History Files
 

 The History Files needs your help

The History Files is a non-profit site. It is only able to support such a vast ad-free collection of information with your help, and your help is still needed. Please click on this message to make a small donation via PayPal. That way we can continue to provide highly detailed historical research on a fully secure site. Your incredible support really is appreciated.

Target for May 2022: Ł0  Ł120

European Kingdoms

Eastern Europe

 

Galicia

Modern Galicia is a divided region, split between south-eastern Poland and western Ukraine into the provinces of Westgalizien and Ostgalizien respectively, with the Pripet Marshes immediately to the east (now in Belarus). At the start of the Roman period the region was home to Celtic and Germanic tribes, along with Finno-Ugric elements. When the Celtic tribes in the region came under increasing pressure from Germanic tribes, many fractured, with many people finding refuge in south-eastern Poland. The Boii, Helveconae, and Osi certainly seem to have been part of this refugee collective, while other tribes, such as the Harii, Helisii, Manimi, and Naharvali, seem to have migrated out of the area as part of the Lugii confederation.

The 'Great Migration' period saw a large number of diverse peoples pass through the region, including Alani, Gepids, Goths, Huns, Rugii, and Scirii, followed by Avars, Croats, Serbs, Bulgars, Magyars, and finally by other groups of Slavs which settled between the fifth and seventh centuries. From at least the sixth century onwards, Galicia was part of the early Polish tribal territories.

FeatureThe name 'Galicia' (with the 'c' of this and the 't' in the very similar Galatia being interchangeable), is a form of the most ancient name of the Celts as we understand it today. This was reported variously as beginning with a 'g' or 'k' sound, followed by an 'a' or 'e', then followed always by an 'l', then either with a vowel or not, and finally by a 'd' or 't'. So it could be expressed as 'Kelt', 'Caled' (as in the Caledonians of Pictland), 'Galatia' (in Anatolia) or' in this case, Galicia, with all versions meaning the same thing: 'Celt' (see feature link).

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information by Edward Dawson, from The Russian Primary Chronicle (Laurentian Text), Samuel Hazzard Cross & Olgerd P Sherbowitz-Wetzor (Eds and translators, Mediaeval Academy of America), from The History of the Baltic Countries, Zigmantas Kiaupa, Ain Mäesalu, Ago Pajur, & Gvido Straube (Eds, Estonia 2008), from The Origin and Deeds of the Goths, Jordanes (Dodo Press - and C C Mierow supplies a different translation from this version alongside some dates for early kings), from the Complete Works of Tacitus, Alfred John Church, William Jackson Brodribb, & Lisa Cerrato, from History and Geography in Late Antiquity, Andrew H Merrills (2005), from Topographies of Power in the Early Middle Ages, Mayke De Jong, Frans Theuws, & Carine van Rhijn (2001), from Geography, Ptolemy, and from Novgorodskaia Pervaia Letopis' Starshego i Mladshego Izvodov, A N Nasonov (Ed, ANSSR, 1950), from The Chronicle of Novgorod 1016-1471, Michell & Forbes (Eds, Translators, Offices of the Society, London, 1914), from External Links: Geography, Strabo (H C Hamilton & W Falconer, London, 1903, Perseus Online Edition), and The Balts, Marija Gimbutas (1963, previously available online thanks to Gabriella at Vaidilute, but still available as a PDF - click or tap on link to download or access it), and Familypedia.)

c.AD 501

Galicia is drawn into the Polish tribal territories. It is possible that the various Celtic elements, especially refugees from the Boii tribe, remain when these Slavs take over as a new ruling elite. The same situation almost certainly occurs a little to the west, in Bohemia. This would certainly explain Galicia's name, which means 'Celt' in what is probably the name's original form. Other Celtic elements could be a strong presence of Venedi settlers.

Vistula
For a seagoing people like the Venedi, it would have been a fairly simple process to sail along the southern waters of the Baltic and enter a wide river mouth such as the Vistula - settlement quickly followed, spreading south along the river's east bank between the fifth or fourth centuries BC and the first and second AD

c.970 - 981

As Galicia-Volynia, the region is united by the Piasts into their Polish duchy and kingdom. In 982, reference is made to Vnnd.r as a Christian 'nation' of Rum which is located between the lands of the 'Madjgharî' and the MIRV (M.rdât). The Pechenegs lie to the east (around the north-west corner of the Black Sea coast), while above them and leading north-eastwards are the Kievan Rus and the Volga Bulgars respectively. The references are Arabic, hence their obliqueness when written in English.

