Oleg Svyatoslavich Rurik of Chernigov, Prince of Volhynia, Prince of Tmutarakan, Prince of Chernigov, Prince of Novgorod-Seversky, was born circa 1053 to Svyatoslav II Yaroslavich of Kiev (1027-1076) and Cecilia of Dithmarschen (c1030-c1070) and died 2 August 1115 of unspecified causes. He married Theophano Mouzalonissa (c1075-c1105) . He married Daughter of Osaluka-Khan .

Oleg I Svyatoslavich of Chernigov
Prince of Novgorod-Seversky

Reign 1097–1115
Successor Vsevolod II of Kiev
Spouse 1. Theophano Mouzalonissa
2.Mariya Yuryevna.
Vsevolod II of Kiev
Igor II of Kiev
Maria Olgovna
Gleb Olgovich
Svyatoslav Olgovich
Full name
Oleg Svyatoslavich
House Riurik Dynasty
Father Svyatoslav Yaroslavich
Mother Cecilia of Dithmarschen

Oleg Svyatoslavich (Russian: Олег Святославич; c. 1052 – August 1115) was a Rurikid prince whose equivocal adventures ignited political unrest in Kievan Rus' at the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries. He was Prince of Volhynia (1073-1078), Prince of Tmutarakan (1083-1115), Prince of Chernigov (1094, 1097), Prince of Novgorod-Seversky (1097-1115)

Early life

Oleg was a younger son of Svyatoslav Yaroslavich, Prince of Chernigov and his first wife, Cecilia of Dithmarschen.[1] He might have been either the second or the fourth among the four sons of Svyatoslav Yaroslavich by Cecilia of Dithmarschen, because their order of seniority is uncertain.[2] According to historian Martin Dimnik, Oleg was born around 1050.[1] Oleg was named after his grand uncle. His baptismal name was Michael.[3]

Dimnik writes that "it is highly probable" that Oleg succeeded his brother, Gleb in Tmutarakan after their father appointed the latter Prince of Novgorod in about 1068.[4] Oleg's father and uncle, Vsevolod Yaroslavich made an alliance against their elder brother, Izyaslav Iaroslavich, Grand Prince of Kiev and dethroned him on 22 March 1073.[5][6] According to Dimnik, Oleg received the Principality of Vladimir from his father who succeeded Izyaslav Yaroslavich in Kiev.[7] In short, Oleg and his cousin, Vladimir Monomach – son of Vsevolod Yaroslavich – became close friends.[8] Monomach writes in his Instruction that Oleg was the godfather of his eldest son, Mstislav.[8] The two cousins together commanded the troops Oleg's father sent to assist Boleslav II of Poland in Bohemia in 1076, according to the Russian Primary Chronicle.[9]

Svyatoslav Yaroslavich died in Kiev on 27 December 1077.[10][11] He was succeeded by his brother, Vsevolod Yaroslavich.[11] The new grand prince seems to have confirmed Oleg's rule in Volhynia, because no source makes mention of a conflict between them.[11] However, the dethroned Izyaslav Yaroslavich – Vsevolod's brother and Oleg's uncle – returned with Polish reinforcements.[12][13] Izyaslav and Vsevolod had a meeting where they reached an agreement: Vsevolod Yaroslavich renounced of Kiev, but received Chernigov, the one-time domain of Oleg's father.[12][13] Iziaslav marched in Kiev on 15 July 1077, while Oleg "was with Vsevolod at Chernigov",[14] according to the Russian Primary Chronicle.[12] The chronicler's remark suggests that Oleg had by that time been forced to leave Vladimir.[15]

Failing to get along with his uncle, on 10 April 1077 Oleg fled to his brother Roman who reigned in Tmutarakan.[16][17] Together with his cousin, Boris Vyacheslavich, who had also settled in Tmutarakan, Oleg made an alliance with the Cumans and invaded Rus' in the summer of 1078.[18][19] They routed their uncle, Vsevolod on the Battle of the Sozhitsya River and entered Chernigov on 25 August.[19] The Russian Primary Chronicle accuses Oleg and Boris of being the first to lead "the pagans to attack the land of Rus'".[20][21] However, Vladimir Monomakh, in his Instruction, reveals that he and his father, Vsevolod Yaroslavich had hired Cumans when attacking Polotsk in the previous year.[21]

