There are few mentions of Malusha in chronicles. Her year of birth and parentage are unknown. The Rus`s Primary Chronicle reports that Malusha was the keykeeper of Princess Olga (the manager of the princess's household). She became pregnant by Svyatoslav and gave birth to a son - the future baptist of Russia, Saint Vladimir I. Similar information is contained in the "Notes on Muscovite" by S. Herberstein [I]. Another piece of information from the chronicle about Rogneda's refusal to marry Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich, the «сына робичича» (the slave`s son), allowed researchers to conclude that Malusha was not a free member of the princess's court. D.I. Prozorovsky identified the father of Malusha and Dobrynya (voivode of Vladimir Svyatoslavich, the prototype of the legendary Dobrynya Nikitich in Russian epics) the Malk of Lyubech, as the Drevlyan prince Mal [7, p. 20-21]. Mal led the uprising of the Drevlyans against Prince Igor. Respectively, after the revenge of Princess Olga, his children could be captured and become slaves at her court. B. A. Rybakov [10, p. 165], A. Y. Karpov [3, p. 15] and other historians opposed this hypothesis. A.A. Shakhmatov's theory of the contamination of Malk of Lyubech with Sveneld's son Lyut Sveneldich and Prince Mstislav Vladimirovich “Lyuty” [15, p. 234-257; 1, p. 474] was also refuted .
Some researchers believe that Malusha is the derivation from the Scandinavian name Malfried / Malfrede, modified in the Slavic manner, and, accordingly, Vladimir's mother was of Scandinavian origin. Indeed, under 1000/1001, the prince's memorial contains a mention of a certain Malfrede along with Rogneda and Vseslav [II, clm. 129; 15, p. 162-164; 6, p. 379]. The naming tradition of Rus princes, as well as the name Malfrede, which was encountered later, allowed researchers to conclude that the mentioned Malfrede was a mother, not a wife (as believes L.E. Morozova [5, p. 109]) of Vladimir Svyatoslavich [4, p. 247-248]. However, the point of view of D.I. Ilovaisky, who noted that the name Malusha might have been intentionally altered in the Scandinavian manner to give the name of the keykeeper more significance, is also valid [2, p. 357].
The position of Malusha in the Svyatoslav Igorevich`s court is not completely clear. The fact that her son Vladimir was brought up at the court of Olga [II. p. 64] along with children from another marriage of Svyatoslav, and subsequently not only participated in the struggle for the throne, but was able even to become a Kiev prince, displacing Yaropolk [13, p. 33; fourteen], as well as the recognition of Vladimir in Novgorod, where his maternal uncle Dobrynya ruled, can be considered an argument in favor of Malusha's legal position as the partner of Svyatoslav . At the same time, the literature notes that Malusha's pregnancy caused Olga's anger and Malusha was sent to the village of Budutino, where, apparently, Vladimir was born [5, p. 64]. The further fate of Malusha is unknown. A noteworthy information, that might relate to the elderly Malusha was found by E. V. Pchelova in the Scandinavian "Saga about Olaf Tryggvason". In the saga the mother of the Kiev prince is presented as a pagan seer [IV, p. 101; 9, p. 63]. However, other researchers believe that the witch mentioned in the saga should was not the mother, but the grandmother of Prince Vladimir, the Princess Olga [17, s. 177-178; 18, p. 145].
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