Галицько-Волинське королівство
Vassal of Kingdom of Hungary (1214-1232)
Golden Horde (1232-1349)
[[Principality of Halych|]] Principality of Halych
[[Principality of Volhynia|]] Principality of Volyn
1199–1349 Kingdom of Poland (1320–1385) [[Kingdom of Poland (1320–1385)|]]
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Alex K Halych-Volhynia-flag Alex K Halych-Volhynia
Flag Coat of arms
Kingdom of Galicia Volhynia Rus' Ukraine 1245 1349
The Galician–Volhynian Kingdom in the 13th–14th centuries
Capital Volodymyr, Halych, Lviv
Languages Old East Slavic
Religion Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Government Monarchy
Prince later King
 -  1199–1205 Roman the Great
 -  1211—1264 Daniil of Halych
 -  1293—1301 Lev I of Halych
 -  1301—1308 Yuri I of Halych
 -  1308—1323 Andrew of Galicia and
Lev II of Galicia
 -  1323—1340 Yuri II
 -  1340—1349 Lubart-Dmitry Giedyminowicz
Historical era Middle Ages
 -  Established 1199
 -  Disestablished 1349

The Principality of Halych–Volhynia[1] or Kingdom of Rus' (Latin: Regnum Galiciae et Lodomeriae, Regnum Russiae) was a Ruthenian (Ukrainian) state in the regions of Halych and Volhynia that was formed after the conquest of Halych by the Prince of Volhynia Roman the Great with the help of Leszek the White. Roman the Great united the principalities of Halych (Galigia) and Volhynia in a union which existed during the years 1199–1349. Along with Novgorod and Vladimir Suzdal, it was one of the three most important powers to emerge from the collapse of Kievan Rus'.

After the enormous destruction wreaked by the Mongol invasion of Kievan Rus' in 1239–41, the King of Rus' Daniil Romanovych was forced to pledge allegiance to Batu Khan of the Golden Horde in 1246. He strove, however, to rid his realm of the Mongol yoke by attempting, unsuccessfully, to establish military alliances with other European rulers.[2] The Polish conquest of the kingdom in 1349 ended its vassalage to the Golden Horde.[3]

Western Halych–Volhynia extended between the rivers San and Wieprz in what is now south-eastern Poland, while eastern territories covered the Pripet Marshes (now in Belarus) and upper Southern Bug in modern-day Ukraine. During its time, the kingdom was bordered by Black Ruthenia, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Principality of Turov and Pinsk, the Grand Principality of Kiev, the Golden Horde, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Kingdom of Poland, the Principality of Moldavia, and the Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights.


Tribal area[]

In pre-Roman times the region was populated by various tribes, including the Lugii, Goths and Vandals (which may correspond to the Przeworsk and Puchov cultures in archaeology). After the fall of the Roman Empire, the area was populated by West Slav people, identified with a group called Lendians. Around 833 the West Slavs became part of the Great Moravian state. Upon the invasion of the Hungarian tribes into the heart of the Great Moravian Empire around 899, the Lendians of the area found themselves under the influence of the Hungarian Empire. The whole area was inhabited by White Croats,and land name was White Croatia,capital of Duchy was Stilsko. In 955 their area seems to have constituted part of the Bohemian State. Around 970 it was included in the Polish state. This area was mentioned in 981 (by Nestor), when Vladimir the Great of Kievan Rus' took the area over on his way into Poland. He founded the city of Vladimir-Volynsky and later Christianized the locals. The area returned to Poland in 1018 and in 1031 was retaken by Rus'.

The territory was settled by the East Slavs from the early middle ages and, in the 12th century, the Rurikid Principality of Halych was formed there by descendants of Vladimir, merged at the end of the 12th century with the neighboring Principality of Volhynia into the principality of Halych–Volhynia which existed for a century and a half.

Rise and apogee[]

Alex K Halych

Halych coat of arms

File:Danylo Halyckyi.jpg

Daniel, the first King of Rus.

