Mstyslav Volodymyrovych

Mstyslav Volodymyrovych (Christian name: Konstantyn), known as the Fair (Krasnyi) and the Brave, b ?, d 1034 or 1036 in Chernihiv. First prince of Tmutorokan principality from 988 and prince of Chernihiv principality from 1024; son of Volodymyr the Great and half-brother of Yaroslav the Wise, Sviatopolk I, and Saints Borys and Hlib. Mstyslav received Tmutorokan as a fiefdom from his father in 988. He waged successful wars against the Khazars (1016) and the Kasogians (he killed the Kasogian khan Rededia in a duel in 1022). Mstyslav opposed the attempt of Yaroslav the Wise to gain supreme rule of Rus’. He tried to take Kyiv in 1023, took Chernihiv, and defeated Yaroslav's army in the 1024 Battle of Lystven near Chernihiv. Thereafter Mstyslav ruled all of Left-Bank Ukraine except Pereiaslav principality, which remained in Yaroslav's hands, and from 1026 the two brothers lived in harmony. In 1029 Yaroslav's forces took part in Mstyslav's offensive against the Yasians, and in 1031 Mstyslav helped Yaroslav to regain the Cherven towns from Poland. During Mstyslav's reign a stone cathedral in Tmutorokan and the Cathedral of the Transfiguration in Chernihiv, in which he was buried, were built.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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