Dovmont (prince of Pskov): biography, exploits

Prince Dovmont (Timothy) - Pskov ruler 1266-1299 gg. In history, he entered as a talented military commander. Dovmont's exploits are described in ancient chronicles. Particularly successful were the battles with the Germans and Lithuanians. Under his rule, in the 13th century Pskov virtually got rid of dependence on Novgorod.


Dovmont (Prince of Pskov) was the son of Mindovg and brother of Wojszelka, according to one source, and on the other - a relative of Troisden. He himself was from Lithuania and owned the Nal'shan lot. According to one version, Dovmont was married to the sister of Mindovg's wife. The Bykhovets Chronicle says that he was married to the sister of Narimont's wife. According to annalistic evidence, Dovmont took a direct part in the assassination of Mindovg in 1263. Later, he fell out of favor with Wojsilka. The latter in 1264 became the most powerful prince in Lithuania.

Appearance on the Russian land

In 1265, Dovmont left Lithuania and headed for Pskov. At that time the city was going through hard times. Alexander Nevsky recently died. The new ruler, Prince Yaroslav, did not possess the strength or talents that his elder brother had. His power was not yet firmly established - the Novgorod veterans did not want to recognize him as their master. The Grand Duke planted Svyatoslav, his son, as governor. He no longer thought about strengthening the borders, but about strengthening the power of the ruler over the city. So he was bequeathed to Prince Yaroslav.

However, the city needed a champion who could protect people from the Order, Lithuania and was not bound by any obligations with the great ruler. The choice of the people fell on Dovmont. Nothing connected him with Lithuania, and here he was not a stranger. Many Lithuanian rulers then came from the Slavs, and their native language was Russian.

The appearance of Dovmont in the annals contains a rather short record. In the scripture it is said that Wojselk captured Lithuania, and his brother fled with his retinue. In the church he was baptized and received the name Timothy. Dovmont became the new ruler of the city. Until his death he was bequeathed to protect people and borders. The sword of Dovmont became famous. Later, they were blessed to exploit all the warriors. After 200 years, he was solemnly handed over to his son Basil II of the Dark - Yuri.

The capture of Polotsk

Dovmont (Prince Pskov) led the squad and "three ninety" military men. With them was David Yakunovich, with Lithuanians - Luka Litvin. Rath made her way unnoticed through the dense forests stretching from the river. Great before the Dvina. For the sudden capture of a large and strong Polotsk, Dovmont did not have the strength. However, he managed to capture the wife of Gerdeni and the children. Having seized the rich prey along the way, he left Polotsk. All the convoys had managed to be transported through the Dvina, while Gerden was collecting allies. Beyond the river, Dovmont stopped and released the booty and prisoners to Pskov with some of his warriors. Soon the Lithuanians appeared. The guard warned Dovmont in time. He collected the cavalry and suddenly struck the Lithuanians. The enemies did not even have time to take order. So little blood (only one Pskovitch was killed) Dovmont won his first victory.

New trip

In 1267 the Russian generals moved to Lithuania. Border regions of the state were ruined. Lithuanians not only failed to protect their lands, but also did not gather in pursuit. As evidenced by chronicle records, Novgorodians and Pskovians fought a lot that year, and arrived with prey and without losses. For a long time there were no such bloodless and successful campaigns. The Lithuanians for a long time stopped their raids.

"Peace" with the Germans

Having frightened Lithuania, Dovmont (Prince of Pskov) decided to join the great army in the fight against the Crusaders. The cause of the battles were the actions of the Danish knights, who settled in the seaside towns of Rakovo and Kolyvan. They strongly impeded the trade of Novgorod.

In the winter of 1268 Russian commanders with their troops gathered near the walls of the city. There was going to be a militia. They were commanded by Mikhail Fedorovich (posadnik) and Kondrat (tysyatsky). According to the chronicles, the army numbered about 30 thousand people. The Germans sent ambassadors to conclude peace. By agreement, they pledged not to help the rascists and the people of Kolyvan - the people of the king. Novgorodtsev suited, as the main goal were the Danish knights. It was important for the Russian troops to split the Germans. In January, 23 numbers (1268), the warriors moved to Rakovor. Narva walked slowly - three weeks. Voevods gave people a rest while they were on their land. Without fighting, the army crossed the border. Knights themselves in the field did not dare come out, but hid behind the tower walls.

The battle with the German army

On February 17, the army stopped at the river. Kogeli. In the morning a German army suddenly appeared nearby. She lined up in an ominous "pig." The signed peace, therefore, was broken by the Germans themselves. Russian regiments adopted the usual order - "brow". In the center stood a militia, and on the right and left sides - mounted squads. In the same manner, the army built up Nevsky before the Battle of Led. However, such a construction was known to the Germans.

Dmitry Pereyaslavsky, who was the leader of the Russian army, put on the left a relatively small Tver squad, and left the remaining cavalry regiments to the right wing, so that the blow from this side was unexpected and strong. Here he stood, too. In the right wing was Dovmont (Prince of Pskov).

