Saint Mikhail Yaroslavich Rurik of Tver, Prince of Tver, Grand Prince of Vladimir, was born 1271 to Yaroslav Yaroslavich of Tver (1230-1272) and Kseniya Yuryevna of Tarusa (c1246-1312) and died 22 November 1318 of execution. He married Anna Dmitriyevna of Kashin (c1280-1368) 1294 JL .

Mikhail Yaroslavich of Tver
Grand Prince of Vladimir
Prince of Tver
Mikhail Yaroslavich before the Mongol khan, by Vasili Vereshchagin
Mikhail Yaroslavich before the Mongol khan, by Vasili Vereshchagin
Spouse(s) Anna Dmitriyevna of Kashin (c1280-1368)
Feodora Mikhailovna
Dmitri Mikhailovich
Aleksandr Mikhailovich
Konstantin Mikhailovich
Vasili Mikhailovich
Feodora of Tver
Noble family Rurik Dynasty
Father Yaroslav Yaroslavich
Mother Kseniya of Tarusa
Born 1271
Died 22 November 1318 (aged 46–47)

Mikhail Yaroslavich (Russian: Михаил Ярославич) (1271 – 22 November 1318) was a Prince of Tver (from 1285) who ruled as Grand Prince of Vladimir from 1304 until 1314 and again from 1315–1318. He was canonized and counted among the saints of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Mikhail Yaroslavich was the second son of Yaroslav Yaroslavich, the younger brother of Aleksandr Nevsky, and succeeded him as Prince of Tver in 1285. His mother Kseniya of Tarusa was the second spouse to Yaroslav Yaroslavich. Upon the death of Andrei Aleksandrovich (Aleksandr Nevsky's son and [Yaroslav Yaroslavich of Tver (1220-1271)|Yaroslav]]'s nephew), Mikhail became the Grand Prince of Vladimir in 1304, as was consistent with the rota system of collateral succession that had been practised in Rus' since the time of Yaroslav the Wise. He was confirmed in office by Tokhta Khan of the Golden Horde.[1]

Troubles as Grand Prince and Rivalry with Moscow

While he seemed secure in the throne, being the legitimate heir and having been confirmed by the Khan in Sarai, Grand Prince Mikhail suffered a series of setbacks as grand prince which led to him losing the grand princely office for both himself and, in some ways, ultimately for his descendants. He was, like most Grand Princes of Vladimir-Suzdal, accepted as Prince of Novgorod in 1309,[2] but fought with Novgorod, going so far as to withdraw his lieutenants (namestniki) and cut off grain shipments into the city in 1312.

«Напутствие великого князя Михаила Тверского»

Mikhail's Last Words,
by Pimen Orlov

While he was on decent terms with Tokhta Khan, and initially with his successor, Uzbeg Khan (Mikhail paid homage on Uzbeg's accession to the throne in 1313 and remained in Sarai until 1315), he eventually lost influence to Yuri of Moscow, who gained influence in Novgorod while the grand prince was away in Sarai. Mikhail did manage to finally take control of the city in 1316 with Mongol aid, but the following year Uzbeg Khan gave the Jarlig or patent of office of the Grand Prince of Vladimir-Suzdal to Yuri, who also married Uzbeg's sister.[3]

After granting Yuri the Jarlig or patent of office, the Khan sent his army under the Mongol general Kavgadii to help Yuri in his struggle with Mikhail Yaroslavich. On 22 December 1317 Mikhail defeated Yuri in the Battle of Bortenevo (40 km from Tver). Mikhail captured Yuri's wife, who was the Khan's sister. When she died in Mikhail's custody, he was blamed for her death, although it seems unlikely that he would have killed her knowing how much it would hurt him politically for such little gain. He released Kavgadii, who returned to Sarai and accused Mikhail of murdering the Khan's sister, withholding tribute, and warring against his Mongol overlord. As a result, Mikhail was summoned to the Horde by the Khan and executed on 22 November 1318.[4]