Alex Peremyshel

Peremyshl coat of arms

001 Kievan Rus' Kyivan Rus' Ukraine map 1220 1240

Historical map of Kievan Rus' and territory of Ukraine: last 20 years of the state (1220-1240).

Alex Volhynia

Volhynia coat of arms

Coat of Arms of Belz Principality

Belz coat of arms

Volhynia and Halych had originally been two separate Rurikid principalities, assigned on a rotating basis to younger members of the Kievan dynasty. The line preceding Roman had held the principality of Volhynia whereas another line, that of Yaroslav Osmomysl held the Principality of Halych (later adopted as Galicia). The principality of Halych-Volhynia (Galicia–Volhynia) was created following the death, in 1198[4] or 1199[5] (and without a recognized heir in the paternal line), of the last Prince of Galicia, Vladimir II Yaroslavich; Prince Roman the Great of Vladimir-in-Volhynia (modern Vladimir-Volynsky) thereafter acquired the Principality of Halych, uniting both lands into one state. Roman's successors would mostly use Halych (Galicia) as the designation of their combined kingdom. In Roman's time the main cities of Halych-Volhynia principal cities were Halych and Vladimir-Volynsky. In 1204 he captured Kiev. Roman was allied with Poland, signed a peace treaty with Hungary and developed diplomatic relations with the Byzantine Empire. At the height of his reign he briefly became the most powerful of the Rus' princes.[6]

In 1205 Roman turned against his Polish allies which led to a conflict with Leszek the White and Konrad of Masovia. Roman was subsequently killed in the Battle of Zawichost and his dominion entered a period of rebellion and chaos. Thus weakened, Halych-Volhynia became an arena of rivalry between Poland and Hungary. King Andrew II of Hungary styled himself rex Galiciæ et Lodomeriæ, Latin for "king of Halych and Vladimir-Volynsky", a title that later was adopted in the Habsburg Empire. In a compromise agreement made in 1214 between Hungary and Poland, the throne of Halych-Volhynia was given to Andrew's son, Coloman of Lodomeria who had married Leszek the White's daughter, Salomea.

In 1221, Mstislav Mstislavich, son of Mstislav Rostislavich, liberated Halych-Volhynia from the Hungarians, but it was [[Roman's son Daniil Romanovich who re-united all of south-western Rus', including Volhynia, Halych and Rus' ancient capital of Kiev, which Daniil conquered in 1239. Daniil defeated the Polish and Hungarian forces in the battle of Jarosław and crushed their ally Rostislav Mikhailovich, son of the prince of Chernigov, in 1245. He also strengthened his relations with Batu Khan by traveling to his capital Saray (Sarai) and acknowledging, at least nominally, the supremacy of the Mongol Golden Horde. After meeting with Batu Khan, Daniil reorganized his army along Mongol lines and equipped it with Mongolian weapons although Daniil himself maintained the traditional attire of a Rus' prince. Daniil's alliance with the Mongols was merely tactical, because he pursued a long-term strategy resistance against the Mongols.[7]

In 1245, Pope Innocent IV allowed Daniil to be crowned king. Daniil wanted more than recognition, commenting bitterly that he expected an army when he received the crown.[8] Although Danylo promised to promote recognition of the Pope to his people, his realm continued to be ecclesiastically independent from Rome. Thus, Daniil was the only member of the Rurik dynasty to have been crowned king. Daniil was crowned by the papal archbishop in Dorohychyn 1253 as the first King of all Rus' (Rex Russiae; 1253–1264). In 1256 Daniil succeeded in driving the Mongols out of Halych-Volhynia, and a year later defeated their attempts to capture the cities of Lutsk and Vladimir-Volynsky.[7] However with the approach of a large army under the Mongolian general Boroldai in 1260 Danylo was forced to accept their authority over him and to raze the fortifications he had built against them.[9]

