Igor Svyatoslavich bigraphy, stories - Prince of Putivl and later Prince of Novgorod-Seversk and Chernigov

Igor Svyatoslavich : biography

3 or 10 April 1151 - 1201 or 1202

Prince Igor Svyatoslavich the Brave ( ) (Novhorod-Siverskyi, April 3 / 10, 1151 – the spring of 1201 / December 29, 1202)A number of historians claim Igor died in 1202; he most probably died in the spring of 1201, because most chronicles place the news of his death as the first entry for the year; Dimnik, Martin op. cit p. 237. was a Rus’ prince (a member of the Rurik dynasty). His baptismal name was Yury.

Igor was prince of Putivl (1164–1180), of Novgorod-Seversk (1180–1198), and of Chernigov (1198–1201/1202).

Chronicle evidence reveals that he had an enviably successful military career; he led many campaigns against the Cumans from among which the chronicles report only one defeat. But it was his defeat at the river Kayala that has become immortalized through its literary rendering in “The Lay of Igor’s Campaign”, the most celebrated epic of Rus’. During his reign Novgorod Severskiy (today Novhorod-Siverskyi in Ukraine) enjoyed the status of the second most powerful town in the Chernihiv land. Basing their observations on archaeological evidence, a number of investigators proposed that Igor built the Cathedral of St. Savior in the Monastery of the Transfiguration outside of the town.Investigators point out that there is no trustworthy evidence for ascertaining the date on which the cathedral was built; Dimnik, Martin op. cit. p. 239. It has also been suggested that he founded the stone church in Putivl.

To judge from circumstantial evidence, Igor’s reign in Chernihiv (modern Ukraine) was uneventful. He continued the family chronicle that his father and brother had commissioned.


  • Dimnik, Martin: The Dynasty of Chernigov - 1146-1246; Cambridge University Press, 2003, Cambridge; ISBN 978-0-521-03981-9.
  • Jellinek, George: History through the Opera Glass: From the Rise of Caesar to the Fall of Napoleon; Proscenium Publishers Inc., 2000, New York; ISBN 0-87910-284-5.
  • Vernadsky, George: Kievan Russia; Yale University Press, 1948, New Haven and London; ISBN 0-300-01647-6.
  • Zenkovsky, Serge A.: Medieval Russia’s Epics, Chronicles and Tales; Penguin Group, 1974; ISBN 978-0-452-01086-4.

Category:1151 births Category:1200s deaths Category:Olgovichi family Category:Rulers of Kievan Rus' Category:Princes of Chernigov Category:Orthodox monarchs Category:The Tale of Igor's Campaign

In the arts

On his campaign against the Cumans, a heroic poem was written which is the peak of old Russian poetry. As a matter of fact, scholars still argue as to whether the Lay of Igor’s Campaign is written in verse or in rhythmic prose; in either case, it is poetry at its height and its language is racy and powerful. Besides rhythm, the poetic elements of the Lay comprise an extremely rich imagery constructed primarily on parallels with nature, symbolism, poetic address, and lyric lamentation.

In 1869, Vladimir Stasov, a major literary figure of 19th-century Russia, suggested to Alexander Borodin that an opera might be written on the subject of the Lay of Igor’s Campaign. Borodin began to write his Prince Igor but he left the opera unfinished at the time of his death nearly twenty years later. It fell to Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov to finish the orchestration and prepare Prince Igor for publication and performance in 1890.

Prince of Chernigov

On an unspecified date in 1198, prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovich died, and Igor succeeded him on the throne of Chernihiv. One of his first tasks was to renew the alliances that Yaroslav Vsevolodovich had concluded with Roman Mstislavich of Volodymyr-Volynskyi; he also endorsed the alliances Yaroslav Vsevolodovich had made with Vsevolod III Yuryevich of Vladimir and the Rostislavichi.

The same year, his brother-in-law, prince Vladimir Yaroslavich of Halych died, and his death created a political vacuum. Although, the Olgovichi could argue that their marriage ties with his dynasty gave them the right to rule Halych, however, Roman Msislavich was the quickest off the mark and he captured Halych.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine