Dmitri Donskoi

Dmitri Donskoi

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Saint Dmitry Ivanovich Donskoy , or Dmitry of the Don, sometimes referred to as Dmitry I (12 October 1350, Moscow – 19 May 1389, Moscow), son of Ivan II the Meek of Moscow (1326 – 1359), reigned as the Prince of Moscow
Grand Duchy of Moscow
The Grand Duchy of Moscow or Grand Principality of Moscow, also known in English simply as Muscovy , was a late medieval Rus' principality centered on Moscow, and the predecessor state of the early modern Tsardom of Russia....

 from 1359 and Grand Prince of Vladimir
Vladimir
Vladimir is a city and the administrative center of Vladimir Oblast, Russia, located on the Klyazma River, to the east of Moscow along the M7 motorway. Population:...

 from 1363 to his death. He was the first prince of Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 to openly challenge Mongol authority in Russia. His nickname, Donskoy (i.e., "of the Don
Don River (Russia)
The Don River is one of the major rivers of Russia. It rises in the town of Novomoskovsk 60 kilometres southeast from Tula, southeast of Moscow, and flows for a distance of about 1,950 kilometres to the Sea of Azov....

"), alludes to his great victory against the Tatars
Tatars
Tatars are a Turkic speaking ethnic group , numbering roughly 7 million.The majority of Tatars live in the Russian Federation, with a population of around 5.5 million, about 2 million of which in the republic of Tatarstan.Significant minority populations are found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,...

 in the Battle of Kulikovo
Battle of Kulikovo
The Battle of Kulikovo was a battle between Tatar Mamai and Muscovy Dmitriy and portrayed by Russian historiography as a stand-off between Russians and the Golden Horde. However, the political situation at the time was much more complicated and concerned the politics of the Northeastern Rus'...

 (1380) which took place on the Don River. He is venerated as a Saint in the Orthodox Church with his feast day on May 19
May 19 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
May 18 - Eastern Orthodox Church calendar - May 20All fixed commemorations below celebrated on June 1 by Old Calendarists-Saints:* Martyr Pudens, the senator * Virgin-Martyr Pudentiana , daughter of Saint Pudens the senator...

.

Early reign



Dmitry ascended the throne of Principality of Moscow
Grand Duchy of Moscow
The Grand Duchy of Moscow or Grand Principality of Moscow, also known in English simply as Muscovy , was a late medieval Rus' principality centered on Moscow, and the predecessor state of the early modern Tsardom of Russia....

 at the age of 9. During his minority, the government was actually run by Metropolitan Aleksey of Russia. In 1360 the highest dignity among Russian princes, that of Grand Prince of Vladimir
Vladimir
Vladimir is a city and the administrative center of Vladimir Oblast, Russia, located on the Klyazma River, to the east of Moscow along the M7 motorway. Population:...

, was transferred by a Khan
Khan (title)
Khan is an originally Altaic and subsequently Central Asian title for a sovereign or military ruler, widely used by medieval nomadic Turko-Mongol tribes living to the north of China. 'Khan' is also seen as a title in the Xianbei confederation for their chief between 283 and 289...

 of the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

 upon Dmitry Konstantinovich of Nizhniy Novgorod. In 1363, when that prince had been deposed, Dmitry Ivanovich was finally crowned at Vladimir. Three years later, he made peace with Dmitriy Konstantinovich and married his daughter Eudoxia. In 1376, their joined armies ravaged Volga Bulgaria
Volga Bulgaria
Volga Bulgaria, or Volga–Kama Bolghar, is a historic Bulgar state that existed between the seventh and thirteenth centuries around the confluence of the Volga and Kama rivers in what is now Russia.-Origin:...

.

The most important event during the early years of Dmitry's reign was construction of the first stone Moscow Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...

, completed in 1367. The new fortress allowed the city to withstand two sieges by Algirdas
Algirdas
Algirdas was a monarch of medieval Lithuania. Algirdas ruled the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from 1345 to 1377, which chiefly meant monarch of Lithuanians and Ruthenians...

 of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

, in 1368 and 1370. Attempt for the third siege in 1372 ended in Treaty of Lyubutsk
Treaty of Lyubutsk
Treaty of Lyubutsk was a peace treaty signed in summer of 1372 between Algirdas, Grand Duke of Lithuania, and Dmitri Donskoi, Prince of Moscow. The treaty resulted in a seven-year peace period....

