Galitsk-Volynsk princedom – the last stronghold of Kiev Russia

Or the beginning of Ukrainian earths «captivity»
Galitsko-Volynsk princedom, on the boundary of twelfth century was Russian feudal princedom, which appeared as a result of Galitsky and Vladimiro-Volynsk princedoms. It was located on fertile black soil in upper courses of rivers Dnestr, Visla, Narev and Prinyat, with long existing developed agriculture. One of conditions of princedom creation in the southwest of Kiev Russia was that princes' «crown lands» of the centre and northeast led to further easing of all Kyiv state and impossibility of creation of uniform powerful association. Events of first half of thirteenth century completely confirmed it, when under the influence of Golden Horde aggression one by one princedoms and statehood of Russia stopped their existence. Only in the northwest and southwest two strongholds of former Kiev Russia power - Novgorod princedom and Galitsko-Volynsk remained.

No matter how Suzdal princes undermined force and value of Kyiv princes and Kyiv as a whole, their plans were carried out only partly. When they struck a blow on Kyiv by their ambitions, during the period from 1189 till 1199 the new political force in the southwest was formed. Though it hadn't united all southern Russia as Kiev, but it provided continuation of independent state life in its western part for more than one century, which was stronger and richer than the occupied part. Even Batu's Khan Campaign of 1241 couldn't destroy independence of the southwest slavic state. Vladimir-Volynsk prince created that state. He also had to pass through «brotherly intrigues» and his exile by Roman Mstislavovich became the result of it. But it was hard for Roman to dominate on Galitsky throne as Hungarian kingdom was very interested in new east earths. By 30th of the thirteenth century, the Galitsko-Volynsk princedom had been not only richer than Kyiv princedom, but also stronger. At that particular time prince Roman had an opportunity to grasp Kyiv in its hands during internal wars. After Roman affirmed in Galich, in the southern slavic earths he was assigned great hopes as courageous, vigorous, successful prince. He become famous for the victorious campaigns to Lithuania disturbing then northern Galitsky earths, with both Cuman, Poles he «could agree», certainly, not by words, but by military affairs .
Such Roman Mstislavovich sticked in the memory
Talking about his victories over Lithuania there were different stories how Roman revenging Lithuania put Lithuanian captives to hard work, and forced them to plough. There were many songs about Roman campaigns on Cuman, but only their echoes reached us, like the fragment of Galitsk annals: «He rushed to nasty ones - as if he was a lion. He was angry - as if he was a lynx». After well-known campaigns there was a lion on Roman's board, who, in due course, became the arms of Galicia and hailstones of Lviv. After strengthening of princely authorities Roman began struggle against nobility, which purpose, as well as in other princedoms was an easing of prince power and princedom breaking to seigniorial destinies (the concept is combined with such actions and «specific princedom»). Galitsk nobility, however, as well as other princedoms, took the best earths, using the power, restricted and enslaved the simple people, and there was neither court, nor justices. The population complained of arrogance and greed of seigniorial bosses containing the big teams and taking all posts without any restraint. They purposely tried to displace princes as often as possible in order to hold all management in their hands. In Galitsk annals, written in princely spirit, hostile to boyars, complaints to seigniorial intrigues, vanity, and conceit meet continually. It is interesting to read such record as boyar Dobroslav goes through Galich to the prince without ceremony in one shirt, «having been so proud, that he even does not look on the earth, and Galitch inhabitants were running at his stirrup». Those relations explain, why all liking and sympathy of the people were on Roman's side in his struggle against nobility. There is no desire to specify surnames of «modern boyars», but, tracing latest events of the newest political history of Ukraine you can see the reflexion of those years in modern Ukraine as in the mirror ...
The glory of the strong, terrible, powerful prince, who didn't allow anybody to neglect him, dispersed about Roman not only around all Galitsky earth, but also in the next states-princedoms. And that glory, as well as the rumour, raised the last hope that Roman is the person who will establish an order, take the princes in his hands and will put an end to their quarrels and interventions of "specific princelings" in affairs of all Russia, including Western part, will pacify Cuman and other enemies and will adjust completely upset life of Great Kiev Russia and Russian States. When Roman went a campaign to Kiev, on his father-in-law, Kiev prince Ryurik, Kiev citizens receded from their usual rule of non-interference to princely intestine wars and opened the gates to Kyiv before Roman. They proclaimed him the prince hoping that this terrible and mighty prince, having occupied his father's and grandfather's table, would lift broken forces of Kiev again and revive its nice past. However those hopes didn't justify. Roman, as his contemporaries testify, being the strict, but noble person, «considered inconvenient for himself to occupy Kyiv table personally» and put there his cousin Yaroslav, and then his nephew, Rostislav Ryurikovich. But Kiev was in a complete dependence from Roman, and probably, in due course he wouldn't fail to take Kiev earth in his direct power (though, as it is known, the history does not suffer subjunctive mood). His contemporaries and associates, felt it and named Roman the head of all Russian earths, "grand duke", "tsar" or " autocrat of Russia", wishing to note that solving position, he occupied.
