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Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia

Old East Slavic: Королѣвство Русь
Vassal state of the Golden Horde (from 1246)


principality 1199, kingdom 1253–1349

Flag Coat of arms
The Galician–Volhynian Kingdom in the 13th–14th centuries
Capital Volodymyr-Volynsky, Halych, Lviv
Languages Old East Slavic
Religion Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Government Monarchy
Prince, later King
 •  1199–1205 Roman the Great
 •  1211—1264 Daniel of Galicia
 •  1293—1301 Lev I of Galicia
 •  1301—1308 Yuri I of Galicia
 •  1308—1323 Andrew of Galicia and
Lev II of Galicia
 •  1323—1340 Yuri II
 •  1340—1349 Lubart-Dmitry Giedyminowicz
Historical era Middle Ages
 •  Established principality 1199, kingdom 1253
 •  Disestablished 1349
Today part of  Ukraine

The Principality of Galicia–Volhynia,[1] or Kingdom of Ruthenia (Old Ruthenian Галицко-Волинскоє князство, Королѣвство Русь, Ukrainian: Галицько-Волинське князівство, Королівство Русі, Latin: Regnum Galiciae et Lodomeriae, Regnum Russiae), was a state in the regions of Galicia and Volhynia of present-day Ukraine that was formed after the conquest of Galicia by the Prince of Volhynia Roman the Great with the help of Leszek the White of Poland. Roman the Great united the principalities of Halych (Galicia) and Volhynia into a state that existed from 1199 to 1349. Along with Novgorod and Vladimir-Suzdal, it was one of the three most important powers to emerge from the collapse of Kievan Rus'.

After the enormous destruction wreaked by the Mongol invasion of Kievan Rus' in 1239–41, Prince Danylo Romanovych was forced to pledge allegiance to Batu Khan of the Golden Horde in 1246. He strove to rid his realm of the Mongol yoke, however, by a formal orientation to western Europe (coronation as a "Rex Rusiae" by a papal legate in 1253) and by attempting, unsuccessfully, to establish military alliances with other European rulers.[2] The Polish conquest of the kingdom in 1349 ended its vassalage to the Golden Horde.[3]

Western Galicia–Volhynia extended between the rivers San and Wieprz in what is now south-eastern Poland, while eastern territories covered the Pripet Marshes (now in Belarus) and upper Southern Bug in modern-day Ukraine. During its time, the kingdom was bordered by Black Rus', the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Principality of Turov-Pinsk, the Principality of Kiev, the Golden Horde, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Kingdom of Poland, the Principality of Moldova, and the Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights.


  • History 1
    • Tribal area 1.1
    • Rise and apogee 1.2
    • Decline and fall 1.3
    • End 1.4
  • Division 2
    • Temporary 2.1
  • Rulers 3
  • Historical Role 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Sources 7
  • Further reading 8
    • Cyrilic 8.1
    • Latin 8.2
  • External links 9
    • Ukrainian 9.1


Tribal area

In pre-Roman times the region was populated by various tribes, including the Lugii, Goths, and Vandals (which may correspond to the Przeworsk and Puchov cultures in archaeology). After the fall of the Roman Empire, the area was populated by West Slav people, identified with a group called Lendians. Around 833 the West Slavs became part of the Great Moravian state. Upon the invasion of the Hungarian tribes into the heart of the Great Moravian Empire around 899, the Lendians of the area found themselves under the influence of the Hungarian Empire. The whole area was inhabited by White Croats and called White Croatia; the capital of the Duchy was Stilsko. In 955 the area seems to have constituted part of the Bohemian State. Around 970 it was included in the Polish state. The area was mentioned in 981 (by Nestor), when Vladimir the Great of Kievan Rus' took over on his way into Poland. He founded the city of Vladimir (Volynski) and later Christianized the locals. The area returned to Poland in 1018 and in 1031 was retaken by Rus'.

The territory was settled by the East Slavs from the early middle ages and, in the 12th century, the Rurikid Principality of Halych was formed there by descendants of Vladimir. It merged at the end of the 12th century with the neighboring Principality of Volhynia into the principality of Galicia–Volhynia, which existed for a century and a half.