. In 1375, Dmitry managed to settle his conflict with Mikhail II of Tver
Mikhail II of Tver
Mikhail Alexandrovich was Grand Prince of Tver and briefly held the title of Grand Prince of Vladimir. He was one of only two Tver princes after 1317 to hold the grand princely title, which was almost the exclusive purview of the Muscovite princes.Mikhail Alexandrovich was the third son of...

 over Vladimir
Vladimir
Vladimir is a city and the administrative center of Vladimir Oblast, Russia, located on the Klyazma River, to the east of Moscow along the M7 motorway. Population:...

 in his favour. Other princes of Northern Russia also acknowledged his authority and contributed their troops to his impending struggle against the Horde. By the end of his reign, Dmitry more than doubled territory of Moscow principality.

Struggle against Mamai



Dmitry's thirty-year reign saw the beginning of the end for Mongol domination of parts of what is now Russia. The Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

 was severely weakened by civil war and dynastic rivalries. Dmitry took advantage of this lapse in Mongol authority to openly challenge the Tatars.

While he kept the Khan's patent to collect taxes for all of Russia, Dmitry is also famous for leading the first Russian military victory over the Mongols. Mamai
Mamai
Mamai of Borjigin kin, was a powerful military commander of the Blue Horde in the 1370s which is now the Southern Ukrainian Steppes and the Crimean Peninsula....

, a Mongol general and claimant to the throne, tried to punish Dmitry for attempting to increase his power. In 1378 Mamai sent a Mongol army, but it was defeated by Dmitry's forces in the Battle of Vozha River Two years later Mamai personally led a large force against Moscow. Dmitry met and defeated it at the Battle of Kulikovo
Battle of Kulikovo
The Battle of Kulikovo was a battle between Tatar Mamai and Muscovy Dmitriy and portrayed by Russian historiography as a stand-off between Russians and the Golden Horde. However, the political situation at the time was much more complicated and concerned the politics of the Northeastern Rus'...

.

The defeated Mamai was presently dethroned by a rival Mongol general, Tokhtamysh
Tokhtamysh
Tokhtamysh was the prominent khan of the White Horde, who briefly unified the White Horde and Blue Horde subdivisions of the Golden Horde into a single state. He was a descendant of Genghis Khan's eldest grandson, Orda Khan or his brother Tuqa-Timur...

. That khan reasserted Mongol rule over parts of what now is Russia and overran Moscow for Dmitry's resistance to Mamai. Dimitry, however, pledged his loyalty to Tokhtamysh and to the Golden Horde and was reinstated as Mongol principal tax collector and Grand Duke of Vladimir. Upon his death in 1389, Dimitry was the first Grand Duke to bequeath his titles to his son Vasiliy
Vasili I of Russia
Vasiliy I Dmitriyevich was Grand Prince of Moscow from 1389.He was the oldest son of Dmitri Donskoi and Grand Princess Eudoxia, daughter of Grand Prince Dmitry Konstantinovich of Nizhny Novgorod.-Domestic policy:...

 without consulting the Khan.

Marriage and children


He was married to Eudoxia of Nizhniy Novgorod
Eudoxia of Moscow
Eudoxia Dmitriyevna —monastic name, Euphrosyne— was a Grand Duchess of Muscovy and wife of Dmitry Donskoy.-Family:Eudoxia Dmitriyevna was a daughter of Dmitry Konstantinovich, Grand Prince of Nizhny Novgorod and Vasilisa of Rostov....

. She was a daughter of Dmitry of Suzdal
Dmitry of Suzdal
Dmitri Konstantinovich of Suzdal was a powerful Prince of Suzdal and Nizhny Novgorod who dominated Russian politics during the minority of his son-in-law, Dmitri Donskoi...

 and Vasilisa of Rostov
Rostov
Rostov is a town in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, one of the oldest in the country and a tourist center of the Golden Ring. It is located on the shores of Lake Nero, northeast of Moscow. Population:...

. They had at least twelve children:
  • Daniil Dmitriyevich (c. 1370 – 15 September 1379).
  • Vasiliy I of Moscow (30 September 1371 – 27 February 1425).
  • Sofia Dmitriyevna. Married Fyodor Olegovich, Prince of Ryazan
    Ryazan Principality
    The Grand Duchy of Ryazan existed from 1078 when it was separated from the Chernigov Principality as the provincial Murom Principality.-Prior to the invasion of Batu Khan:...

