'click' on most of the names in the geneological chart to jump to short text
information on the individual. And for each there are then links to fathers and
sons. In this way you can also find the individuals not linked to the above by
going first to their father.
Izyaslav was the son of Vladimir Svyatoslav by
Rogneda Rogvolodovna, princess of Polotsk, whom he took after she had at first
refused him and he killed her father and brothers. Rogvolod was a Varangian who
had established his rule in Polotsk. Izyaslav was sent with his mother from the
court at Kyiv back to rule Polotsk about in 988, the year Vladimir converted to
Christianity and married Anna, sister of Byzantine Emperor Boris II. There he
established a separate line of succession. All the rest of the many generations
in the ruling families of Russia stem from his younger half-brother,
Yaroslav the Wise and his wife, Ingigerd, daughter
of King Olaf of Sweden.
Izyaslav's son was the famous warrior, Bryacheslav, who followed him as ruler
of Polotsk for 43 years. Bryacheslav Izyaslavich was followed by his son,
Vseslav, an even more active warrior prince, who even managed (by a quirk of
fate) to hold the throne at Kyiv for a year. Vseslav died in 1101.
Thus these three held Polotsk for over a century, while the huge number of
Yaroslav Vladimirovich's sons were continually battling and shifting from town
to town. Vseslav, however, left the Polotsk domain to his seven sons. Thus,
despite reconsolidation due to their fratricidal struggles, several local
centers emerged. This and the following two generations were then consumed by
the typical fratricidal struggles, perhaps not quite so violently as was the
case with some other families. But Polotsk also faced external enemies, so
could not afford any internal conflicts. Nevertheless, Polotsk land eventually
fell to the Lithuanians and was not recovered by Russia until the expansion of
Muscovy in the 17th century.
Polotsk was an ancient town, seat of the Polochan Slavic tribe from the 8th
century as well as Finno-Ugric tribes. The first mention of the town is dated
862 in the Radzivil chronicle. It was on the Polot river. At the end of the 8th
or start of the 10th century Polotsk was taken by prince Oleg and united into
Kievan Rus. At the end of the 10th century Vladimir burned Polotsk. By the time
of Izyaslav Vladimirovich Polotsk again controlled a very large territory
especially along the basin of the Western Dvina river, and the upper reaches of
the Berezina and Neman rivers. It was also close to the upper Dniper. The
closeness here of the Dniper and middle course of the Western Dvina enabled
profitable transport of goods from the Black sea to the Baltic across Polotsk
territories.. The region was also rich for fishing and iron working. Vsyeslav
Bryachislavich successfully continued his father's political policies and
played an active role in warfare with Kiev for control of the northwestern part
of Rus. Finally, after his campaign against Novgorod and Pskov he wasdefeated
by the Yaroslavichi and taken prisoner (see his biography entry). He was
finally forced to divide his otchina amongst his sons, who in turn began
further divisions of territory among their sons. In 1127 Kyivan prince Mstislav
I Vladimirovich sent a huge army into Polotsk land but didn't hold it long.
After the division of the rest of the Rus lands, Polotsk gradually weakened as
well. At first it gradually came under control of the Smolensk principality
while the northwestern parts, along the Western Dvina were captured by the
German Teutonic Order. Then it was involved in the wars between the Teutonic
Order, Lithuanians and Novgorodians. In 1307 the greatly weakened Polotsk
principality was taken by Gedimin and united into Lithuania. In 1385 Polotsk
principality was finally totally eliminated. The area was not reunited to
Russia until 1772.
Vitebsk principality - With its capital at Vitebsk on the Western Dvina, this
area became separate from Polotsk. The date of founding of Vitebsk itself is
not known, but it was before 947 when prince Oleg was there. It was mentioned
first, however, in the chronicles under 1021 when Yaroslav the wise fought
Bryacheslav and took Vitebsk and Svyach. With the death of Vsyeslav
Bryachislavich Vitebsk was made into a udel that during the 12th century was
ruled by Vsyeslav's descendents. At the end of the12th asnd start of the 13th
centuries the Vitebsk principality gradually lost its importance and came under
control of Smolensk princes. However this subordination was not for long and
Vitebsk was under influence of the Lithuanians in 1235, 1263 from 1281-1297
Then it again was under influence of Smolensk. The last udel prince of Vitebsk
was Yaroslav Vasil'yevich, whose daughter, Maria, was married to the Lithuanian
prince Ol'gered. Yaroslav Vasil'yevich died in 1320 andafter him Vitebsk
principality lost its independence and was included in Lithuanian. Then in the
Lubin Union in 1569 Vitebsk enterd the Rech Pospolita (Poland) and in 1772 was
reunited to Russia.