The Madjgharî are the Magyars, a people who contribute to the populating of Hungary. Rum is Rome, although the people are not specifically being labelled as Romans - they are simply more civilised than their neighbours in terms of being settled farmers with an element of presumed sophistication. The MIRV are Moravians, living to the north, but seemingly not yet having fully migrated far enough to settle next to the more westerly Bohemians (Moravia being the modern eastern half of the Czech republic).

As for the Vnnd.r and N.nd.r, this is a more complicated question. They have been linked with the Bulgars, and could be the 'Venender', 'Vhndur', and 'Onogur' which appear in other texts. A tentative link with the Venedi can also be made for them.

River Dniester at Halych
The Dniester in Galicia was where the city of Halych was founded (now in Ukraine), gaining its name from the region as a whole and therefore preserving the memory and probable integration of Celtic people into the later Slavic population

Their location between the Moravians and Magyars places them in modern northern Romania and western Ukraine, probably close to the thirteenth century city of Lviv in Galicia. This perhaps also ties them in with the headwaters of the ancient River Hypanis (the modern Southern Bug or Buh in Ukraine) and the northern bank of the Tyras (the modern Dniester), both rivers seemingly being close to the Venedi at the southerly extension of their occupation strip down the Vistula.

981 - 1018

Galicia is mentioned by Nestor, who describes the passage of Volodymyr the Great of Kyiv as he enters into Poland and claims this region for his own. This would seem to be the Lyakhs whom the Russian Primary Chronicle states that he defeats, taking their towns of Peremyshl, Cherven, and others, all of which are subject to the Rus (at least until 1018).

1018 - 1031

A peace treaty is signed in Budziszyn in 1018 with Emperor Heinrich II (Henry II the Saint) - ratifying Poland's control over Lusatia and Meissen (as well as Galicia). In the same year, Germany and Hungary support an expedition against Kyiv, and Boleslaw defeats his son-in-law's enemy there, taking over 'Grody Czerwieńskie'. This is possibly the Cherven towns which include the town of Peremyshl of the Lyachs which had been conquered by St Vladimir the Great of the Rus in 981.

Map of Eastern Europe AD 1054-1132
The death of Yaroslav 'the Wise' in 1054 saw the end of the descent of Rurikid power via agnatic seniority. His division of the succession weakened Kyiv by creating what soon turned out to be rival principalities for each of his sons (click or tap on map to view full sized)

1032

Kyiv regains Galicia when Poland is partitioned three ways as a result of internal conflict. The partition is brief - Mieszko II has restored his control over all of it by 1033. Local rulers appear in Galicia, or at least are recorded for the first time. Volodar Rostislavich is a Rus prince who later becomes prince of Zvenyhorod (1085) and Peremyshl (1092). He son is the first ruler of Halych in 1142.

? - 1084

Volodar Rostislavich

Prince of Tmutarakan. Later in Peremyshl (Przemyśl).

1084 - 1188

Overlordship of Galicia falls to King Vratislav II of Bohemia, possibly not for the first time, and local rulers are (also possibly) appointed by Vratislav. How long Galicia remains under Bohemian control is highly uncertain, possibly being anything from a year to the start of the twelfth century.

1084 - ?

Vasilko Romanovich

Vassal of Bohemia?

Yuriy / Iurii Vasilkovich

Vassal of Bohemia? Removed or died before 1124?

? - 1124

Vasilko Rostislavich

Prince of Terebovl.

1124

Details regarding this period are vague and somewhat thin where they relate to Galicia. The title 'prince of Halych' seems already to be in use for Galicia ('Halych' is the Rus pronunciation of the name). Vasilko Rostislavich of Terebovl has already claimed it or won it for himself by the time of his death in 1124. Thereafter his son holds it.

Kyiv hoard
The Kyiv hoard, which shows Byzantine influence alongside further development by Kyiv's craftsmen, was found opposite St Michael's Monastery, dated to about 1075-1125

1124 - 1141

Igor-Ivan Vasilkovich

Son. Died childless. Halych inherited by a cousin.

