Izyaslav Mstislavich

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(c. 10961154), grandson of Vladimir Vsevolodovich "Monomakh" and grand prince of Kiev.

Between 1127 and 1139, when his father Mstislav and his uncle Yaropolk ruled Kiev, Izyaslav received, at different times, Kursk, Polotsk, southern Pereyaslavl, Turov, Pinsk, Minsk, Novgorod, and Vladimir in Volyn. In 1143 Vsevolod Olgovich, grand prince of Kiev, gave him southern Pereyaslavl again, but his uncle Yuri Vladimirovich "Dolgoruky" of Suzdalia objected, fearing that he would use the town as a stepping-stone to Kiev. After Vsevolod died in 1146, the Kievans, despite having pledged to accept his brother Igor as prince, invited Izyaslav to rule Kiev because he belonged to their favorite family, the Mstislavichi. But his reign was insecure, because the Davidovichi of Chernigov and Yuri challenged him. In 1147, in response to a plot by the Davidovichi to kill Izyaslav and reinstate Igor, whom Izyaslav was holding captive, the Kievans murdered Igor. Meanwhile Yuri argued that Monomakh's younger sons, Izyaslav's uncles, had prior claims to Izyaslav, in keeping with the lateral system of succession to Kiev that Yaroslav Vladimirovich "the Wise" had allegedly instituted in his so-called testament. Yuri and his allies waged war on Izyaslav and expelled him on two occasions. Finally, in 1151, Izyaslav invited Vyacheslav, Yuri's elder brother, to rule Kiev with him. Yuri acknowledged the legitimacy of Vyacheslav's reign and allowed Izyaslav to remain co-ruler of Kiev until his death on November 13, 1154. Izyaslav's reign was exceptional in that, in 1147, he ordered a synod of bishops to install Klim (Kliment) Smolyatich as the second native metropolitan of Kiev.

See also: kievan rus; yaroslav vladimirovich.


Hanak, Walter K. (1980). "Iziaslav Mstislavich." The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History, ed. Joseph L. Wieczynski, 15:8889. Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press.

Martin, Janet. (1995). Medieval Russia 9801584. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Martin Dimnik