EUPHROSYNIA YAROSLAVNA (year of birth is unknown, † after 1200), the Princess of Novgorod-Seversky, the Princess of Chernigov, since about 1169 was the wife of Igor Svyatoslavich, the Prince of Novgorod-Seversky, the Prince of Chernigov (since 1198), the heroine of "The Tale of Igor's Campaign"


  • Yaroslav Vladimirovich Osmomysl, the Prince of Halich (1153-1187


  • Olga Yurievna, daughter of Yuri Vladimirovich Dolgoruky, the Prince of Rostov-Suzdal [15, tabl. V]


Euphrosynia Yaroslavna was born in the family of Yaroslav Osmomysl and Olga Yurievna around 1154. The date of birth is suggested on the basis of the information on the birth of her first child in 1171 [9, p. 406]. Noteworthy is the choice of the name given to Euphrosynia. Her mother Olga was tonsured under the name Euphrosynia [II, p. 383]. Euphrosynia was also the name of Olga's niece, the daughter of Boris Yurievich of  Belgorod, and her grandniece, the granddaughter of Vsevolod the Big Nest. Historians believe it might have been due to the family cult of Euphrosynia of Polotsk, adopted among the descendants of Yuri Dolgoruky [6, p. 178]. However, there is no reliable evidence that the daughter of Yaroslav Osmomysl was named Euphrosynia. The chronicles do not reffer to the Princess Yaroslavna by her first name. The name is attested only in the "Genealogy of the great and appanage princes of Rurik family" compiled by Empress Catherine II. It is highly possible that this name was given to Yaroslav's daughter by mistake, confusing her first name with the monastic name of her mother [13, p. 48-49].  F.I. Buslaev was the first o identify Yaroslavna, one of the central characters of The Tale of Igor's Campaign, as Euphrosynia Yaroslavna [2, p. 613]. However, A.F. Litvina and F.B. Uspensky admit that Euphrosynia may be a kind of “genealogical phantom”, not a real historical figure [6, p. 545].

Nevertheless, in the chronicals is mentioned the birth son of Euphrosynia and Prince Igor  on October 8, 1171 [II, p. 383; 9, c. 407]. Apparently, she was the youngest daughter in the family, since Yaroslav Osmomysl decided to marry her off to Prince Igor, who at that time did not have his own appanage. Also Igor and Euphrosynia were already related through Igor's brother Oleg, who was married to Euphrosynia's aunt, and Euphrosynia's brother, who was married to Igor's cousin. The wedding took place around 1170, later Igor received  Putivl as his domain [1, p. 218]. During the feuds of 1171-1180 Igor sided with the opponents of his father-in-law and his wife's brothers, participated in the expulsion of Mstislav Izyaslavich from Kiev, fought with Andrey the Pious against the Rostislavichs, supported his brother Oleg in his fight for Chernigov against Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich, etc.

It is noteworthy that in the Ipatiev Chronicle there are quite a few deviations in the description of the family affairs of Euphrosynia and Igor (such as the birth of children, quarrels with brothers, etc.) Given the insignificance of the inheritance entrusted to Igor's possession, L.E. Morozova suggested that these deviations are based on the family chronicle of Euphrosynia, which could have been kept by Olga Yurievna, who lived in Putivl [9, p. 413]. For example, on the birth of Euphrosynis`s children it says as follows:  the first-born was Vladimir [II, p. 383], then Oleg [ibid, p. 406].

After the death of his elder brother Oleg, Igor Svyatoslavich takes possession of Novgorod-Seversky and participates in campaigns against the Polovtsy (Cumans). His unsuccessful campaign in 1185 became the basis of one of the main literary monuments of the 12th century - “The Tale of Igor's Compain”. The image of Yaroslavna became the symbol of female fidelity in Russian culture. The origin of the Tale and its authorship are subjects to active scientific controversy [3; 4; 7; 8; 10; 11; 12; 14]. Nowadays most researchers recognize the authenticity of "The Tale of Igor's Campaign", but the concept of A.A. Zimin, the main opponent of this point of view, has not lost its relevance [4].

