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The Prince of Novgorod (Russian: Князь новгородский, knyaz novgorodskii) was the chief executive of Veliky Novgorod. The office was originally an appointed one until the late eleventh or early twelfth century, then became something of an elective one until the fourteenth century, after which the Prince of Vladimir (who was almost always the Prince of Moscow) was almost invariably the Prince of Novgorod as well.

The office began sometime in the ninth century when, according to tradition, the Viking (Varangian) Riurik and his brothers were invited to rule over the Eastern Slavs,[1] but real reliable information on the office dates only to the late tenth century when Vladimir Svyatoslavich was prince of Novgorod. The office or title technically continued up until the abdication of Nicholas II in 1917 – among one of his titles (although his list of titles was rarely given in complete form) was Prince of Novgorod the Great.

After the chief Rurikid prince moved to Kiev in the late ninth century, he usually sent either his son or a posadnik (mayor), to rule on his behalf. Thus Svyatoslav I sent his son |Vladimir Svyatoslavich to rule in Novgorod, and after Vladimir became Grand Prince of Kiev, he sent his son, Yaroslav the Wise to reign in Novgorod.

Republican period[]

From the early twelfth century to 1478, the prince's power in the Republic of Novgorod was more nominal. Imperial and Soviet-era scholars often argued that the office was ineffectual after 1136, when Prince Vsevolod Mstislavich was dismissed by the Novgorodians, and that Novgorod could invite and dismiss its princes at will.[2] In this way, the prince of Novgorod was no longer "ruler" of Novgorod but became an elective or appointed executive official of the city-state.[3]

That being said, the traditional view of the prince being invited in or dismissed at will is an oversimplification of a long and complex history of the office. In fact, from the late tenth century to the fall of Novgorod in 1478, the princes of Novgorod were dismissed and invited only about half the time, and the vast majority of these cases occurred between 1095 and 1293, and not consistently so during that period. That is, the office was elective for perhaps two centuries and even then it was not always elective.[4] Even during this period, the nadir of princely power in the city, more powerful princes could assert their power independently over the city, as did Mstislav the Bold in the early 13th century, Alexander Nevsky in the 1240s and 50s, his brother Iaroslav in the 1260s and 70s, and others.[5]

According to a remark in the chronicles, Novgorod had the right, after 1196, to pick their prince of their own free will,[6] but again, the evidence indicates that even after that, princes were chosen and dismissed only about half the time, and Novgorod often chose the most powerful prince in Rus' as their prince.[7] That usually meant that the prince in Kiev, Vladimir or Moscow (who retained the title Grand Prince of Vladimir from about the 1320s onward, although there were several interruptions), either took the title himself or appointed his son or other relative to be prince of Novgorod. At times other princes, from Tver, Lithuania, and elsewhere, also vied for the Novgorodian throne. Thus Novgorod did not really choose its prince, but considering the political climate, they often very prudently went with the most senior or most powerful prince in the land if he did not impose himself (or his candidate) upon them.

What was different about Novgorod, then, was not so much that Novgorod could freely choose its princes - it really couldn't. Rather, what was unique was that no princely dynasty managed to establish itself within the city and take permanent control over the city. Rather, while other Rus' cities had established dynasties, the more powerful princes vied for control of Novgorod the Great, a most-desirable city to control given the vast wealth (from trade in furs) that flowed into the city in the medieval period.[8]

In the absence of firmer princely control the local elites, the boyars, took control of the city and the offices of posadnik and tysyatsky became elective.[9] The Novgorod veche (public assembly) played a not insignificant role in public life, although the precise makeup of the veche and its powers is uncertain and still contested among historians. The posadnik, tysiatsky, and even the local bishop or archbishop (after 1165) were elected at the veche, and it is said the veche invited and dismissed the prince as well.

