Saturday, April 21, 2018

Ryazan (duchy)

Part of the Grand Duchy of Moscovy, the Duchy of Ryazan is a well-watered plain surrounding the lower Oka River basin. A series of forts have been established in the south and east of the duchy, defending it and Moskva from attacks by orcish Tatars from the Jagatai Empire, east of Tambov (not shown on map).

The duchy covers an area of 42 hexes, with a density of 2,341 persons per hex. It is bordered on the south by Tambov; on the west by Tula and Moskva; on the north by Vladimir; and on the east by Nizhne-Novgorod and the Queendom of Harnia (Harn & Seraphina). It has a population of 98,309.


Ancient Mrawin of the gnomish Vepses Empire, Ryazan was first plundered and then conquered by Varangians in the 9th and 10th centuries. Peace was made with the gnomes of Harnia after the Battle of Garl River in 1050. Relations soon improved; the border surrounding Harnia has remained unchanged for more than 500 years.

The town of Pereslavl was originally founded in 1095 as a ford across the Oka River, exploiting trade between Vladimir in the north and Kiyev to the south. The old town of Ryazan was located 55 miles down river from Pereslavl, near the fork of the Oka and the Tyrnitsa. The region surrounding Ryazan became a principality, one that would threaten Vladimir's power throughout the 12th century. Vladimir and Ryazan would war throughout the century, during which time - in an effort to control trade across the Oka - Ryazan would be burnt several times. The duchy would also fight off an attack by a Cuman invasion in the 1250s.

The town of Ryazan would be thoroughly devastated by the Mongols in 1237 (the telling of which would become a famous legend told by bards throughout Moscovy), causing the inhabitants to move upstream and settle in Pereslavl, which would become the new capital and be renamed Pereslavl-Ryazan.

The Grand Prince of Ryazan, Oleg, would fight with the Mongols against Moskva and Vladimir in 1380. This would lead to considerable suppression of the region, particularly by Ivan I, who would execute hundreds of nobles and their families and reorganize the principality as a duchy under the direct authority of Moskva. Thereafter, Ryazan history follows that of the grand duchy.



The river port of Pereslavl-Ryazan serves as a ferry point and seasonal ford between Vladimir and northern Russia and Voronezh. River traffic transports goods between Kolomna in the Moskva duchy and Nizhne-Novgorod downsteam.

References for local goods produced in Ryazan are as follows:

See sheet maps C 04 ~ Upper Volga and D 04 ~ Don & Volga Rivers.


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