MARIA / AGAFIA (?) MSTISLAVNA (was born in 1110–1113, † in 1179–1181 in Kiev), the Princess of Chernigov, the Grand Princess of Kiev, since 1126–1127 was the wife of Vsevolod Olgovich, the Prince of Chernigov, the Grand Prince of Kiev, daughter of the Grand Prince of Kiev, Mstislav Vladimirovich and Christina of Sweden


  • Mstislav Vladimirovich (Harold) the Great, the Prince of Novgorod (1088–1094), the Prince of Rostov (1094–1095), the Grand Prince of Kiev (1125–1132)


  • Christina (Kristina) Ingesdotter of Sweden (1070-s – January 18, 1122), the Princess of Novgorod, the first wife of Mstislav the Great* *L. E. Morozova believes that the mother of Maria was the second wife of Mstislav, Lyubava Dmitrievna [5, p. 352–353]


It is reliably known about this daughter of Mstislav (Harold) Vladimirovich  only that she was married to Prince Vsevolod Olgovich of Chernigov. The chronicles contain quite a lot of circumstantial evidence confirming the filiation of Vsevolod's wife as the daughter of Mstislav and Christina of Sweden, however, as usual, they are silent about specific facts and dates. Even the name of the princess has different interpretations. To date, in science two views on the name of Mstislavna has been formed: Agafia and Maria. Supporters of the first version follow V.N. Tatishchev, who relied on the news of the chronicle about the marriage of "the daughter of Mstislavl Agafia" [8, p. 132; 10, s. 15-16]. However, most scientists believe that V.N. Tatishchev confused Mstislavna with the daughter of Vladimir Monomakh, Agafia, married to Vsevolodko of Horodensk. Supporters of the name "Maria" rely on the news of the chronicle and of the Princely Commemoration of the death of "the faithful princess Maria" [I, p. 231; IV, p. 99]. There is an important nuance: the name "Maria" appears only in later sources (XVII century), in addition, the princess, having taken monastic tonsure, could have several names, so it is difficult to establish whether Mstislavna is mentioned by her baptismal name or schematic [4, p. ... 462] D. Dombrovsky summarizes that the actual name of Mstislavna is still unknown [2, p. 154].

There is also disagreement over Maria's rank among the other children of Mstislav and Christina. The dominant point of view is that Maria was the fifth child in the family [1, p. 461; 3, p. 74; 9, Tabl. V]. D. Dombrovsky puts her in ninth place [2, p. 152–153], D. Schwennicke - in tenth place [13, Bd. II. Tafel 135].

Determination of the date of birth of Maria Mstislavna also presents a certain difficulty. Based on the possible dates of her wedding with Vsevolod Olgovich and the birth of the eldest of their children - Svyatoslav (as the chronicles report, in 1143 Svyatoslav married, apparently at the age of 14-15) [III, cl. 313]), we can assume that Maria Mstislavna was born between 1110 and 1113 [2, p. 152].

It should be noted that the date of marriage of Maria and Vsevolod is also debatable. The key event that preceded the wedding was the conflict between Vsevolod Olgovich and his uncle, Yaroslav Svyatoslavich. In 1127/1128 Vsevolod expelled Yaroslav from Chernigov and sent him to Murom. Mstislav, having already become a Kiev prince and apparently bound by some obligations with Yaroslav, intervened in the conflict, but contrary to the latter's expectations, he sided with Vsevolod. Mstislav's military campaign against Polotsk, in which Vsevolod Olgovich became a participant, marked a new alignment of forces: Yaroslav was finally forced to leave for Murom, and Vsevolod, with Mstislav's permission, fortified himself in Chernigov. It is difficult to establish the exact sequence of events of this rather protracted conflict in Chernigov, which did not, however, turn into a full-fledged war. Researchers rely on these events to determine the date of the wedding of Vsevolod Olgovich and Mstislav's daughter. M. Dimnik dates the wedding to August 1127 [11, p. 316]. An even earlier dating of this event was proposed by M.P. Pogodin: the period between 1116 and 1127 [6, p. 70]. L. Voitovich is close to M.P. Pogodin in his research, referring the wedding to the time between 1116 and 1125. [1, p. 461]. P.V. Rukavishnikov, based on the marriage of the eldest son, Svyatoslav, dates the wedding of his parents to the middle of the 1120s. [7, p. 99, approx. 2]. Abstained from dating N. Baumgarten, D. Schwennicke, D.V. Donskoy and others [3, p. 47, 74; 9, Tabl. IV, V; 12, Tabl. 27; 13, Tabl. 135]

D. Dombrovsky postpones the marriage of Maria Mstislavna to a later date. The researcher believes that the new agreement between the Grand Prince of Kiev and the Prince of Chernigov Vsevolod after the described civil strife was sealed by the marriage of the latter with Mstislavna [2, p. 150-151], so it took place either in 1126 or in the winter of 1127 [ibid., p. 152].

In marriage, Maria and Vsevolod had three children: Svyatoslav, Zvenislav and Yaroslav. Widowed, Maria remained to live in Kiev, ordering to build the Kirillov Monastery [I, p. 231; II, cl. 612; III, cl. 612; IV, p. 99]. The death of Mstislavna is recorded in the annals under 6687 [III, cl. 612] or under 6686 [I, p. 231; IV, p. 99]. She was buried in the monastery she founded [5, p. 353].


  • Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich, the Prince of Novgorod (1140), the Prince of Turov (1142, 1154–1155), the Prince of Volyn (1142–1146), the Prince of Novgorod-Seversky (1157–1164), the Prince of Chernigov (1164–1180), the Grand Prince of Kiev (1173, 1176–1181, 1181–1194)
  • Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, the prince of Starodub (1160–1180), the Prince of Chernigov (1180–1198)
  • Rostislav (?)* *D.V. Donskoy ranks Prince Rostislav among the sons of Maria and Vsevolod on the basis of a single mention in the Nikon Chronicle [3, p. 48, 65–67; No. 146–150], but D. Dombrovsky casts doubt on the existence of this Vsevolodovich [2, p. 155]


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

IV. PSRL. T. XL. Gustynskaia letopis'. SPb., 2003.


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13.   Schwennike D. Europäische Stammtafeln. Tammtafeln zur Geschichte der europäischen Staaten Bd. II. 2010.

Internet Resources 

1. Bieniak J. Polska elita politiczna XII w. // Spoleczeñstwo Polski sredniowiecznej, T.VII / Pod red. S.K. Kuczynskiego. Warszawa, 1996.