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Grand Princes of Novgorod (великих князей на Новгород) c. 859–1478

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The Grand Princes of Novgorod (Новгород).

From Vadim the Bold to Ivan III of Moscow.

Overview

The Prince of Novgorod (Russian: Князь новгородский, knyaz novgorodskii) was the chief executive of Novgorod the Great. The office was originally an appointed one until the late eleventh or early twelfth century, then became something of an elective one until the fourteenth century, after which the Prince of Vladimir (who was almost always the Prince of Moscow) was almost invariably the Prince of Novgorod as well. The office began sometime in the ninth century when, according to tradition, the Viking (Varangian) Riurik and his brothers were invited to rule over the Eastern Slavs, but real reliable information on the office dates only to the late tenth century when Vladimir the Great was prince of Novgorod. The office or title technically continued up until the abdication of Nicholas II in 1917 - among one of his titles (although his list of titles was rarely given in complete form) was Prince of Novgorod the Great. After the chief Rurikid prince moved to Kiev in the late ninth century, he usually sent either his son or a posadnik (mayor), to rule on his behalf. Thus Sviatoslav I sent his son Vladimir the Great to rule in Novgorod, and after Vladimir became Grand Prince of Kiev, he sent his son, Yaroslav the Wise to reign in Novgorod.

Republican period

From the early twelfth century to 1478, the prince's power in the Republic of Novgorod was more nominal. Imperial and Soviet-era scholars often argued that the office was ineffectual after 1136, when Prince Vsevolod Mstislavich was dismissed by the Novgorodians, and that Novgorod could invite and dismiss its princes at will. In this way, the prince of Novgorod was no longer "ruler" of Novgorod but became an elective or appointed executive official of the city-state. That being said, the traditional view of the prince being invited in or dismissed at will is an oversimplification of a long and complex history of the office. In fact, from the late tenth century to the fall of Novgorod in 1478, the princes of Novgorod were dismissed and invited only about half the time, and the vast majority of these cases occurred between 1095 and 1293, and not consistently so during that period. That is, the office was elective for perhaps two centuries and even then it was not always elective.. Even during this period, the nadir of princely power in the city, more powerful princes could assert their power independently over the city, as did Mstislav the Bold in the early 13th century, Alexander Nevsky in the 1240s and 50s, his brother Iaroslav in the 1260s and 70s, and others. According to a remark in the chronicles, Novgorod had the right, after 1196, to pick their prince of their own free will, but again, the evidence indicates that even after that, princes were chosen and dismissed only about half the time, and Novgorod often chose the most powerful prince in Rus' as their prince. That usually meant that the prince in Kiev, Vladimir or Moscow (who retained the title Grand Prince of Vladimir from about the 1320s onward, although there were several interruptions), either took the title himself or appointed his son or other relative to be prince of Novgorod. At times other princes, from Tver, Lithuania, and elsewhere, also vied for the Novgorodian throne. Thus Novgorod did not really choose its prince, but considering the political climate, they often very prudently went with the most senior or most powerful prince in the land if he did not impose himself (or his candidate) upon them. What was different about Novgorod, then, was not so much that Novgorod could freely choose its princes - it really couldn't. Rather, what was unique was that no princely dynasty managed to establish itself within the city and take permanent control over the city. Rather, while other Rus' cities had established dynasties, the more powerful princes vied for control of Novgorod the Great, a most-desirable city to control given the vast wealth (from trade in furs) that flowed into the city in the medieval period.. In the absence of firmer princely control the local elites, the boyars, took control of the city and the offices of posadnik and tysyatsky became elective. The veche (public assembly) played a not insignificant role in public life, although the precise makeup of the veche and its powers is uncertain and still contested among historians. The posadnik, tysiatsky, and even the local bishop or archbishop (after 1165) were elected at the veche, and it is said the veche invited and dismissed the prince as well.

Grand Princes of Novgorodr

Vadim the Bold (legendary)

Gostomysl (legendary)