1129

Following the death of Rotyslav Volodarovych, prince of Przemyśl (Peremyshl), his brother seizes his lands and title. The brother is Volodymyrko Volodarovych, prince of Zvenyhorod since 1124.

1132

Mstislav 'the Great' of Kyiv is known as Harald in Norse sagas, possibly a nickname which alludes to his maternal grandfather, Harold II of England. After a lifetime spent fighting the Cumans, Estonians, Lithuanians, and Polotsk for ascendancy, his death effectively ends the unity of the Kievan Rus state. It is torn apart by various competing claims.

1142

The slow collapse of the Kievan Rus has created a host of minor principalities across the territories formerly controlled by Kyiv, and Galicia (Halych) proves to be one of the most important of these, along with Novgorod and Rostov-Suzdal. In 1142, Volodymyrko Volodarovych (1104-1152), a descendant of Vladimir I of Kyiv, unites the principalities of Peremyshl (Przemyśl), Terebovlya (Terebovl), and Zvenyhorod into a single state called Halychyna. He transfers the capital from Zvenyhorod to Halych, where he and his first Rurikid dynasty expand the settlement.

Halychyna (Galicia) / Halych-Volynia (Galicia-Volhynia) (Rus)
AD 1142 - 1349

The ancient region of Galicia today is divided between south-eastern Poland and western Ukraine, being bordered to the east by the Pripet Marshes (now in Belarus). The Rus presence in Eastern Slavic lands was initially confined to the major rivers and the trading settlements which formed along them. Led by Rurik, the Rus Vikings soon ruled the indigenous Slavs from their main base at Novgorod in the north and they quickly began exploring southwards to expand their trading routes. In the mid-ninth century the Eastern Polans settlement of Kyiv was captured and was made the mother of the cities of the Rus by Oleg, a kinsman of Rurik.

Subsequently governed by the Rurik dynasty, the city became the heart of a grand principality and the guiding power in the Rus conquest of the east. It remained so until 1169 when it was sacked and the seat officially moved northwards to Vladimir. The gradual dilution of power between Kyiv and the increasingly influential lesser grand duchies had made such a loss of overall power inevitable. The principality of Rostov-Suzdal, located in the north-east of Rus lands, had quickly grown from its origins as a regional administrative centre under Novgorod's oversight to a major Rus power. It played a major role in destabilising Kyiv as the principle Rus city and benefited greatly from its diminishing status.

The collapse of the Kievan Rus created a host of independent principalities across those territories which had formerly been controlled by Kyiv, and Halych proved to be one of the most important of these, along with Novgorod and Vladimir-Suzdal. In 1142, Volodymyrko Volodarovych, prince of Zvenyhorod and a descendant of Vladimir I of Kyiv, united the principalities of Przemyśl (Peremyshl, which he had held since 1129), Terebovlya (Terebovl, gained in 1141), and Zvenyhorod into a single state called Halychyna which included a sizeable part of western Ukraine in its territory. He transferred the capital from Zvenyhorod to Halych, where he and his first Rurikid dynasty expanded the settlement.

Some sources claim a date of 1189 for the formation of the principality, but this may simply be when it was first officially recognised by other powers. The name 'Galicia' is mirrored in the name of the city which formed its capital, Halych (Ukrainian), Galych (Russian), or Halicz (Polish) next to the modern city of the same name on the Dniester in western Ukraine. However, 'Galicia' itself was a much older name, one which referred to Celts who had long ago settled the region (see Galatia for an explanation).