Though there is also more modern map of Ukrainian historians which gives more expanded possession of Galitsko-Volynsk princedom.
But Roman's plans (note*, possible plans) had no chance to be carried out. In 1205 he was killed in a campaign on the Polish princes absolutely unexpected. There is a version though it is not confirmed that he was killed not in the fight, but because of treacherous plot. Galitsko-Volynsk princedom-state, as well as other specific princedoms of Russian land "reeled" in the bases and "in all respects" with Roman's death.
Uspensky cathedral in Vladimir-Volynsk. Here the founder of the powerful Galitsko-Volynsk state Roman Mstislavovich was buried, and his business was continued by his son Danilo Romanovich, future Danilo Galitsky.
After Roman there were juvenile sons - the eldest son Daniel was only three years old, younger Vasilyok was only one year old. Their mother took the board in her hands, she was the young princess given under the guardianship and protection of Hungarian king Andrey, Roman's friend. Hungary had already aspired to step over Carpathians and to attach Zakarpatye earths - Galitsk lands as it already owned Podkarpatye earths. Then Hungarian king took advantage of the request of Roman's family and his adherents to incur the role of Supreme ruler of Galicia. He entered into Hungarian "teams" into Galich and, having accepted a title of the «king of Galicia and Volodimeriya», transferred reins of government to the Roman's widow on behalf of Danilo. However, pressed down, but not destroyed Galitsk nobility started to raise a head, having fastened "intercourses" with other princes "reckoning" on Galitsk throne. According to the annals, among the «princely conglomerate», and assurances of some modern "historians", Igor Svyatoslavich's sons, the hero of "Song of Igor's Campaign" were allocated; however, I have very big doubts that they are «Igor's sons», instead of «children of Lieutenant Schmidt». According to annals and the same "Song of Igor's Campaign", Igor was lost in 945th. And, concerning the period offered for consideration, the case is about 1209 ...The history doesn't knows cases when children were born later one and a half centuries, after ... father's death. Most likely, in annals, Igorevich's sons are mentioned as great-grandsons, or ... Well, an essence is not in it, but in the fact that they grasped Roman's earths, with boyars' help, without considering of seigniorial autocracy. The revenge of Galitsky boyars was awful. In 1211, with the assistance of Hungarians, boyars, who especially, suffered from Igorevich's offsprings, grasped and hang up them that had been unknown event hitherto as even during popular uprisings the prince was considered as the inviolable person. Probably Igorevich's offsprings "forgot" about «father's death». In general, from the point of view of a historiography, that story about them as speak in the people - rather and rather dark. But the fact of intrigues and princely-seigniorial civil strifes in Galitsko-Volynsk princedom, also took a historical place.
The monument to Prince Igor with the wife, established in Lugansk area, approximately in that place where the wife was killed, and he became the captive...
After that nobility decided not to allow princes become stronger in Galitsky reigning and purposely replaced them, they called one, helped him to occupy a princely table, and then called another, changed sides and forced previous to leave. Playing with princes in such a way, boyars wanted to hold the earth actually in their hands, and to rule it autocratically. Nevertheless, while princes "understood" with boyars, Hungarians with Poles had already owned Galitsky princedom, having left only hailstones Vladimir-Volynsk at former princedom-state. There came 1230, when Danilo and Vasily, Roman sons, had the right to sit down on a throne (according to annals, Roman bequeathed a throne to both sons, «so that both ruled also both were equal»). However Romanovichs owned Vladimir-Volynsk and affirmed in it very strongly, even the nobility was given for them, as it as well as the people, held sacred memory of Roman, remembered «Roman's hand» and kept his families strongly. Leaning against force of the people and belief in them, brothers entered serious struggle for Galicia with the Hungarian king and some part of glowering nobility. Sympathy of the people was again on Danilo-Danilo's party. At the same time, following their father, brothers tried to expand the power and influence on the east, towards Kyiv, carrying out father's will on Russia revival. It was possible to expect that, having collected the Galitsko-Volynsk team, Danilo with the brother would pass to "collecting" of east earths as they were much stronger, as they owned all Volynsk earths, and the neibhouring princes were even more divided and weakened for the last quarter of the century. However Tatar-Mongolian yoke became an obstacle to it.

