Elena was one of the eldest daughters of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Algirdas from his second marriage to Juliania (Ulyana) of Tver. She was born c. 1357-1360 and subsequently had to play a significant role in stabilizing relations between the Lithuanian state and Moscow.
In 1371, the truce between Moscow and Lithuania expired. Despite some military successes, Algirdas strove to achieve peace with the Moscow prince and therefore sent ambassadors to Dmitry Ivanovich Donskoy. He was in the Horde at that time and the Lithuanians were received by Metropolitan Alexei. As a guarantee of good relations, the ambassadors offered to marry Algirdas's daughter Elena to Dmitry Ivanovich's ally Vladimir Andreevich the Bold, the Serpukhov prince. Alexei agreed and upon the return of Dmitry Ivanovich from the Horde, the marriage was concluded [II, cl. 96; III, p. 131]. For Moscow and Lithuania, agreement achieved in 1371/72 did not become the forerunner of real peace, but marked changes in the position of Lithuania: the Lithuanian prince intended to show Moscow his good intentions in every possible way, leaving Tver isolated in the diplomatic arena [1, p. 201]. A. V. Ekzemplyarsky noted that the agreement on the marriage was reached in the absence of Dmitry Ivanovich, but the marriage itself was concluded with his direct participation [6, p. 296, n. 791]. Modern researchers are trying to define a narrower framework for the emergence of this union. V.A. Kuchkin calls the period January – February 1372 [2, p. 20; 3, p. 67]. A.B. Mazurov and A. Y. Nikandrov clarify the possible date of the wedding even more: from 7 to 24 of January [4, p. 78].
However, it should be noted that this marriage, ultimately, could not significantly affect the relationship between Lithuania and Moscow. Algirdas's military campaigns continued the following year. Vladimir Andreevich played a prominent political role during this period, but the chronicles, as a rule, are silent about the details of the biography of his wife.
After the death of Dmitry Donskoy in 1389, Vladimir Andreevich remained dissatisfied with the new order of succession to the throne, which left the grand princal table for Dmitry's eldest son. Moreover, his expectations regarding the growth of land holdings did not come true either. It did not couse a serious conflict: Vasily Dmitrievich granted the Serpukhov prince two cities and a number of villages. Attention is drawn to the condition of the contract concluded: Vladimir Andreevich was supposed to go on a military campaign at the first request of his nephew, while leaving his wife and children in Moscow. Probably, the prince's family in this case should have become the guarantor of Vladimir Andreevich's loyalty to the Grand Prince of Moscow [6, p. 301].
In marriage, Elena Olgerdovna and Vladimir Andreevich had 7 sons [II, cl. 157; III, p. 131, 138, 143], however, it is not possible to clearly establish their seniority (on the sons of Vladimir Andreevich the Bold, see: 2, pp. 20–22).
In 1410, shortly before his death, Vladimir Andreevich drew up a spiritual charter, according to which he transferred significant land plots to Elena, some of which she was free to dispose of at her own will [I, No. 17, p. 45-51]. It is essential to note one nuance of Old Rus law: often land was transferred to widows only for "use", women could own villages, receive income from them, but they could not freely dispose of them (sell or bequeath at their own discretion). After the death of a woman, such lands were to be inherited by her sons. Nevertheless, exceptions are known when lands were transferred to princesses in unconditional ownership [5, p. 41]. According to the will of Vladimir the Bold, Elena, could dispose of at her own discretion some of the villages left to her, which the princess did: she bequeathed them in 1434 to her granddaughter Maria Ivanovna, daughter of Ivan Vladimirovich and Vasilisa [I, No. 28, p. 71-73; 4, p. 261].
Elena took monastic vows under the name of Eupraxia. She died on August 15, 1437.
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1. Mazurov A.B., Nikandrov A.Iu. Russkii udel epokhi sozdaniia edinogo gosudarstva. Serpukhovskoe kniazhestvo v seredine XIV – pervoi polovine XV v. M., 2008