A remote connection between the Slavic Antes tribe and the narrative of The Russian Primary Chronicle may be established through the latter's mention of the Slavic tribe of the Dulebians being oppressed by the Avars. This tribe apparently had its seat upon the River Bug, in Volynia (Volhynia, neighbouring Halych to its north-east, and situated in the north-west corner of modern Ukraine). Mas'iidi, an Arabic writer of the tenth century, mentions the tradition that in ancient times the Volhynians dominated the rest of the Slavic tribes. These accounts would therefore seem to point to the existence of a Slavic federation which had been centred in Volynia but which disintegrated in the face of the violent advance of the Avars towards the beginning of the seventh century.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information by Edward Dawson & Michael Hickson, from The Russian Primary Chronicle (Laurentian Text), Samuel Hazzard Cross & Olgerd P Sherbowitz-Wetzor (Eds and translators, Mediaeval Academy of America), from A History of Russian Architecture (Chapter 3: Vladimir and Suzdal Before the Mongol Invasion), William Craft Brumfield (Cambridge University Press, 1993), from Novgorodskaia Pervaia Letopis' Starshego i Mladshego Izvodov, A N Nasonov (Ed, ANSSR, 1950), from The Chronicle of Novgorod 1016-1471, Michell & Forbes (Eds, Translators, Offices of the Society, London, 1914), and from External Links: The Balts, Marija Gimbutas (1963, previously available online thanks to Gabriella at Vaidilute, but still available as a PDF - click or tap on link to download or access it), and Worldstatesman, and The Fragmentation & Decline of Kievan Rus, and Encyclopaedia.com, and The Map Archive, and the Internet Encyclopaedia of Ukraine, and Folk Costume & Embroidery.)

1142 - 1152

Volodymyrko Volodarovych

Son of Volodar Rostislavich (see Galicia, 1084). In Zvenyhorod.

1144 - 1161

Ivan Rostyslavych 'Berladnyk'

Prince of Zvenyhorod. In opposition. Poisoned in 1161.

1144

Having lost his seat in Zvenyhorod to his cousin, Volodymyrko Volodarovych, during the latter's formation of Halychyna, Ivan Rostyslavych 'Berladnyk' opposes both him and his son, Yaroslav. Prince Ivan attempts unsuccessfully to seize the principality from Volodymyrko and then flees to the Danubian town of Berlad (Bîrlad in Moldavia) from which he gains his nickname.

Halych Town Costume
Halych town costume was largely invented by twentieth century urbanites of the Polish period of Ukrainian history post-1918, but it harked back to peasant costume of the principality of Halychyna

1153 - 1187

Yaroslav I Osmomysl

Son of Volodymyrko. Greatly expanded Halychyna.

1153 - 1157

The cathedral of the Dormition is built within this period. Halychyna swiftly becomes one of the most powerful of Rus states under Yaroslav. He expands his holdings to take in all of the territory up to the Carpathian Mountains and across the Danubian lowlands.

1154

Yuri Dolgorukiy and Izhaslav II have done little but drive each other out of Kyiv (while the latter has already fought a battle to subdue Halych). Now Izhaslav has died and his uncle, Viacheslav, has followed him very soon afterwards. The Old Rus unified state is breaking up into numerous principalities which are constantly arguing and fighting amongst themselves. With Rotislav seizing Kyiv in this year, Yuri Dolgorukiy in Rostov-Suzdal is creating a dynasty which will strongly challenge Kyiv for superiority.

1158 - 1159

Ivan Rostyslavych 'Berladnyk' returns. He organises a force of six thousand Berladnyky (peasant rebels) and begins attacking Galician towns. In 1159 he is defeated by Prince Yaroslav Osmomysl near Ushytsia in Podilia and eventually flees to Constantinople.

1187 - 1188

Oleg / Oleh 'Nastasyich'

Illegitimate son by second wife. Poisoned.

1187 - 1188

Roman Mstislavich 'the Great'

Son of Mstislav II of Kyiv. Rival for the principality.

1189 - 1210

A year after Hungarian rule is apparently established, the principality of Halychyna is formed (or recognised), although no longer under Hungarian control. It is more likely that it is re-formed under Vladimir II after the succession problems of 1187-1190. Oleh Nastasyich is rejected by the boyars in favour of his half-brother, Vladimir, although Roman Mstislavich 'the Great', formerly prince of Novgorod, is another contender, with the three vying closely in contention between 1188-1190.

Gleb of Kyiv marries Iziaslavna of Chernigov
Gleb of Vladimir, known sometimes as Gleb of Kyiv, was in fact Gleb Yurievich, a son of Yuri Dolgorukiy and vassal ruler of Kyiv from 1169, shown here on the occasion of his marriage to Iziaslavna of Chernigov

1190 - 1199

Vladimir II / Vladimirko

Legitimate son of Yaroslav. Last of the dynasty.

