Mstislav of Chernigov

Mstislav Of Chernigov

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Mstislav of Chernigov

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Mstislav of Chernigov (or Mstislav the Brave) () was the earliest attested ruler of Chernigov (Chernihiv). He was Vladimir the Great's son, probably by Rogneda of Polotsk, although his exact position in the family has been disputed. It is not clear, for instance, whether Yaroslav the Wise was his younger or elder brother. Some historians such as Simon Franklin and Jonathan Shepard hypothesize that he is identical with Sfengus. <!-- Image with inadequate rationale removed: -->

He was about 10 years old (c. 978), when his father baptised himself and his family. On this event, Mstislav received the Christian name of Constantine, alluding to the first Byzantine emperor, and was dispatched to rule Tmutarakan on the Black Sea. His relations with the Empire were cordial for the most part. In 1016, he subdued the last Crimean strongholds of the Khazar, led by Georgius Tzul. This campaign, conducted in conjunction with Byzantine forces, helped the Greeks to reassert their control of the Crimea. Mstislav demonstrated his military prowess again in 1022, when he subjugated one of the Circassian tribe Kassogs and killed their leader Rededya in a single combat (duel). He took Rededyas wife and two sons, gaiving the last Slavic names of Yuriy and Roman.

Two years later, while Yaroslav the Wise was away from Kiev, Mstislav led the Khazars and his other subjects against the capital of Kievan Rus'. When the Kievans refused to lend their support to his cause, he routed their army near...
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