Yaroslav The Wise Essay

1034 words - 5 pages

Yaroslav the Wise

Yaroslav, son of Vladimir, took over full control of Kyiv in the year 1036. This did not occur until after the deaths of his father and many brothers. Upon Vladimir’s death in 1015 his son Sviatopolk rushed in and took control over Kyiv, killing three of his own brothers in the process. Yaroslav could not let this stand. Joined by Mstislav, another brother, and hired Scandinavian mercenaries, they ousted Sviatopolk and split the empire between themselves. Mstislav controlled Chernigov and Yaroslav went to Novgorod, as he preferred that to Kyiv. Mstislav died in 1036, and at that time Yaroslav became the undisputed ruler of all Kyivan Rus lands. At this ...view middle of the document...

It was also a wise governing decision as it made connections and allies out of countries that otherwise may have been foes. Along with the sister he had married off to the Polish king he had another married to a Byzantine prince. He himself married a Swedish princess. Then he had his children married off as well. He had daughters betrothed to kings of Norway, Hungary, and France. Kyiv now had respect and even a little bit of influence on some of the most powerful European nations.

One of the bigger social reforms of the day that he performed was with the issue of religion. He nominated and put into Kyiv the countries own metropolitan bishop. This meant that the Kyivan church was now independent under the rule of Constantinople. He also commissioned architects from Byzantium to come and build churches. This is when the elaborate St. Sophia was made. He wanted to beautify the city and countryside to make it an important religious center. Over 400 churches were also erected. Organization of the church was set up primarily by Yaroslav and it was to be set that way for many years to come. He had a tremendous influence on how religion was done in this land.

Education was a great part of the reforms that he had wanted to make. He established a library with a great number of books for the time. He brought in many scribes who translated Greek books into Slavic. Yaroslav also assembled a group of three hundred or so upper class children and had them learn from books.[5] From all the new scholarly learning he expected a new smarter society which could run on new rules and regulations.

What Yaroslav is remembered for most is the sweeping reforms in the enforcement of justice and for new laws and ordinances. The Ruska Pravda, or the Rus Law Code, as it was named, was to protect the common folk of corrupt government officials. There were now to be specified amounts that tax collectors could collect from citizens. There were also laws that were incorporated that had been in common practice for some time. Revenge clauses which limit what can be done to...

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