List of princes[]

[10]

  • Burivoi (legendary Slovene ruler)
  • Gostomysl (legendary Slovene ruler)

House of Rurik[]

Part of Kievan Rus'[]

Ruler Native name Born Reign Death Parents Consort Notes
Rurik I Rurik titularnik.jpg Рюрик c832 862-879 879 Unknown Efanda of Urman Also Grand Prince of Rus'
Oleg the Seer Oleg of Novgorod.jpg ? 879-912 912 Unknown Varangian knyaz of Holmgård (Novgorod) and Kønugård (Kiev). His relationship with the family is unknown. He was probably a regent, in name of Igor, son of Rurik. Also Grand Prince of Rus'
Igor I the Old
Igor Ryurikovich
Igor the Old.jpg c.878
Son of Rurik I
912-945 945
Iskorosten
aged 66–67
901 or 902
at least one son
Son of Rurik I. Also Grand Prince of Rus'
Saint Olga of Kiev St Olga by Nesterov in 1892.jpg c.890
Pskov
945-962 11 July 969
Kiev
aged 78–79
Regent on behalf of her minor son, she was baptized by Emperor Constantine VII but failed to bring Christianity to Kiev.
Svyatoslav I the Brave
Svyatoslav Igorevich
Svatoslav titularnik.png c.942
possibly Kiev
Son of Igor I and Olga of Kiev
962-969 March 972 Predslava
c.954
two children

Malusha (940-1020)[11][12]
c.958
at least one son
Also Grand Prince of Rus'
Vladimir Svyatoslavich Vladimir Svyatoslavovich.jpg Владимир Святославич 958 969-977 1015 Svtyatoslav Igorevich
Malusha
Olava
Uunnamed Greek nun
Rogneda Rogvolodovma
Malfrida
Adela
Anna Porphyrogenita
Unknown von Schwaben
in 988 baptized the Rus
Yaropolk Svyatoslavich 06 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg Ярополк Святославич c959 977-979 980 Svyatoslav Igorevich
Vladimir Svyatoslavich Vladimir Svyatoslavovich.jpg Владимир Святославич 958 979-988 1015 Svtyatoslav Igorevich
Malusha
Olava
Uunnamed Greek nun
Rogneda Rogvolodovma
Malfrida
Adela
Anna Porphyrogenita
Unknown von Schwaben
in 988 baptized the Rus
Vysheslav Vladimirovich 977 988-1010 c.1010
Novgorod
Son of Vladimir I and Olava/Allogia
aged 32-33
Anna
before 1052
at least two children
Yaroslav Vladimirovich, the Wise Yaroslav the Wise.jpg Ярослав Владимирович Мудрый c978 1010-1034 1054 Vladimir Svyatoslavich
Rogneda of Polotsk
Ingigerda of Sweden
Vladimir Yaroslavich
Vladimir Yaroslavich
Yaroslav I and Ingigerda of Sweden 1034-1052 4 October 1052
Novgorod
aged 31-32
Anna
before 1052
at least two children
Izyaslav Yaoslavich Minskizjaslav.jpg c.1024
Son of Yaroslav I and Ingigerda of Sweden
1052-1054 3 October 1078
Nizhyn
aged 53–54
Gertrude of Poland
1043
three children
First King of Rus', Pope Gregory VII sent him a crown from Rome in 1075.
Mstislav Izyaslavich before 1054
Son of Izyaslav I and Gertrude of Poland
1054-1067 1069
aged at least 14-15
Unknown
one child
Gleb Svyatoslavich Knyaz gleb ubivaet volhva.jpg Глеб Святославич c1048 1067-1078 1078 Svyatoslav Yaroslavich
Cecilia of Dithmarschen
Unmarried
Svyatopolk Izyaslavich
14 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg Святополк Изяславич 1050 1078-1088 1113 Izyaslav Yaroslavich
Gertrude of Poland
Daughter of Bohemia
Olena of Kipchak
NN
Also Grand Prince of Rus'
Mstislav Vladimirovich Mstislav I of Kiev (Tsarskiy titulyarnik).jpg Мстислав Владимирович Великий 1076 1088-1094 1132 Vladimir Monomakh
Gytha of Wessex
Christina Ingesdotter
Lyubava Dmitriyevna
Davyd Svyatoslavich Давыд Святославич c1092 1094-1095 1123 Svyatoslav Yaroslavich
Cecilia von Dithmarschen
Theodosia
Mstislav Vladimirovich Mstislav I of Kiev (Tsarskiy titulyarnik).jpg Мстислав Владимирович Великий 1076 1095-1117 1132 Vladimir Monomakh
Gytha of Wessex
Christina Ingesdotter
Lyubava Dmitriyevna
Davyd Svyatoslavich Death of David Sviatoslavich of Chernigov; Ascension of his brother, Yaroslav Sviatoslavich.jpg 1050
Son of Svyatoslav II of Kiev and Cecilia
1117 1123
Chernigov
aged 72-73
Teodosia
five children

