The daughter of the Chernigov prince Mikhail Vsevolodovich, Maria, was the sister of the future Rus Saint Euphrosynia of Suzdal (in the world - Theodulia). Since the year of birth of the princess is unknown, it is impossible to say for certain whether she was older or younger than Euphrosynia. However, researchers suggest that Maria was the youngest daughter of Mikhail Vsevolodovich. In 1227 Maria was married to the grandson of Vsevolod the Big Nest Vasilko Konstantinovich. Most likely, she was 14 to 19 years old at this time. The most probable date of birth, on the basis of indirect information contained in the annals, is the beginning of the 1210s [2, p. 508; 3, p. 39]. The marriage of Maria and Vasilka was arranged by Vasilka's uncle, Prince of Vladimir Yuri Vsevolodovich. At that time, Vasilka's father Konstantin Vsevolodovich had already died, and his mother went to the monastery. It is difficult to say how beneficial this marriage was for the Vladimir princes. Mikhail of Chernigov received an independent reign only in 1223, until that time his daughters could hardly count on a profitable marriage. Vasilko Konstantinovich also owned Rostov and enjoyed the patronage of his uncle, the Grand Prince of Vladimir.
In 1231 the first son Boris was born to the couple and after some time a second son, Gleb, appeared. Since the date of birth of Gleb is not reflected anywhere in the sources, the researchers concluded that he and Boris could have been twins [2, p. 513]. At the time of the death of Vasilko Konstantinovich, who was captured by the Mongols after the battle on the Sit river Boris was about seven years old and Princess Maria became regent under the minor prince. Apparently, all her forces at that moment were thrown into preventing the redistribution of land and keeping the inheritance received for her sons [3, p. 40]. In fact, it was precisely these goals that the compilation of the Rostov chronicler initiated by the princess served. This piece of local annals will later become part of the Laurentian Chronicle: the abundance of details that are absent in the Ipatiev Chronicle make it possible to conclude about its significant autonomy. The fact that Maria took an active part in the chronicle composition was suggested by D.S. Likhachev, who noted the frequent mention of her name in the text [1, p. 282]. L.E. Morozova [2, p. 510-515] and N.L. Pushkareva [3, p. 40–41] also indicate features, rarely attested in the Rus chronicals. Based on the clearly secular nature of the obituaries drawn up for the repose of Vasilko Konstantinovich and Mikhail of Chernigov, L.E. Morozova suggests that the princess herself could have been the author of both texts, emphasizing that both Maria and her sister had received a good education back in Chernigov. N. Serebryansky also spoke about Mary's participation in writing the Life of Mikhail of Chernigov [4, p. 110-111]. The abundance of detailed descriptions of the appearance of the princes, the intricacies of their relationships, the mention of daughters born in princely families, which is unusual for the canons of Rus annals - all this by the wish of Maria Mikhailovna became the characteristic features of the Rostov chronicler. The main goal was the preservation of the Rostov principality in the hands of her son, and it was achieved thanks to the efforts of Maria Mikhailovna, as the researchers admit.
Apparently, the princess rather quickly grasped the essence of the new power relations that developed after the invasion of Batu, as both her sons - Boris and Gleb - often took part in trips to the Horde. It should be noted that Boris was a participant in the trip, which became fatal for his grandfather, Maria's father, Mikhail Vsevolodovich.
After Boris's marriage in 1248 [II, p. 448], Maria Mikhailovna retains her political influence. She is called the "Grand Princess" [ibid, p. 451] and is mentioned in all significant events for Rostov, such as the visit to the city of Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky [ibid., P. 452], tonsure and death of Prince Dmitry Svyatoslavich [I, p. 329–330] etc. The monastery of the Savior-on-the-Sands was founded by order of Maria; it became the center of Rostov chronicle writing until the death of Bishop Kirill.
Maria Mikhailovna herself died on December 9, 1271. The princess was buried in the Cathedral of the Savior on the Sands Monastery [I, p. 329-330]. With her death, the tradition of the Rostov chronicle faded [1, p.283].
I. Priselkov M. D. Troitskaia letopis'. Rekonstruktsiia teksta. SPb., 2002
II. Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisei. T. I. Lavrent'evskaia letopis'. M., 1998.
1. Likhachev D. S. Russkie letopisi. M.; L., 1947.
2. Morozova L.E. Velikie i neizvestnye zhenshchiny Drevnei Rusi. M, 2009.
3. Pushkareva N.L. Zhenshchiny Drevnei Rusi. M., 1993.
4. Serebrianskii N. Drevnerusskie kniazheskie Zhitiia. M., 1910.