Saturday, April 14, 2018

Kiyev (grand principality)

A remnant of the great Varangian principality that ruled the Dneiper Basin and Eastern Poland from the 9th to the 13th centuries, now reduced to an independent entity strongly aligned with the Kingdom of Poland. The principality also shares an unhappy alliance with the Kingdom of Zaporozhia and the Sanjak of Cumana, as its southern border is under constant threat from Turkish raiders and possible invasion.

The principality covers a total area of 43.8 hexes, with a density of 3,959 persons per hex. It is bordered on the south by the Ottoman Empire (Bessarabia, Vassia & Lakany); on the west and north by the Kingdom of Poland (Bratslaw, Zytomierz, Gomiy & Polissya); and on the east by the Kingdom of Zaporozhia (Dnieper Bank & Ltava). It has a population of 173,388.


Following the settlements in this region by the Scythians and the Goths, the region was overrun in the 6th century by Avars that originated upon the western shore of the Caspian Sea. The 7th and 8th centuries saw a growth in Slavic migration into the region from the south, who in turn sought trade opportunities with Gothic Tribes in the north. A permanent trade was established with the penetration of the Varangians (Vikings) who moved inland from the Baltic Sea along the Numunas, Southern Dvina and Volkhov rivers.

By the middle of the 9th century, the Varangians interbred with Slavic tribes in the area while their culture spread southward, strengthening trading posts along the water routes, promoting a prosperous exchange of goods between the Baltic and Black seas. Kiyev would be founded in 852 at the fork of the Desna and Dneiper rivers, giving it considerable access to the interior. By the 870s the outpost would already be under nominal rulership by Varanians (notably Askold and Dir). In 879, the Varangian Oleg (879-912) would officially establish Kiyev as part of Novgorod.

Kiyev would rapidly expand in population and commercial influence over the next forty years, effectively ignoring Novgorodian suzerainty. Both Varangians and Slavs began to think of themselves as 'Russians' (from Rus, the Varangian tribe that produced Rurik of Novgorod and Oleg I of Kiyev), while the city of Kiyev became the 'Mother of Russian Cities.' Igor (912-945) would successfully defend the city and its surrounding environs against Bulgars, Khazars and Byzantines - Constantinople in particular sought to control the steppes. Throughout the 10th century, Pechenegs (orcs) from the east would threaten Kiyev's authority. Olga (945-963) followed Igor as regent for the young Sviatoslav.

However, Kiyev was getting stronger. An attack was led by Russians against Constantinople in 960, greatly expanding Kiyevan influence to the mouth of the Danube. This also led to the dispatch of missionaries from Constantinople to convert Kiyev to Byzantine Orthodoxy. Sviatoslav (963-972) permitted the establishment of an Orthodox bishopric in Kiyev.

During his short reign, Sviatoslav expanded Kiyev into the largest state in Europe. Following his abrupt death by ambush by Pechenegs in 972, Kiyev fell to his three sons, who turned upon each other. Vladimir (980-1015) was successful in murdering off his brothers - thereafter he strengthened Kiyevan power along the Dneiper and Southern Dvina rivers. He accepted Orthodoxy for himself and his reign was marked by the establishment of Byzantine institutions and culture, eradicating the region's pagan origins.

Yaroslav the Wise (1019-1054), one of 12 sons, emerged triumphant after four years of fratricidal strive. Yaroslav crushed the Pechenegs in 1036, regained Galicia from the Poles and fought a last indecisive war with Constantinople. In his reign originated the Russkaya Pravda, the first Russian code of law (based on Byzantine models). This brought order and unity into Russian legal and political institutions. Yaroslav was the leading monarch of his epoch, having married a Swedish royal princess and later marrying his daughters to kings of France, Hungary and Norway. Three of his sons also married German princesses and a fourth son became part of the Byzantine court.

To regulate the succession that would follow his own death, Yaroslav instituted a remarkable rotation system, the succession being vested in the oldest male in the entire family, members of which ruled over six different regions according to age and importance, in a sort of aristocrated federacy of cities in which there were popular assemblies. A council of boyars advised the grand prince.

This system, revolving about Kiyev as a pivot and based on the river trade (known as the Great Waterway), lasted about a century. Grand Prince Vladimir Monomakh (1113-1125) was the last effective ruler. Kiyev, meanwhile, would find themselves in a continuous war against invading Cumans (orcs, related to the Pechenegs) from the late 11th and through the 12th centuries.

Andrew Bogolyubsky (1157-1175) would abandon Kiyev for Vladimir in the upper Volga Basin, not far from the future site of Moskva. His reign would become a critical factor in the establishment of the Moscovy Grand Duchy.

Meanwhile, Kiyev would follow Constantinople into decline with the destruction of that city in 1204 by the plunder of the 4th Crusade. The Mongol-Tatar invasion of 1223 would be followed by the Mongol sack of Kiyev in 1240. Kiyev would become subject to Tatar overlords for the rest of the century.

In the early 1320, a Lithuanian army led by Gediminas would conquer the city; however, the Tatars would then reimpose their authority, forcing the Lithuanian prince to pay tribute to the Golden Horde. In 1362, however, efforts to establish freedom from the Tatars resulted in a war that continue until 1482, when Kiyev would again be destroyed by the Crimean Khan, Menli Giray.

This resulted in a period of decline, in which the fortunes of Kiyev were dismissed for a time. The remaining Lithuanian Dukes sought for a charter establishing their nominal independence from the Lithuanian state - this was granted in 1516. After the Union of Lublin in 1569, which produced the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the independence was confirmed and since that time the Grand Principality of Kiyev has existed as client state of the Polish crown.

On Christmas Day, 1648, just two years ago, Kiyev was plundered by Zaporozhian cossacks under the leadership of the Zaporozhian king, Khmel. This was to force Kiyev to recognize the rights of Zaporozhians to their lands and to compel the Kingdom of Poland to cease hostilities also. Negotiations in February 1649 surrendered the Dneiper Bank to the Zaporozhians and has since brought the Zaporozhia into a weak coalition (along with the Sanjak of Cumana) against the Grand Duchy of Moscovy.



There are two market cities within the principality, Kiyev and Tscherkassy.

The majority of Kiyev's trade is dependent upon its being a river port upon the Dneiper, serving as a meeting point between goods coming south from the Baltic Sea and north from the Black City. Through several connections and tributaries of the Dneiper, Kiyev trades with both the eastern frontiers of Moscovy and the central and western parts of Poland. Some trade is shared through the Podolian group of hills to the west, through Zytomierz and Berditschew. Trade from the south comes through Tscherkassy.

References for local goods in Kiyev are as follows:

Tscherkassy is a gathering and transshipment point for goods moving upstream and downstream along the Dneiper River and for the southern principality. The economy is more dependent upon raw goods.

References for local goods in Tscherkassy are as follows:

See sheet map D 03 ~ Danube Mouth.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome; however, the content on this blog is not purposed for critical evaluation. Comments are strictly limited to errors in text, need for clarification, suggested additions, link fails and other technical errors, personal accounts of how the rule as written applied in their campaign and useful suggestions for other rules pages.

All other comments will be deleted.