Rise and apogee

Saint Pantaleon Church, Shevchenkove, Halych Raion, 1194

Volhynia and Galicia had originally been two separate Rurikid principalities, assigned on a rotating basis to younger members of the Kievan dynasty. The line of Prince Roman the Great of Vladimir-in-Volhynia had held the principality of Volhynia, while the line of Yaroslav Osmomysl held the Principality of Halych (later adopted as Galicia). Galicia–Volhynia was created following the death in 1198[4] or 1199[5] (and without a recognized heir in the paternal line) of the last Prince of Galicia, Vladimir II Yaroslavich; Roman acquired the Principality of Galicia and united his lands into one state. Roman's successors would mostly use Halych (Galicia) as the designation of their combined kingdom. In Roman's time Galicia–Volhynia's principal cities were Halych and Volodymyr-in-Volhynia. In 1204 he captured Kiev. Roman was allied with Poland, signed a peace treaty with Hungary and developed diplomatic relations with the Byzantine Empire. At the height of his reign he briefly became the most powerful of the Rus' princes.[6] He married the niece of the Byzantine emperor Alexios III, for whom Galicia was the main military ally against the Cumans. The relation with Byzantium helped to stabilize Galicia's relations with the Rusian population of the Lower Dniester and the Lower Danube.[7]

In 1205 Roman turned against his Polish allies, leading to a conflict with Leszek the White and Konrad of Masovia. Roman was subsequently killed in the Battle of Zawichost (1205), and his dominion entered a period of rebellion and chaos. Thus weakened, Galicia–Volhynia became an arena of rivalry between Poland and Hungary. King Andrew II of Hungary styled himself rex Galiciæ et Lodomeriæ, Latin for "king of Galicia and Vladimir [in-Volhynia]", a title that later was adopted in the Habsburg Empire. In a compromise agreement made in 1214 between Hungary and Poland, the throne of Galicia–Volhynia was given to Andrew's son, Coloman of Lodomeria, who had married Leszek the White's daughter, Salomea.

Historical map of Kievan Rus', 1220-1240

In 1221,

  • )«Slovo o polku Ihorevim» ta joho dobaБорис Яценко, «Слово о полку Ігоревім» та його доба (
  • Волинська земля у складі Галицько-Волинського князівства (Volynśka zemľa u skladi Halyćko-Volynśkoho kńazivstva)
  • )Za ščo borolyśЗа що боролись (


  • . За ред. І. Підкови та Р. Шуста. — Київ: Генеза, 1993.Довідник з історії України
  • Галицько-волинські князі
  • . 2001, №48 (372)Дзеркало тижняІсаєвич Я. Князь і король Данило та його спадкоємці //
  • Карта Галицько-Волинського князівства
  • Володимир-Волинський у «Галереї мистецтв»

External links

  • Bielowski A. Halickowlodzimierskie księstwo. — Biblioteka Ossolińskich., t. 4.
  • Bielowski A. Królewstwo Galicji (o starem księstwie Halickiem). — Biblioteka Ossolińskich, 1860, t. 1
  • Gebhard L. A. Geschichte des Konigreiches Galizien, Lodomerien und Rotreussen. — Pest, 1778;
  • Engel J. Ch. Geschichte von Halitsch und Vlodimir. — Wien, 1792.
  • Harasiewicz M. Berichtigung der Umrisse zu einer Geschichte der Ruthenen. — Wien, 1835.
  • Harasiewicz M. Annales ecclesiae Ruthenae. — Leopoli, 1862.
  • Hoppe L A. Geschichte des Konigreiches Galizien und Lodomerien. — Wien, 1792.
  • Lewicki A. Ruthenische Teilfürstentümer. — In: Österreichische Monarchie im Wort und Bild Galizien. Wien, 1894.
  • Siarczyński F. Dzieje księstwa niegdyś Przemyślskiego. — Czasopism naukowy Biblioteki im. Ossolińskich, 1828, N 2/3;
  • Siarczyński F. Dzieje niegdyś księstwa Belzkiego i miasta Belza. — Czasopism naukowy Biblioteki im. Ossolińskich, 1829, N 2.
  • Stecki J. T. Wołyń pod względem statystycznym, historycznym i archeologicznym. — Lwów, 1864
  • Zubrzycki D. Rys do historii narodu ruskiego w Galicji i hierarchii cerkiewnej w temże królewstwie. — Lwów, 1837.
  • Zubrzycki D. Kronika miasta Lwowa. — Lwów, 1844.


