notes about political history of
Volhynia are historic lands (once principalities)
History of Galicia and Volhynia after the death of king Daniel (Danylo, son of Roman) until the end of 13th centuries have not been studied completely in fact. Historians following the version of Volodymyr Chronichle of bishop Evstigney, were writing about economic and political decline of these lands. So, M. S. Hrushevsky and A. E. Presnyakov claimed that when great Daniel died, "collapse and split of the south east Rus' lands".
Galician-Volhynian state is being split into few smaller duchies. Vasylko remained the oldest in Roman's dynasty. Leo (son of Daniel) was seated in Halych / Galich and Peremyshl / Przemysl. Mstislav was seated in Terebovl (todays Terebovlya / Terebovla). And Shavrn (or Shavrno as he is called often) possesed Kholm anf Belz provinces. After the death of Daniel, Shvarn (his son) became a great duke. He united by his power all eastern Galicia (with center in Halych), Black Rus' (area in todays' Belarus around cities Slonim, Volkovysk, Turiysk, Grodna and Novogorodok) and all Zabuzhzhya (Trans-Bug area which included Rus' cities of Belz, Kholm / Chelm, Cherven / Czerwien, Melnyk and Dorohychyn / Drohiczyn, all now part of Poland), while duke Leo ruled in western Galicia, including Lviv (Leopolis) and Peremyshl.
After Leo's brother Shavrn died (in 1269) Leo took over eastern Galicia and Zabuzhzhya, where his son George (Yuri) was seated under father's hand. Later the father limited the possesions for his son to Melnyk and Dorohochyn only. Also all more smaller towns were under Leo's control, for example town Shchekariv (todays Szczekarkow in Poland), which were vital for the border defence system along the forest line of western Volhynia by river Vepr (Wieprz). Also Black Rus' passed under Lithuanian control when Shvarn died. Thus, after the death of Daniel, his son Vasylko did not get his "upper right" as the oldest son. So we can see that most of Galician Volhynian territory was controlled by Leo and the duke Volodymyr (son of Vasylko) was seated in an old Volhynian capital city of Volodymyr (today Volodymyr Volynsky in Western Ukarine), keeping control over eastern and central Volhynia. Volodymyr was unfriendly towards Leo.
Help info: Volhynia
historic cities (see Volodymyr Volynsky there)
The relations of Galician duke Leo with Lithuanian duke Traidenis first were quite friendly but then Traidenis took over Dorohychyn from Leo. Dorohychyn (now Drohiczyn in Poland) was a major trade center on the route from Lviv (Leopolis) to Torun and the Baltics. Peace was broken. Using his relatiosn with the Golden Horde, duke Leo sent messangers to Mengu-Timur, who sent him troops under the command of Yagurchyn (Yagurain) and khan ordered that all trans-Dnieper dukes (Roman, Oleh of Bryansk, Gleb of Smolensk, Pinsk and Turov dukes) and also Mstislav of Lutsk and Volodymyr of Volodymyr to go all with Leo. Leo took over control over Dorohoczyn and even occupied Novogorodok.
Galician Tatar relations were quite complicated. It is possible to think that Tatars-Mongols recognized Leo (Lev, son of Daniel of Halych) as a great ruler of Halych -Volhyn lands'. South esat Ukraine' suffered not only because it was under the rule of Golden Horde but it also experienced pressure from the horde of Nogay, who had created his center at the northern coast of the Black Sea. Nogay controlled a greater part of Ukrainian lowlands, including Galician lowlands (Ponyzzya).
After death of Mengu Timur (1280-1282), a double rule was established in Horde, which lasted until 1291. Khan Telebuga (the successor of Mengu-Timur) who took the Golden horde trone in 1287-1288, continued hostilies and fight against Nogay. It is possible to guess that presence of two centers of Tatar-Mongol rule caused two orientatiosn among local dukes. For example duke Leo maintained realatiosn with Nogay and with Mengu-Timur, while for duke of Vladimir, Mengu-Timur was once "great king" while Nogay was "cursed and unlawful".
After the next complaint (regarding Lithuania) arrived from Rus' kings not only to the Golden Horde but also to Nogay, he sent (around 1277) then his ambassodors "with letters" to Leo, Mstislav and Vladimir (such an order of listing dukes, was copied probably by Vladimir chronichle writer from khan's letter) saying "You always complain to me about Lithuania, thus I give you the army and a warlord Mamyshey with it, go with them!". Though, this raid was not successfull for Vladimir duke (Tatars fought separately around Novogorodok) and secondly duke Mstislav of Lutsk (in Volhynia) and George (or Yuri, son of Leo) together with Kholm (todays Chelm) warlord Tyuima fought at Gorodno (Hrodna) not with much luck.