Expelled from Chernigov, Vsevolod fled to Kiev and sought assistance from his brother, Izyaslav.[19] They united their forces and marched against Chernigov.[13][19] Although Oleg and Boris were not in the town when their uncles arrived, the citizens decided to resist.[22] Oleg was willing to start negotiations with his uncles, but Boris refused his proposal.[23] The decisive battle was fought "at a place near a village on the meadow of Nezhata"[24] on 3 October.[19]

He was defeated and escaped to Tmutarakan, where the Khazars had him imprisoned and sent in chains to Constantinople. The emperor, who was a relative and ally of Vsevolod, exiled him to Rhodes. There he married a noble lady, Theophano Mouzalonissa, who bore him several children.

Four years later, we again find him active in Tmutarakan, where he adopted the title "archon of Khazaria".

War with Vladimir Monomach and The Council of Lyubech.

In 1094 Oleg together with the Polovtsians undertook a campaign against Chernigov in order to obtain a father's table for himself. It was Vladimir Monomach who reigned at that time. The siege of Chernigov continued for eight days; neighborhoods and monasteries were burned and looted. Vladimir Monomach probably seeing the impossibility of further resistance, finally handed Chernigov to Oleg, and he went to Pereyaslav. Oleg sat in Chernigov, giving the Polovtsians complete freedom of robbery, since he otherwise had nothing to pay them for the campaign.

" This is the third time, " notes the chronicler, who is generally unfavorable to Oleg, " he led the filthy to the Russian land; many Christians were ruined, while others were taken prisoner and scattered over different lands "(Ipatiev Chronicle, 158). In 1095 Oleg went against the Polovtsians not with other princes, but separately. In addition, Oleg refused to fulfill the demand of his cousins, Svyatopolk and Vladimir Monomach, to issue to them or to kill the son of the murdered Polovtsian khan Itlar, who was at the court of Oleg. This angered Svyatopolk and Vladimir; the son of the latter, Izyaslav, seized with the consent of citizens belonging to Oleg Murom.

In 1096 Svyatopolk and Vladimir were sent to call Oleg in Kiev to "dress up for the Russian land before the bishops, hegumens, the men of our fathers and people of the city", as for the future to protect the Russian land from the "filthy." Oleg gave a proud answer: "I will not go to court to bishops, hegumens and smerds." This answer, judging by the words of the chronicler, aroused in Kiev a great indignation against Oleg. Svyatopolk and Vladimir began military operations, moving to Chernigov; Oleg fled to Starodub , the northernmost city of the Chernigov land. The princes besieged the city. 33 days the siege continued; finally, Oleg asked for peace. His opponents demanded that he go to Smolensk for his brother Davyd and with him came to a meeting in Kiev. Oleg went, but Smolensk did not accept him, and neither he nor Davyd appeared in Kiev. Svyatopolk and Vladimirwent to Davyd, but reconciled with him; Oleg, with Davyd's regiments, again obtained Murom (September 6, 1096, in the battle near Murom, the son of Vladimir, Izyaslav, was killed , and his squad was defeated), seized Suzdal, Rostov and all the land of Murom and Rostov, planted posadnikov in the towns and started collecting tribute. In Novgorod was sitting at this time the first son of [[Vladimir Monomach, Mstislav, who spoke against Oleg and drove him not only from all the conquered cities, but from Ryazan. With the Murom and Yaroslav Svyatoslavich, Mstislav made peace. Oleg's position was hopeless, but Mstislav, as a godfather, promised to work for him before his father. Vladimir Monomach agreed to peace and wrote a long letter to Oleg, urging him to put an end to all the strife and civil strife.

