Daumantas of Pskov was born circa 1240 and died 17 May 1299 Pskov, Pskov Oblast, Russia of unspecified causes.

Our Lady of Mirozh with S.Dovmont and his wife Maria

Daumantas, later Dovmont[1] (Russian: Довмонт, Belarusian: Даўмонт), Christian name Timothy[2] (Russian: Тимофей), ; c. 1240? – May 17, 1299), was a Lithuanian prince best remembered as a military leader of the Pskov Republic between 1266 and 1299. During his term in office, Pskov became de facto independent from Novgorod. It is presumed that he is the same person with Daumantas, Grand Duke of Lithuania

In Lithuania

Until 1265, Daumantas[3] was Duke of Nalšia, a northern province of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and was an ally of King Mindaugas. Mindaugas and Daumantas were brothers-in-law as their wives were sisters. In spite of the family relationship, Daumantas chose to ally himself with Mindaugas' nephew Treniota, who was Duke of Samogitia. Treniota had been steadily increasing his personal power within the kingdom as he tried to spark an all-Balts rebellion against the Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Order.

In 1263, Treniota assassinated Mindaugas and two of his sons. It has been suggested that he acted in collusion with Daumantas. As a result the Grand Duchy of Lithuania relapsed into paganism for another one hundred and twenty years. Some Ruthenian chronicles say that Treniota's motive for the murder was to further his power, and Daumantas' was revenge: after Queen Morta's death in 1262, Mindaugas took Daumantas' wife for himself. When Mindaugas dispatched a large army towards Bryansk, Daumantas participated in the expedition, but suddenly returned and killed Mindaugas and two of his sons.[4] According to a late medieval tradition, the assassination took place in Aglona.[5]

According to the Bychowiec Chronicle (a late and not very reliable source), Daumantas received the title, Prince of Utena, as his reward.

When Vaišvilkas, the eldest son of Mindaugas, entered into an alliance with Shvarn Prince of Halych-Volhynia in 1264, he was able to take revenge for his father's death by killing Treniota. Daumantas and his followers fled to Pskov.

Ruler of Pskov

A medieval tower of the Pskov kremlin.

After arriving in Pskov, Dovmont was baptized into Eastern Orthodoxy, assumed the Christian name Timotheus (Ruthenian: Timofei) and married Maria Dmitriyevna of Pereyaslavl, daughter of Dmitri Aleksandrovich Prince of Pereyaslavl-Zalessky. He led armies of Pskov against Lithuanians and defeated them on the bank of the Western Dvina, proceeded to devastate the land of Gerdenis, Prince of Nalšia and of Prince of Polotsk and captured his two sons and wife. Dovmont's daring spirit, his friendly ways, and the success of his military enterprise persuaded the boyars of Pskov to elect him as their knyaz, or military leader.

Dovmont's election was never sanctioned by the Novgorod Republic, which had traditionally controlled the affairs of the Feudal Republic of Pskov. Prince Yaroslav of Novgorod planned to punish the Pskovians for their willfulness and oust Dovmont from the city, but the Novgorodians refused to support Yaroslav's campaign and, joining their forces with the Pskovians, invaded Lithuania the following year. Dovmont was again in command and returned to Pskov in triumph.

In the next year the Pskovian-Novgorodian alliance was cemented by the invasion of the Livonian Order. The Pskovians, led by Dovmont, joined their forced with the Novgorodians, led by Yaroslav and Dmitri Aleksandrovich of Pereyaslavl, and inflicted a crushing defeat on the knights in the Battle of Rakvere (1268). The following year Grand Master of the Order, Otto von Lutterberg, laid siege to Pskov, but Dovmont, supported by the Novgorodians, repelled the attack, personally wounding Lutterberg in battle. The knights sought peace at any cost and their attacks on Pskov and Novgorod ceased for thirty years.

Later years and legacy

Dovmont Town in Pskov.

In 1270, Yaroslav again attempted to interfere into Pskovian affairs and to replace Dovmont by his puppet ruler. The Pskovians stood up for Dovmont, forcing Yaroslav to abandon his plans. In 1282, when his father-in-law was ousted from Vladimir to Koporye, Dovmont made a sally into Ladoga, where he captured Dmitri's treasury from the Novgorodians and transported it to Koporye. Thereupon his name disappears from chronicles for some seventeen years.

