Vsevolod the Big Nest

Last updated
Vsevolod III Yuryevich
Vsevolod III the Big Nest.jpg
Vsevolod III the Big Nest
Died1212 (aged 57 or 58)
Spouse Maria Shvarnovna
Liubov Vasilkovna
Konstantin of Rostov
Yuri II of Vladimir
Yaroslav II of Vladimir
Sviatoslav III of Vladimir
House Rurik Dynasty
Father Yuri Dolgoruky

Vsevolod III Yuryevich, or Vsevolod the Big Nest (Russian : Все́волод III Ю́рьевич Большо́е Гнездо́Vsévolod Trétij Júr'jevich Bol'shóje Gnezdó) (1154–1212), was the Grand Prince of Vladimir during whose long reign (1177–1212) the city reached the zenith of its glory.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Vladimir, Russia City in Vladimir Oblast, Russia

Vladimir is a city and the administrative center of Vladimir Oblast, Russia, located on the Klyazma River, 200 kilometers (120 mi) to the east of Moscow. It is served by a railway and the M7 motorway. Its population is 345,373 (2010 Census); 315,954 (2002 Census); 349,702 (1989 Census). Vladimir has a notable significance in Russian history, as it served as the country's capital city in the 12th-13th centuries.


Vsevolod's Christian name was Dmitry, so he dedicated his palace church to St Demetrius, his patron saint. Russia-Vladimir-Cathedral of Demetrius-4.jpg
Vsevolod's Christian name was Dmitry, so he dedicated his palace church to St Demetrius, his patron saint.


Vsevolod was the tenth or eleventh son of Yuri Dolgoruky (c. 1099 – 1157), who founded the town Dmitrov to commemorate the site of Vsevolod's birth. Nikolai Karamzin (1766 – 1826) initiated the speculation identifying Vsevolod's mother Helene as a Greek princess, because after her husband's death she took Vsevolod with her to Constantinople.

Dmitrov Town in Moscow Oblast, Russia

Dmitrov is a town and the administrative center of Dmitrovsky District in Moscow Oblast, Russia, located 65 kilometers (40 mi) to the north of Moscow on the Yakhroma River and the Moscow Canal. Population: 61,305 (2010 Census); 62,219 (2002 Census); 65,237 (1989 Census).

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

Constantinople capital city of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, the Latin and the Ottoman Empire

Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire (1204–1261) and of the Ottoman Empire (1453–1923). In 1923 the capital of Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, was moved to Ankara and the name Constantinople was officially changed to Istanbul. The city is located in what is now the European side and the core of modern Istanbul. The city is still referred to as Constantinople in Greek-speaking sources.

Vsevolod spent his youth at the chivalric court of the Komnenoi. On his return from the Byzantine Empire to Rus' in 1170, Vsevolod supposedly visited Tbilisi, as a local chronicle records that that year the Georgian king entertained his nephew from Constantinople and married him to his relative, an Ossetian princess.

Byzantine Empire Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural and military force in Europe. "Byzantine Empire" is a term created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire, or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans".

Tbilisi capital city of Georgia

Tbilisi, in some countries also still known by its pre-1936 international designation Tiflis, is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Kura River with a population of approximately 1.5 million people. Founded in the 5th century AD by Vakhtang I of Iberia, since then Tbilisi served as the capital of various Georgian kingdoms and republics. Between 1801 and 1917, then part of the Russian Empire, Tbilisi was the seat of the Imperial Viceroy, governing both Southern and Northern Caucasus.

Georgia (country) Country in the Caucasus region

Georgia, known until 1995 as the Republic of Georgia, is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its 2017 population is about 3.718 million. Georgia is a unitary parliamentary republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.


In 1173 two Smolensk princes captured Kiev, captured Vsevolod and briefly installed him on the throne. Ransomed a year later, Vsevolod took his brother Mikhalko's side in his struggle against the powerful boyars of Rostov and Suzdal. Upon Mikhalko's death in 1176, Vsevolod succeeded him in Vladimir. He promptly subjugated the boyars and systematically raided the Volga peoples, notably Volga Bulgaria. He installed puppet rulers on the throne of Novgorod and married his daughters to princes of Chernigov and Kiev.

Smolensk City in Smolensk Oblast, Russia

Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River, 360 kilometers (220 mi) west-southwest of Moscow. Population: 326,861 (2010 Census); 325,137 (2002 Census); 341,483 (1989 Census).

