Evpraksiya Mstislavna was born 1102 to Mstislav I Vladimirovich of Kiev (1076-1132) and Christina Ingesdotter of Sweden (c1080-1122) and died 1140 of unspecified causes.

Evpraksiya Mstislavna was the daughter of Grand Prince of Kiev Mstislav Vladimirovich and Princess Christina of Sweden, the granddaughter of Vladimir Monomakh and the Swedish King Inge I. Her Christian name is not clear, it could be Evpraksiya or Dobrodjedja, (during the coronation of Zoya , there is also Irina [1]) (c1102-c1140)), who in 1122 was married to a relative of the Byzantine Emperor Ioannes Komnenos, according to the most common version - his eldest son, who bore the name Alexios Komnenos.

The author of the Hustyn chronicle, without indicating the personal names of both brothers, reports the marriage of the daughter of Mstislav "to a byzantine prince, son of Ioannes Komnenos" [2]. (Other sources, suggest that it could have been Andronikos Komnenos [3][4], the younger brother Alexios Komnenos).



As was generally believed, the marriage of Evpraksiya Mstislavna was associated with the last war between Byzantium and Rus', when Vladimir Monomakh (1116 ) supported his son-in-law, the Byzantine adventurer Pseudo-Leo Diogenes II, who pretended to be Leo Diogenes, the long-dead son of Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes. In the "History of the Russian" V.N. Tatishchev (XVIII century.) Under 1119, the final stage of the Russo-Byzantine confrontation. Vladimir allegedly organized a new big campaign, however, Emperor Alexios I Komnenos preempted him and sent to Vladimir a "great embassy" with gifts, among which were a royal crown (the future "the cap of Monomakh"), the scepter, etc.," calling him to himself brother and king, and at the same time asked for peace. " It was agreed that Vladimir's granddaughter, "the daughter of Mstislav," was to marry Alexios Komnenos, the son of the future emperor Ioannes Komnenos [5]. Nevertheless, at the moment, historians suggest that this story was written in the XVIII century, with the purpose of explaining the appearance of a significant regalia in Russia.

Nevertheless, some negotiations took place, and in 1122, they were crowned with the conclusion of a dynastic marriage: Evpraksiya Mstislavna became the wife of the Emperor Ioannes Komnenos's son - presumably Alexios Komnenos. At the same time, a new metropolitan Nikita arrived in Kiev from Byzantium (his predecessor, Metropolitan Nikifor I (metropolitan of Kiev), died in April 1121). Historians note: "The rapprochement between the two countries was due to objective reasons, and above all a threat from the nomads - Polovtsians, Torkils and Pechenegs. Researchers have long paid attention to the fact that the conclusion of the Russo-Byzantine dynastic union coincided in time with two important events in the history of the relationship between Rus' and Byzantium with neighboring nomadic tribes: the expulsion from Rus' by prince Vladimir Monomakh of Torkils and Pechenegs in 1121 and the Byzantine- Pecheneg war of 1121-1122, which ended in the brilliant victory of the Emperor Ioannes Komnenos" [5]. V.N. Tatishchev adds that in 1122 Vladimir Monomakh sent Nikita and his granddaughter to Byzantium.

Aleksei Comnenos, byzantine mozaic from cca 1122


There is an uncertainty with the personality of Evpraksiya's husband. The chronicler calls the spouse of Monomakh's granddaughter "emperor". Traditionally it is believed that he was Alexios Komnenos, grandson of Alexios I Komnenos and son of Ioannes Komnenos, who was declared the co-ruler of his father, but died early. Nevertheless, accurate data on his marriage did not survive: "It is assumed that he was married twice. His first wife was Evpraksiya Mstislavna, and the second - Kata of Georgia, the daughter of David IV the Builder. Both of these women know that they were married to representatives of the imperial dynasty, but it is not known for whom exactly " [3]. In this case, Evpraksiya had to die before her husband, so that he could conclude a second marriage to a Georgian princess, who, as is known from Caucasian sources, was married in 1136. Greek researchers believe that Alexios Komnenos's first wife, Irina, can be identified with Evpraksiya Mstislavna, although there is no indication of the Russian origin of this Irina in the Greek texts [6].

It is known that Alexios Komnenos had a single daughter named Maria, her mother could be Expraksiya Mstislavna.

Alexios Komnenos died in 1142. His younger brother, Andronikos Komnenos died in the autumn of the same year. He was married to a woman named Irina from the family of Aineiadissa and had six children [3].

As the author of the monograph "Women of Ancient Rus" N.L. Pushkarev points out, in 1129 Evpraksiya Mstislavna gave birth to a daughter. As it is believed, that, after her husband died, the widow left the Byzantine court and remained to live in Constantinople. On the other hand, they point out: "nothing definitive can be said about the further biography of the Russian princess in Byzantium. Attempts to trace her subsequent fate (with the name Zoë, allegedly received in the Byzantine imperial family) are based on a misinterpretation of sources " [5].


