Citizens referred to their city-state as His Majesty Lord Novgorod the Great, or more often as Lord Novgorod the Great. The Republic prospered as the easternmost port of the Hanseatic League, in the middle of the 9th century Novgorod was only a name used to describe a staging post on the trade route from the Baltic Sea to the Byzantine Empire. It was populated by various Finnic and Slavic tribes that were constantly at war with one another for supremacy. However, these tribes came together during the beginning of the 9th century to try, Novgorod functioned as the original capital of the Rus people until 882 when Oleg transferred his administration to Kiev. From that time until 1019-1020 Novgorod was a part of Kievan Rus, Novgorod Princes were appointed by the Grand Prince of Kiev. Novgorod was sort of a center as by legend it was the first city of Rus. Novgorod still possesses relics of the beliefs that preceded Christianity and are now part of their pre-Christian Pagan/Norse/Slavic history.
Novgorod continuously played a key role in the politics of Rus by assisting Vladimir the Great of Kiev, one of his first actions as Grand Prince was to grant loyal Novgorodians numerous freedoms and privileges. Thus the foundation for the Novgorod Republic was laid, while still a part of Kievan Rus, Novgorod eventually evolved into a powerful regional center that was largely independent. The Novgorod boyars began to dominate the offices of posadnik and tysyatsky, in 1136, the Novgorodians dismissed Prince Vsevolod Mstislavich and over the next century and a half were able to invite in and dismiss a number of princes. However, these invitations or dismissals were often based on who the dominant prince in Rus or Appanage Russia was at the time, cities such as Staraya Russa, Staraya Ladoga and Oreshek were part of the Novgorodian Land. According to some accounts, a vicar of the archbishop ran the city of Staraya Ladoga in the 13th century, the city of Pskov, initially part of the Novgorodian Land, had de facto independence from at least the 13th century after joining the Hanseatic League.
Several princes such as Dovmont and Vsevolod Mstislavich reigned in Pskov without any deference to or consultation with the prince or other officials in Novgorod, pskovs independence was acknowledged by the Treaty of Bolotovo in 1348. Even after this, the Archbishop of Novgorod headed the church in Pskov and kept the title Archbishop of Novgorod the Great, in the 12th–15th century, the Novgorodian Republic expanded east and northeast. The Novgorodians explored the areas around Lake Onega, along the Northern Dvina, in the beginning of the 14th century the Novgorodians explored the Arctic Ocean, the Barents Sea, the Kara Sea, and the West-Siberian river Ob. The Ugric tribes that inhabited the Northern Urals had to pay tribute to Novgorod the Great, losing them meant economic and cultural decline for the city and its inhabitants. Indeed, the failure of the Novgorodians to win these wars led to the downfall of the Republic. Soviet-era Marxist scholarship frequently described the system of Novgorod as a feudal republic
Daumantas of Pskov
Daumantas or Dovmont, was a Lithuanian princeling best remembered as a military leader of the Principality of Pskov between 1266 and 1299. During his term in office, Pskov became de facto independent from Novgorod and he is venerated as a saint in the Orthodox Church with his feast day observed on May 20. Until 1265, Daumantas was Duke of Nalšia, a province of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Mindaugas and Daumantas wives were sisters, in spite of the family relationship, Daumantas chose to ally himself with Mindaugas nephew Treniota, who was Duke of Samogitia. Treniota had been increasing his personal power within the kingdom as he tried to spark an all-Balts rebellion against the Teutonic Knights. In 1263, Daumantas assassinated Mindaugas and two of his sons and it has been suggested that he acted in collusion with Treniota. As a result, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania relapsed into paganism for another one hundred, some Russian chronicles say that Daumantas motive for the murder was to further his power and get revenge, after Queen Mortas death c.
1262, Mindaugas took Daumantas wife for himself, when Mindaugas dispatched a large army towards Bryansk, Daumantas participated in the expedition, but suddenly returned and killed Mindaugas and two of his sons. According to the Bychowiec Chronicle, Daumantas received the title, Duke of Utena, when Vaišelga, the eldest son of Mindaugas, entered into an alliance with Shvarn of Halych-Volhynia in 1264, he was able to take revenge for his fathers death by killing Treniota. Daumantas and his followers fled to Pskov, after arriving in Pskov, Dovmont was baptized into Eastern Orthodoxy, assumed the Christian name Timotheus and married a daughter of Dmitry of Pereslavl, son of Alexander Nevsky. He led Pskovian armies against Lithuanians and defeated them on the bank of the Western Dvina, proceeded to devastate the land of Duke Gerdenis, and captured his two sons and wife. Dovmonts daring spirit, his ways, and the success of his military enterprise persuaded the Pskovians to elect him as their knyaz.
