ODA VON STADE (the year of birth is unknown, † after 1076 in Germany), the Princess of Chernigov, the Grand Duchess of Kiev, since 1070/71 the wife of  Svyatoslav Yaroslavich, the third son of Yaroslav Vladimirovich the Wise, the Prince of Chernigov, since 1073 the Grand Duke of Kiev
Svyatoslav Yaroslavich and Oda (?) with family. Miniature from Prince Svyatoslav's Izbornik of 1073

ODA VON STADE (the year of birth is unknown, † after 1076 in Germany), the Princess of Chernigov, the Grand Duchess of Kiev, since 1070/71 the wife of Svyatoslav Yaroslavich, the third son of Yaroslav Vladimirovich the Wise, the Prince of Chernigov, since 1073 the Grand Duke of Kiev


  • Liudolf of Derlingau from the Austrian Babenbergs


  • Ida of Elsdorf [7, p. 510–516]


Oda's year of birth is unknown, her origin is also debatable. According to some sources, Oda's mother was a certain Ida from Elsdorf, a noblewoman, niece of Emperor Henry III on one line and Pope Leo IX on the other [8, p. 27]. The sources mention several marriages of Ida: in the first marriage Oda was born, in one of the subsequent was born Burchard, the rector of the cathedral church in the Trier monastery of St. Simeon, who later played an important role in the Rus-German relations [19, s. 195-295]. Oda erroneously received the nickname “von Staden”, which was fixed to her in historiography due to the initially incorrect identification of her father. Initially researchers believed that Oda's father was Leopold, Count of Stade [4, p. 210 n. 48; 24; 25, p. 23-24]. According to another version, Lippold, mentioned in the sources, is identified with the Margrave of the Hungarian mark Liudolf from the House of Babenbergs, the son of the Margrave of Austria Adalbert [7, p. 506-507; 21, p. 277]. This assumption is currently accepted by the majority of scientists.

The main source of information about Oda is the "Annals" of the Saxon chronicler Albert von Staden, where, despite the clearly legendary nature of some records (the story of the untold treasures allegedly hidden by Oda) and some inaccuracies (Albert calls Burchard the archbishop of Trier, whom he never was), nevertheless are quite clearly outlined the circumstances of the life of a German noblewoman who became a Rus princess [I, p. 336-344; V, p. 319-320]. In particular, Albert reports that Oda in her youth was tonsured as a nun, and then ransomed by her mother for the Stededorf castle and married to the "King of Rus" [ibid.]. Since the name of the spouse, most likely, was unknown to the chronicler, there is a problem of identifying the personality of the Rus prince. According to G. Troyer, Oda's husband was Vsevolod Yaroslavich, and the researcher saw Vladimir Monomakh as the aforementioned son of Oda “Varteslav” [24, p. 23-24]. This point of view was challenged by N.M. Karamzin, who believed that the unname "king of Rus" was the Smolensk prince Vyacheslav Yaroslavich, and the name of his son "Varteslav" was a distorted patronymic "Vyacheslavich" [4, p. 210, n. 48]. According to this version, the son of Oda was supposed to be the only son of Vyacheslav Boris, who died in the battle on Nezhatina Niva in 1078 [III, stb. 210; IV, cl. 192]. For some time this hypothesis was considered the main one and was accepted by many historians [14, s. 686; 20, p. 644–646, etc.] It was also supported by the fact that Boris Vyacheslavich appears on the pages of Rus chronicles quite late, already in adulthood, which allowed historians to conclude that he lived in Germany in childhood and adolescence.

Another theory belongs to N.M. Baumgarten, who called Oda's husband the early deceased son of Yaroslav the Wise Vladimir, Prince of Novgorod [1, p. 95-101; 2, p. 3-4; 5, p. 16-18; 12, p. 7, tabl. I, No. 22, 25].

