Main » Yaroslav the Wise » Parents

The parents of Yaroslav the Wise were of a different origin: his father, Prince Vladimir, was the son of the concubine Malka (Malushi) and Prince Svyatoslav Igorevich; the mother was Polotsk Princess Rogneda. She was supposed to be the wife of Vladimir’s brother, Yaropolk, and she refused Vladimir herself, not wanting to become the wife of the “son of a slave girl”. Vladimir captured Polotsk, raped Rogneda in front of her parents, and then killed her father and two brothers.
Family tree of Yaroslav the Wise

Father

Prince Vladimir the Baptist
Prince Vladimir the Baptist
The son of Prince Svyatoslav the Brave and the slave concubine Malusha (Malki).

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Mother

Rogneda Rogvoldovna
Rogneda Rogvoldovna
Princess of Polotsk, forcibly taken by Vladimir as a wife.

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Relationship with parents

According to the chronicles, in childhood, Yaroslav was struck by paralysis of the legs. According to the relatively late “Tver Chronicle”, before the adoption of Christianity, Vladimir proposed to Rogneda divorce and marriage with any of his boyars. However, Yaroslav’s mother refused, answering:

“I was a queen, but I don’t want to be a slave”,

and decided to take the tonsure as a nun under the name Anastasia. This decision allegedly so struck Yaroslav, who was present during the conversation, that it was cured him of paralysis, there was only a limp. The sad fate of the mother, of course, left its imprint on Yaroslav – he, unlike Vladimir’s father, was not inclined to polygamy and condemned the extradition of girls to marry without their consent. Thus, in the articles of the Charter of Prince Yaroslav Vladimirovich, punishment was imposed on parents who did not reckon with the free will of the bride in matters of marriage, not only in those dramatic situations where girls committed suicide because of involuntary marriage, but also in those cases «if a girl he wants to marry, but his father and mother will not allow».

Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich appointed his sons to reign in various cities, often until they came of age. So Yaroslav was sent to reign in Rostov as a child (c. 988-989), and as the closest assistant to him was placed “a breadwinner and voivode in the name of Buda (or Budy)” . In 1010/1011, Vysheslav, who reigned in Novgorod, died, and his father decided to send his matured son Yaroslav to the second most important city in Russia.

In 1014, historians designated the rebellion of Yaroslav against his father – he refused to pay an annual lesson (tax) of two thousand hryvnias and also hired the Vikings for the upcoming confrontation with Vladimir. Presumably, this was due to the fact that the aging Prince Vladimir appointed his son Boris to command his princely squad, which in fact meant further plans to transfer the supreme power in the state, bypassing the existing traditions of inheritance by seniority. Prince Vladimir planned to make a military campaign against the rebellious son, but fell ill and soon died.

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