Dovmonts election was never sanctioned by the Novgorod Republic, which had controlled the Pskovian affairs. Dovmont was again in command and returned to Pskov in triumph, in the next year the Pskovian-Novgorodian alliance was cemented by the invasion of the Livonian Order. The Pskovians, led by Dovmont, joined their forces with the Novgorodians, led by Yaroslav and Alexander Nevskys son Dmitry, and inflicted a crushing defeat on the knights in the Battle of Rakvere. The following year Grand Master of the Order, Otto von Lutterberg, laid siege to Pskov, the knights sought peace at any cost and their attacks on Pskov and Novgorod ceased for thirty years. In 1270, Yaroslav again attempted to interfere into Pskovian affairs, the Pskovians stood up for Dovmont, forcing Yaroslav to abandon his plans. In order to strengthen his position, Dovmont married Dmitrys daughter, in 1282, when his father-in-law was ousted from Vladimir to Koporye, Dovmont made a sally into Ladoga, where he captured Dmitrys treasury from the Novgorodians and transported it to Koporye
It is situated on the M10 federal highway connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg. The city lies along the Volkhov River just downstream from its outflow from Lake Ilmen, UNESCO recognized Novgorod as a World Heritage Site in 1992. At its peak during the 14th century, the city was the capital of the Novgorod Republic, the Charter of Veliky Novgorod recognizes 859 as the year when the city was first mentioned. Archaeological dating is fairly easy and accurate to within 15–25 years, as the streets were paved with wood, and most of the houses made of wood, allowing tree ring dating. The Varangian name of the city Holmgård/Holmgard is mentioned in Norse Sagas as existing at a yet earlier stage, Holmgård referred only to the stronghold southeast of the present-day city, Rurikovo Gorodische. First mention of this Nordic or Germanic etymology to the name of the city of Novgorod occurs in the 10th-century policy manual De Administrando Imperio by Byzantine emperor Constantine VII, in 882, Ruriks successor, Oleg of Novgorod, conquered Kiev and founded the state of Kievan Rus.
Novgorods size as well as its political and cultural influence made it the second most important city in Kievan Rus, according to a custom, the elder son and heir of the ruling Kievan monarch was sent to rule Novgorod even as a minor. When the ruling monarch had no son, Novgorod was governed by posadniks, such as the legendary Gostomysl, Konstantin. Of all their princes, Novgorodians most cherished the memory of Yaroslav the Wise and his son, sponsored construction of the great St. Sophia Cathedral, more accurately translated as the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom, which stands to this day. In Norse sagas the city is mentioned as the capital of Gardariki, four Viking kings—Olaf I of Norway, Olaf II of Norway, Magnus I of Norway, and Harald Hardrada—sought refuge in Novgorod from enemies at home. No more than a few decades after the 1030 death and subsequent canonization of Olaf II of Norway, the town of Visby in Gotland functioned as the leading trading center in the Baltic before the Hansa League.
At Novgorod in 1080, Visby merchants established a trading post which they named Gutagard, later, in the first half of the 13th century, merchants from northern Germany established their own trading station in Novgorod, known as Peterhof. At about the time, in 1229, German merchants at Novgorod were granted certain privileges. In 1136, the Novgorodians dismissed their prince Vsevolod Mstislavich, the year is seen as the traditional beginning of the Novgorod Republic. One of the most important local figures in Novgorod was the posadnik, or mayor, the tysyatsky, or thousandman, originally the head of the town militia but a commercial and judicial official, was elected by the Veche. Another important local official was the Archbishop of Novgorod who shared power with the boyars, archbishops were elected by the Veche or by the drawing of lots, and after their election, were sent to the metropolitan for consecration. While a basic outline of the officials and the Veche can be drawn up. The boyars and the archbishop ruled the city together, although where one officials power ended, throughout the Middle Ages, the city thrived culturally
Pskov is a city and the administrative center of Pskov Oblast, located about 20 kilometers east from the Estonian border, on the Velikaya River. Pskov is one of the oldest cities in Russia, the name of the city, originally spelled Pleskov, may be loosely translated as of purling waters. Its earliest mention comes in 903, which records that Igor of Kiev married a local lady, Pskovians sometimes take this year as the citys foundation date, and in 2003 a great jubilee took place to celebrate Pskovs 1, 100th anniversary. The first prince of Pskov was Vladimir the Greats youngest son Sudislav, once imprisoned by his brother Yaroslav, he was not released until the latters death several decades later. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the town adhered politically to the Novgorod Republic, in 1241, it was taken by the Teutonic Knights, but Alexander Nevsky recaptured it several months during a legendary campaign dramatized in Sergei Eisensteins 1938 movie Alexander Nevsky. Having fortified the town, Daumantas routed the Teutonic Knights at Rakvere and his remains and sword are preserved in the local kremlin, and the core of the citadel, erected by him, still bears the name of Dovmonts town.