The beginning of the battle was like the Battle of the Ice. The Germans crashed into the Russian "brow". The Novgorodians fought under the heavy onslaught of the enemy. The losses were great, but the Germans never managed to break through the "brow". As a result, the knightly ranks disintegrated, and each fought one by one. Walking Novgorodians tore them from their saddles. Then the left joined the battle Tver squad Michael. For the Germans, however, this was not a surprise. To meet Michael left reserve units. Then, on the other hand, the cavalry entered the battle: the Pskovians, the Vladimirs, the Pereyaslavl. This blow was so unexpected and powerful that the knights began to retreat in panic. They managed to escape from complete defeat, as another German army was approaching. Russian squads had to stop the pursuit in order to rebuild. However, the Germans did not dare attack. The battlefield, covered with corpses and drenched in blood, scared them so much that they stopped at the other end of the field and stood there until dark. At night the knights left. Sent Pereyaslav patrols did not find them for 2, 4 or even 6 hours of travel.

Internal strife

Dovmont did not participate in internal conflicts, although many rulers tried to entice him to his side. In Russia it was a difficult time. The rulers began to fight for reign in Vladimir and throughout the earth. The great ruler was Dmitry's eldest son Alexander Nevsky . However, his middle brother Andrey went to him. He bought from Khan Tudamenu a shortcut to the reign of Vladimir.

On horseback went the horse Tatar troops of Alcheday and Kavgadiya to put Andrei on the throne. In the annals it is said how the warriors scattered about the Russian land in search of Dmitry. However, it was not possible to grab it from them, since with his close boyars and family he took refuge in Koporye, where his treasury was kept. Here Dmitry wanted to sit out the invasion and gain strength. He also counted on the support of the Novgorodians, with whom he fought against the knights. However, they betrayed him and intercepted him on the way. Demanding to convey to the governors of Koporye, they captured Dmitri's daughters and close boyars with children and wives.

Participation of the Pskov prince in internecine wars

In the fortress Koporye the Novgorod garrison is located, the people of Dmitri were kept in custody in Ladoga. He was left and exhausted. And at this point Dovmont joined the dissension for the first and only time. At the same time he stood on the side of the weakest. For what reason this was done, it is not clear to the very end. Perhaps, the former combat brotherhood may have played a role, perhaps a relationship (Dovmont was Dmitry's son-in-law), and perhaps the Pskov prince saw in the exile the only warrior able to protect the earth from numerous enemies. In any case, he swiftly entered Ladoga, freed all the people.

After a while Dmitry again sat in Vladimir. And four years later, for the first time in the history of Russia, he defeated the Horde army. It is believed that the first "right battle" with the Mongol-Tatars occurred only in 1378 on the river. Vozhe. But it happened much earlier. In 1285, a record was made in the chronicle that Prince Andrew Gorodetsky brought from the Horde the Tsarevich to Dmitri's elder brother. However, the latter assembled the army and drove the Tatar-Mongols from the Russian land.

The last year of Dovmont's life

In 1299, at night, the German knights quietly crept up to the city. They retook through the palisade and dispersed along the sleeping streets. The watchmen were killed by thin knives. The first to notice the Germans were the Kromsky dogs. Immediately the trumpet roared, the bell rang. The Pskovites fled, armed, to the walls of the city. On the tower appeared a ruler with voevoda. He watched people die in the village. The defense of cities at that time was conducted according to certain laws. If the enemies were under the walls, then the gate can not be opened.

The city was considered to be the main one, and not the posad, so it was better to sacrifice the latter than to give the first. However, Dovmont went against the rules. The gate was opened, and out of them flew cavalry. In the dark it was hard to tell who was where. They recognized their Pskovites through their white white shirts, the cries of women and children. The aliens were distinguished by their reflections on helmets, the ringing of armor. The druzhinniki shot down the Germans, skipping the fugitives, retreated slowly, waiting for them to enter the gates. As a result, many managed to save, but also killed a large number of people. In the morning Dovmont saw how the city was slowly encircling the enemies. They did not think that the ruler would dare to go out with them. But that's exactly what Dovmont did. The first of the gate ran out of the infantry, followed by cavalry. From the mouth of Pskov, the ship's army hurried. German knights could not resist, rushed to flee from spears and swords, jumped into the water, ran to Usokha, climbed the hills. The Pskov people celebrated a new victory, not knowing yet that it would be the last one for Dovmont.


Surrounded by the love and gratitude of the townspeople, Dovmont slowly died away. It seemed that he had given all his strength in the last battle. In the annals, however, it is said that, perhaps, he was overtaken by illness - that year many people died. On May 20, Dovmont's body was laid in the Trinity Church. Soon he was called a saint for valor. The sword, with which Dovmont did not leave his whole life, was laid over the coffin.

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