relations with a particular country. So, the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise became the queen of France, Hungary and Norway, sister Dobronega has been issued for the Polish Prince Casimir, son of Svyatoslav married the daughter of the Saxon Count Leopold Ode, Izyaslav – a relative of the Emperor Henry III Gertrude and Vsevolod – the daughter of the Byzantine emperor Anastasia.

Yaroslav the Wise died on February 20, 1054 in Vyshgorod, at 76 years of age, at the zenith of power and glory, as a ruler of a vast and prosperous nation, which, according to Metropolitan Hilarion, “the knowledge and sound have all four corners of the earth.” Vsevolod Yaroslavich, who was with his father, brought his body in Kiev. Prince buried “in moromoryane Ratseev at the Church of St. Sophia.”

Jaroslav tried not to repeat the mistakes of Vladimir and during the life of his sons left political testament – instruction on how to live. Although the country was divided between the sons and nephews of Yaroslav, but it belonged to the whole family. Specific inheritance after the death of the prince became a common possession again. Jaroslav called sons obey the elder brother Izyaslav, who became the Grand Prince of Kiev and the supreme overlord. Thus, the wise prince for several decades to come could determine the nature of the state structure, and for some time to deliver the sons of strife. And it is no accident graffiti mural on sophias Kiev, where we are talking about his death, calls Jaroslav king, recognizing his services to the country.


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