  • Андрияшев А. М. Очерки истории Волынской земли до конца XIV ст. Киев, 1887.
  • Галицкий исторический сборник, 1854, вып. 2.
  • Греков Б. Д. Древнейшие судьбы славянства в Прикарпатских. областях // Вестник АН СССР. 1940. № 11-12.
  • Греков Б. Д. Крестьяне на Руси. — Москва,1952.
  • Иванов П. А., Исторические судьбы Волынской земли с древнейших времен до конца XIV века, Одесса, 1895.
  • . Київ, 1984.Галицько-волинське князівствоКрип'якевич І.
  • . — Львів, 2001. — С.154-165.Галичина та Волинь у добу СередньовіччяКоваленко В. Чернігів і Галич у ХІІ — ХІІІ ст. //
  • Котляр М. Ф. Данило Галицький. — Київ, 1979.
  • Материалы для истории и этнографии края. — Волынския губернския ведомости, 1854.
  • . — Москва, 1950Очерки по истории Галицко-ВольІнской РусиПашуто В. Т., .
  • Руссов С. Волынские записки сочинінные Степаном Руссовым в Житомире. — Санкт-Петербург, 1809.
  • . Киев, "Наукова думка", 1987.Земли Юго-Западной Руси в составе Великого княжества ЛитовскогоШабульдо Ф. М.


Further reading

  • Галицько-Волинський Літопис. Іпатіївський список
  • Галицько-Волинський Літопис. Іпатіївський список
  • Галицько-Волинський Літопис. Острозький (Хлєбниковський) список
  • Галицько-Волинський Літопис. Переклад Л.Махновця
  • Литовсько-білоруські літописи
  • Список городів руських дальніх і близьких
  • Ілюстрації з "Chronicon Pictum"
  • . Київ, 1984"Галицько-волинське князівствоПерелік джерел за "Крип'якевич І.
  • Болеслав-Юрий II, князь всей Малой Руси: Сборник материалов и исследований. — Санкт-Петербург, 1907.


  1. ^ It is also called Galich-Volhyn, Galicia–Volynia, Galicia–Volyn, and Galich–Volyn, Halych–Volhyn, Halych–Volhynia, or Galicia–Vladimir
  2. ^ Principality of Galicia-Volhynia.
  3. ^ a b Michael B. Zdan - The Dependence of Halych-Volyn' Rus' on the Golden Horde, The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 35, No. 85 (Jun., 1957), p. 522
  4. ^ Dimnik, Martin (2003). The Dynasty of Chernigov - 1146-1246. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. (Chronological table of events) xxviii.  
  5. ^ Charles Cawley (2008-05-19). "Russia, Rurikids – Chapter 3: Princes of Galich B. Princes of Galich 1144-1199". Medieval Lands. Foundation of Medieval Genealogy. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of Ukraine, Roman Mstyslavych
  7. ^ Alexander V. Maiorov, The Alliance between Byzantium and Rus’ Before the Conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204,Russian History, Volume 42, Issue 3, pages 272 – 303. Publication Year : 2015
  8. ^ a b c Vernadsky, George. (1970). The Mongols and Russia. A History of Russia, Vol. III. New Haven: Yale University Press pp. 144-149.
  9. ^ John Joseph Saunders. (2001). The history of the Mongol conquests. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, p101
  10. ^ a b "Daniel Romanovich". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 23 August 2007
  11. ^ Michael B. Zdan - The Dependence of Halych-Volyn' Rus' on the Golden Horde, The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 35, No. 85 (Jun., 1957), p. 521-522
  12. ^ a b c Jaroslaw Pelenski. In P. Potichnyj (ed.) (1992). Ukraine and Russia in their historical encounter. Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Instittue of Ukrainian Studies Press, University of Alberta. pp.8-15


