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Vladimir Monomakh

Владимир Всеволодович Мономах According to the annals, " his fame passed through all the countries, he was especially terrifying to the fouls; he was dear to brothers and beggars and the kind sufferer (toiler) for the Russian land. The clergy was mourning over him as over the sacred and kind prince; ... all people mourned over him as children over father or mother ".

Years of life (1113-1125). Father - Vsevolod I Yaroslavich, Grand prince of Kiev. Mother - Vsevolod's wife Anna, the Byzantian tsarevna, daughter of Byzantian emperor Konstantin Monomakh.

Was born in 1052 and took the reign of Chernigov after father. Even before accession in Kiev earned himself the fame of the winner of the polovtsy and the peacemaker. Won national love and had influence over other princes. His father, Grand prince of Kiev Vsevolod, bequeathed the Great reigning to Vladimir, but Monomakh, not wishing to renew internal wars, refused this honor and with his own hand proclaimed cousin Svyatopolk II Izyaslavich the Grand prince of Kiev. Together with him (and without him) participated in campaigns against polovtsy (in 1093, 1094, 1095, 1101, 1103, 1107, 1110, 1111 etc.), in which suffered defeats and gained victories. Struggle with polovtsy had a generally protracted character: none of the sides could prevail. Besides polovtsy did not strive for conquering lands, their purpose was robbering, and Russian princes could not manage to stop these robberies though they were successful from time to time. By his own words, for nineteen times Vladimir concluded peace with polovtsy (see: S.M.Solovyev Ukaz. Works. V. 2, p. 363), in general aspired to make peace if there was an opportunity. But he acted as the initiator of retaliatory attacks on polovtsy (1095) and constantly pushed other princes to carry on an offensive, instead of the defensive policy regarding polovtsy (campaigns 1101, 1103 etc.).

Aspired to maintain friendly relations with other appanage princes. When in 1094 prince Oleg Svyatoslavich was under walls of Chernigov at the head of the polovtsy's army, intending to seize the city in which his father used to rule, Vladimir did not wish to take the battle and left the city with a small team for Pereyaslavl, where he reigned. Later he gave the reign of Pereyaslavl to his brother Rostislav and reigned in Smolensk. Vladimir was one of the initiators and participants of the well-known congresses of princes in 1097 in Lyubech and in 1100 in Uvetichy or Vitichev. But the aspiration to maintain peace between princes quite often left prince Vladimir in the centre of internal wars.

After death of grand prince of Kiev Svyatopolk Kievans collected veche and decided, that Vladimir Monomakh should be the next prince of Kiev. Courriers were sent to him. Monomakh again (for the second time) refused the honour to be the grand prince, as under the right of a seniority the Kiev princedom should have proceeded to his cousins Svyatoslavichy, sons of Great Kiev prince Svyatoslav II Yaroslavich, the second son of Yaroslav the Wise (Vladimir's father was the third, younger son of Yaroslav). But Kievans did not want to hear about any other prince, and in the meantime, the anarchy in Kiev caused mutiny, robberies and fires started. And Kievans for the second time sent to ask Vladimir to ascend the Kiev throne.

In 1113 Vladimir gave his consent and accepted Great reigning. Strangely enough, but Svyatoslavichy did not dare or did not wish to demand the legitimate rights and did not act against him. Since then Svyatoslavichy were content with the Chernigov area, which became completely independent of the central authority of the Kiev prince. But internal wars broke up here and there again and again. And princes descended to the help of hostile to Russia Polish and Hungarian tribes. War with polovtsy proceeded: just hearing about death of Svyatopolk, they were near the east borders of Russia, but Vladimir, having united with other princes, put them to flight. And in 1116 Vladimir set a campaign to the Don, against polovtsy, with his son at the head. During this campaign Russian army took three cities belonging to polovtsy by storm.

These victories inspired the reduced by the polovtsy, the pechenegs and the torks to rise. The fight between the three tribes was severe and long. As a result pechenegs and torks were defeated and came to Russia looking for protection. Vladimir Monomakh lodged them on the borders. From time to time in representatives of other steppe nationalities came to Russiasearch for refuge, but as they behaved extremely restlessly in 1120 Monomakh expelled the berendeys from the Russian borders, and the pechenegs and the torks took to flight. In 1116 Vladimir was at war against the Greeks (Byzantium), supporting the deposed Byzantian emperor Diogen, as Vladimir's daughter (Maria) was married to Diogen's son Leon. Struggle went further than the Danube cities. But Diogen was killed, and it finished with nothing. Armies of Monomakh, under some data, devastated Thrace. Alexey Komnin, new Byzantian emperor, was compelled to send to Monomakh the representative, the metropolitan Efessky Neophit, who brought a gift to the prince the imperial crown, well-known Cap of Monomakh, and assigned it to Vladimir's head, calling him the tsar. Later on Russian sovereigns were crowned with it and it is still stored in the Armory Museum of the Moscow Kremlin.

During Vladimir Monomakh's reign Novgoroders and Pskovers were successful at war against the tribe of Chud, to the west of the Chudskoye lake (1116). In northeast of Russia the Russians were less successful in the war against Bolgars and Mordva. In 1120 Vladimir Monomakh's son Yury, prince of Rostov, set out a campaign against Bolgars and came back with victory. Vladimir Monomakh expanded the code of the Russian laws, the well-known " Russian Pravda (truth)". Probably, one of the reasons of the Kiev mutiny of 1113 was that usurers established too high interests. Vladimir Monomakh died in 1125. According to the annals, " his fame passed through all the countries, he was especially terrifying to the fouls; he was dear to brothers and beggars and the kind sufferer (toiler) for the Russian land. The clergy was mourning over him as over the sacred and kind prince;... all people mourned over him as children over father or mother ". (Cit. by: S.M.Solovyev Vol. 2. p. 396.) At Vladimir Monomakh Kievan Russia for a while won back the former glory. S.M.Solovyev wrote about him: " Monomakh did not surpass the concepts of the century, did not go against them, did not want to change the existing order of things, but covered lacks of the existing order with personal valours, with strict fulfilment of duties, made it not only tolerable for people, but even capable to satisfy public needs ". (S.M. Solovyev Vol. 2. p. 361.)

Vladimir Monomakh was buried in Kiev, in the church of St. Sofia. His wives: the first - Christine, the daughter of the Swedish king Ingor; the second - Euphimiya. Children: Mstislav, Izyaslav, Rostislav, Yaropolk, Vyacheslav, Roman, Yury, Andrey, Gleb, Svyatoslav. Years of reign (1113-1125).

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