The main issue directly related to Euphrosynia is also connected with the name, more precisely, with the patronymic "Yaroslavna", which is used by the author of "The Tale of Igor's Compaign" [III, p. 91]. It is known that in Russia married women were often called by the name of their husband. However in the Tale, the name of father, most likely Yaroslav Osmomysl, was used as a patronymic for Igor's wife. L. E. Morozova suggests that this might be due to the different social status of these two princes in the system of relations in the Rurik family [9, p. 421]. Yaroslav was the head of a large and wealthy Halich principality, while Igor just recieved the throne in Novgorod-Seversky, which cannot be compared with Halich.

The chronicles mention the five sons of Euphrosynia and Igor. In the 18th century it was suggested that Euphrosynia might have been the second wife of the prince, but S.V. Alekseev proved that  Euphrosynia was the only wife [1, p. 218-219].

Unfortunately, we do not possess any other information about this princess. In 1198 Igor became prince of Chernigov and moved with his family to Chernigov, where he died in 1202. Euphrosynia most likely outlived her husband and died between 1205 and 1211. The time period of the princess's death is hypothetical. L.E. Morozova draws attention to the fact that the civil strife that broke out in 1211 (which ended with the execution of Roman, Rostislav and Svyatoslav) probably took place after the death of Euphrosynia, since otherwise the princess would have made an effort to reconcile the brothers [9, p. 430].


  • Vladimir Igorevich, prince of Putivl (1185-1198, 1208-1210), prince of Novgorod-Seversky (1198-1206), prince of Halich (1206-1208, 1210-1211)
  • Oleg Igorevich (1175-1205)
  • Svyatoslav Igorevich, Prince of Vladimir-Volynsk (1205–1206), Prince of Przemyśl (1209, 1210–1211)
  • Roman Igorevich, Prince of Zvenigorod (1206-1207, 1210-1211), Prince of Halich (1207-1209)
  • Rostislav Igorevich, Prince of Terebovl (1210–1211)
  • N Igorevna, since 1189 the wife of David Olgovich, the prince of Starodub


I. Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisei (PSRL). T.1. Lavrent'evskaia letopis'. M., 2001.

II. PSRL. T. II. Ipat'evskaia letopis'. M., 2001.

III. Slovo o polku Igoreve / Vstupit. stat'ia, podgot. teksta i prim. D.S. Likhacheva. L., 1953.


1.      Alekseev S.V. Igor' Sviatoslavich. M., 2014.

2.      Buslaev F.I. Istoricheskaia khrestomatiia tserkovno-slavianskogo i drevnerusskogo iazykov. M., 1861.

3.      Zalizniak A.A. "Slovo o polku Igoreve': vzgliad lingvista. M., 2008.

4.      Zimin A.A. "Slovo o polku Igoreve'. SPb., 2006.

5.      Zotov R.V. O chernigovskikh kniaz'iakh po Liubetskomu sinodiku i o Chernigovskom kniazhestve v tatarskoe vremia. SPb., 1892

6.      Litvina A.F., Uspenskii F.B. Vybor imeni u russkikh kniazei v X–XVI vv. Dinasticheskaia istoriia skvoz' prizmu antroponimiki. M., 2006.

7.      Likhachev D.S. "Slovo o polku Igoreve' i kul'tura ego vremeni. L., 1985. 

8.      Likhachev D.S. Razmyshleniia ob avtore "Slova o polku Igoreve'  // Russkaia literatura. № 3. 1985.

9.      Morozova L. E. Velikie i neizvestnye zhenshchiny Drevnei Rusi. M., 2009.

10.  Rybakov B.A. Petr Borislavich. Poisk avtora "Slovo o polku Igoreve'. M., 1991. 

11.  Rybakov B.A. Russkie letopistsy i avtor "Slova o polku Igoreve'. M., 1972.

12.  "Slovo o polku Igoreve' i pamiatniki Kulikovskogo tsikla: K voprosu o vremeni napisaniia "Slova' / Red. D.S. Likhachev, L.A. Dmitriev. Sbornik statei. M.; L., 1966.

13.  Tvorogov O.V. Na kom byli zhenaty Igor' i Vsevolod Sviatoslavichi? // Trudy otdela Drevnerusskoi literatury Instituta russkoi literatury RAN. T. 48.  M., 1993. 

14.  Shmidt S.O. Pamiatniki pis'mennosti v kul'ture poznaniia istorii Rossii.  T. 1. Dopetrovskaia Rus'. M., 2008.

15.  Baumgarten N. Gćnóalogies et mariages occidentaux des Rurikides russes du Xe au XIIIe siftcle. Roma, 1927.