Mikhail and the Church

Mikhail also alienated the Church, particularly Metropolitan Petr (ruled 1308–1326). When Metropolitan Maksim died in 1305, Mikhail nominated another candidate, but Petr was consecrated by the Patriarch of Constantinople. Petr sided with Moscow and opposed Mikhail on several occasions. In 1309, he appointed David as Archbishop of Novgorod and David was instrumental in the argument that led Mikhail to withdraw his lieutenants and cut the grain supplies to the city. In 1314, Novgorod called on Yuri to be named grand prince and for Mikhail to be deposed. Thus the support of the Church aided Yuri to Mikhail's detriment.[5] Despite his having been unfavored by the Russian Orthodox Church during his lifetime, the Church later declared Mikhail a saint because of his piousness during his summons by the Khan which he knew was to certain death and because his relics, when transported to his hometown, were discovered to be incorrupt.[6]

Family and children

In 1294 Mikhail married Princess Anna of Rostov, daughter of Dimitri Borisovich. They had five children:

  1. Fyodora Mikhailovna of Tver (c1296-c1297)
  2. Dmitri Mikhailovich of Tver (1299-1326)
  3. Aleksandr Mikhailovich of Tver (1301-1339)
  4. Konstantin Mikhailovich of Tver (1302-1345)
  5. Vasili Mikhailovich of Tver (c1304-1368)

Mikhail's sons and successors Dmitri and Aleksandr were both also liked in the Horde, as was Aleksandr's elder son, Mikhail. Both Aleksandr Mikhailovich, and Mikhail Aleksandrovich briefly held the Grand Princely office (in 1326-1327 and 1371-1372 respectively)[7] but Mikhail's failure to defeat Yury of Moscow, followed by Aleksandr's role (real or perceived) in the Tver Uprising of 1327, led the Tver branch to lose the favor of the Khans, and the Danilovich - the Muscovite princes, held the title for all but two years after 1317.

Mikhail's wife took the veil in Kashin's nunnery and died there on 2 October 1368. She is commemorated as Anna of Kashin by the Russian Orthodox Church and was canonized in 1677.

See also


  1. ^ Janet Martin Medieval Russia 980-1584 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 174.
  2. ^ Michael C. Paul, "Was the Prince of Novgorod a 'Third-Rate Bureaucrat' after 1136?" Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 56, No. 1 (Spring 2008): 72-113.
  3. ^ Martin, Medieval Russia, 175.
  4. ^ Martin, Medieval Russia, 175; John Fennell, "Princely Executions in the Horde 1308-1339," Forschungen zur Osteuropaischen Geschichte 38 (1988), 9-19.
  5. ^ Martin, Medieval Russia, 193.
  6. ^ "Святой благоверный великий князь Михаил Ярославич, Тверской чудотворец + Православный Церковный календарь" (in ru). Pravoslavie.Ru. Retrieved 2017-06-12. 
  7. ^ Paul, "Was the Prince of Novgorod a 'Third-rate Bureaucrat'", 111

External links

Mikhail Yaroslavich of Tver (1271-1318)
Born: 1271 Died: 1318
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Andrei Aleksandrovich
Grand Prince of Vladimir
Succeeded by
Yuri Danilovich
Preceded by
Svyatoslav Yaroslavich
Prince of Tver
Succeeded by
Dmitri Mikhailovich


Offspring of Mikhail Yaroslavich of Tver and Anna Dmitriyevna of Kashin (c1280-1368)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Fyodora Mikhailovna of Tver (c1296-c1297) 1296 1297
Dmitri Mikhailovich of Tver (1299-1326) 1299 15 September 1326 Maria of Lithuania (1300-1349)
Aleksandr Mikhailovich of Tver (1301-1339) 7 October 1301 29 October 1339 Anastasia Yuryevna of Halych (c1293-c1364)
Konstantin Mikhailovich of Tver (1302-1345) 1302 1345 Sofya Yuryevna of Moscow (c1303-c1355)
Vasili Mikhailovich of Tver (c1304-1368) 1304 1368 Yelena Ivanovna


Offspring of Yaroslav Yaroslavich of Tver (1230-1272) and Natalya (c1230-1252)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Svyatoslav Yaroslavich of Tver (c1250-c1282) 1250 1282

Offspring of Yaroslav Yaroslavich of Tver (1230-1272) and Kseniya Yuryevna of Tarusa (c1246-1312)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Kseniya Yaroslavna of Tver (c1268-1286)
Mikhail Yaroslavich of Tver (1271-1318) 1271 22 November 1318 Anna Dmitriyevna of Kashin (c1280-1368)


Footnotes (including sources)