Vseslav "the Sorcerer" of Kiev

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Vseslav Bryachislavich of Polotsk, I

Russian: Всеслав Брячиславич Рюрикович, I
Also Known As: "Всеслав Брячиславич Вещий", "Wsjeslaw of Polozk the Sorcerer"
Birthplace: Polatsk, Vitebsk Province, Belarus
Death: Died in Polatsk, Vitebsk Province, Belarus
Place of Burial: Polotsk, Russia
Immediate Family:

Son of Bryachislav Iziaslavich Rurikid, Prince of Polatsk and N1010 wife of Bryachislav Iziaslavich
Husband of N1030 wife of Vseslav Briachislavich, of Polatsk
Father of David iš Polotsko Riurikų; Rogvolod Boris of Polozk; Sviatoslav Prince of Vitebsk; Глеб (Gleb) Всеславич; Rotislav Vseslavich Georgi of Polozki and 2 others

Occupation: Grossfürst v Kiew 1068, Fürst v Polock und Witebsk 1044/67, Fürst v Tmutarakan (Taman) um 1069, Grand Prince of Kiev 1068, Pr of Polotsk (1044-69)+(1071-1101), Gr Pr of Kiev (IX.1068-IV.1069), князь полоцкий (1044-1101), Storfurste i Kiev
Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:

About Vseslav "the Sorcerer" of Kiev

Vseslav of Polotsk (Vseslav Bryachislavich, Belarusian: Усяслаў Брачыславіч , Усяслаў Чарадзей; Russian: Всеслав Полоцкий; Ukrainian: Всеслав Полоцький; also known as Vseslav the Sorcerer, also known as the Werewolf.

Born: 1030 Died: 1101

Father: Bryachislav Iziaslavich Mother: Unknown Spouse: Unknown Issue: David Vseslavich Roman Vseslavich Gleb Vseslavich Boris Vseslavich Rogvolod Vseslavich Sviatoslav Vseslavich Rostislav Vseslavich


VSESLAV Briacheslavich "the Werewolf", son of BRYACHESLAV Iziaslavich Prince of Polotsk and Vitersk & his wife --- (1030-14 Apr 1101). The Primary Chronicle names Vseslav son of Bryacheslav, recording that he was born with a caul over his head. He succeeded in 1044 as Prince of Polotsk and Vitersk. He attacked Novgorod in 1066/67, but was defeated by the brothers Iziaslav, Sviatoslav and Vsevolod at the river Nemega 3 Mar 1067. A truce was concluded 10 Jun 1067, but Vseslav was arrested, and imprisoned by Iziaslav and lost Polotsk. He was released in Kiev by a mob dissatisfied with Prince Iziaslav for refusing to attack the Kuman [Cumans] and proclaimed VSESLAV Grand Prince of Kiev in Sep 1068, forcing Iziaslav to flee to Poland. He was deposed in Kiev Apr 1069 when Iziaslav reclaimed the throne with the military help of Bolesław II King of Poland, and fled back to Polotsk. Prince of Tmutorokan [Taman] [1069]. He expelled Sviatopolk Iziaslavich from Polotsk 1071, installing himself once more as Prince of Polotsk. m ---. The name of Vseslav´s wife is not known. Prince Vseslav & his wife had seven children, David, Roman, Gleb, Boris, Rogvolod, Sviatoslav, and Rostislav.


Vseslav was the most famous ruler of Polotsk. Saint Sophia Cathedral of that city (1066) is probably the most enduring monument in Belarus, which remained after his 57-years reign.

Vseslav was the son of Briachislav Iziaslavich, Prince of Polotsk and Vitebsk, and was thus the great-grandson of Vladimir I of Kiev and Rogneda of Polotsk.

Upon his ascension to the throne of Polotsk in 1044, Vseslav was the senior member of the Rurik Dynasty. Unable to secure the capital, which was held by Yaroslav's three sons, Vseslav started pillaging neighbouring areas of Kievan Rus. In 1067 he laid siege to Pskov but was thrown back. A year later he pillaged and burnt Novgorod. After that he was defeated by the Yaroslavichi on the Niamiha river and treacherously captured during the peace talks.

During the Kievan rebellion of 1068, the crowd delivered him from prison, and the veche made him a grand duke. Feeling that his throne was insecure, Vseslav escaped to Polotsk just 7 months later. After several years of complicated struggle with Iziaslav of Kiev, Vseslav finally secured Polotsk in 1071. During the last 30 years of his reign, his chief enemies were Vsevolod Yaroslavich and his son Vladimir Monomakh.