Kiev Capital of Ukraine

Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine. It is located in the north-central part of the country along the Dnieper River. The population in July 2015 was 2,887,974, making Kiev the 7th most populous city in Europe.

Mikhail of Vladimir Grand Prince of Kiev

Mikhalko Yuryevich, Prince of Torchesk (mid-1160s–1173), Vladimir and Suzdal (1175–1176) and Grand Prince of Kiev (1171).

Vsevolod's icon shows his patron saint, St Demetrius, drawing a sword from a scabbard Saint Demetrios de Thessalonique.jpg
Vsevolod's icon shows his patron saint, St Demetrius, drawing a sword from a scabbard

Vsevolod showed little mercy to those who disobeyed his commands. In 1180 and 1187 he punished the princes of Ryazan by ousting them from their lands. In 1207 he burnt to the ground both Ryazan and Belgorod. His military fame spread quickly. The Tale of Igor's Campaign , thought to be written during Vsevolod's reign, addresses him thus: "Great prince Vsevolod! Don't you think of flying here from afar to safeguard the paternal golden throne of Kiev? For you can with your oars scatter in drops the Volga, and with your helmets scoop dry the Don."

Ryazan City in Ryazan Oblast, Russia

Ryazan is a city and the administrative center of Ryazan Oblast, Russia, located on the Oka River 196 kilometers (122 mi) southeast of Moscow. Population: 524,927 (2010 Census); 521,560 (2002 Census); 514,638 (1989 Census).

Belgorod Kievsky Ruined city-castle of Kievan Rus

Belgorod Kievsky was a legendary city-castle of Kievan Rus' that was located on the right bank of Irpin River and was mentioned in chronicles.

<i>The Tale of Igors Campaign</i>

The Tale of Igor's Campaign is an anonymous epic poem written in the Old East Slavic language. The title is occasionally translated as The Tale of the Campaign of Igor, The Song of Igor's Campaign, The Lay of Igor's Campaign, The Lay of the Host of Igor, and The Lay of the Warfare Waged by Igor.

But Kievan matters concerned Vsevolod little in the latter part of his reign. He concentrated on building up his own capital, Vladimir. His Ossetian wife, Maria Shvarnovna, who devoted herself to works of piety and founded several convents, was glorified by the Russian church as a saint. By her Vsevolod had no fewer than fourteen children, thus earning for himself the sobriquet Big Nest. Four of them, Konstantin, George, Yaroslav and Sviatoslav, succeeded him as Grand Dukes of Vladimir. He died on 12 April 1212 and was buried at the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir.

Ossetians ethnic group

The Ossetians or Ossetes are an Iranian ethnic group of the Caucasus Mountains, indigenous to the ethnolinguistic region known as Ossetia. They speak Ossetic, an Eastern Iranian (Alanic) language of the Indo-European language family, with most also fluent in Russian as a second language. The Ossetian language is neither closely related to nor mutually intelligible with any other language of the family today. Ossetic, a remnant of the Scytho-Sarmatian dialect group which was once spoken across the Pontic–Caspian Steppe, is one of the few Iranian languages inside Europe.

Maria Shvarnovna Rus noble

Maria Shvarnovna was the first wife of Vsevolod III Big Nest, and gave birth to at least 14 children. Four of her sons, Konstantin, George, Yaroslav and Sviatoslav, succeeded their father as Grand Princes of Vladimir, and Yaroslav went on to become Grand Prince of Kiev around the time of the Mongol Invasion. As Yaroslav's mother, she is thus the paternal grandmother of Alexander Nevsky, whose son, Daniel of Moscow, founded the Muscovite branch of the Rurikid Dynasty.

A sobriquet or soubriquet is a nickname, sometimes assumed, but often given by another and being descriptive in nature. Distinct from a pseudonym, it typically is a familiar name used in place of a real name without the need of explanation, often becoming more familiar than the original name.

Marriage and children

Vsevolod married first Maria, whose origins are disputed. She has been variously identified as Ossetian, Alan and Moravian. They had at least fourteen children:

Maria died in 1205 or 1206. Vsevolod married Liubov Vasilkovna in 1209. She was a daughter of Vasilko Bryacheslavich, Prince of Vitebsk. They had no known children.