We can see that Leo of Galicia was quite connected to Nogay, also from the next fact: After the death of duke Boleslaw (of Smaller Poland), duke Leo attempted to establish himself at Cracow throne or at least to occupy the town son the Vkrayina (= borderland, that is west of river Vepr / Wieprz) and in this attempt Leo asked for help from Nogay (and not from Golden Horde): Leo himself went to the "cursed and unlawful" Nogay to ask for help and khan Nogay gave him assistance and troops under the command of warlards Konchak (Konçak, probably from Cumans), Kuzey and Kubatan.
Also at this case, Khan Nogay ordered south eastern dukes to go on the raid on Cracow together with Leo. Leo was glad to advance with Tatars, while duke Mstislav (of Volhynia), duke Vladimir (of Vladimir) and his son Daniel (who died soon) went unwillingly being forced by Tatars. And during military actions, duke Vladimir delibirately stood "on the back". Since duke Leo did not succeed to take Cracow, Vladimir's chronichle-writer noted with gladness "that Galician duke returned home with great dishonour".
The growth of fight and tension between the Golden Horde khan Telebuga and Nogay, brought new troubles for Galicia and whole of south east Rus'. Sometimes, both khanes acted together, so it was during their raid on Hungary (1285). As a matter of rule, Galician and Rus' dukes were ordered to go on the raid together with them as well (Leo of Galicia and Mstislav of Volhynia departed themselves but duke Vladimir sent his army under the command of George (Yuri, son of Leo).
At this time, Polish duke Boleslaw invaded Galician lands (because of this duke Leo was freed from taking part in the raid after they entered Hungary). According to the Vladimir's chronchler, the raid of Tatar-Mongols on Hungary ended with no luck: khan Nogay turned going east to Brasov and khan Telebuga went "through the mountain". Nothing is said about Nogay further but it is said the second one got lost in the Carpathians and "left with shame".
The next raid of Tatars khans clearly showed disagreements and tensiosn between them. In 1286 khan Telebuga decided to oragnize the raid on Poland, and probably together with Nogay. For this purpose, khan Telebuga arrived with the armies to Nogay's headquarters but there was "a great disagreement between them" and in the end khan Telebuga moved against Poland himself. Telebuga gave order to be accompnied in the raid by all Galician- Volhynian and trans-Dnieper dukes. Thsi time, his way laid through Volhynia. At the river Horyn (Goryn), khan Telebuga was met with presents by duke Mstislav of Volhnynia. At Peremyl (now a small town on the south east of Volyn region in Western Ukraine) on the river Lypa Telebuga was greeted with presents by Vladimir (son of Vasylko) and at Buzhkovychi (today a village further east from Peremyl) khan was welcomed by Leo (son of Daniel) of Galicia.
Khan Telebuga left part of his troops in Volodymyr (then capital of Volhynian principality) and moved against Poland together with Rus' regiments. Note that Tatars-Mongols had plundered Volhynian land by that. Tatar-Rus' troops were advancing towards Cracow via Sandomyr (Sandomierz) and Zavykhost (Zawichost). But here was a surprise! Khan Telebuga learned "that Nogay went ahead of him to Cracow" and had to return back plundering Lviv lands on the way.
Khan Nogay had led his troops to Cracow also but by a different root - through western Galicia and Peremyshl (Przemysl). Because of this hatred between khans Telebuga and Nogay became even greater, being afraid of each other.
The next year (1287), there was one more raid of khan Telebuga onto Poland. Thsi time together with Alguy (son of Mengu-Timur). How it went we do not know. We know only that on the way back, Telebuga being accompanied by dukes Leo and Mstislav, was going via Lviv. Namely at this point duke Vladimir using the presence of mighty Telebuga and Alguy, decided to pass his throne to to Mstislav (son of Danylo). Duke Leo attempted to break this act later, taking into consideration existance of "his friend" khan Nogay, but Mstislav forced him withdraw, explaining that power transfer was made and agreed with the rulers of Golden Horde and their councellors, frightening to complain to the Golden Horde.
The facst listed above, prove that advancement of new Tatar Mongol hordes of Burunday (1257) onto Galicia and south east Rus', discovered the period of already exising Tatar-Monghol rule there with the baskak system and a regular collection of "tatarshchyna" (tatardom).
Despite of this, Galicia and other Rus' principalities remained strong enough in order to play a significant role in East European politics which encompassed Poland, Hungary, Czechia and German lands. Here the first place belonged to Galician principality. Regretfully, Vladimir's chronichle speaks very little about this. Duke of Vladimir and his court had external political interests (besides Lithuania), mainly in Mazovia (Mazowsze) maintaining strong union with Mazovian dukes.
