As usual, the sources did provide us with the date of birth of a daughter in the family of Prince of Novgorod Vsevolod Mstislavich. They mention, however, her engagement with the Prince of Mazovia Boleslaw the Curly, the son of Bolesław III Wrymouth, and her subsequent departure to Poland [I, col. 300; col. 308; col. 319; 7, p. 281-285, 289-290]. Based on this scarce description one can suppose that Verchoslava was born between 1125 and 1127. [3, p. 203]. If one accepts the argumentation of D. Dombrovski that the date of Verchoslava’s marriage to Boleslaw had been 1140 or 1141, it is legitimate to suppose that she was the second child of Vsevolod Mstislavich and his wife about whom it is only known that this was the the daughter of Prince Svyatoslav Davydovich of Lutsk [ibid., p. 203, 681].
Noteworthy is the unusual name of the princess. As noted by A.F. Litvina and F.B. Uspensky, the history of this name is unclear. There was no male version of this name, and, apparently, this Verchoslava Vsevolodovna was the first (but not the only) to be given this name [6, p. 243, 245, 253]. Basing on the preserved bracteate with the inscription “BOL-ANA” and the Gospel, which belonged to Verchoslava, but bore the name “Anastasia” on its binding, the scholar hypothesize that Anastasia was Verchoslava’s baptismal name [3, p. 204; 6, p. 495; 10, p. 91-92, 103; 13, p. 229, 233 note 54; 14, p. 447; 15, p. 96; 20, p. 1-14]. Jan Dlugosz also called Boleslaw’s first wife Anastasia [III, p. 49, 58, 65].
Obviously, the princess used both names, secular and baptismal, Verchoslava and Anastasia, already in Rus’, before her departure to Poland.
The date of the marriage of Verchoslava and Boleslaw IV the Curly is also controversial. N. Baumgarten suggests 1136 [8, table V] and some other scholars follow him[4, p. 103; 9, B. 17; 25, p. 57, note 119]. I. Linnichenko suggested an earlier date, 1135 [5, p. 59. 1].
Basing on the date of marriage of the princess’s parents, K. Jasiński believed that the marriage with Boleslaw was contracted either in 1136 or 1137 [13, p. 228-229], and rejected earlier dates. The opinion was shared by some other scholars [2, p. 464; 10, p. 90; 11, table 1; 12, p. 259; 17, p. 1154, table 135; 18, p. 317, 319] J. Tegowsky disputed the conclusions of N. Baumgarten stressing the fact that in 1136 Boleslaw was still too young. The historian suggested 1138 as the latest possible date, when the tutor of Vsevolod’s children, the Prince of Kiev Yaropolk, died [23, p. 17]. A later date, 1140 or 1141, seemed to be the most plausible to D. Dombrowski who thought that Verchoslava had already reached majority by that time of the marriage, although a matrimonial agreement could have been made earlier [3, p. 202–203]. M. Korduba believes that in 1137 the Verchoslava, still minor at that time, was sent to Poland, but the wedding itself took place later, but before 1140/1141 [16, p. 262] The consensus is however, that the wedding took place no later than the early 1141. The date is suggested by Ortlib’s account to which Boleslaw has already been married by the time of the meeting meeting in Łęczyca [IV, p. 91]. The meeting in Łęczyca which had been organized by Salomea of Berg in order to make a decision on the fate of Anges, was, in fact, intended to weaken the positions of Boleslaw III’s son, Vladislav. Nonetheless, the congress was unsuccessful for Salomea’s sons: Grand Duke of Kiev Vsevolod Olgovich, a hypothetical ally of the younger Piasts, decided to supported Vladislav. Boleslaw the Curly and his brothers were sent to Kiev as ambassadors. It is not known whether Verchoslava went to Rus’ with her husband, but when Boleslaw became prince of Poland in 1146, Verchoslava received the title of “Grand Duchess of Poland”. The couple had at least two children: the sons of Boleslaw and Leszek [10, p. 103-105; 13, p. 229-230; 270-271; 275-279; 19, p. 89]. Jan Dlugosz reports that it was during the birth of Leszek that Verchoslava died. This happened in 1158 [III, p. 65]. However, a majority of scholars put into doubt Dlugosz’s account. O. Balzer thought that it was erroneous, since almost all the information Dlugosz had about Verchoslava is incorrect: the date of her wedding, name and origin [7, p. 284-285]. The researcher believed that the princess died between 1149, when Boleslaw the Curly was still referred as a relative of the Monomachides, and 1167, when the second wife of the Prince, Maria, was first mentioned by the sources [ibid, p. 283]. A. Semkowitz in his commentary of Dlugosz’s work noted that the dates of Leszek’s birth and Verchoslava’s death are unknown [21, p. 181]. Different dates for Verchoslava’s death are suggested in the literature: after 1148 [6, p. 250; 13, p. 229; 19, p. 89; 24, table 86], after 1149 [4, p. 103], between 1150 and 1167, or March 15, 1158 [3, p. 208], March 15, 1148 [1, p. 18], March 15, 1167 [2, p. 464], etc. The exact day of death of the princess, March 15, is indicated in the Lublin obituary [II, p. 43]. D. Dombrowski points to the fact that, despite the obvious erroneousness of J. Dlugosz’s information about the wedding of Verchoslava and Boleslaw IV, the chronicler knew exactly the baptismal name of the princess. Therefore, it is impossible to completely discard his account from the analysis.
Verchoslava’s burial place is unknown. Verchoslava was supposedly buried in the Plock Cathedral in Poland [13, p. 230].
Sons [10, s.101-103]
Verkhuslava-Anastasia had owned a Gospel, which Boleslaw the Curly later donated to the Cistercian monastery after her death.
A bracteate with the “BOL-ANA” minted inscription is preserved [20, s. 1-14].
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