In 1097 Svyatopolk, Vladimir Monomakh, Davyd Igorevich , Vasilko Rostislavich, Davyd and Oleg Svyatoslavich gathered in Council of lyubech, in the Principality of Chernigov, to make peace. The princes decided: let each line of the princely family own its fiefdom. The Principality of Chernigov remained under the Svyatoslavichy - Oleg, Davyd and Yaroslav - remained; Oleg ruled in Novgorod-Seversky.

The reign in Novgorod-Seversk

С. В. Иванов. Russian princes conclude peace at the Council of Uvetichi

Oleg also participated in the prince's Council of Gorodets in 1098, in a subsequent campaign against Svyatopolk, accusing him of alliance with Davyd Igorevich and at the Council of Uvetichi in 1100, who condemned Davyd, who took Volhynia from him and gave it to Svyatopolk.

When in 1101 the Polovtsians offered peace to the Russian princes, Oleg, Davyd and Vladimir Monomakh at the Council of Sakov congress concluded a peace agreement with them, confirmed by an exchange of hostages.

In 1103, at the Council of Lake Dologskoye (1103), a decision was taken on the first major campaign in the steppe against the Polovtsians, which were then repeated. And if Davyd actively participated in them, Oleg under various pretexts in most of them did not take part, and raids the same Polovtsian tribes on their borders, he vigorously reflected. So, in 1107 he, together with other princes, moved to Lubny against the Polovtsian Sharu Khan , who besieged the city, and the latter barely managed to escape, Sugra Khan was taken prisoner. In 1113 the Polovtsians came to Vyria, Oleg joined with Vladimir, and the Polovtsians were driven away.

Sam married to a Polovchanka, who raised his son Polovtsian prince Itlar in his family, in 1107 Oleg married one of his sons (according to VN Tatishchev - Svyatoslav, in the annals the name of the prince is omitted) to the daughter of the Polovtsian prince Aepa Khan .

Oleg died in August of 1115. He was buried in the Spassky Cathedral of Chernigov.

Family and children

Wives :

  • Theophany Muzalon.
  • the daughter of Polovtsian Khan Osoluk.

Children : From Theophanias Muzalon:

From daughter Osoluk :

One of the most prominent princes of Kievan period who never attained the Kievan throne, he died on August 1, 1115 and was buried in Chernigov.

The Tale of Igor's Campaign styles him Gorislavich, poetically deriving his patronymic from the Russian word for sorrow. His descendants, known as Olgovichi, were archrivals of Vladimir Monomakh's descendants (known as Monomakhovichi) in their struggle for supremacy in Rus'.

His son was Igor II of Kiev.


  1. ^ a b Dimnik 1994, p. 39.
  2. ^ Dimnik 1994, pp. 38-39.
  3. ^ Raffensperger 2012, p. 35.
  4. ^ Dimnik 1994, p. 93.
  5. ^ Vernadsky 1948, p. 86.
  6. ^ Franklin & Shepard 1996, p. 257.
  7. ^ Dimnik 1994, p. 90.
  8. ^ a b Dimnik 1994, p. 95.
  9. ^ Dimnik 1994, p. 98.
  10. ^ Franklin & Shepard 1996, p. 259.
  11. ^ a b c Dimnik 1994, p. 127.
  12. ^ a b c Dimnik 1994, p. 135.
  13. ^ a b c Vernadsky 1948, p. 87.
  14. ^ Russian Primary Chronicle (year 6585), p. 165.
  15. ^ Dimnik 1994, pp. 90, 136-137.
  16. ^ Martin 1993, p. 41.
  17. ^ Dimnik 1994, p. 142.
  18. ^ Dimnik 1994, p. 147.
  19. ^ a b c d e Franklin & Shepard 1996, p. 260.
  20. ^ Russian Primary Chronicle (year 6586), p. 165.
  21. ^ a b Dimnik 1994, p. 148.
  22. ^ Dimnik 1994, p. 149.
  23. ^ Dimnik 1994, pp. 149-150.
  24. ^ Russian Primary Chronicle (year 6586), p. 166.
  25. ^ Maria is known from Western sources as the daughter of a Russian prince and noble Byzantine. She is sometimes considered the daughter of Svyatopolk Izyaslavich and the mythical Varvara Komnina
  26. ^ Maria is known from Western sources as the daughter of a Russian prince and noble Byzantine. She is sometimes considered the daughter of Svyatopolk Izyaslavich and the mythical Varvara Komnina


