Dobrodia (Eupraxia-Irene) Mstyslavna

XII pageKyivan RusPrincely times Kings and Queens

Dobrodia (Eupraxia-Irene) Mstyslavna (? – after 1142) – daughter of Mstyslav Volodymyrovych, Grand Prince of Kyiv, and Swedish Princess Christina, granddaughter of Grand Prince Volodymyr Monomach, first woman doctor in the history of Rus-Ukraine.

Dobrodia (Eupraxia in Greek, baptised Zoe) since her young years studied medicine and mastered methods of phytotherapy. Author of the manuscript “The Ointments” (Alimma), the first medical work written by the hand of the Princess of Kyivan Rus (now in the Medici Library, Florence). The treatise is based on the information in scientific manuscripts of the time and her own observations. It has no advices connected with superstitions and prejudices widespread in medical practice in the 12 th century.

In 1122 she was married, probably, to Alexios (? – 28.11.1142), son and co-regent of Byzantine Emperor John II Komnenos, and after the marriage and coronation got the name of Irene.

This dynastic marriage strengthened the restoration of peace and union of Rus and Byzantium. The marriage gave birth to Maria (1129). Most likely, Eupraxia left the Byzantine court after the death of her husband and remained to live in Constantinople. Her further fate is unknown.

Portrait (imaginary) of Dobrodia-Eupraxia Mstyslavna.

By O. Yerofeeva. Oil on canvas. 90×70. 2008