Mstyslav Mstyslavych

XII pageKyivan RusPrincely times Princes and Princesses

Mstyslav Mstyslavych the Daring (Mstyslav of Halych; baptismal name – Theodore, place of birth unknown, before 1176–1228, town of Torchesk) – Prince of Trypillia (1193–1194), Toropets (1208–1212?), Novgorod (1208–1214, 1216–1218), Halych (1219–1220, 1221–1226), and Torchesk (1207–1208, 1226–1228) from the Riurikid dynasty. Called the Daring for his military virtue.

Son of Novgorod Prince Mstyslav-Theodore Rostyslavych the Brave – (1178–1180, Torchesk), representative of the Smolensk branch of the Monomakh dynasty. As a grandson of Yaroslav Osmomysl, he had the prerogative right on the Halych legacy but was not able to control the boyars and became dependent on them. Mstyslav took part in Rus princes’ campaigns against the Polovtsians in 1193 and 1203. He conducted a number of successful campaigns against the Chudes and Livonian knights. Waged struggle with Vladimir-Suzdal Prince Vsevolod Yurievich the Big Nest and battered his troops in the Lipitsa River battle (the so-called battle of Lipitsa; 21–22.08.1216).

In 1219 boyars invited Mstyslav to rule the Halych lands. But soon the offensive of the united Polish-Hungarian armies forced him to leave Halych. Having concluded a military alliance with Prince of Volyn Danylo Romanovych (who was married to his daughter) and the Polovtsian Khan Koten, Mstyslav the Daring battered the Hungarian troops headed by Koloman near Halych on May 23, 1221 and returned to the Halych throne. He was the initiator of the Kyivan Rus princes’ campaigns against the Mongols in 1223, which ended with the crushing defeat of the Rus army on the River Kalka (30.05–01.06.1223). In this battle Mstyslav the Daring headed the advance guard of united princes’ troops.

In 1127 he gave his daughter Maria in marriage to the Hungarian crown prince Andrew, to whom he later transferred the entire power over the Halych lands. In 1226–1228 reigned in Torchesk.

In 1128 on his way from Torchesk to Kyiv Mstyslav fell ill and died, having managed to take the monastic vows according to the then custom of pious princes. According to a Polish historian, he was buried in Kyiv, in the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, built by him. The church did not survive to the present day and the location of Mstyslav’s grave is unknown.

Portrait (imaginary) of Mstyslav Mstyslavych the Daring