Feudal Period[]

Ruler Native name Born Reign Death Parents Consort Notes
Vsevolod Mstislavich Vsevolod Mstislavich.jpg Всеволод Мстиславич c1095 1117-1132 1138 Mstislav Vladimirovich
Christina of Sweden
Unnamed daughter of Svyatoslav Davydovich (c1103-c1160) First time
Svyatopolk II Mstislavich After 1096 1132 20 February 1154 Euphemia of Olomouc[13]
1143 or 1144
no children
Also Prince of Polotsk and Pskov.
Vsevolod Mstislavich Vsevolod Mstislavich.jpg Всеволод Мстиславич 1103 1132-1136 1138 Mstislav Vladimirovich
Christina of Sweden
Unnamed daughter of Svyatoslav Davydovich (c1103-c1160) Second time
Svyatoslav II Olgovich March to Chernigov; Sviatoslav Olgovich in his deathbed, with his wife and sons.jpg 1106/1107 1136-1138 1164 Unknown
six children
Svyatopolk II Mstislavich c1115 1096 1138 20 February 1154 Euphemia of Olomouc[14]
1143 or 1144
no children
Also Prince of Polotsk and Pskov.
Rostislav I Yuryevich c1108 1138-1140 6 April 1151 Unknown
before 1151
three children
Svyatoslav II Olgovich March to Chernigov; Sviatoslav Olgovich in his deathbed, with his wife and sons.jpg 1106/1107 1140-1141 1164 Unknown
six children
Svyatoslav III Vsevolodovich Sviatoslav III.jpg 1123 1141 25 July 1194 Maria of Polotsk
1143
eight children
Rostislav I Yuryevich c1108? 1141-1142 6 April 1151 Unknown
before 1151
three children
Svyatopolk Izyaslavich After 1096 1142-1148 20 February 1154 Euphemia of Olomouc[15]
1143 or 1144
no children
Yaroslav Izyaslavich Ярослав Изяславович.png 1132 1148-1154 1180 'Unknown
1149
four children
Rostislav Ryurikovich Rostislav I.jpg 1110 1154 14 March 1167 Unknown
eight children
Davyd Rostislavich 1140 1154-1155 23 April 1197 Unknown
before 1197
seven children
Mstislav III Strong rain; Assassination of tsyatsyky Andrey Glebov; Marriage of Mstislav Yurevich of Novgorod and a daughter of Petr of Novgorod.jpg ? 1155-1158 after 1161 Unknown
Svyatoslav IV ? 1158-1160 1170 Unknown
Mstislav IV the Eyeless before 1151 1160-1161 20 April 1178 Unknown
two children

Unknown
no children
Svyatoslav IV ? 1161-1168 1170 Unknown
Roman I the Great Roman Mstislavich , Roman of Halych, Roman the Great.jpg 1152 1168-1170 19 June 1205 Predslava of Kiev
1170 or 1180
two children

Anna Angelina of Byzantium
c.1197
two children
Also King of Galicia-Volhynia.
Rurik II Rurik II.jpg before 1157 1170-1171 1215 Unknown
1163