Grand Duke of Lithuania

In the interval in which Pskov chronicles make no mention of him, Lithuanian chronicles indicate that a certain Daumantas was Grand Duke of Lithuania, which makes some historians believe that Daumantas of Pskov and Daumantas of Lithuania are the same person.

Daumantas or Dovmont was the Grand Duke of Lithuania in 1282/1283-1285.[6] As a Grand Duke of Lithuania, Daumantas is mentioned in chronicles only once, and in absence of any other evidence, he is presumed to be a short ruled Grand Duke. There is a lot of uncertainty who inherited the title of Grand Duke after Traidenis' death in 1281 or 1282.

Russian chronicles tell that in March 1285, when Daumantas attacked the Oleshnya volost' of Tver principality, i.e. the domain of Tver's bishop, Daumantas' army was defeated by united forces of Tver, Moscow, Novgorod, Torzhok, etc., and he was taken into captivity[7] .

Daumantas was succeeded by Grand Duke Butegeidis. Relationships between Daumantas and Butegeidis or between Daumantas and Traidenis are unknown.

Return to Pskov

In 1299, the Livonian Order unexpectely invaded North-Western Ruthenia and laid siege to Pskov. Having expelled them from the republic, Dovmont abruptly lapsed into illness and died, survived by his alleged son, David of Grodno. His body was buried in the Trinity Cathedral, where his sword and personal effects would be on exhibit until the 20th century.

According to Pskovian chronicles, no ruler was loved by the citizens of Pskov more than Dovmont; they particularly praise his military skills and wisdom. After the Russian Orthodox Church canonized him, he came to be regarded as a patron saint of Pskov (on the par with Vsevolod Mstislavich). The fortifications erected by Dovmont in Pskov's downtown became known as the "Dovmont Town". A church to the memory of the blessed prince Dovmont-Timofei was consecrated there in 1574.

In the 1990s, Russian author Sergei Kalitin wrote a novel, Hour of the Wolf, about the life of Dovmont and his transition from a "minor Lithuanian noble" to Prince of Pskov.


  1. ^ For the sake of simplicity, the original Lithuanian personal name Daumantas is used in the first part of this article concerning his activities in Lithuania, while the Ruthenian version Dovmont is used in his affairs connected with Pskov.
  2. ^ "Orthodox Lithuania". Orthodox England. Retrieved 2007-12-17. "St Dovmont or Timothy" 
  3. ^ .S.C.Rowell. Lithuania Ascending: A Pagan Empire Within East-Central Europe.1994, p.178
  4. ^ Jakštas, Juozas (1969). "Lithuania to World War I". In Albertas Gerutis (ed.). Lithuania: 700 Years. translated by Algirdas Budreckis. New York: Manyland Books. pp. 43–58. LCCWp globe tiny.gif 75-80057. 
  5. ^ (Lithuanian) Ivinskis, Zenonas (1978). Lietuvos istorija iki Vytauto Didžiojo mirties. Rome: Lietuvių katalikų mokslo akademija. p. 195. LCCWp globe tiny.gif 79346776. 
  6. ^ S. C. Rowell (1994). Lithuania Ascending: A Pagan Empire Within East-central Europe, 1295-1345. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 052145011X. 
  7. ^ (Russian) Полное собрание русских летописей, т. 24, Пг., 1921, с. 105.

  • (Lithuanian) Simas Sužiedėlis, ed (1970-1978). "Daumantas". Encyclopedia Lituanica. II. Boston, Massachusetts: Juozas Kapočius. pp. 39–40. LCCNWp globe tiny.gif 74-114275-{{{3}}}. 
  • (Lithuanian) Ivinskis, Zenonas (1937). "Daumantai". In Vaclovas Biržiška. Lietuviškoji enciklopedija. VI. Kaunas: Spaudos Fondas. pp. 172–177. 
  • Меч князя Довмонта


Offspring of Daumantas of Pskov and Agna of Šiauliai (c1242-c1263)
Name Birth Death Joined with
David of Grodno (1283-1326) 1283 Lithuania 1326 Lithuania Daughter of Gediminas


Footnotes (including sources)


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Daumantas of Pskov (c1240-1299). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.