SOPHIA VOLODAREVNA (VLADIMIROVNA) / OF POLOTSK / OF RUS (Sofia) (c. 1141 - † May 5, 1198), Queen of Denmark, since 1157 the wife of King Valdemar I the Great, great-grandson of Vladimir Monomakh, in second marriage wife (1184-1190) the wife of the Landgrave of Thuringia Louis III


  • Volodar Glebovich, Prince of Minsk [10, p. 590; 18, p. 273–288, etc.] / or Vladimir Vsevolodovich, Prince of Novgorod [1, p. 95-104; 11, p. 421, etc.]


  • Richeza (Ryksa) of Poland, daughter of Boleslaw III Wrymouth, the Prince of Poland, Queen of Sweden (1138-1156)


The origin of Sophia of Rus, a representative of the Rurik dynasty on the Danish throne, is one of the debatable problems of Russian historical science. If the filiation of the mother is beyond doubt among scientists (Sophia was the daughter of Richeza (Ryksa) Boleslavna and, accordingly, the granddaughter of the Polish king Boleslaw III Wrymouth). However there are several points of view regarding her father. The situation is paradoxical because it is this Rurikovna, as noted by D. Dombrovsky, who is known to European chroniclers better than all other representatives of the princely dynasty ever married to foreigners [5, p. 742]. Mentions of her can be found in the Scandinavian sagas, Danish, French and English chronicles. At the same time, the available information is insufficient for an accurate filiation of Sophia's father, Richeza's second husband. At one time the point of view that Sophia was the daughter of Vladimir Vsevolodovich, Prince of Novgorod, i.e. belonged to the Mstislavich branch dominated  [1, p. 95-104; 2, p. 465; 6, p. 102-103; 8, p. 323; 11, p. 421, gen. tab. # 2; 12, p. 56; 13, s. 263-266, 268-269; 16, Tabl. 27; 20, p. 211-214; 21, n. 138 on p. 238, etc.]. However, this theory was disputed by a number of researchers who pointed out contradictions in the arguments [5, p. 742-751; 7, p. 58, 613, 677, 727; 10, p. 266; 15, p. 560; 19, p. 233]. To date, researchers call the father of Sophia either Volodar Glebovich, Prince of Minsk [3, p. 161; 4, p. 180-181; 10, p. 590, etc.], or Vladimirka of Halych [18, p. 282–285, 288], but the question of Sophia's paternal origin has not been finally resolved (for more details on the filiation of Sophia's father, see the biography of Richeza (Ryksa) of Poland).

The approximate date of birth of Sophia is c. 1139-1142. [20, p. 212-213] It was established on the basis of the record of Saxon Grammaticus that at the time of marriage with the son of Knud Lavard Waldemar (the future Valdemar I the Great) in 1154, Sophia was underage [XIV, p. 393, p. 408]. This marriage had clearly expressed political goals: after the death of Sophia's half-brother Knud V, Valdemar sought to find support. However, due to the bride's youth, the marriage was consummated only around 1157 [15, s. 560; 17, s. 141; 19, s. 233].

Most European sources mention Sophia only in connection with her marriage and death, which is not enough to restore the biography of the princess [I, p. 136; III, p. 81; V, p. 81; VI, p. 81; VIII, p. 226-227; X, p. 841; XI, p. 295; XII, p. 158; XIII, p. 181; XV, p. 140, 141; XVI, p. 40; XVII, p. 177-184].

It is known that in a marriage with Valdemar, Sophia gave birth to two sons, future Danish kings, and three daughters, two of whom also became European queens [19, s. 233-236; 22, p. 175-178]. After the death of Valdemar I the Great on May 12, 1182, Sophia remarried the landgrave of Thuringia Louis III [IX, s. 158], but soon divorced [ibid, s. 162] and returned to Denmark. Probably, Sophia took part in the compilation of the "Genealogy of the Danish Kings", written in connection with the divorce of her daughter Ingeborg and the French king Philip II Augustus. At least, it can be assumed that the author of "Genealogy" Abbot Wilhelm de Paraclito got some of the information for this work from Sophia (for more details about this source and mistakes made in "Genealogy" see: [5, p. 745-748] ). Sophia died on May 5, 1198 in Denmark. [I, p. 137; II, p. 130; III, p. 95; IV, p. 94; V, p. 95; VI, p. 95; VII, p. 94; XII, p. 162; XVI, p. 54; 15, p. 560; 22, s. 163-164]. She was buried with her first husband in the royal tomb in Ringstead.


  • King Canute VI of Denmark (1182–1202)
  • King Valdemar II the Conqueror of Denmark (1202–1241)
  • Ingeborg of Denmark, Queen of France (1193, 1200–1223), married to King Philip II Augustus of France
  • Richeza of Denmark, Queen of Sweden (1210–1220 гг.), married to King Eric X the Survivor of Sweden
  • Helena of Denmark, Duchess of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, since 1202 the wife of Wilhelm I, Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg


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Internet Resources 

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2.      Arkhiv skandinavskikh istochnikov i kart

3.      "Gnilaia kozha'

4.      "Krasivaia kozha'

5.      "Saga o Kniutlingakh'

6.      Sakson Grammatik. Deianiia danov. V 2 t. I†XVI knigi / Per. s lat. iaz. A.S. Dosaeva. M., 2017. 

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