INGEGERD OLOFSDOTTER OF SWEDEN (old norsk Ingigerðr) / Ingegerd Olofsdotter / Ингигерда / Irina (born in 1001 in Sigtuna in Sweden - † February 10, 1050 in Novgorod), since 1019 the Princess of Novgorod, then since 1016 the Grand Princess of Kiev, the wife of Yaroslav the Wise


  • Olof Skötkonung, the King of Sweden (995–1022)


  • Estrid of the Obotrites, the daughter of the Obotrites chief, the Queen of Sweden (1000–1022)


Ingegerd was the daughter of the first king of Sweden Olof Skötkonung and Estrid of the Obotrites. Initially, she was supposed to marry the Norwegian king Olaf II Haraldsson [XI, p. 336]. This alliance was intended to seal the treaty between Sweden and Norway signed by Ingigerd's father in 1017 [ibid]. However, at the last moment, Skötkonung changed his mind. Following the author of the "History of the Ancient Norse Kings" monk Theodoric, L. E. Morozova believes that the unexpected refusal of the Swedish king was caused by some offense by Olaf II [7, p. 192]. However, there was a political decision behind the marriage of Yaroslav and Ingigerd. According to A. V. Nazarenko, the Danish-Swedish-Rus alliance was necessary for Yaroslav to be able to resist Boleslaw I the Brave [8, p. 492]. It was also beneficial to the Swedish king, who sought to establish hegemony in Scandinavia. The wedding with the Swedish princess was supposed to seal this diplomatic alliance. Ingegerd was the second wife of Yaroslav [2, p. 337; 8, p. 489-504]. The first wife, Anna, together with Yaroslav's sisters, was captured by Boleslaw I the Brave during the campaign against Kiev. There are different versions about her future fate: either she disappeared without a trace in Poland, included to the harem of Boleslaw the Brave [7, p. 162, 172], or somehow managed to return to Rus and was buried in Novgorod Sophia [15, p. 63; 16, c. 138-139]. However, A.V. Poppe did not agree with it considering Ingegerd the first wife of Yaroslav [10, p. 114-115].

According to the most common version, the wedding of Ingegerd and Yaroslav took place in 1019, as this date is indicated in the sources [IX, p. 234; X, p. 314; XI, p. 112] However, some researchers [17, p. 1067-1071; 10, p. 114] believe that the wedding and the events preceding it took place earlier, up to 1014/1015. Yhe earlier dating was criticized by A.V. Nazarenko, who did not agree with the arguments of A.I. Lyashchenko [8, p. 493].

According to Scandinavian sources, Ingegerd requested the  Aldeigjuborg-Ladoga fortress as a dowry [VIII, p. 234]. She planted to rule there her relative, the yard of Rangwald, who laid the foundation for several noble families of Novgorod, including the families of Mikhalkovichs and Miroslavichs [5, p. 258]. The veracity of the information about the Rus embassy to the court of the Swedish king and about the deal with the transfer of Ladoga (now Staraya Ladoga) raised doubts among some researchers [12, p. 91-92].

About the wedding of Yaroslav and the Swedish princess is told in the "Story of the Ancient Norse Kings" by the monk Theodrik [V, p. 73–76; XI, c. 113-115], Icelandic Annals [X, s. 106,316,468; III, c. 307-311], Adam of Bremen [I, IX, p. 94], anonymous History of Norway [IV, p. 69-73]. In the latter, Ingegerd is mistakenly called not the daughter, but the sister of Olaf [8, p. 496].

A debatable issue is baptism and, accordingly, the baptismal name of Ingegerda (as well as the related issue of burial, which will be discussed below). In Scandinavian sources, she appears only under her first name Ingegerd, which is pagan. However, as A.F. Litvina and F.B. Uspensky rightly pointed out, it is difficult to admit that the daughter of the first Swedish king, who baptized part of Sweden and converted to Christianity, remained a pagan [5, p. 355; IX, p. 119]. Therefore, it can be assumed that either Ingegerd had only one name given to her at birth (which is permissible among the Scandinavians), or her baptismal name was not attested in the sources [5, p. 355]. In Russian sources Ingegerd is known under the name Irina: she is mentioned under this name in the "The Sermon on Law and Grace" by Metropolitan Hilarion [II, p. 75]. It is also known that the Grand Princess founded the first convent in Kiev in honor of her patron saint, the great martyr Irina, and, according to the custom of that time, took care of the monastery, as well as managed it [4, p. 122].

There is an hypothesis that before her death Ingegerd was baptized for the second time into the Orthodox faith [7, p. 191]. However, this version is based on the assumption that Ingegerd died not earlier than 1054 (after the separation of the churches), although the establishment of the exact date of her death is a controversial.

A lot of information about Ingegerd is contained in "Saga of Eymundar", she is described as a wise and active woman. She acts as an intermediary between Yaroslav and Bryachislav and even leads the army, sneaks secretly into the camp of the enemy of Yaroslav, Mstislav Tmutarakansky, speaks to his warriors, tries to kill Eymundar himself, etc. [VI, p. 121-138]. The reliability of this describtion raises doubts among researchers due to the large number of stereotyped descriptions [12, p. 101-103]. But it is noteworthy that in other sources of Scandinavian origin Ingegerd is also presented as a freedom-loving, decisive and well-educated woman [9]. Indirectly this can be evidenced by the process of construction of the Novgorod St. Sophia Cathedral, in which, according to L.E. Morozova, Ingegerd took an active part [7, p. 190-191]. Indeed, the some features of the masonry gives reason to assume that not only Byzantine architects, invited by Yaroslav, but also Scandinavian masters took part in the construction [14, p. 204; 7, c. 191].

