Forgotten History: A Rus' Princess Ruling Poland
- Created: March 30, 2018
A medieval Rus’ princess travels west to start her new life as the bride of a Polish king, bringing westward, too, her natal Eastern Christianity that is increasingly at odds with the Western Church. One year after bearing her firstborn son, she suddenly finds herself widowed in this foreign land, her husband murdered. To protect her son’s right to the throne against the treacherous schemes of the child’s uncle, she acts as the young king’s regent and then unofficial advisor. Together with her son, she issues dozens of charters, influences economic matters, constructs a church, and carries out a wide range of political duties during a decisive time in Ukraine’s historical development.
This is the story of Gremislava Ingvarovna, the 13th century Rus’ princess who is at the center of Dr. Talia Zajac’s ongoing research. Zajac, a Eugene and Daymel Shklar Research Fellow at HURI, earned her PhD at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. She’s currently working on a project titled, “Forgotten Female Rulers of Medieval Europe: Reconstructing the Reigns of Ten Early Rus’ Queens, Noblewomen, and Princesses, 1000-1250.”