Vladimir II Monomakh Grand Prince Of Kiev
- Born: 1053, Kievan Rus'
- Marriage (1): Gytha Of England before 1066
- Marriage (2): Girl of Byzantium
- Died: 19 May 1125, Kievan Rus' at age 72
- Buried: St. Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine, Russia
Grand Duke of Kiev from 1113-1125. Eric & Evan Obrock's 29th great-grandfather.
Vladimir Monomakh; Christian name Vasiliy, or Basil) (1053 -- May 19, 1125) was undoubtedly the best loved Velikiy Kniaz of Kievan Rus. He was the son of Vsevolod I by an anonymous daughter of Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos, from whom he takes his nickname of Monomakh ("One who fights alone").
Through his maternal grandmother's family, Vladimir was apparently a descendant of Argyros and Skleros families of Byzantium, and thus could have traced his bloodline to several other emperors such as Romanus I and Leo V. These Greek connections played an important role in his foreign affairs.
In his famous Instruction to his own children, Monomakh mentions that he conducted 83 military campaigns and 19 times made peace with the Polovtsi. At first he waged war against the steppe jointly with his cousin Oleg of Chernigov, but after Vladimir was sent by his father to rule Chernigov and Oleg made peace with the Polovtsi to retake that city from him, they parted company. Since that time, Vladimir and Oleg were bitter enemies who would often engage in internecine wars. The enmity continued among their children and more distant posterity.
From 1094, his chief patrimony was the Southern town of Pereyaslav, although he also controlled Rostov, Suzdal, and other Northern provinces. In these lands he founded several towns, notably his namesake, Vladimir, the future capital of Russia. In order to unite Russian princes in their struggle against the Great Steppe, Vladimir initiated three princely congresses, the most important being held at Lyubech in 1097 and Dolobsk in 1103.
When Sviatopolk II died in 1113, the Kievan populace revolted and summoned Vladimir to the capital. The same year he entered Kiev to the great delight of crowd and reigned there until his death in 1125. As may be seen from his Instruction, he promulgated a number of reforms in order to allay the social tensions in the capital. These years saw the last flowering of Kievan Rus, which was torn apart 10 years after his death.
Vladimir was married three times: firstly to Gytha of Wessex, then to a Byzantine noblewoman and finally to a daughter of a Kipchak khan. By his first marriage he had Mstislav, his illustrious heir. Among the children by second wife were Yury Dolgoruky, the founder of Moscow, and two daughters: Eufemia, who married King Coloman of Hungary, and Maria, married to the Byzantine pretender who called himself Leon Diogenes. Vladimir's sister Praxedis became too well-known all over Europe for her divorce with Emperor Henry IV on the ground that he had attempted a black mass on her naked body.
Vladimir Monomakh is buried in the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev. Succeeding generations often referred to his reign as the golden age of that city. Numerous legends are connected with Monomakh's name, including the transfer from Constantinople to Rus of such precious relics as the Theotokos of Vladimir and the Muscovite crown called Monomakh's Cap.
Vladimir married Gytha Of England, daughter of King Harold II Godwinson of England and Edith "Swan-Neck", before 1066. (Gytha Of England was born about 7 May 1055 in England.)
Vladimir next married Girl of Byzantium. (Girl of Byzantium was born about 1070.)