Yaroslavna Euphrosyne

Kyivan RusPrincely times Princes and Princesses

Euphrosyne Yaroslavnа (dates of birth and death unknown) – daughter of Prince Yaroslav Osmomysl of Halych, wife of Ihor Sviatoslavych, Prince of Putyvl, Kursk, Novhorod-Siversky, and later Chernihiv.

Yaroslav Osmomysl (Eight-Minded, called so in recognition of his wisdom and knowledge of eight foreign languages) had three daughters. In the interests of the state he married one of them to a Polish Prince, the second to the King of Hungary, and the third – Euphrosyne – to Prince Ihor of Novhorod-Siversky. Beautiful and wise princess reigned with her husband in the city of Novhorod-Siversky for 10 years.

On April 23, 1185, Prince Ihor Sviatoslavych took the field against the Polovtsians, as is described in The Tale of Ihor’s Host. The warning and imploration of his wife Euphrosyne, who had a foreboding of disaster, did not stop him. Ihor’s host was defeated and he was wounded and taken captive. The Polovtsians devastated the lands of Prince Ihor as well as the lands of princes dependent on him. Yaroslavna left Novhorod-Siversky for Putyvl, where on the city wall she grieved for her husband.

The Lament of Yaroslavna, the most poetic part of The Tale, is a narrative of her anguish for her husband, her fidelity and love, which like a guardian protects in misfortune, rescues from death, and works miracles. Thanks to prayers of his devoted wife, Prince Ihor managed to escape from captivity and recover his lands and towns.

Portrait (imaginary) of Euphrosyne Yaroslavna.

By T. Turdieva. Oil on canvas. 90×70. 2008