The first wife of Vsevolod Yaroslavich, the fifth son of Yaroslav the Wise, was the daughter of the Byzantine emperor Constantine IX Monomachos. Her name is unknown. According to one theory her name was Anastasia, under this name she is mentioned in the synodics of the Vydubitsky monastery [1, p. 51–62]. According to another version, the name of the daughter of Monomachos is Maria [2, p. 268-269; 3, p. 16; 4, c. 16-17, 20-23]. Her origin is also not completely clear. Constantine Monomachos of the Macedonian dynasty received the Byzantine throne thanks to his marriage to Empress Zoe, but this marriage was childless. It is known that before that Constantine had already been married twice, his second wife was the niece of Emperor Roman III Argir, Elena Sklirena, after whose death Constantine took her cousin Maria as his concubine. Researchers suggest that the daughter of Monomachos could be the daughter of Constantine from one of the sisters, but there is no direct evidence of this. Moreover, the fact that the Macedonian dynasty ended on Constantine indirectly confirms the assumptions of some historians that the daughter Monomachos could have been either the illegitimate daughter of the emperor, or in a very distant relationship with him [1, p. 51–62].
The marriage between the daughter of Monomachos and Vsevolod is dated no earlier than 1043. At this time, Vladimir Yaroslavich's unsuccessful campaign against Constantinople ended, and, probably, to confirm peace, a marriage was concluded between Vsevolod and the daughter of Monomachos. At the same time, researchers note that the marriage itself was much more profitable for the Rus side than for the Byzantium [ibid.]. Rus sources contain only evidence that Vsevolod had a son from a Greek princess [II, cl. 149]. As briefly is she mentioned by Vladimir Monomakh in his "Instruction ...", noting only that he is «возлюбленный сын отца и матери Мономахини» [I, p. 232].
Nothing is known about the further fate of the daughter of Monomachos. She probably lived with her husband in Kiev until the death of Yaroslav the Wise. L.E. Morozova suggests that the strengthening of ties with Byzantium at that time, in particular, the invitation of Greek masters to decorate the St Sophia Cathedral, could have occurred thanks to the wife of Vsevolod [2, p. 269-271]. After the death of Yaroslav, Vsevolod, according to his will, was supposed to go to Pereyaslavl Yuzhny. Based on archaeological data, L.E. Morozova put forward the assumption that the daughter of Monomachos spent the rest of her life in Pereyaslavl and was buried there [ibid, p. 275]. However there is no reliable confirmation of this theory.
In any case, despite the extremely small amount of reliable evidence about the mother of Vladimir Monomakh, one cannot but admit the most important circumstance: it was her relationship with the Byzantine emperor that later in the middle of the 16th century was taken as an ideological basis for strengthening the power of the Moscow princes.
Personal seal with the name Maria on it; some researchers suggest that there is the image of the daughter of Monomachos herself on it [4, p. 16-17, 20-23].
I. Letopis' po Lavrent'evskomu spisku. SPb., 1897.
II. PSRL. T. II. Ipat'evskaia letopis'. M., 2001.
1. Briusova V.G. Russko-vizantiiskie otnosheniia serediny XI veka. // Voprosy istorii. 1972. № 3. S. 51–62.
2. Morozova L.E. Velikie i neizvestnye zhenshchiny Drevnei Rusi. M., 2009.
3. Filiushkin A.I. Tituly russkikh gosudarei. SPb., 2006.
4. Ianin V.L. Aktovye pechati Drevnei Rusi Kh–KhѴ vv. T. I. Pechati X–nachala KhIII v. M., 1970.
Pouchenie Vladimira Monomakha (perevod kommentarii D.S.Likhacheva)