The politics of duke Leo of Galicia was much broader and much more significant than of his partners in Volhynia. Being situated between Poland and Hungary, Galician and Volhynian dukes could last being relatively independent only by manuevring between Tatar forces and Polish - Hungarian neighbours. The external politics of Galician duke Leo was quite definite and clear but in his plans he very likely had to have the correspondent sanctions from the khan of Golden Horde. He was acting as a vassal of the Golden Horde, using Tatar help in his external political interests (Galician raids on Lithuania 1275, 1277 and raid on Poland 1280). Generally Galician-Volyn Rus was isolated from the rest of Rus' lands (though Leo married his son George / Yuri to the daughter of Yaroslav of Tver). Russian historians claim that isolation was a reason of growing weakness of Galician-Volhynian Rus'.
External poltics of Galician duke was based first on the union with Hungary and next with Czechs. In spring 1270, Hungarian king Bela IV died and his successor Stefan V broke peace with king Pshemysl II of Czechia and war started between them in 1270. In the act of peace agreement (July 1271) among the allies of Hungary are listed: Leo of Galicia, Mstislav of Volhynia and Vasylko (son of Vasylko). As wee see the order of listing of Rus dukes in foreign sources is nearly the same as in Rus' source.
Furthermore, during the last war between Czech king Pshemysl (Premysl Ottokar II) with Austrian king Rudolf of Habsburgs, Galician and Nad Volhynian dukes were on Czech side. But Rudolf the Habsburg took his own measures to attract duke Leo to the union. He sent his trusted Fransiscan Henrich to the Polish dukes, who was entrusted to establish connection with Rus' court since Henrich (through his grandfather Konrad of mazovia) had a family connection to Rus' dukes and hoped for success of his mission. Seems like he achieved this success since Austrian sources mention "chüning Lee von Ruessen" among the allies of Rudolf. Among his troops we find Bruteni (that is Ruteni) being listed among "universae barbarae nationes" along with Hungarians.
The relations of Galicia with Czechia imroved when Vaclav became a Czech king (since 1278). At this time, duke Leo acted separately from Hungary and had a different attitude towards Poland. After the death of Boleslav the Shy (Boleslwa Wstydliwy) Leo was one of the candidates for the duke's throne of Smaller Poland. He organized a raid onto Poland using help of khan Nogay and Volhynian dukes but his troops cwent through Zawychost - Sandomierz reaching Kropiwnica but did reach the goal.
However after this misfortune, Galicain duke continued to fight with new duke of Cracow - Leszko the Black (died in 1288) over the control of eastern Polish lands. Later Leo gave armed support to the second candidate for Cracocian throne, namely Boleslaw Semantowicz. But Boleslaw did not manage to establish himself well on the throne and after a while resigned.
Leo did not remain to fight Henrich IV, shifting his fight to Silesia. Leo's Galician troops advanced towards Wroclaw, reached Nysa and Grotkow, invaded Ratibor (Raciborz) and after having plundered lands of Henrich IV, Leo sent captives and great booty back home.
Contemporaries regarded Galician duke Leo as a great state leader. In Vladimir chronichle he is said to be "a proud and intelligent, brave and strong in army, since he showed much of braveness in many battles". His name was known in Europe of those times. Not by accident, in anonymical treatese"Flos historiarum Terrae Orienties" (Source of history of land of the East, from 1308, which is being kept in French National Library) it is said that "Ruthenia (Galician Rus') is a huge land (terra permaxima) bordering with Bulgaria and Greece...this land is vassal of Tatars now and its dux Leo"
We should note the high level of culture in south eastern Rus' in 13th century, clearly reflected in chronichle writing. Chronichle of Cyryll, Chronichle of Ivan, chronichles of Vasylko and of Volodymyr testify about the progress in chronichle writing in many feudal centers of south eastern Rus, such as Khom (Chelm), Volodymyr (Vladimir), Halych (Galich), Kiev, Novogorodok and others.
Social relations, trade, nobility in medieval Galician lands
Great duke possesed the castles among which were Daniel's city-castles - Kholm (Chelm, in today's Poland), Danyliv (today village between Dubno and Krements in Western Ukraine), Ugrivsk (on Bug river, south of Wlodawa in today's Poland) and others. Volodymyr (son of Vasylko) had castles in Luboml (in Volynska oblast of modern Western Ukraine. See photo below), in Ray and others. Mstislav (son of Danylo) had castle in Hay (Gay) and so on. Galician nobleman (boyaryn) Klymyata (who betrayed king Daniel) had in possesion Holi Hory (today's village Holohory / Gologory) west of Zvenyhorod. Family of noblemen Arbuzovich / Harbuzovich owned a fortified city Plesnesk (between Brody and Holohory) until Vasylko had destroyed this nest, after the order of Galician king Daniel, noting that Vasylko took "a great booty". Other family of Molibogovich, had possesions in Volodrys. Noblemen of thsi family partcipated in a mutinty against Daniel. The mutiny was organized by boyaryn Pylyp (Philipp).