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See also

Galicia–Volhynia also differed from the northern and eastern principalities of the former Kievan Rus' in terms of its relationship with its western neighbors. King Danylo was alternatively an ally or a rival with neighboring Slavic Poland and partially Slavic Hungary. According to historian Teutonic Knights, and the northeastern Rus' experience of the West was that of hostile crusaders rather than peers.[8]

In contrast to their consistent secular or political claims to the Kievan inheritance, Galicia's rulers were not concerned by religious succession. This differentiated them from their rivals in Vladimir-Suzdal, who sought to, and attained, control over the Kievan Church. Rather than contest Vladimir-Suzal's dominance of the Kievan Church, Galicia-Volhynia's rulers merely asked for and obtained a separate Church from Byzantium.[12]

[12] The Galician-Volhynian Chronicle reflected the political programme of the Romanovich dynasty ruling Galicia–Volhynia. Galicia–Volhynia competed with other successor states of Kievan Rus' (notably

Historical Role

Prinz Władysław II Opolczyk Governor of Galicia 1372–1378
Royal seal of


2nd half of the 13th century – 1st half of the 14th century
Halych-Volyn in
mid-13th century
Annexations by
Borders of lands
and regional
Main trade
Borders of
"Capital cities"
  • Principality of Kiev (1230–1240)
  • Principality of Turow (1230s)
  • Black Ruthenia (1251–1276)
  • Zakarpattia (1280–1320) ???


  • Principality of Halych
    • Principality of Peremyshl
    • Principality of Zvenyhorod
    • Principality of Trebovlia
  • Principality of Volhynia
    • Principality of Lutsk
    • Principality of Dorohobuzh
    • Principality of Peresopnytsia
  • Principality of Belz
  • Land of Chelm (Lublin 1289–1302)
  • Land of Berestia
Belz coat of arms
Peremyshl coat of arms
Halych coat of arms
Volhynia coat of arms


By the treaty of the Union of Lublin of 1569, all of the former principality of Galicia–Volhynia became part of Poland. In 1772, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria (who was also Queen of Hungary) revived the old Hungarian claims to the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria (Regnum Galiciæ et Lodomeriæ), using them to justify the participation of Austria in the partitions of Poland.

After 1352 most of the Ruthenian Voivodeship belonged to the Crown of the Polish Kingdom, where it remained also after the Union of Lublin between Poland and Lithuania. The present-day town of Halych is situated 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) away from the ancient capital of Galicia, on the spot where the river port of the old town was located, and where King Liubartas of Galicia–Volhynia constructed a wooden castle in 1367.

From 1340 to 1392 the civil war in the region transitioned into a power struggle between Lithuania, Poland, and Hungary. The first stage of conflict led to the signing of a treaty in 1344 that secured the Principality of Peremyshl for the Crown of Poland, while the rest of the territory belonged to a member of the Gediminis family, Liubartas. Eventually by the mid-14th century, the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania divided up the region between them: King Casimir III took Galicia and Western Volhynia, while the sister state of Eastern Volhynia together with Kiev came under Lithuanian control, 1352–66.

Ruthenian Voivodeship 1366–1772


Danylo's dynasty attempted to gain support from Pope Benedict XII and broader European powers for an alliance against the Mongols, but ultimately proved unable of competing with the rising powers of centralised Grand Duchy of Lithuania and The Kingdom of Poland. Only in 1349, after the occupation of Galicia–Volhynia by an allied Polish-Hungarian force, the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia was finally conquered and incorporated in Poland. This act put an end to the relationship of vassalage between Galicia–Volhynia Rus' and the Golden Horde.[11]

After the extinction of the Rurikid dynasty in Galicia–Volhynia in 1323, Volhynia passed into the control of the Lithuanian prince Boleslaw Yuri II, a grandson of Yuri I, to assume the Galician throne. Boleslaw converted to Orthodoxy and assumed the name Yuri II. Nevertheless, suspecting him of harboring Catholic feelings, the boyars poisoned him in 1340 and elected one of their own, Dmitry Detko, to lead the Galician state. In Winter 1341 Tatars, Ruthenians led by Detko, and Lithuanians led by Liubartas were able to defeat the Poles, although they were not so successful in Summer 1341. Finally, Detko was forced to accept Polish overlordship, as a starost of Halych. After Detko's death, Poland's King Casimir III mounted a successful invasion, capturing and annexing Galicia in 1349. Galicia–Volhynia ceased to exist as an independent state.