UnderDaniil's reign, Halych-Volhynia was one of the most powerful states in east central Europe.[9] Literature flourished, producing the Galician–Volhynian Chronicle. Demographic growth was enhanced by immigration from the west and the south, including Germans and Armenians. Commerce developed due to trade routes linking the Black Sea with Poland, Germany and the Baltic basin. Major cities, which served as important economic and cultural centers, included Lvov (where the royal seat would later be moved by Daniil's son), Vladimir-Volynsky, Halych, Kholm (Danylo's capital), Peremyshl, Drohiczyn and Terebovlya. Halych-Volhynia was important enough that in 1252 Danylo was able to marry his son Roman to the heiress of the Austrian Duchy in the vain hope of securing it for his family. Another son, Shvarn, married a daughter of Mindaugas, Lithuania's first king, and briefly ruled that land from 1267–1269. At the peak of its expansion, the Halych-Volhynian state contained not only south-western Rus' lands, including Red Rus' and Black Ruthenia, but also briefly controlled the Brodnici on the Black Sea.

After Daniil's death in 1264, he was succeeded by his son Lev I of Halych. Lev moved the capital to Lviv in 1272 and for a time maintained the strength of Halych-Volhynia. Unlike his father, who pursued a Western political course, Lev worked closely with the Mongols, in particular cultivating a close alliance with the Tatar Khan Nogai. Together with his Mongol allies, he invaded Poland. However, although his troops plundered territory as far west as Racibórz, sending many captives and much booty back to Halych-Volhynia, Lev did not ultimately gain much territory from Poland. Lev also attempted, unsuccessfully, to establish his family's rule over Lithuania. Soon after his brother Shvarn ascended to the Lithuanians throne in 1267, he had the former Lithuanian ruler Vaišvilkas killed. Following Shvarn's loss of the throne in 1269, Lev entered into conflict with the Lithuania. From 1274–1276 he fought a war with the new Lithuanian ruler Traidenis but was defeated, and Lithuania annexed the territory of Black Ruthenia with its city of Navahrudak. In 1279, Lev allied himself with king Wenceslaus II of Bohemia and invaded Poland, although his attempt to capture Kraków in 1280 ended in failure. That same year, Lev defeated Hungary and annexed part of Transcarpathia, including the city of Mukachevo. In 1292 he defeated Poland and added Lublin with surrounding areas to the territory of Halych-Volhynia.

Alex K Yuri Boleslav seal

Royal seal of Yuri I (1301–1308) "S[igillum] Domini Georgi Regis Rusie", "S[igillum] Domini Georgi Ducis Ladimerie".

Decline and fall[]

After Lev's death in 1301, a period of decline ensued. Lev was succeeded by his son Yuri I who ruled for only seven years. Although his reign was largely peaceful and Galicia–Volhynia flourished economically, Yuri I lost Lublin to the Poles (1302) and Transcarpathia to the Hungarians. From 1308 until 1323 Halych–Volhynia was jointly ruled by Yuri I's sons Andrew and Lev II, who proclaimed themselves to be the kings of Galicia and Volhynia. The brothers forged alliances with King Władysław I of Poland and with the Teutonic Knights against the Lithuanians and the Mongols. But the Kingdom was still tributary to the Mongols and joined the Mongol military expeditions of Uzbek Khan and his successor, Janibek Khan.[3] They died together in 1323, in battle, fighting against the Mongols, and left no heirs.

After the extinction of the Rurikid dynasty in Halych–Volhynia in 1323, Volhynia passed into the control of the Lithuanian prince Liubartas, while the boyars took control over Halych They invited the Polish Prince Boleslaw Yuri II, a grandson of Yuri I, to assume the Galician throne. Boleslaw converted to Orthodoxy and assumed the name Yuri II. Nevertheless, suspecting him of harboring Catholic feelings, the boyars poisoned him in 1340 and elected one of their own, Dmitry Detko, to lead the Galician state. In Winter 1341 Tatars, Ruthenians led by Detko, and Lithuanians led by Liubartas, were able to defeat Poles, although they were not so successful in Summer 1341. Finally, Detko was forced to accept Polish overlordship, as a starost of Halych. After Detko's death, Poland's King Casimir III mounted a successful invasion, capturing and annexing Halych-Volhnia in 1349. Halych–Volhynia ceased to exist as an independent state.