Anna of Turov[16]
before 1176
six children
Yuri I Bogolyubsky c.1160 1171-1175 c.1194 Tamar I of Georgia
1185
(annulled 1187)
no children|
Svyatoslav V ? 1175 after 1176 Unknown
Mstislav IV the Eyeless before 1151 1175-1176 20 April 1178 Unknown
two children

Unknown
no children
Yaroslav III the Red ? 1176-1177 1199 Unmarried
Mstislav IV the Eyeless before 1151 1177-1178 20 April 1178 Unknown
two children

Unknown
no children
Yaropolk Rostislavich ? 1178 1182 or after 1196 Unknown
Roman Rostislavich RomanI.jpg before 1149 1178-1179 14 June 1180 Maria of Novgorod
9 January 1149
three children
Mstislav V the Brave Fearlessness of Mstislav.jpeg 1143 1179-1180 13 July 1180
Vladimir Svyatoslavich Владимир Святославич c1158 1180-1181 1200 Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich
Mariya Vasilkovna
Maria of Vladimir-Suzdal
1178
five children
Yaroslav Vladimirovich c1155 1182-1184 c1208 Unknown Alanian wife
three children
Mstislav VI ? 1184-1187 1189 Unknown
Yaroslav IV ? 1187-1196 after 1176 Unknown Alanian wife
three children
[[Yaropolk III after 1174 1197 between 1212 and 1223 Vasilissa (of Chernigov?)
no children
Yaroslav IV ? 1197-1199 after 1176 Unknown Alanian wife
three children
Svyatoslav VI 29 History of the Russian state in the image of its sovereign rulers - fragment.jpg 27 March 1196 1200-1205 3 Februaray 1252 Eudokia of Murom
one child
Konstantin I 24 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg 18 May 1185 1205-1207 2 Februaray 1218 Agafia of Kiev
three children
Svyatoslav VI 29 History of the Russian state in the image of its sovereign rulers - fragment.jpg 27 March 1196 1207-1210 3 Februaray 1252 Eudokia of Murom
one child
Mstislav VII Udatnyi Мстислав Мстиславович (слева) и Данила Галицкий.jpg 1176 1210-1215 1228 Maria of Cumania
nine children
Yaroslav V 26 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg 8 February 1191 1215-1216 30 September 1246 Unknown
1205
no children

Rostislava of Novgorod
1214
(annulled 1216)
no children

Theodosia of Ryazan
1218
twelve children
Mstislav VII Udatnyi Мстислав Мстиславович (слева) и Данила Галицкий.jpg 1176 1216-1217 1228 Maria of Cumania
nine children
Svyatoslav VII ? 1217-1218 1239 Unknown
ru (Vsevolod Mstislavich of Smolensk) ? 1218-1221 1239 Unknown
Vsevolod III 1212 or 1213 1221 7 February 1238 Marina of Kiev
1230
no children
Yaroslav V 26 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg 8 February 1191 1221-1223 30 September 1246 Unknown
1205
no children

Rostislava of Novgorod
1214
(annulled 1216)
no children

Theodosia of Ryazan
1218
twelve children
Vsevolod III 1212 or 1213 1223-1224 7 February 1238 Marina of Kiev
1230
no children
Mikhail Vsevolodovich Mikhail of Chernigov.jpg Михаил Всеволодович 1179 1224-1226 1246 Vsevolod Svyatoslavich
Maria of Poland
Yelena Romanovna
Yaroslav V 26 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg 8 February 1191 1226-1228 30 September 1246 Unknown
1205
no children

Rostislava of Novgorod
1214
(annulled 1216)
no children

Theodosia of Ryazan
1218
twelve children
Alexander I Nevsky Alexander Nevsky, Russian School 19th-20th century.jpg 13 May 1221 1228-1229 14 November 1263 Praskovia-Alexandra of Polotsk
1239
five children