  • Dimnik, Martin (1994). The Dynasty of Chernigov, 1054–1146. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. ISBN 0-88844-116-9. 
  • Franklin, Simon; Shepard, Jonathan (1996). The Emergence of Rus 750–1200. Longman. ISBN 0-582-49091-X. 
  • Martin, Janet (1993). Medieval Russia, 980–1584. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-67636-6. 
  • Raffensperger, Christian (2012). Reimagining Europe: Kievan Rus' in the Medieval World. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-06384-6. 
  • The Russian Primary Chronicle: Laurentian Text (Translated and edited by Samuel Hazzard Cross and Olgerd P. Sherbowitz-Wetzor) (1953). Medieval Academy of America. ISBN 978-0-915651-32-0.
  • Vernadsky, George (1948). A History of Russia, Volume II: Kievan Russia. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-01647-6. 


Offspring of Oleg I Svyatoslavich of Chernigov and Theophano Mouzalonissa (c1075-c1105)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Vsevolod II Olgovich of Kiev (1094-1146) 1094 1 August 1146 Maria Mstislavna of Kiev (c1108-c1155)
Igor II Olgovich of Kiev (c1095-1147) 1095 19 September 1147 Kiev, Ukraine
Mariya Olgovna of Kiev (c1097-1146) 1095 1147 Piotr Włostowic (c1080-1143)
Gleb Olgovich of Kursk (c1100-1138) 1100 1138 Veliky Novgorod, Novgorod Oblast, Russia Nomen nescio

Offspring of Oleg I Svyatoslavich of Chernigov and Daughter of Osaluka-Khan
Name Birth Death Joined with
Svyatoslav Olgovich of Chernigov (c1108-1164) 1108 1164 Yekaterina of Novgorod (c1115-c1170)


Offspring of Svyatoslav II Yaroslavich of Kiev (1027-1076) and Cecilia of Dithmarschen (c1030-c1070)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Wyszesława Svyatoslavna of Kiev (c1047-c1090) 1047 1090 Bolesław II the Bold (c1042-1081)
Gleb Svyatoslavich of Novgorod (c1048-1078) 1048 30 May 1078 Volokolamsk, Volokolamsk Rayon, Moscow Oblast, Russia
Roman Svyatoslavich Krasnyi of Tmutarakan (c1050-1079) 1050 2 August 1079
Davyd Svyatoslavich of Chernigov (c1052-1123) 1052 1123 Theodosia (c1060-c1110)
Oleg I Svyatoslavich of Chernigov (c1053-1115) 1053 2 August 1115 Theophano Mouzalonissa (c1075-c1105)
Daughter of Osaluka-Khan

Offspring of Svyatoslav II Yaroslavich of Kiev (1027-1076) and Oda von Babenberg (c1040-c1087)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Yaroslav Svyatoslavich of Chernigov (1074-1129) 1074 1129 NN
Daughter of Kiev (c1070-c1117) 1070 1117 Kilij Arslan I of Rum (-1107)
Oleg I Svyatoslavich of Chernigov (c1053-1115)
Born: 1053 Died: 1115
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Yaropolk Izyaslavich
Prince of Volhynia
Succeeded by
Yaropolk Izyaslavich
Preceded by
Gleb Vsyatoslavich
Prince of Tmutarakan
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Vsevolod Yaroslavich
Prince of Chernigov
Succeeded by
Vladimir Vsevolodich
Preceded by
Vladimir Vsevolodich
Prince of Chernigov
Succeeded by
Davyd Svyatoslavich
Preceded by
Created as a separate principality in 1097 by the Council of Liubech
Prince of Novgorod-Seversky
Succeeded by
Vsevolod Olgovich


Footnotes (including sources)

Warning: Default sort key "Oleg 01 Of Chernigov" overrides earlier default sort key "Rurik, Oleg".