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Agnes of Poland

Agnes of Poland

Grand Princess of Kiev
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Grand Princess of Kiev
Gender female
Mother: Salomea of Berg
Father: Bolesław III Wrymouth
Siblings: Henry of SandomierzBolesław IV the CurlyCasimir II the JustMieszko III the OldWładysław II the ExileRicheza of PolandQueen of SwedenJudith of PolandDobroniega of Poland
Spouse: Mstislav II of Kiev
Children: Roman the GreatVsevolod Mstislavich of Volhynia
The details

Agnes of Poland (Polish: Agnieszka Bolesławówna, Russian: Агнешка Болеславовна; b. 1137 - d. aft. 1182), was a Polish princess member of the House of Piast and by marriage Princess of Pereyaslavl and Volynia and Grand Princess of Kiev since 1168.
She was the daughter of Bolesław III Wrymouth, Duke of Poland, by his second wife Salomea, daughter of Henry, Count of Berg.


Early years

Agnes was the penultimate child and youngest daughter of her parents. The date of birth is known thanks to Ortlieb, benedictine monk of Zwiefalten who visited the court of Dowager Duchess Salomea in Łęczyca between 1140 and early 1141; in his reports, he mentioned that Agnes was three years old. As in 1138 Salomea gave birth the future Casimir II the Just, Agnes was born a year earlier.

She was probably named after the wife of his half-brother Władysław II, Agnes of Babenberg, even though it's unwillingness to Salomea of Berg. It's also possible that she was named after his father's half-sister Agnes, Abbess of Gandersheim and Quedlinburg.

In 1141 Salomea of Berg organized a meeting in Łęczyca, where his eldest sons (Bolesław IV and Mieszko III), and the lords had to decide, among other things, the future of Agnes. They had two options: sent her to the Benedictine monastery in Zwiefalten (where her older sister Gertruda was already a nun) or married her with one of the ruling princes of that time. Eventually it was decided the alliance with Kievan Rus', and thus gain an ally against Władysław II. According to the majority of historians, the chosen groom was Prince Mstislav Iziaslavich. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that ten years later he married Agnes. The second view as a candidate for the hand of Agnes was one of the sons of the Grand Prince of Kiev, Vsevolod II Olgovich. Soon after, he reject the proposal of the Junior Dukes and their mother and choose the alliance with Władysław II, reinforced in 1142 when his eldest son Bolesław married with Vsevolod II's daughter Zvenislava.

Władysław II wasn't invited to the Łęczyca meeting, despite the fact that, as the High Duke, he had the final voice on Agnes' engagement. In retaliation for this omission, in the winter of 1142-1143 he supported Kievan military actions against Salomea and her sons. The first clash between the brothers was a complete success by the High Duke.


Probably between the end of 1149 and 1151, Agnes married with Prince Mstislav Iziaslavich of Pereyaslavl, eldest son of Grand Prince Iziaslav II of Kiev. The Chronicler Wincenty Kadłubek, who knew the Piast-Rurikids affinities, explicitly described in his Chronica Poloniae that Agnes was given to Mstislav as wife. Further confirmation of this fact where: Mstislav's eldest son was called nephew of Casimir II the Just, and the relationship existing between Roman the Great and Leszek the White is described as cousins in the second degree. In addition, Roman is named jątrwią (wife's brother), of Leszek in the Hypatian Codex. Therefore, is Mstislav had to marry with any of Bolesław III's daughters, the only one who could marry was Agnes.

During her marriage, Agnes bore her husband three sons: Roman the Great, Vsevolod and Vladimir. Mstislav's firstborn son, Sviatoslav, is considered by the majority of historians an illegitimate child.

After Grand Prince Iziaslav II's death, Mstislav lost his Principality of Pereyaslavl (1155) and took refuge with his wife in Poland. However, the next year he was able to return and conquer Lutzk (during 1155-1157) and Volynia (during 1157-1170). In May 1168, after the death of Rostislav Mstislavich, Mstislav became in the Grand Prince of Kiev and Agnes in the Grand Princess consort.

However, Mstislav II's reign was short-lived: in December 1169 a great coalition of Rurikid princes led by Prince Andrei I Bogolyubsky of Vladimir-Suzdal and his son Mstislav was created against him. Unable to defend Kiev, Mstislav II fled to Volynia, leaving his family at the mercy of his enemies. Two months later (February 1170), Mstislav II was able to recover Kiev thanks to the citizenship, who favored his rule; but in April of that year he was again expelled from Kiev, this time for good. The deposed Grand Prince retired to his domains in Volynia, where he died on 19 August 1170.

Death and aftermath

The last mention of Agnes as a living person comes from the Chronica Poloniae of Wincenty Kadłubek. Sviatoslav, Prince of Brest, was exiled by his half-brothers as a result of the allegations that he was illegitimate. Then Casimir II the Just invaded Brest and restored him in his domains. The Chronicle of the Chapter of Kraków informs about an expedition of Casimir II into Kievan Rus' in 1182.

Agnes' later fate is unknown. It is also unknown where she died or where she was buried.

From her three sons, only the eldest, Roman the Great and Vsevolod of Bielsk left descendants. Vsevolod's bloodline apparently ended with his four grandchildren, although it seems that one of them, Roman, was the direct ancestor of the Princely House of Drutskoy-Sokolinsky, which became extant in the 19th century.

Roman the Great, Agnes' eldest son, reunited almost all the paternal heritage and in 1203 he conquered Kiev and became the Grand Prince, but two years later he was killed in battle, leaving two minor sons. The eldest of these sons, Daniel, conquered Kiev in 1239 and was named King of Galicia in 1253. Vasylko, Daniel's younger brother, succeeded him in Galicia in 1260 and his bloodline ended with his two children. Daniel's descendants maintained rule over Galicia until 1349, when Poland absorbed the Kingdom. Apparently his bloodline ended with his great-great-granddaughter Euphemia, wife of Liubartas of Lithuania.


The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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