     (reigned 1402–1427).
  • Yuriy Dmitriyevich
    Yury Dmitrievich
    Yury Dmitrievich , also known as George II of Moscow, Yury of Zvenigorod and Jurij Zwenihorodski, was the second son of Dmitri Donskoi. He was the Duke of Zvenigorod and Galich from 1389 until his death...

    , Duke of Zvenigorod
    Zvenigorod
    Zvenigorod is an old town in Moscow Oblast, Russia. Population: -History:The community has existed since the 12th century, although its first written mention is dated 1338. The town's name is based either on a personal name or on a hydronym Zvenigorod is an old town in Moscow Oblast, Russia....

     and Galich
    Galich, Russia
    Galich is a town in Kostroma Oblast, Russia, situated on the southern bank of Lake Galichskoye. It is also a minor railroad node of the Trans-Siberian railway. Population: -History:...

     (26 November 1374 – 5 June 1434). Claimed the throne of Moscow against his nephew Vasiliy II of Moscow.
  • Maria Dmitriyevna (d. 15 May 1399). Married Lengvenis
    Lengvenis
    Lengvenis was one of the sons of Algirdas, Grand Duke of Lithuania, and the ruler of Great Novgorod Republic . He was known for his skills as a military leader....

    .
  • Anastasia Dmitriyevna. Married Ivan Vsevolodovich, Prince of Kholm
    Kholm
    Kholm is a town and the administrative center of Kholmsky District of Novgorod Oblast, Russia, situated at the confluence of the Lovat and Kunya Rivers, north of Toropets, southwest of Staraya Russa, and south of Veliky Novgorod. Population:...

    .
  • Simeon Dmitrievich (d. 11 September 1379).
  • Ivan Dmitriyevich (d. 1393).
  • Andrey Dmitriyevich, Prince of Mozhaysk
    Mozhaysk
    Mozhaysk is a town and the administrative center of Mozhaysky District of Moscow Oblast, Russia, located to the west from the Russian capital, on the historic road leading to Smolensk and then to Poland. Population:...

     (14 August 1382 – 9 July 1432).
  • Pyotr Dmitriyevich, Prince of Dmitrov
    Dmitrov
    Dmitrov is a town and the administrative center of Dmitrovsky District of Moscow Oblast, Russia, located to the north of Moscow on the Yakhroma River and the Moscow Canal. Population: -History:...

     (29 July 1385 – 10 August 1428).
  • Anna Dmitriyevna (born 8 January 1387). Married Yury Patrikiyevich. Her husband was a son of Patrikas
    Patrikas
    Patrikas Narimantaitis was a grandson of Gediminas who exchanged his lands in and near Starodub in Siveria for the Korela and Oreshek fortresses in the Novgorod Republic. He also founded the town of Yamburg in Ingria...

    , Prince of Starodub
    Starodub
    Starodub is a town and the administrative center of Starodubsky District of Bryansk Oblast, Russia. It is located on the Babinets River , southwest of Bryansk. Population: 16,000 .-History:...

     and his wife Helena. His paternal grandfather was Narimantas. The marriage solidified his role as a Boyar
    Boyar
    A boyar, or bolyar , was a member of the highest rank of the feudal Moscovian, Kievan Rus'ian, Bulgarian, Wallachian, and Moldavian aristocracies, second only to the ruling princes , from the 10th century through the 17th century....

     attached to Moscow.
  • Konstantin Dmitriyevich, Prince of Pskov
    Pskov Republic
    Pskov, known at various times as the Principality of Pskov or the Pskov Republic , was a medieval state on the south shore of Lake Pskov. The capital city, also named Pskov, was located at the southern end of the Peipus–Pskov Lake system at the southeast corner of Ugandi, about southwest of...

     (14 May/15 May 1389 – 1433).

See also

  • Rulers of Russia family tree
    Rulers of Russia family tree
    These images show family trees for the different royal houses that ruled Vladimir, Moscow and Russia from AD 1157 to 1917.-External links:*...

  • Dmitry Donskoy
    Dmitry Donskoy (opera)
    Dmitry Donskoy , also known as The Battle of Kulikovo was the first opera written by Anton Rubinstein. It was in 3 acts, with a libretto by Count Vladimir Sollogub and Vladimir Zotov, based on a drama by Dmitry Ozerov...

    , opera
    Opera
    Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

     by Anton Rubinstein
    Anton Rubinstein
    Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein was a Russian-Jewish pianist, composer and conductor. As a pianist he was regarded as a rival of Franz Liszt, and he ranks amongst the great keyboard virtuosos...

     (1852).

External links