Ingegerd did a lot to strengthen the international ties of Rus. Her daughters were married to European rulers and later became the founders of many royal dynasties in Europe.

For some time her ex-fiancé Olaf II Norwegian with his family, who was forced to flee from Norway, also lived at the court of Yaroslav and Ingegerda. At Ingegerda's insistence, after Olaf left his son Magnus remained in Russia and was brought up together with the children of the Grand Prince [V, p. 73–76; VIII, c. 113; IX, p. 146]. Also princess helpedd the sons of the English king Edmund Ironside, Edwin and Edward, who were forced to flee England after the sudden death of their father.

According to some assumptions, Ingegerd lived for some time in Novgorod during the struggle between Yaroslav and Mstislav Tmutarakansky, where she could carry children: sons Izyaslav, Svyatoslav, Vsevolod and Vyacheslav and daughters Elizaveta, Anna and Anastasia [7, p. 203]. However, she finally moved to Kiev after the final establishment of Yaroslav on the Kiev throne in 1019.

The date and place of Ingegerda's burial is debate. According to one version, Ingegerda's death occurred on February 10, 1050. However, there is another opinion, according to which Ingegerd was tonsured under the name of Anna, lived in Novgorod until 1056 and was buried in the Novgorod Sophia Cathedral with her son, Vladimir. The author of this version was the Novgorod archbishop Euthymius in 1439, who established the day of memory of Ingegerd-Irina-Anna on February 10 and expanded the pantheon of Novgorod saints. It was confirmed by N. M. Karamzin who discovered the corresponding burials of Vladimir and Anna in Novgorod Sophia [3, p. 203]. However, in the twentieth century the identification of Ingegerda and Anna was questioned. In 1936 and then in 1939, the tomb of Yaroslav the Wise in Kiev was opened. There, in addition to the remains of the prince himself, scientists discovered female remains [1, p. 61-62; 6, c. 154-158]. On the basis of the examination carried out in those years, V.L. Yanin suggested that Ingegerd rests in the same coffin with her husband; in this case either the wife of Vladimir Yaroslavich or the first wife of Yaroslav the Wise is buried in the Novgorod Sophia Cathedral [16, p. 218]. A.V. Nazarenko partially agreed with this hypothesis [8, p. 282-283].

However, a reopening of the tomb in 2009 and a genetic examination of the remains resting there showed that both skeletons belonged to women dating from different periods - the era of Ancient Rus and the times of Scythian settlements. To date, the belonging of the remains in the tomb of Yaroslav the Wise in the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev to his wife Ingegerd is questioned greatly, taking into account the fact that the remains of Yaroslav Vladimirovich himself disappeared without a trace during the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) [4, p. 455-456; 549-550].


  • Vladimir Yaroslavich (1020-1052), the Prince of Novgorod [VI, c. 160]
  • Izyaslav I Yaroslavich (1024-1078), son-in-law of King Mieszko II of Poland [VI, c. 149]
  • Svyatoslav II Yaroslavich (1027-1076), Prince of Chernigov [ibid.]
  • Vsevolod Yaroslavich (1030–1093), son-in-law of the Byzantine emperor Constantine IX Monomakh, the Prince Vladimir Monomakh was born in marriage with the Greek princess Anastasia (Maria) [ibid.]
  • Vyacheslav Yaroslavich (1033–1057), te Prince of Smolensk [ibid.]
  • Igor Yaroslavich (1036-1060), the Prince of Volyn; married to the German princess Kunigunda, Countess of Orlamünde *. * Sometimes Igor is called the fifth of the sons of Yaroslav the Wise, based on the order in which the sons are listed in the Testament of Yaroslav the Wise [11]
  • Elizaveta Yaroslavna (Олисава, Эллисив, Ellisif, Elisabeth) (1025 (?) - 1066/1067), the wife of the Norwegian king Harald III Sigurdsson (1046-1066), the Queen of Norway
  • Anastasia Yaroslavna (1023-1074 / 1094), the wife of King András I of Hungary, the Queen of Hungary (1046-1060)
  • Anna Yaroslavna (fr. Anne de Russie / Agnès de Russie / Anne de Kiev / Agnes Russian / Anna of Kiev /) (1032 or 1036 - between 1075 and 1089), the wife of King Henry I of France, Queen of France
  • Agatha (?); ** ** Agatha (Agafya), the future wife of Edward the Exile, the heir to the English throne, the mother of Margaret the Saint, the Queen of Scots, and Edgar Astling might be another daughter of Yaroslav the Wise and Ingegerda. However, to date, there is no precise information confirming or refuting this version [18]
  • N - a girl died in infancy, whose name was not attested in the sources [VI, p. 145-146; 7, 203]


Ladoga [VII, p. 234; VIII, p. 144]


Earl Rangwald, English princes Edwin and Edward, sons of King Edmund Ironside; relative of the Norse kings Harald Sigurdsson [7, p. 213]Earl Rangwald, English princes Edwin and Edward, sons of King Edmund Ironside; relative of the Norse kings Harald Sigurdsson [7, p. 213]


Icon of St. Anna [3, p. 209]


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