Galicia and Rus' did not broke trade connections with Regensburg. In 11th century, sources noted the caravan of Regensburg Jewish merchants who were returning from Rus' through Hungary. Y. Brutskus notes that in Jewish literature of 10th and 12th centuries, and in Rabbinical responses of this era, Jewish merchants who were traveling by whole caravans to Rus', found special definition "Holchei russia", similar to theirs chronichle name "ruzarii". In 1180 Friedrich of Saxonia freed from taxes Rus' traders among others. In this case and also in the letter of Leopolod of Austria (1190) about the mutual trade of Rus' people and Germans, we should understand merchants from south eastern Rus' (that is Galicia).
On the south Galician trading ships sailed from the
mouth of Dniester to the Danube: to the city of Galac
(Minor Galich / Halych) and other Danube cities. So, for
example in 1159 duke Ivan Rostyslavovych (Berladnyk)
having established himself here, captured sea vessels,
which belonged to Yaroslav Osmomysl. Wide Galician
colonization of banks along Dniester, Prut and Seret
(with the way out to the mouth of Danube and to the Black
Sea) had created here many Galician Rus' cities: Drestvyn
(Dorostol / todays Silistra in Bulgaria), Chern, Bilhorod (Belgorod
/ former Akerman), Romaniv Torg (near todays Bacau in
Romania) and others.
(Small Halych. Galati is today in Romania) was the
place of collecting taxes for Galician duke from the
local, Hungarian, Ruthenian and Czech goods brought to
the lowlands of Danube.
Relations between Galicia and Cumans (Polovtsi). Tatar invasion on Rus'.
Galician Ponyzzya (lowlands) - "field" was not "empty" at all, thanks to energetic Roman's politics towards Cumans. There were cities Plac, Kuchelmyn and others. Carts with products were going to Plav, ships from Kyiv's sea port Oleshshya, loaded with fish, wine and other goods. Ponyzzya ships from Dniester through the sea and Dnieper were going to Kyiv. Popolation was composed of Galician Rus' people or "ours ungodly": Cumans, Torks etc. There most likely were also possesions of Galician noblemen (boyars), who escaped from duke's court, so called "vyhontsi" (the ones who were chased away). Thus the coast of the Black Sea from Oleshshya (near modern Kherson, Ukraine) to Galac (on the left bank of Danube. Toady in Romania) was under the rule of Galician-Volhynian dukes. Tatar-Mongols, having occupied the Black Sea coast, broke these connections.
In northern Black Sea area, far from the hands of mighty dukes, noblemen (boyars) feeled themselves as lords and had good relations with local Cumans. It is clear that relations with Cumans in Galicia and whole of south east Rus were tight ones and quite friendly in 13th century. Educated people at Galician court knew Cuman language and Cuman oral tradition was reflected in local chronichle writings.
In year 1203 Novgorod chronichle not only describes southern news about raid of Ryurik with Olgovychi and Cumans onto Kyiv but also mentions the names of Cuman dukes (not preserved in southern Chronichle): Konchak / Konçak and Danyla Byakovych / Byakovich.
Kyiv Chronichle, 1238,
describes events of Tatar invasion of 1223
We heared as Tatars invaded many lands, having deafeted a huge number of ungodly Yases (Alans), Obezes (todays Abazins), Kasogs (Circassians) and Cumans (Polovtsi) and others were chasaed away and killed by the wreath of God"
Cuman leader Kotyan has applied to Galician duke and all dukes with the following message:
"Our land was taken by Tatars, and yours they will take tomorrow, thus defend us and if you will not help us, we will be cut to death now and you will killed tomorrow..."
"And so many wanted to help Kotyan, hearing begging of Cuman dukes and there was a council of all dukes in Kyiv...And all dukes crossed the Dnieper and went on hosrse into Cuman steppe and Tatars met Rus' regiments. Rus Bowmen having defeated them persecuted them further in the steppe, killing them and taking their cattle. From there going 8 days to the river Kalka and sending as the watchmen Yarun with regiments and with Cumans, while the rest stopped here. Then Yarun encountered the Tatars and wanted to fight them, while Cumans withdrew and Tatars defeated Rus' dukes, who did not manage to organize themselves to oppose them.."
LINKS ON MEDIEVAL GALICIAN
VOLHYNIAN PRINCIPALITY AND RUS'
by Keith Venables
Website created by Roman
Zakharii from Berezhany