I. L. Gebhardi, who drew attention to the record of another chronicler, the German annalist Lampert of Hersfeld, about the embassy of the “King of Rus” expelled by the brothers to the court of the German king Henry IV [II, p. 115-122; VI, p. 202]. It is obvious to historians that this episode is about Izyaslav Yaroslavich, expelled by the brothers from Kiev and wandering around European courts in search of support to regain the Kiev throne. Lampert calls the exiled king of Rus Dmitry, which corresponds to the baptismal name of Izyaslav, and further describes the embassy sent by Henry IV to his brother Izyaslav, who illegally sat down in Kiev. The same embassy is reflected in the Rus chronicles  [III, cl. 198-199; IV, cl. 189-190]. It was headed by none other than Burchard, the rector of the cathedral church, who Lampert called the brother of the rebellious prince's wife. Since Svyatoslav Yaroslavich was sitting in Kiev at that time, and Burchard, according to the same German sources, was Ode's brother, the identification of the “unname” husband was not long in coming [17, p. 137; 7, p. 510]. This version was supported by the majority of researchers [7, p. 510; 9, p. 124, p. 419, genealogical tab. 1, no. 9; 16, s. 46-48; 22, 2.p. 282].

The version of the identification of Svyatoslav as Oda's husband is also confirmed by political motives. A.V. Nazarenko noted that the marriage with Oda, the cousin of the German king, was supposed to strengthen the alliance of Svyatoslav with Henry IV, which had a pronounced anti-Polish orientation [7, p. 516]. Since Izyaslav's close relative Boleslav II (the nephew of Izyaslav's wife, Gertrude of Poland) supported Izyaslav in the struggle for the Kiev throne, the younger Yaroslavichs had to neutralize the Polish king in the international arena in order to successfully confront Kiev. In fact, when Izyaslav in 1073 was forced to flee to Poland for the second time, he did not receive support from Boleslaw [III, cl. 182; 200; IV, cl. 172, 191]. It confirms the correctness of the political calculation of Svyatoslav. Presumably, the marriage of Oda and Svyatoslav took place in 1072, but earlier dates are also suggested. A.V. Nazarenko, based on the continuation of the "Chronicle" by Hermann of Reichenau, shifts this event to the period between 1070 and 1071 [7, p. 515-517]. Prior to the discovery of this source, dating the wedding was difficult. A number of researchers believed that the marriage was concluded during the reign of Yaroslav the Wise, so the date range is quite wide: from 1022-1031. [11, p. 7] up to 1040s. [15, p. 256; 18, s. 20-21; 23, s. 31]. Some historians prefer not to give a certain dating [9, p. 124; 13, p. 317; 16, p. 46–48].

For Svyatoslav, marriage with Oda, most likely, was the second. This conclusion can be made on the basis of the Lyubech synodikon, where a certain Cilicia is named as the wife of Yaroslav as part of the commemoration of the Chernigov princes [7, p. 517], as well as on the basis of information from the "St. Gallenic continuation", which made it possible to attribute the date of the wedding with Oda to the first half of the 1070s, when Svyatoslav already had four sons, known from chronicles in the 1060s - 1070s .: Gleb, Oleg, David, Roman [3, p. 24; 8, p. 27-29]. Another confirmation is the output miniature of Izbornik in 1073, which contains a portrait of Svyatoslav with his family. Four adult sons are depicted behind Svyatoslav, and next to him is a woman called "princess", hugging a boy, apparently her youngest son, Yaroslav. The age difference between the elder Svyatoslavichs and Yaroslav is confirmed by the annals [III, cl. 238; IV, cl. 228].

A.V. Nazarenko put forward the assumption that Svyatoslav and Oda also had a daughter, married off to Byzantium [7, p. 516].

After the death of Svyatoslav in 1076, Oda and her son were forced to flee to their homeland in Germany. According to Albert of Stade, she had treasures with her, which she could not take out and ordered to hide. Yaroslav, who later returned to Rus, allegedly found these treasures [6, p. 266].

In Germany, Oda probably remarried. There is a version that she took part in organizing the marriage of Eupraxia Vsevolodovna and Henry IV of Salian [10, p. 623].

The further fate of Oda is unknown.


  • Yaroslav Svyatoslavich (baptized Pankraty) (1070s –1129), the Prince of Murom and Chernigov
  • Aliarina (?)


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Internet Resources 

Pashuto V.T. Vneshniaia politika Drevnei Rusi. M., 1968.