AGRIPPINA (AGRAPHENA) VASILIEVNA (years of birth and death are unknown), the Grand Princess of Ryazan, since the summer of 1485 the wife of the Grand Prince of Ryazan Ivan Vasilievich; the relative of the Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland Casimir IV Jagiellon


  • Vasily Ivanovich Babich-Drutsky, the appanage prince, who switched to the service of Vasily III


The year of birth of Agrippina is unknown, there is also no information about her childhood years. She was destined to enter the historical proscenium under very unexpected circumstances as the ruler of Ryazan.

July 13, 1485 Agrippina married Ivan Vasilievich, the son of the Ryazan prince Vasily Ivanovich [IV, no. 76, p. 283-290; V, p. 237; VI, p. 117; VII, p. 151]. Ivan Vasilievich by his mother, Anna Vasilievna, was the nephew of the Grand Prince of Moscow Ivan III. The marriage itself, apparently, was arranged by Anna of Ryazan on the advice of her brother and taking into account his interests. In 1508 Agrippina's relatives, the Drutsk princes, moved from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to the Russian service, which was probably facilitated by this marriage [1; 8, ch. 5].

It is reliably known about one child born in the family of Agrippina and Ivan - Ivan Ivanovich *, who was born in 1496 and at the age of a little over four years old became the Ryazan prince. The sudden death of Ivan Vasilievich in 1500 led to the period of the so-called "Women's rule" in Ryazan, which received different assessments from historians. Regents under the minor prince Ivan were his mother and grandmother, Anna [2, p. 135; 5, p. 299-300]. Anna of Ryazan died a year after the death of Ivan Vasilyevich, and Agrippina turned out to be the sole ruler of Ryazan. Researchers believe that at this time Ryazan had already completely submitted to Moscow [8, Ch. 5; 9, p. 62; 12, p. 605].

Indeed, the order of Ivan III, given in 1502, in which the Moscow prince ordered Agrippina to facilitate the passage of the embassy across the Don, can be regarded as a manifestation of vassal relations [11, p. 422]. However, at the same time, Agrippina clearly had independence in managing the internal affairs of the principality: she had her own seal, she granted land with villages, acted as a judge, in 1507 founded a Monastic Pustyn near the Intercession Monastery, was in correspondence with Ivan III and Vasily III etc. [X, p. 365-366, 411-413; XI, pp. 18, 93–94].

In pre-revolutionary historiography the point of view of D.I. Ilovaisky, who believed that as Ivan Ivanovich grew up, a split was felt more and more clearly in the ruling circles of Ryazan, prevailed [4, p. 119-120; 12, p. 605-606]. The party of supporters of rapprochement with Moscow, up to complete annexation, was grouped around Agrippina Vasilievna, while supporters of the preservation of the independence of the principality chose their leader the young prince Ivan. Recently, the concept of dividing the Ryazan boyars into "groups" has been revised by researchers [6, p. 47-50].

Ivan Ivanovich reached his majority in 1511/12, but was able to become a full-fledged ruler only in 1514/15. Back in March 1514, with a request to accompany the ambassadors, Vasily III turned to Agrippina as the head of the Ryazan principality [II, No. 379]. And in the summer of 1515, Khan Muhammad-Girey sent to Prince Ivan a so-called letter of greeting [II, p. 395-396; 5, p. 300, etc.].

It is impossible to say unequivocally why exactly there was the delay in the transfer of power from Agrippina Vasilievna to Ivan Ivanovich. The testimony of S. Herberstein describing how Ivan, at the head of the Tatar army, by force won back his princely throne, according to researchers, is highly controversial [III, p. 307; 3; 6, p. 47-50].

Ivan Ivanovich was the last Ryazan prince and after a conflict with Vasily III fled to Lithuania, where he lived until his death in 1534 [7, p. 269-271). Ryazan finally became part of the Moscow principality in 1521.

After the reign of her son, Agrippina herself took monastic vows under the name of Agrafena and retired to the Pustyn, which she founded, where she probably lived until her death. Here it should be noted that some researchers regard this act of the princess as voluntary [8, Ch. 5]. A. A. Zimin, criticizing the hypothesis of S. Herberstein, nevertheless, believes that Agrippina was imprisoned in a monastery by order of Vasily III after the pro-Tatar-minded Ivan Ivanovich was "caught" in Moscow shortly before his escape ** [ VIII, p. 102; 3].

The exact date of the princess's death is unknown.


* S. Gerberstein mistakenly names two more elder brothers of Ivan Ivanovich - Vasily and Fedor [3, n. 605]

** The dating of this event is also controversial [see. 3, n. 603; 4, p. 229; 7, p. 270]


  • Ivan Ivanovich, the last prince of Ryazan (1500-1521)


Turmelevo and Kovylino villages


M. D. Kobyakov; F.I. Sunbulov; voivodes Sunbul Tutykhin and Mikita Inkin, son of Izmail; Yakov Nazariev; P. V. Verderevsky; F. Denisievich; M.N. Izmailov; Y.N. Izmailov; I.V. Izmailov; I. I. Korobin; S.I. Korobyin; I.I. Tutykhin [I, p. 170-172; 10, p. 269; II, no. 379, 381, p. 336, 345, 346, 362, 368, 371, 372, 375, 379; IX, p. 68, 76, 79, 146, 180-182; XI, p. 141-142, 231-233, 619, 622, 629, 668, 671].


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6.      Kirpichnikov I.A. Boiarstvo Velikogo kniazhestva Riazanskogo v nachale XVI v. // Vestnik VGU. Seriia: Istoriia. Politika. Sotsiologiia. 2020. № 4. S. 47–50.

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Internet Resources

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2.      Morozova L.E. Znamenitye zhenshchiny Moskovskoi Rusi XV–XVI vv. M., 2014.