The Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia or Kingdom of Rus' or Galicia–Vladimir (Latin: Regnum Galiciae et Lodomeriae, Regnum Rusiae) was a Ruthenian (Ukrainian) state in the regions of Galicia and Volhynia during 1199–1349. 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, Danylo Romanovych was forced to pledge allegiance to Batu Khan of the Golden Horde in 1246. He strove, however, to rid his realm of the Mongol yoke by attempting, unsuccessfully, to establish military alliances with other European rulers. In 1349 the kingdom was conquered by the Poland in which ended its vassalage to the Golden Horde.
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 group of Croats 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 land name was White Croatia,capital of Duchy was Stilsko . In 955 their area seems to have constituted part of the Bohemian State. Around 970 it was included in the Polish state. This area was mentioned in 981 (by Nestor), when Vladimir the Great of Kievan Rus took the area 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 Galicia (Galich) was formed there by descendants of Vladimir, merged at the end of the century with the neighboring Volhynia into the principality of Galicia-Volhynia which existed for a century and a half.
Halych–Volyn 2nd half of the 13th century – 1st half of the 14th century
Historical map of Kievan Rus' and territory of Ukraine: last 20 years of the state (1220-1240).
Volhynia coat of arms
Belz coat of arms
Volhynia and Galicia had originally been two separate Rurikid principalities, assigned on a rotating basis to younger members of the Kievan dynasty. The line preceding Roman had held the principality of Volhynia whereas another line, that of Yaroslav Osmomysl held the Principality of Halych (later adopted as Galicia). Galicia–Volhynia was created when, following the death of the last heirless prince of Galicia, Prince Roman the Great of Vladimir-in-Volhynia (modern Volodymyr-Volynskyi) acquired the Principality of Galicia in 1199, uniting both 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.
In 1205 Roman turned against his Polish allies which led 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. The 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.
In 1221, Mstislav Mstislavich, son of Mstislav Rostislavich, liberated Galicia–Volhynia from the Hungarians, but it was Daniil Romanovich, son of Roman, who re-united all of south-western Rus, including Volhynia, Galicia and Rus' ancient capital of Kiev, which Danylo captured in 1239. Danylo defeated the Polish and Hungarian forces in the battle of Yaroslav (Jarosław) and crushed their ally Rostislav Mikhailovich, son of the prince of Chernigov, in 1245. He also strengthened his relations with Batu Khan by traveling to his capital Saray and acknowledging, at least nominally, the supremacy of the Mongol Golden Horde. After meeting with Batu Khan, Danylo reorganized his army along Mongol lines and equipped it with Mongolian weapons although Danylo himself maintained the traditional attire of a Rus prince. Danylo's alliance with the Mongols was merely tactical, because he pursued a long-term strategy resistance against the Mongols.
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. 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 archbishop in Dorohychyn 1253 as the first King of all Rus' (Rex Rusiae; 1253–1264). In 1256 Danylo succeeded in driving the Mongols out of Volhynia, and a year later defeated their attempts to capture the cities of Lutsk and Volodymyr-Volynskyi. However with the approach of a large army under the Mongolian general Boroldai in 1260 Danylo was forced to accept their authority over him and to raze the fortifications he had built against them.
Under Danylo's reign, Galicia–Volhynia was one of the most powerful states in east central Europe. 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, were among others: 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.
After Danylo's death in 1264, he was succeeded by his son Lev. Lev 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 Lithuanians 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 the Lithuania. From 1274–1276 he fought a war with the new Lithuanian ruler Traidenis but was defeated, and Lithuania annexed the territory of Black Ruthenia with its city of 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.
King's seal of George I of Halych (1301–1308) "S[igillum] Domini Georgi Regis Rusie", "S[igillum] Domini Georgi Ducis Ladimerie".
After Lev's death in 1301, a period of decline ensued. Lev was succeeded by his son Yuri I who ruled for only seven years. Although his reign was largely peaceful and Galicia–Volhynia flourished economically, Yuri I lost Lublin to the Poles (1302) and Transcarpathia to the Hungarians. From 1308 until 1323 Galicia–Volhynia was jointly ruled by Yuri I's sons Andrew and Lev II, who proclaimed themselves to be the kings of Galicia and Volhynia. The brothers forged alliances with King Władysław I of Poland and with 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. They died together in 1323, in battle, fighting against the Mongols, and left no heirs.
After the extinction of the Rurikid dynasty in Galicia–Volhynia in 1323, Volhynia passed into the control of the Lithuanian prince Liubartas, while the boyars took control over Galicia. They invited the Polish 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 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.
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.
The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania divided up the region between them: King Kazimierz III Wielki took Galicia and Western Volhynia, while the sister state of Eastern Volhynia together with Kiev came under Lithuanian control, 1352–1366.
Since 1352 when the kingdom was eventually divided between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, 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 old town's riverport was located and where King Liubartas of Galicia–Volhynia constructed a wooden castle in 1367.
By the treaty of the Lublin Union 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) recalled the old Hungarian claims to the Regnum Galiciæ et Lodomeriæ, and used them to justify Austria's participation in the partitions of Poland.
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 Vladimir-Suzdal) to claim the Kievan inheritance. According to the Galician–Volhynian Chronicle, Galicia-Volhynia's King Daniil was the last ruler of Kiev preceding the Mongolian invasion and thus Galicia-Volhynia's rulers were the only legitimate successors to the Kievan throne. Until the end of Galician-Volhynian state, its rulers advanced claims upon "all the land of Rus'." The seal of King Yuri I contained the Latin inscription domini georgi regis rusie.
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.
Galicia-Volhynia also differed from the northern and eastern principalities of the former Kieven 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 George Vernadsky, Galicia-Volhynia, Poland and Hungary belonged to the same psychological and cultural world. The Roman Catholic Church was seen as a neighbor and there was much intermarriage between the princely houses of Galiica and those of neighboring Catholic countries. In contrast, the Westerners faced by Alexander, prince of Novgorod, were the Teutonic Knights, and the northeastern Rus experience of the West was that of hostile crusaders rather than peers.
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