Vassilissa
before 1263
no children
Mikhail Vsevolodovich Mikhail of Chernigov.jpg Михаил Всеволодович 1179 1229 1246 Vsevolod Svyatoslavich
Maria of Poland
Yelena Romanovna
Rostislav III after 1210 1229-1230 1262 Anna of Hungary
1243
five children
Yaroslav V 26 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg 8 February 1191 1230-1236 30 September 1246 Unknown
1205
no children

Rostislava of Novgorod
1214
(annulled 1216)
no children

Theodosia of Ryazan
1218
twelve children
Aleksandr I Nevsky Alexander Nevsky, Russian School 19th-20th century.jpg 13 May 1221 1236-1240 14 November 1263 Praskovia-Alexandra of Polotsk
1239
five children

Vassilissa
before 1263
no children
Andrei I Andrei2.jpg 1220 1240-1241 1264 Justina of Galicia
three children
Aleksander I Nevsky Alexander Nevsky, Russian School 19th-20th century.jpg 13 May 1221 1241-1252 14 November 1263 Praskovia-Alexandra of Polotsk
1239
five children

Vassilissa
before 1263
no children
Vasili I ? 1252-1255 1271 Unmarried
Yaroslav VI 28 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg 1230 1255-1256 16 September 1272 Natalia
before 1252
two children

Saint Xenia of Tarusa
1265
four children
Brother of his predecessor.
Vasili I ? 1256-1258 1271 Unmarried
Aleksandr I Nevsky Alexander Nevsky, Russian School 19th-20th century.jpg 13 May 1221 1258-1259 14 November 1263 Praskovia-Alexandra of Polotsk
1239
five children

Vassilissa
before 1263
no children
Dmitri I 33 History of the Russian state in the image of its sovereign rulers - fragment.jpg 1250 1259-1263 1294 Unknown
four children
Vasili II Vasily Yaroslavich Grand Dukes of Vladimir.jpg 1236 or 1241 1264-1266 1276 Unknown
Yaroslav VI 28 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg 1230 1266-1267 16 September 1272 Natalia
before 1252
two children

Saint Xenia of Tarusa
1265
four children
Brother of his predecessor.
Vasily II Vasily Yaroslavich Grand Dukes of Vladimir.jpg 1236 or 1241 1267-1272 1276 Unknown
Dmitry I 33 History of the Russian state in the image of its sovereign rulers - fragment.jpg 1250 1272-1273 1294 Unknown
four children
Vasili II Vasily Yaroslavich Grand Dukes of Vladimir.jpg 1236 or 1241 1273-1276 1276 Unknown
Dmitri I 33 History of the Russian state in the image of its sovereign rulers - fragment.jpg 1250 1276-1281 1294 Unknown
four children
Andrei Aleksandrovich Andreygorodetsky.jpg 1255 1281-1285 1304 Aleksandr Nevsky
Aleksandra Bryachislavna
Vasilisa Dmitriyevna
Dmitri I 33 History of the Russian state in the image of its sovereign rulers - fragment.jpg 1250 1285-1292 1294 Unknown
four children
Andrei Aleksandrovich Andreygorodetsky.jpg Андрей Александрович 1255 1292-1304 1304 Aleksandr Nevsky
Aleksandra Bryachislavna
Vasilisa Dmitriyevna
Michael II 33 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg 1255 1304-1314 27 July 1304 Saint Anna of Rostov
1294
five children
Afanasii ? 1314-1315 1322 Anna
no children
Michael II 33 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg 1255 1315-1316 27 July 1304 Saint Anna of Rostov
1294
five children
Afanasii ? 1316-1322 1322 Anna
no children
Yuri (George) II 34 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg 1281 1322-1325 21 November 1325 Unknown
1297
one child

Konchaka of Mengu-Timur (baptised Agafia)
1317
no children
Alexander II 35 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg 7 October 1301 1325-1327 29 October 1339 Anastasia of Galicia
1320
eight children

Part of Moscow[]

