Thursday, October 6, 2011

Statue of Yaroslav the Wise

Yaroslav I the Wise

Yaroslav I the Wise (East Slavic: Ярослав Мудрый; Old Norse: Jarizleifr Ukranian: Ярослав Мудрий , c. 978 - February 20, 1054) was thrice Grand Prince of Novgorod and Kiev, uniting the two principalities for a time under his rule. During his lengthy reign, Rus' reached the zenith of its cultural flowering and military power.

The early years of Yaroslav's life are shrouded in mystery. He was one of the numerous sons of Vladimir the Great, presumably his second by Rogneda of Polotsk, although his actual age (as stated in the Primary Chronicle and corroborated by the examination of his skeleton in the 1930s) would place him among the youngest children of Volodymyr. It has been suggested that he was a child begotten out of wedlock after Volodymyr's divorce from Rogneda and marriage to Anna Porphyrogeneta, or even that he was a child of Anna Porphyrogeneta herself. Yaroslav figures prominently in the Norse Sagas under the name of Jarisleif the Lame; his legendary lameness (probably resulting from an arrow wound) was corroborated by the scientists who examined his remains.

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