Monday, September 19, 2011
Russia - Statue Of Yaroslav the Wise
Statue of Yaroslav the Wise in the city of Yaroslav.
Sent by Evgeny, a postcrosser from Yaroslav, Russia.
This is from Wikipedia : Yaroslav I, Grand Prince of Rus', known as Yaroslav the Wise (Old East Slavic and Russian: Ярослав Мудрый; Old Norse: Jarizleifr; Ukrainian: Ярослав Мудрий, (c. 978 – February 20, 1054) was thrice Grand Prince of Novgorod and Kiev, uniting the two principalities for a time under his rule.
A son of the Varangian (Viking) Grand Prince Vladimir the Great, he was vice-regent of Novgorod at the time of his father’s death in 1015. Subsequently, his eldest surviving brother, Svyatopolk the Accursed, killed three of his other brothers and seized power in Kiev. Yaroslav, with the active support of the Novgorodians and the help of Varangian mercenaries, defeated Svyatopolk and became the grand prince of Kiev in 1019. Under Yaroslav the codification of legal customs and princely enactments was begun, and this work served as the basis for a law code called the Russkaya Pravda ("Russian Justice"). During his lengthy reign, Rus' reached the zenith of its cultural flowering and military power.
The early years of Yaroslav's life are shrouded in mystery. He was one of the numerous sons of Vladimir the Great, presumably his second by Rogneda of Polotsk, although his actual age (as stated in the Primary Chronicle and corroborated by the examination of his skeleton in the 1930s) would place him among the youngest children of Volodymyr. It has been suggested that he was a child begotten out of wedlock after Volodymyr's divorce from Rogneda and marriage to Anna Porphyrogeneta, or even that he was a child of Anna Porphyrogeneta herself. Yaroslav figures prominently in the Norse Sagas under the name of Jarisleif the Lame; his legendary lameness (probably resulting from an arrow wound) was corroborated by the scientists who examined his remains. In his youth, Yaroslav was sent by his father to rule the northern lands around Rostov but was transferred to Novgorod, as befitted a senior heir to the throne, in 1010. While living there, he founded the town of Yaroslavl (literally, "Yaroslav's") on the Volga. His relations with his father were apparently strained, and grew only worse on the news that Volodymyr bequeathed the Kievan throne to his younger son, Boris. In 1014 Yaroslav refused to pay tribute to Kiev and only Volodymyr's death prevented a war.
During the next four years Yaroslav waged a complicated and bloody war for Kiev against his half-brother Sviatopolk, who was supported by his father-in-law, Duke Bolesław I Chrobry of Poland. During the course of this struggle, several other brothers (Boris, Gleb, and Svyatoslav) were brutally murdered. The Primary Chronicle accused Svyatopolk of planning those murders, while the Saga of Eymund is often interpreted as recounting the story of Boris's assassination by the Varangians in the service of Yaroslav.
Yaroslav defeated Svyatopolk in their first battle, in 1016, and Svyatopolk fled to Poland. But Svyatopolk returned with Polish troops furnished by his father-in-law, seized Kiev and pushed Yaroslav back into Novgorod. Yaroslav at last prevailed over Svyatopolk, and in 1019 firmly established his rule over Kiev. One of his first actions as a grand prince was to confer on the loyal Novgorodians (who had helped him to gain the Kievan throne), numerous freedoms and privileges. Thus, the foundation of the Novgorodian republic was laid. For their part, the Novgorodians respected Yaroslav more than they did other Kievan princes; and the princely residence in their city, next to the marketplace (and where the veche often convened) was named Yaroslavovo Dvorishche ("Yaroslav's Court") after him. It probably was during this period that Yaroslav promulgated the first code of laws in the East Slavic lands, "Yaroslav's Justice" (now better known as Ruskaia Pravda, "Rus Truth [Law]").