Minsk principality: The date of the founding of Minsk is not known. It is named
fo tthe Menya or Menka river. It was first mentioned in the Radzivil chronicle
for 1067 when it was burned by the Kyivan grand princes during their war with
Vsyeslav Bryachislavich. In 1084 it was taken and sacked by Vladimir Monomakh.
At the death of Vsyeslav Minsk with its dependencies was divided out of the
Polotsk principality as an independent udel for Gleb, Vsyeslav Bryachislavich's
son. Gleb's rule was hard on the town since he was constantly fighting with
David Vsyeslavich over Polotsk. In 1116 Vladimir Monomakh again attacked Minsk
and in 1119 he defeatedx the Minsk druzhina and took Gleb prisoner to Kyiv where he soon died. After hisdeath
Minsk unti lthe second quarter of the 12thcentury was ruled by his sons
Rostislav and Volodar'. At tthe beginning of the 14thcentury the Minsk
principality was taken by the Lithuanians and lost its independence. Minsk was
taken in 1793 and made a part of the Russian empire.
Goroden (Grodno) principality: The first inhabitants of this region were the
Yatvyagi tribe, who in the 11th century were overwhelmed by Slavic colonists.
About 1055 on the location of the future Grodno there was a Slavic settlement.
The first mention of Grodno or Torodno in the chronicles iss for 1128 when it
was ruled by Vsyevolodko Davidovich, son of the ruler at Buzh, David
Igoryevich. At first Grodno was part of the Polotsk principality, butg at the
start of the 12th century it became an independent udel. In the 12th century
Grodno was an important fortress near the border of Rus lands. When it became a
principality capital it was fortified all the more strongly. In 1224 Grodno was
sackedby the Teutonic Order, and in 1241 by the Tatars and then it was taken by
the Lithuanians. I n 1250 Daniil Romanovich, King of Galicia, took the town
from the Lithuanians, but didn't hold it long. In 1270 the Lithuanian prince
Troiden had his throne. I n1284 to 1302 Grodno became part of Lithuania but was
involved in fierce warfare amongst the princes and ruined many times. I n1398
Vitovt made Grodno his second capital after Vil'no. At the end of the 18th
century Grodno was united to Russia.
Drutsk udel: The first mention of this town was in the accounts of Vladimir
Monomakh with the events of 1078 and then in the Lavrenti chronicle for 1092.
At first Drutsk with its surronding villages was part of the Polotsk
principality.. At the death of Vsyeslav Bryachislavich it became part of the
domain of his son, Boris. Later it became part of the Minsk principality, ruled
by Gleb Vsyeslavich. It again became independent and was ruled by the senior
line of Vsyeslav. It was an importqant place in the wars of Vsyeslav's
descendents with the family of Yaroslav the Wise. In 1116 Vladimir Monomakh
went on campaign against Gleb and burned his lands and took Drutsk. Then it
became part of the lands of the Peryeaslavl principality of Yaropolk
Vladimirovich. In the middle 13th century Drutsk was taken by the Lithuanians.
By then it long since was not held by the family descendents of Izyaslav
Borisov udel: The first mention of Borisov in the chronicles dates from 1125.
As an independent udel Borisov and its surrounding villages left the Polotsk
principality about 1101 after the death of Vsyeslav Bryacheslavich. It fell to
Lithuania along with the rest of the western part of Polotsk lands.
Logoiski udel: Logoisk was first mentioned for 1078. It was divided out of the
Polotsk lands as an independent udel in the 12th century to be ruled by
Bryacheslav Davidovich. In the second half of the 13th century Logoisk fell to
Izyaslavski udel: It was founded at the beginning of the 11th century by
Vladimir Svyatoslavich for his son, Izyaslav, who
was the first prince. It is mentioned for the first time in the chronicle of