Danylo's dynasty attempted to gain support from Pope Benedict XII and broader European powers for an alliance against the Mongols, but ultimately proved unable of competing with the rising powers of centralised Grand Duchy of Lithuania and The Kingdom of Poland. Only in 1349, after the occupation of Halych–Volhynia by an allied Polish-Hungarian force, the Kingdom of Halych–Volhynia was finally conquered and incorporated in Poland. This act put an end to the relationship of vassalage between Halych–Volhynia Rus' and the Golden Horde.[10]

Władysław Opolczyk seal 1378

Prinz Władysław II Opolczyk Governor of Galicia–Volhynia 1372–1378


From 1340 to 1392 the civil war in the region transitioned into a power struggle between Lithuania, Poland, and Hungary. The first stage of conflict saw signing of the 1344 treaty which secured the Principality of Peremyshl after the Crown of Poland, while the rest belonged to a member of Gediminis family, Liubartas. Eventually by the mid 14th century, the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania divided up the region between them: King Kazimierz III Wielki took Galicia and Western Volhynia, while the sister state of Eastern Volhynia together with Kiev came under Lithuanian control, 1352–1366.

Since 1352 when the kingdom was eventually divided between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, most of the Ruthenian Voivodeship belonged to the Crown of the Polish Kingdom where it remained also after the Union of Lublin between Poland and Lithuania. The present-day town of Halych is situated 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) away from the ancient capital of Galicia, on the spot where the old town's river port was located and where King Liubartas of Galicia–Volhynia constructed a wooden castle in 1367.

By the treaty of the Lublin Union of 1569, all of the former principality of Galicia–Volhynia became part of Poland. In 1772, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria (who was also Queen of Hungary) recalled the old Hungarian claims to the Regnum Galiciæ et Lodomeriæ, and used them to justify Austria's participation in the partitions of Poland.


Ruthenian Voivodeship 1366–1772



Alex K Halych-Volhynia 3

2nd half of the 13th century – 1st half of the 14th century
Halych-Volhynia in
mid-13th century
Annexations by
Other Ruthenian
Kingdom of
Kingdom of
Borders of lands
and regional
Main trade
Borders of
"Capital cities"

Polatsk Principality
Land of

(Southern Bug)

Historical Role[]

The Galician-Volhynian Chronicle reflected the political programme of the Romanovich dynasty ruling Galicia–Volhynia. Galicia–Volhynia competed with other successor states of Kievan Rus' (notably Vladimir-Suzdal) to claim the Kievan inheritance. According to the Galician–Volhynian Chronicle, Galicia–Volhynia's King Daniil was the last ruler of Kiev preceding the Mongolian invasion and thus Galicia–Volhynia's rulers were the only legitimate successors to the Kievan throne.[11] Until the end of Galician-Volhynian state, its rulers advanced claims upon "all the land of Rus'." The seal of King Yuri I contained the Latin inscription domini georgi regis rusie.[11]

In contrast to their consistent secular or political claims to the Kievan inheritance, Galicia's rulers were not concerned by religious succession. This differentiated them from their rivals in Vladimir-Suzdal, who sought to, and attained, control over the Kievan Church. Rather than contest Vladimir-Suzal's dominance of the Kievan Church, Galicia-Volhynia's rulers merely asked for and obtained a separate Church from Byzantium.[11]

