Saturday, April 21, 2018

Brinyu (principality)

A semi-autonomous part of the Grand Duchy of Moscovy, the Principality of Brinyu is located at the extreme southwest of Russia, surrounded on three sides by enemies. Settlement is located in the upper valley of the Desna River, an important communications and military route into the steppelands of the Dneiper valley. Devastated by war, the region is economically unimportant except for the immediate environs of Brinyu and Bezhitsa.

The principality has a total area of 36 hexes, with a density of 3,108 persons per hex. It is bordered on the south by Kursk and the Kingdom of Zaporozhia (Severia); on the southwest, west and northwest by the Kingdom of Poland (Polissya, Gomiy, Mogilev & Smolensk); and on the east by Kaluga and Orel. It has a population of 111,880.


Inhabited by Slavic tribes since ancient times, the Desna valley fell under the authority of Kiyev in the late 10th century. Nominal independence from Kiyev was obtained in 1146 when a principality declared and the town of Brinyu was built, drawing together several pre-existing villages. The principality was transferred to Vladimirian authority in the late 12th century, prior to the occupation of the whole region by the Mongols in the 1240s. At that time the Mongols included the principality under the authority of Czernihow as the vassalship of Severia.

When Mikhail of Czernihow was murdered by the Mongols, the Severian capital was moved to Brinyu, greatly increasing settlement in the area and transforming the town into an important city. Bezhitsa would be founded as an important guild center in 1372, rapidly growing into a city itself. By that point, after 1353, Severia would fall under the control of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, whereupon the princes of Brinyu would once again be recognized.

The 15th century would see a series of struggles between Lithuania and the Crimean Tatars, with Severia, Polissya and Brinyu being the principal battleground. For Brinyu this ended with the Grand Duchy of Moscovy defeated the Lithuanians at the Battle of Vedrosha River in 1503, ending the second Russian-Lithuanian war. Brinyu was turned into a fortress, but this would not keep it from being temporarily transferred to Poland in 1618 following the Treaty of Deulino. It would be returned to Russia after Michael Romanov's war with Poland in 1634.



The market of Brinyu is little more than a way-point for goods transferred from road to barges on the Desna river bound from Moscovy for Czernihow in Poland and Kiyev.

References for local goods produced in Brinyu are as follows:

See sheet maps C 03 ~ Lithuania & Poland and D 04 - Don & Volga Rivers.


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