After Lev's death in 1301, a period of decline ensued. Lev was succeeded by his son Władysław I of Poland and the Teutonic Knights against the Lithuanians and the Mongols, but the Kingdom was still tributary to the Mongols and joined the Mongol military expeditions of Uzbek Khan and his successor, Janibek Khan.[3] The brothers died together in 1323, in battle, fighting against the Mongols, and left no heirs.

Decline and fall

After Danylo's death in 1264, he was succeeded by his son Lev, who moved the capital to Lviv in 1272 and for a time maintained the strength of Galicia–Volhynia. Unlike his father, who pursued a Western political course, Lev worked closely with the Mongols, in particular cultivating a close alliance with the Tatar Khan Nogai. Together with his Mongol allies, he invaded Poland. However, although his troops plundered territory as far west as Racibórz, sending many captives and much booty back to Galicia, Lev did not ultimately gain much territory from Poland. Lev also attempted, unsuccessfully, to establish his family's rule over Lithuania. Soon after his brother Shvarno ascended to the Lithuanian throne in 1267, he had the former Lithuanian ruler Vaišvilkas killed. Following Shvarn's loss of the throne in 1269, Lev entered into conflict with Lithuania. From 1274–76 he fought a war with the new Lithuanian ruler Traidenis but was defeated, and Lithuania annexed the territory of Black Ruthenia with its city Navahrudak. In 1279, Lev allied himself with king Wenceslaus II of Bohemia and invaded Poland, although his attempt to capture Kraków in 1280 ended in failure. That same year, Lev defeated Hungary and annexed part of Transcarpathia, including the city of Mukachevo. In 1292 he defeated Poland and added Lublin with surrounding areas to the territory of Galicia–Volhynia.

Under Danylo's reign, Galicia–Volhynia was one of the most powerful states in east central Europe.[10] Literature flourished, producing the Galician–Volhynian Chronicle. Demographic growth was enhanced by immigration from the west and the south, including Germans and Armenians. Commerce developed due to trade routes linking the Black Sea with Poland, Germany, and the Baltic basin. Major cities, which served as important economic and cultural centers, included Lvov (where the royal seat would later be moved by Danylo's son), Vladimir-in-Volhynia, Galich, Kholm (Danylo's capital), Peremyshl, Drohiczyn, and Terebovlya. Galicia–Volhynia was important enough that in 1252 Danylo was able to marry his son Roman to the heiress of the Austrian Duchy in the vain hope of securing it for his family. Another son, Shvarn, married a daughter of Mindaugas, Lithuania's first king, and briefly ruled that land from 1267–1269. At the peak of its expansion, the Galician–Volhynian state contained not only south-western Rus' lands, including Red Rus' and Black Rus', but also briefly controlled the Brodnici on the Black Sea.

In 1245, Pope Innocent IV allowed Danylo to be crowned king. Danylo wanted more than recognition, commenting bitterly that he expected an army when he received the crown.[9] Although Danylo promised to promote recognition of the Pope to his people, his realm continued to be ecclesiastically independent from Rome. Thus, Danylo was the only member of the Rurik dynasty to have been crowned king. Danylo was crowned by the papal legate Opizo de Mezzano in Dorohychyn 1253 as the first King of all Rus' (Rex Russiae; 1253–1264). In 1256 Danylo succeeded in driving the Mongols out of Volhynia, and a year later he defeated their attempts to capture the cities of Lutsk and Volodymyr-Volynskyi.[8] Upon the approach of a large army under the Mongolian general Boroldai in 1260, however, Danylo was forced to accept their authority and to raze the fortifications he had built against them.[10]


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