Galicia–Volhynia also differed from the northern and eastern principalities of the former Kievan Rus' in terms of its relationship with its western neighbors. King Danylo was alternatively an ally or a rival with neighboring Slavic Poland and partially Slavic Hungary. According to historian George Vernadsky, Galicia–Volhynia, Poland and Hungary belonged to the same psychological and cultural world. The Roman Catholic Church was seen as a neighbor and there was much intermarriage between the princely houses of Galicia and those of neighboring Catholic countries. In contrast, the Westerners faced by Alexander, prince of Novgorod, were the Teutonic Knights, and the northeastern Rus' experience of the West was that of hostile crusaders rather than peers.[7]

See also[]


  1. ^ It is also called Galich-Volhyn, Galicia–Volhynia, Galicia–Volyn, and Galich–Volyn, Halych–Volyn, Halych–Volhynia, or Galicia–Vladimir
  2. ^ Principality of Galicia-Volhynia.
  3. ^ a b Michael B. Zdan - The Dependence of Halych-Volyn' Rus' on the Golden Horde, The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 35, No. 85 (Jun., 1957), p. 522
  4. ^ Dimnik, Martin (2003). The Dynasty of Chernigov - 1146-1246. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. (Chronological table of events) xxviii. ISBN 978-0-521-03981-9. 
  5. ^ Charles Cawley (2008-05-19). "Russia, Rurikids – Chapter 3: Princes of Galich B. Princes of Galich 1144-1199". Medieval Lands. Foundation of Medieval Genealogy.,%20Rurik.htm#_Toc198014277. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  6. ^\R\O\RomanMstyslavych.htm
  7. ^ a b c Vernadsky, George. (1970). The Mongols and Russia. A History of Russia, Vol. III. New Haven: Yale University Press pp. 144-149. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Vernadsky" defined multiple times with different content
  8. ^ John Joseph Saunders. (2001). The history of the Mongol conquests. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, p101
  9. ^ a b "Daniel Romanovich". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 23 August 2007
  10. ^ Michael B. Zdan - The Dependence of Halych-Volyn' Rus' on the Golden Horde, The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 35, No. 85 (Jun., 1957), p. 521-522
  11. ^ a b c Jaroslaw Pelenski. In P. Potichnyj (ed.) (1992). Ukraine and Russia in their historical encounter. Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Instittue of Ukrainian Studies Press, University of Alberta. pp.8-15
  • Subtelny, Orest (2000). Ukraine: A History. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-8390-0. 


Further reading[]



  • Bielowski A. Halickowlodzimierskie księstwo. — Biblioteka Ossolińskich., t. 4.
  • Bielowski A. Królewstwo Galicji (o starem księstwie Halickiem). — Biblioteka Ossolińskich, 1860, t. 1
  • Gebhard L. A. Geschichte des Konigreiches Galizien, Lodomerien und Rotreussen. — Pest, 1778;
  • Engel J. Ch. Geschichte von Halitsch und Vlodimir. — Wien, 1792.
  • Harasiewicz M. Berichtigung der Umrisse zu einer Geschichte der Ruthenen. — Wien, 1835.
  • Harasiewicz M. Annales ecclesiae Ruthenae. — Leopoli, 1862.
  • Hoppe L A. Geschichte des Konigreiches Galizien und Lodomerien. — Wien, 1792.
  • Lewicki A. Ruthenische Teilfürstentümer. — In: Österreichische Monarchie im Wort und Bild Galizien. Wien, 1894.
  • Siarczyński F. Dzieje księstwa niegdyś Przemyślskiego. — Czasopism naukowy Biblioteki im. Ossolińskich, 1828, N 2/3;
  • Siarczyński F. Dzieje niegdyś księstwa Belzkiego i miasta Belza. — Czasopism naukowy Biblioteki im. Ossolińskich, 1829, N 2.
  • Stecki J. T. Wołyń pod względem statystycznym, historycznym i archeologicznym. — Lwów, 1864
  • Zubrzycki D. Rys do historii narodu ruskiego w Galicji i hierarchii cerkiewnej w temże królewstwie. — Lwów, 1837.
  • Zubrzycki D. Kronika miasta Lwowa. — Lwów, 1844.

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