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Igor Svyatoslavich (Igor Svyatoslavich)
1151 — 1201

Igor Svyatoslavich (Igor Svyatoslavich)1151 — 1201

Prince Igor Svyatoslavich 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 (the exact location of which has never been definitively established) that has become immortalized through its literary rendering in “The Lay of Igor’s Campaign”, the most celebrated epic of Rus’.

Let us begin this narration, brethren,

from the old times of Vladimir to this present time of Igor,

who strengthened his mind with courage,

who quickened his heart with valor

and, thus imbued with martial spirit,

led his valiant regiments

against the Kuman land

in defense of the Russian land.

— The Lay of Igor’s Campaign - Invocation

During his reign Novgorod Severskiy (today Novhorod-Siverskyi in Ukraine) enjoyed the status of the second most powerful town in the Chernigov land. Basing their observations on archaeological evidence, a number of investigators proposed that Igor built the Cathedral of the Holy Savior in the Monastery of the Transfiguration outside of the town. It has also been suggested that he founded the stone church in Putivl.

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

Russia, 2008, Borodin, «Prince Igor»


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