Vsevolod III

views updated


(11541212), Vsevolod Yurevich "Big Nest," the last grand prince of Vladimir on the Klyazma to rule all of Suzdalia, including Rostov and Suzdal.

In 1169 Vsevolod, son of Yury Vladimirovich "Dolgoruky," participated in the sack of Kiev organized by his elder brother Andrei "Bogolyubsky." Four years later he ruled Kiev briefly as Andrei's lieutenant. After his boyars assassinated Andrei in 1174, his relatives fought for the throne of Vladimir; in 1176, Vsevolod won. He adopted Andrei's centralizing policy and stifled all opposition from the neighbouring princes of Murom and Ryazan. He destroyed Polovtsian camps on the river Don and waged war against the Volga-Kama Bulgars and the Mordva tribes to secure the trade route from the Black Sea. He increased his domains by strengthening the defenses on the middle Volga, building outposts along the Northern Dvina, seizing towns from Novgorod, and appropriating its lands along the Upper Volga. He had limited success, however, in bringing Novgorod itself under his control.

Around 1199, when Vsevolod secured pledges of loyalty from the Rostislavichi of Smolensk and the Mstislavichi of Vladimir in Volyn, they recognized him as the senior prince in the dynasty of Monomakh. The Olgovichi of Chernigov, for their part, acknowledged his military superiority and formed marriage alliances with him. In this way Vsevolod asserted his primacy over the southern dynasties and the grand prince of Kiev. Before his death, however, he divided his domain among all his sons and designated the second eldest Yury his successor. These actions weakened the power of the prince of Vladimir. Vsevolod died on April 13, 1212.

See also: boyar; grand prince; novgorod the great; polovtsy; yuri vladimirovich


Fennell, John. (1983). The Crisis of Medieval Russia, 12001304. London: Longman.

Martin Dimnik