1190

FeatureThe name Vladimir consists of two parts, 'vlad' and 'mir'. While 'mir' can mean 'world' or 'peace', 'vlad' is more interesting. It is probably a Slav corruption of 'galat', a version of 'celt' which was preserved in 'Galicia' (see also feature link for the evolution of the Celtic ethnonym in Central Europe).

1195

Vladimir's rival, Roman Mstislavich, prince of Volynia, supports Leszek 'the White', senior prince of Poland, alongside the nobility of Kraków and Sandomierz. The opposition, led by Mieszko Stary, has the power of Silesia, including that of Mieszko Tanglefoot of Racibórz and Jarosław of Opole. The great battle which decides this phase of the conflict is at Mozgawa, near Jędrzejów, on 13 September 1195. Casualties are great on both sides, but the forces of Leszek hold firm. In reward it is Leszek who helps Roman to regain Halych in 1199.

1199 - 1205

Roman Mstislavich 'the Great'

Prince of Novgorod, Volodymyr, Halych, and II of Kyiv.

1199 - 1201

Finally securing Halych in 1199, Roman 'the Great', prince of Volynia (Volodymyr-in-Volynia), forms the second Rurikid dynasty by uniting Halychyna and neighbouring Volynia to create the principality of Halych-Volynia. This survives for a century and-a-half, although not necessarily united under one ruler. In 1201 Roman captures the once-mighty Kyiv (where he is known as Roman II).

1205 - 1214

Roman Mstislavich 'the Great' of Novgorod, Volodymyr, Halych-Volynia, and Kyiv is defeated by Andrew II of Hungary, who claims the title king of 'Galicia and Lodomeria' (Halychyna and Volodymyr). The ruling princes between 1205 and 1213 are largely vassals of Hungary whilst fighting each other for supremacy.

King Andrew II of Hungary
Founded in 1179, the remains of Egres Cistercian Monastery are located just a few kilometres from the modern Hungarian border, in Romania's Temes County, which is where Andrew II and his wife Yolanda were buried

1205 - 1206

Danylo Romanovych / Daniel of Galicia

Son. Acceded aged 4. Exiled by boyars.

1206 - 1208

Vladimir III Igorevich / Ihorovych

Son of Igor Svyatoslavich 'the Brave' of Chernigov.

1208 - 1210

Roman II Igorevich / Ihorovych

Brother.

1211

Vladimir III Igorevich / Ihorovych

Restored. Died.

1211 - 1213

The forces of King Andrew II of Hungary help the Galician boyars to defeat the Novhorod-Siverskyi princes, Roman Ihorovych, Sviatoslav Ihorovych, and Volodymyr (Vladimir) Ihorovych. However, in 1213 the boyars of Galicia elect one of their own to rule there, although he is quickly removed.

1211 - 1213

Danylo Romanovych / Daniel of Galicia

Restored. Renounced claim in 1219 on behalf of Mstislav.

1213

Vladislav

A boyar proclaimed by boyars. Deposed by Hungary.

1213 - 1219

Coloman / Kálmán II

Of Hungary. King of Lodomeria (1215-1219, 1220-1221).

1215 - 1221

Kálmán II, son of King Andrew II of Hungary, is crowned king of Galicia and Lodomeria on the basis of an agreement in Spiš in 1214 to partition it between Andrew and Prince Leszek I Bialy 'the White' of Polish Kraków. Kálmán rules against a great deal of opposition and difficulty until he is driven out by Prince Mstyslav Mstislavich 'the Bold' in 1219 and again in 1221.

Prince Konrad of Mazovia
Prince Konrad of Mazovia continually challenged Leszek I Bialy 'the White' for control of Poland, finally achieving his purpose in 1241, and also being responsible for inviting the Teutonic Knights into Prussia

1219 - 1228

Mstislav Mstislavich 'the Bold'

Ruled Tmutarakan, Chernigov, & Halych.

1219

The hierarchical structure of Baltic chieftainship is illustrated by the Chronicle of Volynia, which relates how twenty-one Lithuanian dukes come to sign the treaty of 1219 between Lithuania and the Rus of Halych-Volynia. Of these, five - the most powerful amongst their number - are 'grand dukes', while the other sixteen are dukes of minor importance. From this it may be deduced that Lithuania is now ruled by a confederation of the most powerful chieftains.