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Monument to Danilo Galitsky in Lviv.
As it is known from the previous section, by the autumn of 1239 Tataro-Mongolian yoke had proceed for the South Russian earths. The one year passed. In the end of 1240 Tatars, having had a rest in steppes, moved to the West and, first of all started a siege of Kyiv, having settled down by an enormous camp. That predatory and wild horde made an awful impression. From the scratch of carts, roar of camels and horse neigh no voices were heard in the city - the annalist tells. But, despite such depression, Kyiv inhabitants, from a destruction example of Pereyaslov and Chernigov inhabitants knowing, what were expecting them, vigorously started defence under the leadership of voivode Dmitry, who had been sent there by Danil. Batu Khan started from Dnepr and placed there battering-ram for walls breaking. Day and night out they had been beating in walls, and walls began to ruin, people under Dmitry's leadership rushed to protect the breach, and it was terrible to look, how spears and boards broke, and the light grewn dim from arrows - the contemporary tells. Besieged walls were broken and Tatars seized them. Exhausted with difficult fight, they had a rest then the whole days. Having taken an advantage of that break, Kyiv citizens strained all forces and built strengthenings round the church of the Blessed Virgin Desyatinnaya, of an old Cathedral of scared Vladimir; they were going there to protected them up to the end. But strengthenings were weak, and Tatars took them the next day at once. Then people in despair rushed on choruses Of Desyatinnaya church. The majestic construction fell, not having sustained the weight of such mass of people, and covered it by their ruins. There was on December, 6th, 1240. So the history old princely Kyiv terminated. Sources don't speak what occurred with escaped Kyiv citizens, but mention, that Dmitry Batu was pardoned «for the sake of its bravery». Batu Khan, he was also the Khan of Golden Horde, quickly passed through Kyiv land, Volhynia, Galicia, hastening to Hungary, following the traces of Cuman. So Vladimir, capital of Volhynia, was taken by storm, and «many people were beaten». The annalist says, that in Vladimir there were no live soul and churches were full of corpses. Galich and more many other cities were taken later.
Separate Tatar regiments devastated Poland, Silesia, Moravia, breaking the armies, which tried to take on them. Batu Khan with the main army passed to Hungary, through «Russian gate» in Carpathians. Over the river Solna he crushed the Hungarian forces, seized Hungary and, obviously, had desire to lodge there. But news about the power change of Supreme khan came, and Batu Khan, wishing to take its place, moved back to be present at the election. In the spring of 1242 he hastily passed back through southern Russia and, without stopping anywhere, went further on the east.
The Kiev Russia fell into decay. The habitual way of life collapsed, princely possession disappeared, instead of«princely rack». As the contemporary testifies, Slavic people didn't want to suffer neither Tatars, nor «their damage». And they moved there where the princely system kept - on the north or in the southwest Russian lands. They left and carried away books, icons, works of art, monuments of cultural life. The rests of former Russia turned to geografical-ethnic name of Podneprovye. The given term only recently found its second life for Podneprovye, which as well as Zaporozhian Host, Slavs kept spirit and a life, not wishing to live neither under the khan, nor under the boor. But, in due course, in the very Podneprovye, the cultural life ran low. The population of «self-proclaimed independent Slavic statehood» did not rise above the level of livelihood interests. For that reason there remained so little news.
After falling of Podneprovye, and "self-dissolution", the old political, public and cultural life from South Russian earths found a refuge and shelter only in the Galitsko-Volynsk state. Just, by that time, in that last stronghold of Russia, internal distempers had stopped, and it became strong, rallied and solidary. In order to keep a Slavic princedom, Danilo «went by northern way», i.e. repeated Alexander Nevsky's action. He went in vassalage to the Golden Horde, but only with one purpose - «to keep the Russian lands and spirit». According to annals, in 1245 Mongolo-Tatars appealed to Danilo with the requirement to give Galich to another prince, elicited to himself the reading and writing from Tatars on Galitsk reigning. Danilo saw, that if he hadn't bowed to the khan, and hadn't not recognised its Supreme power the Horde would have found other applicants on his place and wouldn't have left him alone. With the shame and grief he should have gone to the Horde on bow to the khan. The khan accepted him with honour, but he made him feeling his power. With the deep bitterness the annalist tells as the khan, treating Danilo with koumiss, said to him: «You already ours now, the Tatar! So drink it». Danilo received from the khan acknowledgement of his rights to the earths, but for that he should recognise himself as the Tatar citizen, subjected to the khan. « When he came to his land, his brother and sons met him and grieved over his insult, but they were even more rejoiced that he came back live». And, though it was a bitter shame for Danilo to bow to the Tatar, but that «visiting with honour», strengthened both his position, and the world on Galitsko-Volynsk lands, and rescued Europe (oh, if to count how many time Sacred Russia rescued Europe...). Anybody from neighbours did not dare to hurt Danilo then «not to predict Tatars on themselves» as a leprosy before which all Europe shivered, timidly listening, whether they prepared a new campaign on the West.
