Yevpraksiia Mstyslavivna [Євпраксія Мстиславівна; Jevpraksija], 1108–72. Kyivan Rus’ princess; granddaughter of Grand Prince Volodymyr Monomakh. She was renowned for her study of medicine, which she undertook from an early age. For applying her knowledge of anatomy, hygiene, diagnosis, and therapy among the nobility as well as the peasants, she was given the appellation ‘Dobrodiia’ (Benevolent). She prepared the first medical text written in Kyivan Rus’, titled Mazi (Ointments), on the basis of information compiled from many sources. The work was all the more notable because it avoided ritualistic medical practices and superstitions that were common at that time, and instead relied on techniques of folk medicine and early principles of pharmacology. In 1122 Yevpraksiia married the Byzantine prince Alexius, son of John II Comnenus.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

Encyclopedia of Ukraine