1221

Mstislav Mstislavich 'the Bold' again liberates Halych-Volynia from Kálmán II and the Hungarians. His son-in-law, Danylo Romanovych, who had renounced his own claim on Halych in 2019 in favour of Mstislav, is placed in command of a still-loyal Volynia.

1221 or 1223

With the Mongol threat looming ever larger and Khwarazm having been defeated, a large Mongol force under Subedei continues north into territory around the Caspian Sea and into the lands of the Rus. An opposing Rus and Kipchak coalition is headed by Mstislav 'the Bold' of Tmutarakan, Chernigov, and Halych, Mstislav III 'the Old' of Kyiv, the unseated Daniel of Galicia, Mstislav II Svyatoslavich of Kozelsk (?), Novgorod-Seversk, and Chernigov, and Khan Koten of the Kipchaks.

At the Battle of the River Kalka (or Khalka) they face - but greatly outnumber - a large force led by the able Mongol generals, Subedei and Jebe. Mstislav 'the Bold' attacks before the rest of the Rus forces are ready and is defeated, resulting in defeat for the rest of them too. Ironically, Mstislav 'the Bold' escapes with his life, while Khan Koten makes a retreat into Hungary where he is murdered by the nobility there. Daniel is wounded, and Mstislav 'the Old' is murdered after being captured.

The Battle of the River Kalka
The Battle of the River Kalka in 1221 or 1223 (both dates are reported) was a valiant Rus effort to stem the westwards tide of Mongol advance, but due largely to the refusal of Mstislav 'the Bold' to wait for all of his allied forces to assemble before leaping into battle, it opened the gates to full invasion

Subedei extends his expedition farther to attack the Volga Bulgars before he returns to Mongolia in one of the greatest exploratory campaigns of the era.

1228 - 1264

Danylo Romanovych / Daniel of Galicia

Restored 2nd time. King of Ruthenia / Halych-Volynia (1253).

1239

Danylo captures the ancient Rus capital of Kyiv while the Rus lands are being invaded by the Golden Horde. Cumans, Kipchaks, and other nomadic groups flee the Rus lands to seek refuge in Hungary. As Batu Khan of the Golden Horde sees these people as his subjects, news of their departure is not welcomed and plans are laid to pursue them.

1241 - 1256

Batu Khan leads the Mongols of the Golden Horde into Red Ruthenia, of which Halychnia is a part, capturing the capital and destroying the cathedral in 1241. Essentially, the Golden Horde remains mostly to the south and east of Halychyna. They are driven out in 1256, the cathedral is rebuilt, and is last mentioned in 1576. The Mongols retain suzerainty over the state from a distance.

1248 - 1249

Mindaugas of the Lithuanians commands Tautvilas, Edivydas, and Vykintas of the subject Samogitians to capture the Rus principality and city of Smolensk. They are promised with being able to keep what they conquer. The prince of Moscow, Mikhail Khorobrit, is defeated and killed on the banks of the River Protva, but they in turn are defeated by the resurgent Sviatoslav III of Vladimir-Suzdal.

Typical Lithuanian wooden castle
This artist's impression shows a typical Lithuanian wooden castle from this period during which the land was filled with them, approximately 450 in all, held by the nobility against the duchy's powerful enemies

1248 - 1249

Mindaugas subsequently seizes their land and property for direct Lithuanian control, with the three failed would-be conquerors fleeing to Daniel of Galicia in 1249 (he is Tautvilas' brother-in-law). The four of them form a powerful coalition with the main body of Samogitians, along with the Livonian Order, and Vasilko of Volynia to oppose Mindaugas. He, however, outmanoeuvres them both militarily and politically by agreeing terms with Riga and the Order so that he will be crowned king.

1264 - 1269

Svarn / Shvarn / Svarnas

Son. Grand duke of Lithuania (1267-1269). Died.

1267

The assassination of Vaisvilkas of Lithuania by Svarn's brother, Lev, secures Svarn's newly-acquired position on the throne through his marriage to one of the daughters of Mindaugas. Little else is known about this largely unsung Galician prince.

1269 - 1301

Lev I Daniilovich / Leo

Brother. Galicia (1269), Volynia (1293), & Kyiv (1271).