By the 14th century, the town functioned as the capital of a de facto sovereign republic and its most powerful force was the merchants who brought the town into the Hanseatic League. Pskovs independence was recognized by Novgorod in 1348. Several years later, the veche promulgated a law code, which was one of the sources of the all-Russian law code issued in 1497. For Russia, the Pskov Republic was a bridge towards Europe, for Europe, the importance of the city made it the subject of numerous sieges throughout its history. The Pskov Krom withstood twenty-six sieges in the 15th century alone, at one point, five stone walls ringed it, making the city practically impregnable. A local school of icon-painting flourished, and the masons were considered the best in Russia. Many peculiar features of Russian architecture were first introduced in Pskov, finally, in 1510, the city fell to Muscovite forces. The deportation of families to Moscow is a subject of Rimsky-Korsakovs opera Pskovityanka. As the second largest city of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, most famously, it withstood a prolonged siege by a 50, 000-strong Polish army during the final stage of the Livonian War.
The king of Poland Stephen Báthory undertook some thirty-one attacks to storm the city, even after one of the city walls was broken, the Pskovians managed to fill the gap and repel the attack. Its amazing how the city reminds me of Paris, wrote one of the Frenchmen present at Báthorys siege, as a consequence, the citys importance and well-being declined dramatically, although it has served as a seat of separate Pskov Governorate since 1777. During World War I, Pskov became the center of much activity behind the lines, Pskov was occupied by the Estonian army between 25 May 1919 and 28 August 1919 during the Estonian War of Independence when Bułak-Bałachowicz became the military administrator of Pskov
Vsevolod of Pskov
Vsevolod Mstislavich, the patron saint of the city of Pskov, ruled as Prince of Novgorod in 1117–32, Prince of Pereslavl and Prince of Pskov in 1137–38. The eldest son of Mstislav the Great and Christina Ingesdotter of Sweden, Vsevolod was born in Novgorod during his fathers reign as prince there and given the baptismal name Gabriel and his maternal grandfather was King Inge the Elder of Sweden. The date of his birth is unknown, although the idea has been advanced that the event was commemorated by the Annunciation Church in the Marketplace and he was married to a Chernigovian princess in Novgorod in 1123 and his son, was born there. In 1123, Vsevolod led the Novgorodians against the Chud and these campaigns continued in 1130 and over the next several years. Aside from Vladimir Yaroslavich, Vsevolod was the first Novgorodian prince known to have been in conflict with Finns, following his fathers death in 1132, support for him began to erode in Novgorod. That same year, he was sent by his uncle, Grand Prince Yaropolk, to Pereslavl, when he tried to return to Novgorod that year, the Novgorodians refused to accept him back because they considered his move to Pereslavl as a betrayal.
That being said, the chronicles indicate that he was leading a Novgorodian army in 1133. It was during that campaign that Vsevolod captured the city of Yuryev, on 28 May 1136, he was confined in the Archbishops courtyard in the Detinets along with his wife and family, guarded by thirty men so as not to escape. In mid-July he was allowed to leave, going to his uncle in Kiev, the following year, he tried to come back to Novgorod at the head of an army but withdrew instead to Pskov, where he died in February 1138. According to his own wishes, he was buried in the Church of St. Demetrius in Pskov, Vsevolods dismissal from Novgorod has traditionally been seen as the end of Kievan power in the north and the beginning of the Republic of Novgorod. After him a number of princes were invited in or dismissed over the two centuries, although only a few, like Aleksandr Nevsky, could assert themselves in the city for a prolonged period. It was Vsevolod who granted the charter to Ivans Hundred, the first Russian merchant guild, in addition, the Cathedral of St.
Nicholas in Yaroslavs Court, while often attributed to his father Mstislav, was mostly built during Vsevolods tenure in Novgorod. Vsevolods comparatively early death prevented him from claiming the Kievan throne and he was survived by a daughter, Wierzchosława, the wife of Bolesław IV the Curly. The prince was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church as Vsevolod-Gavriil, in the Stepennaya Kniga, he is listed as a Pskov Wonderworker. His relics were moved from the Church of St. Demetrius to the Trinity Cathedral in the Pskov Kremlin in 1193