Riurik

Oleg

Igor, 913–944

Olga, fl. 955–957

Sviatoslav Igorevich, 941–969

Vladimir the Great, 969–977

Iaropolk Sviatoslavich, 977–979

Vladimir the Great (again), 979–988

Viacheslav Vladimirovich, 988–1010

Iaroslav the Wise, 1010–1034

Vladimir Iaroslavich, 1034–1052

Iziaslav Iaroslavich, 1052–1054

Mstislav Iziaslavich, 1055–1067

Gleb Sviatoslavich, 1055–1067

Gleb Sviatoslavich, 1069–1073

Gleb Sviatoslavich, 1077–1078

Sviatopolk Iziaslavich, 1078–1088

Mstislav Vladimirovich ("the Great"), 1088–1094

Davyd Sviatoslavich, 1094–1095

Mstislav Vladimirovich (again), 1095–1117

Vsevolod Mstislavich, 1117–1132

Sviatopolk Mstislavich, 1132

Vsevolod Mstislavich (again), 1132–1136

Sviatoslav Ol'govich, 1136–1138

Sviatopolk Mstislavich (again), 1138

Rostislav Iurevich, 1138–1140

Sviatoslav Ol'govich (again), 1140–1141

Sviatoslav Vsevolodich, 1141

Rostislav Iurevich (again), 1141–1142

Sviatopolk Mstislavich, 1142–1148

Iaroslav Iziaslavich, 1148–1154

Rostislav Mstislavich, 1154

Davyd Rostislavich of Smolensk, 1154–1155

Mstislav Iurevich, 1155–1158

Sviatoslav Rostislavich of Smolensk, 1158–1160

Mstislav Rostislavich ("the Eyeless"), 1160–1161

Sviatoslav Rostislavich, 1161–1168

Roman Mstislavich, 1168–1170

Riurik Rostislavich, 1170–1171

Iuri Andreevich, 1171–1175

Sviatoslav Mstislavich, 1175–1176

Mstislav Rostislavich the Eyeless (again), 1177

Iaroslav Mstislavich, 1177

Mstislav Rostislavich "the Eyeless" (3rd time), 1177–1178

Iaropolk Rostislavich, 1178

Roman Rostislavich, 1178–1179

Mstislav Rostislavich ("the Bold"), 1179–1180

Vladimir Sviatoslavich, 1180–1181

Iaroslav Vladimirovich, 1182–1184

Mstislav-Boris Davydovich, 1184–1187

Iaroslav Vladimirovich (again), 1187–1196

Iaropolk Iaroslavich, 1197

Iaroslav Vladimirovich (3rd time), 1197–1199

Sviatoslav Vsevolodich, 1200–1205

Konstantin Vsevolodich, 1205–1207

Sviatoslav Vsevolodich (again), 1207–1210

Mstislav Mstislavich, 1210–1215

Iaroslav Vsevolodich, 1215–1216

Mstislav Mstislavich (again), 1216–1218

Sviatoslav Mstislavich, 1218–1219

Vsevolod Mstislavich, 1219–1221

Vsevolod Iurevich (Dmitry), 1221

Iaroslav Vsevolodich (again), 1221–1223

Vsevolod Iurevich (again), 1223–1224

Mikhail Vsevolodich, 1225

Iaroslav Vsevolodich (3rd time), 1224–1228

Fedor Iaroslavich, 1228–1229

Aleksandr Iaroslavich ("Nevsky"), 1228–1229

Mikhail Vsevolodich (again), 1229

Rostislav Mikhailovich, 1229–1230

Iaroslav Vsevolodich (4th time), 1230–1236

Aleksandr Iaroslavich (again), 1236–1240

Andrei Iaroslavich, 1241

Aleksandr Iaroslavich (3rd time), 1241–1252

Vasily Aleksandrovich, 1252–1255

Iaroslav Iaroslavich, 1255

Vasily Aleksandrovich (again), 1255–1258

Aleksandr Iaroslavich (4th time), 1258–1260

Dmitry Aleksandrovich, 1260–1263

Vasily Iaroslavich, 1264–1272

Dmitry Aleksandrovich (again), 1272–1273

Vasily Iaroslavich (again), 1273–1276

Dmitry Aleksandrovich (3rd time), 1276–1281

Andrei Aleksandrovich, 1281–1285

Dmitry Aleksandrovich (4th time), 1285–1292

Andrei Aleksandrovich (again), 1292–1304

Mikhail Iaroslavich, 1308–1314

Afanasii Daniilovich, 1314–1315

Mikhail Iaroslavich (again), 1315–1316

Afanasii Daniilovich, 1318–1322

Iurii Daniilovich, 1322–1325

Aleksandr Mikhailovich, 1325–1327

Ivan Daniilovich (Kalita, "the Money-bag"), 1328–1337

Semen Ivanovich, 1346–1353

Ivan Ivanovich, 1355–1359

Dmitry Konstantinovich, 1359–1363

Dmitry Ivanovich (Donskoi), 1363–1389

Lengvenis (Lugveny (Semen) Olgerdovich), 1389–1407

Vasily Dmitr'evich, 1408–1425

Vasily Vasil'evich, 1425–1462

Jonas Vladimiraitis of Lithuania, Duke of Bely (1444–1446)

Ivan Vasil'evich ("the Great"), 1462–1480

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