There were also first allies which Lithuania became. By 1254 the position in Galitsky land, become aggravated again. The reason for that was as Horde danger, so desire of the "Protatar" princes-neighbours, to appropriate Danilo's and Vasil's princedom. And, again addressing to annals, we learn, that that year, Danilo had «a confidential meeting» with ambassadors of the Patriarch of Rome who told him about intentions of the last one to rise all Christian states of the Western Europe for struggle against Tatars. They advised him be devoted to protection of the Patriarch of Rome and Danilo with his brother really started to conduct negotiations with the Patriarch of Rome, hoping to receive the help against Tatars. But Rome could not render the military help (as it "was coming to the senses" after the seventh crusade of 1248-1254) but instead he suggested to accept union, to submit and to co-ordinate with Catholic doctrines that, the orthodox belief differed from them and in order to get Danilo on the right side, he promised to crown him as a king. Danilo was not so flattered on the crown, and was afraid to "provoke" Tatars by that action, however, according to the legend, native persuaded him, and the same year (though there are data about 1253), the papal legate, having arrived with the crown, crowned Danilo in Dorogochin. However, seeing, that there was no hope to receive the real help from the Pope, Danilo stopped any intercourses with him, all the more negotiations about joining to Catholic church caused displeasure among the population which, in a reproach to Danilo and his intercourses with the Patriarch of Rome they told about his father Roman, whom the Patriarch of Rome had ostensibly offered the crown and promised the help of «sacred Peter's sword», but Roman hadn't seduced with it: he showed the sword to the papal ambassador and told, that while he dad his own the sword, he didn't not require any.
Crusades. It's not excluded, that carrot and sticks had been already prepared for Galichina...
Meanwhile and relations between Tatars at Daniel had already deteriorated, and support of neighbours, Hungarians and Poles, was very bad, to put it mildly. And Danilo Galitsky, not as the King (that title which he was ashamed of, for some reason is considered now as the merit) but as the Prince of Russian state and Galitsko-Volynsk princedom, with own forces decided to begin the struggle against Tatars under the orthodox banners (instead of Catholic). The first fights with Tatars and their henchmen showed that it was possible to beat a «barbarous tribe steppe». The question was not to be mistaken with the allies . The allies were, more precisely, wished to be considered as allies: southern neighbour - Hungary, western - Poland, northern - Lithuania. Alas, Lithuania was late with the help, others (Poland and Hungary) - were not going to fight with Tatars at all. That blow, in direct and figurative sense buggered Danilo. His most courageous plans of struggle against Tatars fell. In vain he addressed for the help to neighbours, in vain he tried to increase the forces joining of the next Polish and Lithuanian earths. He could not accustom with the thought of the Tatar sovereignty as Moscow princes accustomed, strengthening under the Tatar leadership their force and the power, he ached and died in 1264, right after the pogrom of the east land of his princedom by khan Burunday. On Daniel's death for some time the senior in his sort there was his brother Vasilko, but he for a short while died after his brother, and with his death the former consent, among Romanovich family stopped.
Danilo Galitsky's merit was that being an exclusively capable governor, he united the westernlands of the former Kiev Russia. He reformed the army (except the team, there were also peasants in it ), tamed nobility, spent active, and the main thing, correct policy, both in the west, and in the east (please, modern state governors, learn it). Under his power the western cultural influences also extended, and the true Slavic culture remained. He constructed a number of new cities among which there were Kholm and Lviv, he transferred the capital of the princedom from Galich, the city of seigniorial mutinies, to the Kholm (nowadays the city Helm belongs to Republic of Poland, whence Mikhail Grushevsky came from) where he was buried after the death in 1264. Danilo managed to suppress seigniorial mutinies which some times rose against Daniel. According to the film-legend of director Yaroslav Lupiy with the same name, after one of such mutinies boyar Sudich was killed, and boyars were compelled to obey.