His Family

Vseslav died in 1101. He had seven sons: Roman, Prince of Polotsk; Gleb, Prince of Minsk; Boris, Prince of Polotsk; Rogvolod, Prince of Polotsk; David, Prince of Polotsk, Sviatoslav, Prince of Vitebsk; and Rostislav.

Like other Polotsk sovereigns, Vseslav had a great reputation for sorcery and witchcraft. He was rumored to have been conceived by sorcery and to possess magical powers. In modern Belarusian he is known as Usiasłaŭ the Sorcerer. Some people considered him a werewolf, as may be seen from the following lines of The Tale of Igor's Campaign:

In the seventh age of Troyan, Vseslav cast lots for the damsel he wooed. By subterfuge, propping himself upon mounted troops, he vaulted toward the city of Kiev and touched with the staff of his lance the Kievan golden throne. Like a fierce beast he leapt away from them at midnight, out of the white town, having enveloped himself in a blue mist.

Then at morn, he drove in his battle axes, opened the gates of Novgorod, shattered the glory of Yaroslav, and loped like a wolf to the Nemiga from Dudutki. On the Nemiga the spread sheaves are heads, the flails that thresh are of steel, lives are laid out on the threshing floor, souls are winnowed from bodies. Nemiga's gory banks are not sowed goodly - sown with the bones of Russia's sons.

Vseslav the prince judged men; as prince, he ruled towns; but at night he prowled in the guise of a wolf. From Kiev, prowling, he reached, before the cocks crew, Tmutorokan. The path of Great Sun, as a wolf, prowling, he crossed. For him in Polotsk they rang for matins early at St. Sophia the bells; but he heard the ringing in Kiev.

Although, indeed, he had a vatic soul in a doughty body, he often suffered calamities. Of him vatic Boyan once said, with sense, in the tag: "Neither the guileful nor the skillful, neither bird nor bard, can escape God's judgment.


VSESLAV Iziaslavich (-[1002/03]). He succeeded his father in 1001 as Prince of Polotsk. The Primary Chronicle records the death of Vseslav son of Izyaslav and grandson of Vladimir in [1002/03


Izyaslav, inherited Polotsk from his mother - Pr of Polotzk (988-1001), *ca 980, +1001; He had issue:

  • A1. Vseslav, Pr of Polotzk (1001-03), +1003
  • A2. Bryachislav, Pr of Polotzk (1003-44), Pr of Vitebsk (1021-44), *ca 997, +1044; m.N ("a witch")
    • B1. Vseslav "the Sorcerer", Pr of Polotsk (1044-69)+(1071-1101), Gr Pr of Kiev (IX.1068-IV.1069), *ca 1030, +14.4.1101, bur St.Sophia Cathedral, Polotsk
      • C1. Roman, Pr of Polotzk (1101-16), +1116
      • C2. Gleb, 1st Pr of Minsk (1101-19), Pr of Polotsk (1116-19), +in prison Kiev 1119; m.1090 Anastasia of Turov and Lutsk (*1074, +I.1158)
        • D1-D4
      • C3. Boris, Pr of Polotsk (1119-27), Pr of Drutsk (1101-19), +1127/28
        • D1-D3
      • C4. Rogvolod, Pr of Polotsk (1127-28), +1128
        • D1-D3
      • C5. Davyd, Pr of Polotsk (1128-29), imprisoned with his nephews by Mstislav I and sent to Constantinople in 1129
        • D1-D2
      • C6. Sviatoslav, Pr of Vitebsk (1101-29); m.Sofia of Kiev
        • D1-D4
      • C7. Rostislav, fl 1140
        • D1...


Vseslav "The Sorcerer" Grand Prince of Kiev (1068-1069)

Born: Abt 1030 Marriage: Unknown Died: 14 Apr 1101 about age 71 Buried: St Sophia Cathedral, Polotsk

Family Links


  • Unknown


  1. Sviatoslav Prince of Vitebsk (1101-29)+
  2. Gleb OF MINSK 1st Prince of Minsk+

О Всеслав Брячиславич (русский)

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Vseslav "the Sorcerer" of Kiev's Timeline

Polatsk, Vitebsk Province, Belarus
Age 18
Polozki, Russia
Age 28
Polozki, Russia
Age 35
Age 39
Nowadays Minsk, Minsk Province, Belarus
Age 41
Polozki, Russia
Age 42
Polatsk, Polatsk District, Vitebsk Region, Belarus
Age 43
Polozki, Russia
April 14, 1101
Age 72
Polatsk, Vitebsk Province, Belarus