1272

The capital is moved from Halych to the new city of Lvov (the Rus form of its name. In Polish it is Lwow or Lvov, and in Austro-Hungarian German it is Lemberg). Today the city, which had been founded in 1256, is much more commonly known by the Ukrainian form of its name, Lviv.

Old Lvov
The centre of Old Lvov (German Lemberg) was founded by Danylo Romanovych and apparently named for his son, Lev

1274 - 1275

Smolensk is the last of the independent principalities of the Rus, but it now falls to Mongke Temur of the Golden Horde. The following year he defends his Rus vassals by dispatching a Mongol-Rus force to ward off the Lithuanians, an action requested by Duke Lev Daniilovich of Halych and Kyiv.

1293 - 1301

Lev regains Volynia, temporarily reuniting the two principalities, along with his holdings in Kyiv. Following his death, the joint principality of Halych-Volynia begins to decline.

1301 - 1308

Yuri / Yuriy I / George

Son. King of Galicia. The crown lapsed with his death.

1308 - 1323

Andrei / Andrey / Andrew

Son. Duke of Galicia & Volynia. Killed by the Golden Horde.

1308 - 1323

Lev II / Leo II of Halych

Brother. Co-ruler. Killed by the Golden Horde. No heir.

1323

The brothers Andrei and Lev die together in battle against the Mongols of the Golden Horde, leaving no heir. Their sister, Maria, becomes the heiress of Galicia-Lvov (Halych-Lviv). As she is already married to Trojden I of Mazovian Czersk, the duchy is drawn closer to the Polish crown. The boyars invite her son, the Polish prince of Mazovia, Bolesław, to rule Galicia. He converts to Orthodoxy and assumes the name Yuri II.

Mongols of the Golden Horde
The Mongols maintained their dominance of the eastern Rus with bloodletting where necessary, burning and destroying towns which stood against them

1323 - 1340

Yuri II / Boleslaw Jerzy II

Grandson of Yuri. Poisoned by the boyars. No heir.

1340 - 1392

The murder of the unpopular Yuri II without him having produced an heir sparks the Galicia-Volynia Wars. Both Poland and Lithuania want control here. Gediminas of Lithuania attempts to place his son, Liubartas, in command as he is the son-in-law of the late Andrew of Galicia. He has also been prince of Lutsk and Liubar (Volynia) from 1323, and now becomes grand prince of Volynia (until his death around 1383), and grand prince of Halych-Volynia. However, he is unable to hold onto Halych in the face of Polish attacks.

1340 - 1349

Liubartas / Demetrius of Liubar

Son of Gediminas of Lithuania. Lost Halych by 1349. In Volynia.

1349 - 1772

Galicia / Halych (and all of Red Ruthenia) is finally reclaimed for Poland by Kasimierz III when the former kingdom is partitioned by him and Lithuania. He takes Halych while the Lithuanians retain their holdings in Volynia. By this time, Halych has been depopulated to the extent that the old town dies off. A new Halych is founded five kilometres away, which survives today. The region remains tied to the Polish crown until the 'First Partition' of Poland-Lithuania in 1772. Then Galicia is claimed by Austria to form the kingdom of Galicia & Lodomeria.

Kingdom of Galicia & Lodomeria
AD 1772 - 1918

The ancient region of Galicia today is divided between south-eastern Poland and western Ukraine, being bordered to the east by the Pripet Marshes (now in Belarus). The Rus presence here appears to have been very low key until the eleventh century formation of a series of minor city-state principalities which were ultimately under the guidance of the mother city of the Rus: Kyiv. That city's sacking in 1169 permitted a rapid dilution of power between Kyiv, the new principal seat of Vladimir, and the increasingly influential lesser grand duchies.

The name 'Galicia' is mirrored in the name of the city which formed its capital, Halych (Ukrainian), Galych (Russian), or Halicz (Polish) next to the modern city of the same name on the Dniester in western Ukraine. However, 'Galicia' itself was a much older name, one which referred to Celts who had long ago settled the region (see Galatia for an explanation).

The collapse of the Kievan Rus created a host of independent principalities across those territories which had formerly been controlled by Kyiv, and Halych proved to be one of the most important of these, along with Novgorod and Vladimir-Suzdal. Founded in 1142 and soon considerably expanded, the principality of Halychyna-Volynia became the most important of the western Rus states until it fell into the hands of Poland and Lithuania in 1349. They divided it back into its constituent parts, with Lithuania retaining Volynia (Volodymyr).

