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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Story of times and years

Nicholas Zharkikh

What we have authentic sources in this case? On the first place, of course, we need to put "Story of times and years" (Povist vremen i lit) – old Rus' chronicle, which was written by Nestor in Kyiv just in the reign of Svjatopolk. Nestor was a contemporary of Prince and lived in Kyiv, that the spatial and temporal distance between the events and the source, where they were registered, in this case reduced to zero. In addition, Nestor was official chronicler of the prince. So he had information so detailed and true, as it is possible. And what we had read about the wife of Prince Svjatopolk?

Chronicle spoke to her three times, indicating a high attention to this person:

1, 1094: Svjatopolk [Izyaslavich] make peace with Cumans and took as wife a daughter of Tugorkan, Polovtsian prince. [, in 1094]

2, 1113: And died Prince Michael, called Svjatopolk, the month of April in the sixteenth day in Vyshgorod. And brought him in the boat to Kyiv and tidy up his body were placed him on sleigh. And cried for him all nobles and knights, [and] singing over him proper songs, put him in the church of St. Michael's Golden-Domed that he had built himself. His princess great wealth divide monasteries and priests, and the poor, so that all the people were amazed, because no such mercy can [not] do. [, an article in 1113. To the words "his princess" L.Ye. Makhnovets added in square brackets [Barbara], but there is no this name in the annals.]

3, 1125: Died princess of Svjatopolk February [in] twenty- eighth [day]. [, an article in 1125. And here to the word "princess" L.Ye. Makhnovets added in square brackets [Barbara, wife], but there is no this name in the annals.]

Against these authoritative evidence of chronocle that was recorded by the court chronicler in Kyiv simultaneously with the events, data from all other sources lose their weight. Thus, the record knows only one Svjatopolk's wife – Tugorkan's daughter, whom he married in 1094. Her name we do not know and may never know, because this name is not mentioned in an authoritative source. In 1113, she buried her husband in the Golden-domed Cathedral. In 1125, she died, but her burial place, we again do not know.

All the later "additions" to these data should be regarded as groundless fantasies – with equal success we could draw the following information directly from the novels of Paul Zagrebelny.

All evidence from Hypatius chronicle about Svjatopolk's wife, that we just analyzed, were known to all Kyivan writers, starting with 17 cent., including F.Sofonovych and D.Tuptalo. Therefore, all authors adopted non-existent "Princess Barbara", may not have the excuse that they had no underlying sources on the topic. They have, but gave no faith to it, and instead began to spread fantasies – at first by their own production, and later – fantasies relied on fantasies of previous authors.