Yaropolk I Svyatoslavich Rurik of Kiev, Princes of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kiev, was born 959 to Svyatoslav I Igorevich of Kiev (c942-972) and died 11 June 980 Kaniv of battle wounds. He married Greek nun .


Yaropolk was given Kiev by his father Svyatoslav I, who left on a military campaign against the Danube Bulgars. Soon after Svyatoslav's death, however, civil war began between Yaropolk and his brothers. According to one chronicle, Yaropolk's brother Oleg killed Lyut, the son of Yaropolk's chief adviser and military commander Sveneld. In an act of revenge and at the insistence of Sveneld, Yaropolk went to war against his brother and killed him. Then, Yaropolk sent his men to Novgorod, from which his other brother Vladimir had fled on receiving the news about Oleg's death. Yaropolk became the sole ruler of Rus'.

Murder of Yaropolk

In 980, Vladimir returned with the Varangian mercenaries and attacked Yaropolk. On his way to Kiev, Vladimir seized Polotsk because Rogneda, daughter of the prince of Polotsk Rogvolod, had chosen Yaropolk over him. Vladimir forced Rogneda to marry him. Then, Vladimir seized Kiev with the assistance from a boyar Blud, who had become Yaropolk's chief adviser upon the death of Sveneld. Blud betrayed Yaropolk by advising him to flee from Kiev and go into retreat in the town of Rodnya at the mouth of the Ros' River. Vladimir besieged Rodnya and forced Yaropolk to negotiate. Yaropolk trusted Blud and his brother's promises of peace and left for Vladimir's headquarters, where he would be killed in an ambush by two Varangians.

Purported baptism

As for contemporary foreign sources, Lambert of Hersfeld records that, on the Easter of 973, the Holy Roman Emperor was visited by envoys from Rus' (legati gentium Ruscorum). In later centuries it was said that Yaropolk also exchanged ambassadors with the Pope. The Chronicon of Adémar de Chabannes and the life of St. Romuald (by Pietro Damiani) document how St. Bruno of Querfurt was sent to Rus' (Latin: Russia) and succeeded in converting a local king (one of three brothers who ruled the land) to Christianity. As both texts are rife with anachronisms, Vladimir Parkhomenko reasons that Bruno's deeds were conflated with those of his predecessors, Adalbert of Prague and several anonymous missionaries active in Eastern Europe during Otto II's reign.[1]

Following this line of thought, Alexander Nazarenko suggests that Yaropolk went through some preliminary rites of baptism, but was murdered by his pagan half-brother (whose own rights to the throne were questionable) before he could be formally received in the Christian faith. Any information on Yaropolk's baptism according to the Latin rite would be suppressed by later Orthodox chroniclers, zealous to keep Vladimir's image of the Russian ryte untarnished for succeeding generations.[2] It is known that Vladimir's son Yaroslav had Yaropolk's bones exhumed, christened and interred in the Church of the Tithes.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Parkhomenko V. Nachalo khristianstva na Rusi: Ocherki iz istorii Rusi IX-X vekov. Poltava, 1913. Page 162.
  2. ^ Nazarenko, A. V. (2001) (in Russian). Drevniaia Rus’ na mezhdunarodnykh putiakh: mezhdistsiplinarnye ocherki kul’turnykh, torgovykh, politicheskikh sviazei IX-XII vekov. Moscow: Russian History Institute. ISBN 5-7859-0085-8.  Pages 339-391.
  3. ^ The Notion of "Uncorrupted Relics" in Early Russian Culture, Gail Lenhoff, Christianity and the Eastern Slavs: Slavic cultures in the Middle Ages, Vol. I, ed. B. Gasparov, Olga Raevsky-Hughes, (University of California Press, 1993), 264.

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#g1: Offspring of Svyatoslav I Igorevich of Kiev (c942-972) and Predslava
Name Birth Death Joined with
Oleg Svyatoslavich of the Drevlyans (bef957-977) 957 877 Ovruch
Yaropolk I Svyatoslavich of Kiev (c959-980) 959 11 June 980 Kaniv Greek nun
#g2: Offspring of Svyatoslav I Igorevich of Kiev (c942-972) and Malusha (940-1020)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Vladimir I Svyatoslavich of Kiev (c958-1015) 958 Pskov, Pskov Rayon, Pskov Oblast, Russia 15 July 1015 Berestove, Kiev, Ukraine Olava (c960-c995)
unnamed Greek nun
Rogneda Rogvolodovna of Polotsk (962-1002)
Malfrida (c965-1000)
Anna Porphyrogenita (963-1011)
Unknown von Schwaben (?-?)
Sfengus Svyatoslavich (c960-c1020) 1020 990

Footnotes (including sources)


Yaropolk I Svyatoslavich of Kiev
Born: c. 958–960 Died: 11 June 980
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Vladimir Svyatoslavich
Prince of Novgorod
Succeeded by
Vladimir Svyatoslavich
Preceded by
Svyatoslav I Igorevich
Grand Prince of Kiev
Succeeded by
Vladimir I Svyatoslavich

Footnotes (including sources)


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