Vsevolod the Big Nest
Born: 1154 Died: 1212
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Mikhalko Yuriyevich
Grand Prince of Vladimir-Suzdal
Succeeded by
Yuri II
Preceded by
Roman I
Grand Prince of Kiev
Succeeded by

Related Research Articles

Vsevolod I of Kiev Prince of all Rus

Vsevolod I Yaroslavich, ruled as Grand Prince of Kiev from 1078 until his death.

Yuri II of Vladimir Grand prince of vladimir

Yuri II, also known as George II of Vladimir or Georgy II Vsevolodovich, was the fourth Grand Prince of Vladimir who presided over Vladimir-Suzdal at the time of the Mongol invasion of Rus'.

Yaroslav II of Vladimir Grand Prince of Vladimir

Yaroslav II, Christian name Theodor (Феодо́р) was the Grand Prince of Vladimir (1238–1246) who helped to restore his country and capital after the Mongol invasion of Russia.

Vsevolod IV Svyatoslavich the Red was a Rus' prince. His baptismal name was Daniil. He was grand prince of Kiev ; he was also prince of Chernigov (1204–1206/1208) and of Belgorod (1205).

Michael of Chernigov Grand Prince of Kiev

Saint Michael of Chernigov or Mikhail Vsevolodovich was a Rus' prince. He was grand prince of Kiev ; and he was also prince of Pereyaslavl (1206), of Novgorod-Seversk (1219–1226), of Chernigov, of Novgorod, and of Halych (1235–1236).

Mstislav Mstislavich Prince of Novgorod, Galich and Torchesk

Mstislav Mstislavich the Daring was one of the most popular and active princes of Kievan Rus' in the decades preceding the Mongol invasion of Rus'. He was the maternal grandfather of Prince Alexander Nevsky, Prince of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kiev and Grand Prince of Vladimir. He also was the maternal grandfather of prince Leo of Galicia, who became Grand Prince of Kiev.

Roman the Great Ruthenian prince

Roman Mstislavich, known as Roman the Great was a Rus’ prince, Grand Prince of Kiev.

Rostislav Mikhailovich Duke of Macsó, from after 1247 until 1262

Rostislav Mikhailovich was a Rus' prince, and a dignitary in the Kingdom of Hungary.

The Grand Duchy of Ryazan existed from 1078 when it was separated from the Chernigov Principality as the provincial Murom Principality.

Principality of Kiev former Ruthenian state in the regions of central Ukraine around the city of Kiev

The inner Principality of Kiev was a medieval East Slavic state, situated in central regions of modern Ukraine around the city of Kiev. It was formed during the process of political fragmentation of the Kievan Rus' in the early 12th century. As a result of that process, effective rule of Grand Princes of Kiev was gradually reduced to central regions of Kievan Rus', thus forming a reduced princely domain, known as the inner Principality of Kiev. It existed as a polity until the middle of the 14th century.

Mstislav II Svyatoslavich was a Rus' prince. His baptismal name was Panteleymon. He was probably prince of Kozelsk (1194–1223), of Novgorod-Seversk (1206–1219), and of Chernigov (1215/1220–1223). He was killed in the Battle of the Kalka River.

Gleb Svyatoslavich was a Rus' prince. His baptismal name was Pakhomy. He was prince of Kaniv, of Belgorod (1205–1206), and of Chernigov (1206/1208–1215/1220). He helped to pay for the Church of St. Paraskeva Pyatnitsa in Chernigov.

Oleg III Svyatoslavich was a Rus' prince. His baptismal name was Feodosy. He was prince of Vshchizh, of Novgorod-Seversk (1200–1201), and of Chernigov (1201/1202–1204).

Yaroslav II Vsevolodovich was a Rus’ prince. He was prince of Ropesk, of Starodub (1166–1176), and of Chernigov (1176–1198). When he became a monk before his death, he took the name Vasily.

Vladimir III Svyatoslavich was a Rus' prince. His baptismal name was Boris. He was prince of Gomiy (1164-?), of Novgorod, of Karachev (1194–?), and probably of Novgorod-Seversk (1198–1200).

Yaropolk III Yaroslavich was a Rus' prince. He was prince of Novgorod (1197).

Rostislav Yaroslavich was a Rus' prince. His baptismal name was Ivan. He was prince of Snovsk.

Vladimir II Yaroslavich was a Rus’ prince. He was prince of Halych.