Lviv of the period of Danilo's board.
Probably not casually the well-known writer-historian Aleksey Kuzmich Yugov devoted his novels to two great Russians - Danilo Galitsky and Alexander Nevsky.
However strengthening of the grand-ducal power in the Galitsk-Volynsk princedom at Danilo carried a temporal character. At his successors board the tendencies to feudal dissociation which had been provoked by a seigniorial top, renewed. His son Lev and grandson Yury managed to keep relative stability in the princedom, however then the princedom, at «active support» of the neighbours, passive support of others passed into the epoch of territorial disintegration.
Galitsky princes, the beauty and pride of the Western Russia, lose any influence in the Lithuanian earths, and soon the Lithuanian princedom became the dangerous neighbour for Galitsk-Volynsk state which started to stretch hands to the Galitsk-Volynsk earths. And Tatars, had an effect from time to time, though their sovereignty wasn't so burdensome there, as in Moscow and east earths. Tatars didn't interfere with internal affairs, being content with sums of money and tributes collected from time to time.
On the boundary of fourteenth century the church division also began. After falling of Kyiv, its metropolitans started to live in northern and Suzdal-Moscow lands, and Galitsk princes achieved their purpose from the patriarch and Byzantium emperor so that the separate metropolitan «had been put on a dignity», as it was made in 1303. Thus, the last thread connecting the Western Russia with East was broke off.
By 1320 Kyiv «had been in influence sphere» of the Lithuanian princedom in spite of the fact that princes formally were under Horde sovereignty. That results from the fact that Lithuanian princes, being located in the Ukrainian and Belarus earths, tried to be accustomed to the local life, to its system and culture. They tried not to bring any changes in the local way: «We don't ruin old things, and don't establish new things» - that was their rule. They accepted orthodox belief, local culture, language, in a word, became Russian princes, only from a new Lithuanian dynasty, and tried to continue established orders of a local life whenever it was possible. But, new repartition of the Galitsk-Volynsk earths began, to which the neighbours who were still allies - Hungarians and Poles joined. The Lithuanian princes could not devote much time to the Ukrainian earths of Galicia and Volhynia in persistent struggle against Poland and Hungary. In 1349 the part of Galicia was grasped and was a part of Poland for long years, except some western volosts which were departed to Hungary. Opposition to Poland of the last one led that throughout fifty years Galicia was the real incessant on events, a battlefield between them. And only in 1387, Galicia «seriously and for a long time» became a part of Poland. Preparation to unization began with the subsequent Catholicism imposition on the east Slavs of the Western Russia that was a part of government program.
The contract of 1352 between Poland and Lithuania about Galitsk-Volynsk lands separation
The time of that program realisation came, literally in seven years when on August, 14th, 1385, the agreement named later as Krevsky union was signed, that was about dynastic union between the Great Lithuanian princedom and Poland, on which Lithuanian grand duke Yagailo having married Polish queen Yadviga, was proclaimed the Polish king. Yagailo with his brothers was obliged to accept a Catholicism together with all citizens, to attach the earths of the Great Lithuanian princedom to Poland and to promote returning of the earths lost by Poland. On the one hand, Krevsky union should have promoted association of forces of Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, Belarus and Ukrainian people in the struggle against aggression of the Teutonic award. On the other hand, it was equitable to the interests of Polish feudal lords, aspiring to grasp Ukrainian, Belarus and Russian earths which were a part of the Great Lithuanian princedom, and the Lithuanian feudal lords, reckoned to continue capture of Russian earths at the Poland's support. Conditions of union had been operating throughout two centuries, more precisely till 184 years, up to 1569 when Lithuania and Poland signed a Lublin union that united both states in confederative republic. But for South Russian Slavs, union didn't give any indulgences.
Nevertheless, Galitsk and Volynsk citizens kept their customs and cultures, left by Roman and his sons. On the boundary of the thirteenth-fourteenth centuries there were also new ethnodistricts in the borders of Great Lithuanian princedom and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth: «Small Russia» (that, in due course, become, Ruthenia), «Belaya Russia» (which became as Belarus), «Chernaya Russia» (modern Brest region of Belarus and the area of Pinsk city) and «Chervonnaya Russia» (a part of modern Ivano-Frankovsk and Zakarpatye regions).
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