  • 1328-1337 Ivan I Kalita the Money-bag
  • 1337-1353 Simeon the Proud
  • 1353-1359 Ivan II the Fair
  • 1359-1363 Dmitry II the One-eyed, 1359–1363
  • 1363-1389 Dmitry III of the Don

Gediminids[]

  • 1389-1407 Lengvenis

House of Rurik[]

  • 1408-1425 Vasily III, 1408–1425
  • 1425-1462 Vasily II the Blind, 1425–1462
  • 1462-1480 Ivan III the Great

References[]

  1. ^ Dmitry Likhachev, ed. and trans., Povest Vremennikh Let (Moscow and Augsburg: Im Werden Verlag, 2003), 7.
  2. ^ Boris Grekov, “Revoliutsiia v Novgorode v XII veke,” Uchenye zapiski Instituta Istorii Rossiiskoi assotsiatsii nauchno-issledovatel’skikh institutov obshchestvennykh nauk (RANION) vol. 4 (1929): 13-21; V. L. (Valentin Lavrent’evich) Yanin, “Problemy sotsial'noi organizatsii novgorodskoi respubliki,” Istoriia SSSR, 1 (1970), 44; Valentin Yanin, Novgoroskie Posadniki (Moscow: Yazyki Slavianskoi kul'tury, 2003), 64-135.
  3. ^ Michael C. Paul, "Was the Prince of Novgorod a 'Third-rate bureaucrat' after 1136?" Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 56, No. 1 (Spring 2008): 72-113.
  4. ^ Paul, "Was the Prince of Novgorod a 'Third-rate bureaucrat' after 1136?" 94-97.
  5. ^ Michael C. Paul, “The Iaroslavichi and the Novgorodian Veche 1230-1270: A Case Study on Princely Relations with the Veche,” Russian History/ Histoire Russe 31, No. 1-2 (Spring-Summer, 2004): 39-59.
  6. ^ Arseny Nasonov, ed., Novgorodskaia Pervaia Letopis Starshego i mladshego izvodov (Moscow and Leningrad, ANSSSR, 1950), 43, 236; Novgorodskaia chetvertaia letopis, vol. 4 of Polnoe Sobranie Russkikh Letopisei (Moscow: Iazyki russkoi kul'tury, 2000), 177; George Vernadsky, Kievan Russia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948), 197.
  7. ^ N. L. (Natalia L’vovna) Podvigina, Ocherki sotsial’no-ekonomicheskoi i politicheskoi istorii Novgoroda Velikogo v XII-XIII vv. (Moscow: Vysshaia shkola, 1976), 114; Paul, "Was the Prince of Novgorod a 'Third-rate bureaucrat' after 1136?" 82-94.
  8. ^ On the fur trade, see Janet Martin, Treasure of the Land of Darkness: The Fur Trade and Its Significance for Medieval Russia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985); Paul, "Was the Prince of Novgorod a 'Third-Rate Bureaucrat' after 1136?"; see also the relevant sections (re: Novgorod) in Janet Martin, Medieval Russia: 980-1584, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995).
  9. ^ See Yanin, Novgoroskie Posadniki.
  10. ^ See also the list in Paul, "Was the Prince of Novgorod a 'Third-rate bureaucrat' after 1136?" 109-113.
  11. ^ Vladimir Plougin: Russian Intelligence Services: The Early Years, 9th-11th Centuries, Algora Publ., 2000
  12. ^ History of Ukraine-Rus': From prehistory to the eleventh century, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, 1997
  13. ^ Л.Войтович КНЯЗІВСЬКІ ДИНАСТІЇ СХІДНОЇ ЄВРОПИ
  14. ^ Л.Войтович КНЯЗІВСЬКІ ДИНАСТІЇ СХІДНОЇ ЄВРОПИ
  15. ^ Л.Войтович КНЯЗІВСЬКІ ДИНАСТІЇ СХІДНОЇ ЄВРОПИ
  16. ^ Template:ВТ-МЭСБЕ

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