She was a contemporary and ancestor of the famous chronicler Anna Comnina . According to the legend, traced in Russian science for more than one hundred and fifty years, Mstislavna was interested in medicine and still being a girl, in Kiev, mastered the methods of herbal treatment . In the Byzantine chroniclers, her hobby even aroused suspicions of involvement in witchcraft and witchcraft : "The Byzantine chronicler Balsamon claimed that" the doctors refused her cure "because of her" mania for witchcraft and witchcraft " [7].

The "Alimma" manuscript

As pointed out by the domestic researcher (1900s), the Laurentian Library (Florence) preserved a medical manuscript in Greek, entitled "Alimma". Some researchers attributed it to Mstislavna, which implies, if true, that it would be the first medical work written by a Russian woman. (This assumption was presented by Russian historian H.M. Loparev who found this manuscript in the library at the end of the last century). References to receptions and approaches of treatment indicate the acquaintance of the author of the text with the works of Hippocrates and Ibn Sina.

It has five parts:

  1. general rules of personal hygiene and child care, the treatment of childhood ailments, contains data on the human temperaments - sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic and melancholy.
  2. hygiene of marital relations, the period of pregnancy and the patrimonial period.
  3. food hygiene, characterized by "cold" and "warm" properties of products. Myrtle oil is referred to the "cold" products, honey, wine, meat, etc. are included in the "warm" products. Here the bases and recipes of dietary nutrition are laid down.
  4. external diseases; contains recommendations on the use of ointments in the treatment of skin diseases, as well as toothache.
  5. therapeutic massage, including in the treatment of cardiac and gastric diseases. [7].

Yet most scientists deny the authorship of Mstislavna and suggest that the text of the treatise Alimma was written by an unknown doctor at the request of Empress Zoë Porphyrogenita, the wife of Romanos III Argyros, who lived a century earlier.



Offspring of Evpraksiya Mstislavna and Alexios Komnenos (1106-1142)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Maria Komnenos (1129-c1150)


Offspring of Mstislav I Vladimirovich of Kiev (1076-1132) and Christina Ingesdotter of Sweden (c1080-1122)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Vsevolod Mstislavich of Pskov (c1095-1138) 1095 Veliky Novgorod, Novgorod Oblast, Russia February 1138 Pskov, Pskov Oblast, Russia Unnamed daughter of Svyatoslav Davydovich (c1103-c1160)
Izyaslav II Mstislavich of Kiev (c1097-1154) 1097 13 November 1154 Agnes of the Holy Roman Empire (c1116-1151)
Ingeborg Mstislavna of Kiev (c1100-c1145) 1100 1140 Knud Lavard (1096-1131)
Evpraksiya Mstislavna of Kiev (c1102-c1135) 1102 1140 Alexios Komnenos (1106-1142)
Malmfred Mstislavna of Kiev (c1105-c1140) 1105 Sigurd I of Norway (c1090-1130)
Eric II of Denmark (c1090-1137)
Maria Mstislavna of Kiev (c1108-c1155) 1108 1155 Vsevolod II Olgovich of Kiev (1094-1146)
Rostislav Mstislavich of Kiev (c1110-1167) 1110 14 March 1167
Rogneda Mstislavna of Kiev (c1112-c1159) 1112 1159 Yaroslav Svyatopolkovich of Volhynia (c1091-1123)
Svyatopolk Mstislavich of Volhynia (c1115-1154) 1115 20 February 1154 Eufimia of Olomouc (1115-c1170)
Kseniya Mstislavna of Kiev (c1118-c1160)

Offspring of Mstislav I Vladimirovich of Kiev (1076-1132) and Lyubava Dmitriyevna (c1104-c1170)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Euphrosyne Mstislavna of Kiev (1130-1193) 1130 1193 Géza II of Hungary (c1130-1162)
Yaropolk Mstislavich of Porossk (c1131-1149) 1131 1149
Vladimir III Mstislavich of Kiev (1132-1171) 1132 30 May 1171 Unnamed daughter of Beloš (c1130-c1190)


Footnotes (including sources)


  1. ^ «Ирина, дочь Мстислава, была женой Алексея» — Sturdza (1999), p. 276.
  2. ^ (ПСРЛ. Т. 40. С. 76)
  3. ^ a b c Profile of Alexios Komnenos and his daughter in "Medieval Lands: by Charles Cawley
  4. ^ Baumgarten (1927), p. 25, цитирует Byzantina Chronika IX, pp. 418-46, and XI, pp. 73-98
  5. ^ a b c А. Ю. Карпов. Перенесение перста св. Иоанна Крестителя на Русь в контексте византийской политики Владимира Мономаха
  6. ^ (Βαρζός Κ. Ἡ γενεαλογία τῶν Κομνηνῶν. Θεσσαλονίκη, 1984. T. 1. Σ. 343)
  7. ^ a b Наталья Пушкарева. «Женщины древней Руси»