On 5 August 1772, during the 'First Partition' of Poland-Lithuania, Habsburg Austria was able to gain parts of Little Poland (Malopolska) and Red Ruthenia (Rus Czerwona), including territory which almost corresponded to the former principality of Halych-Volynia, thanks to the Hungarian claim of ownership of 1205-1214, which Austria inherited. The following month, Austria created the kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria (Halychyna and Volodymyr) as an administrative body to govern the newly acquired territories, with the Austrian emperor himself as head of state. Governors were put in place to control the day-to-day administrative duties within the kingdom. Twenty-three years later, the 'Third Partition' saw Austria add the rest of Little Poland to the kingdom, as well as Kraków, as Poland itself ceased to exist as a state.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information by Edward Dawson & Michael Hickson, from The Russian Primary Chronicle (Laurentian Text), Samuel Hazzard Cross & Olgerd P Sherbowitz-Wetzor (Eds and translators, Mediaeval Academy of America), from A History of Russian Architecture (Chapter 3: Vladimir and Suzdal Before the Mongol Invasion), William Craft Brumfield (Cambridge University Press, 1993), and from External Links: Worldstatesman, and The Fragmentation & Decline of Kievan Rus, and Encyclopaedia.com, and The Map Archive, and the Internet Encyclopaedia of Ukraine, and The Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, 1772, V J Kaye (Canadian Slavonic Papers, Vol 14, No 3 (Autumn, 1972), pp 454-464, Taylor & Francis Ltd, and available via JSTOR).)

1772 - 1774

Johann Baptist Anton Graf von Persen

'Persen' or 'Pergen'. First governor for Austria.

1773

As the recently-installed Austrian governor of Galicia, Count Pergen reports back to the emperor on the state of this new sub-kingdom. 'The Ruthenians form two-thirds of the population and differ also in language from the Poles: all peasants from Red Rus', Beiz, and Podolia are Ruthenians, those of Cracow and Sandomierz are Poles.'

Allenstien's Old Town
The city of Olsztyn (or Allenstein in German) was seized by Prussia in the 1772 partition of Poland-Lithuania, but Russia and Austria also seized their own prizes

In essence, those subjects who live in the north-west of the kingdom are Poles (and these areas are generally part of today's Poland), while the rest are the ancestors of today's western Ukrainians. The implementation of Austrian taxation and service rules shocks the nobility, but the act of freeing the serfs greatly improves their lot in life.

1774

Andreas Graf Hadik von Futak

Austrian general. Commander-in-chief of army of occupation.

1774 - 1780

Heinrich Auersperg

Prince of Auersperg. Died 1783.

1780 - 1794

Józef Brigido von Bresowitz

Italian-Austrian. Formerly vice-governor. Died 1817.

1794 - 1795

Józef Szekely

Hungarian politician.

1795 - 1801

Jan Gaisruck

Austrian politician. Died in office.

1801

Joseph Franz da Paula

Acting governor.

1801 - 1806

Józef Freiherr von Úrményi

Hungarian nobleman. Died 1825.

1806 - 1809

Christian Wurmser

Acting governor.

1806

With Napoleon I of France having defeated Austria in 1805, the following year sees the Holy Roman empire terminated. Prussia's Polish territory is annexed and an imperial satellite state called the grand duchy of Warsaw is formed from them. Austria appoints military governors to oversee its own Galician satellite kingdom which includes areas of the former Polish state.

Napoleon Bonaparte cornwed king of Italy in 1805
As depicted in 'The Coronation of Napoleon', by Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon was crowned king of Italy in Milan, in May 1805, virtually completing his domination of Southern Europe as far east as the Adriatic Sea

For a short time (between March 1809 and March 1810) these military governors displace the position of governor entirely, albeit with a gap in their own governance (1808-1809). The military governors continue to oversee matters until the French are expelled from German lands in 1814. Military governors are shown in red.

1806 - 1808

Heinrich Joseph Johannes

Austrian military governor of Galicia & Lodomeria.

1808 - 1809

No military governor is appointed following the utter defeat of the Austrian and Russian armies by Napoleon's France at the Battle of Friedland in 1807. A further disastrous Austrian defeat occurs in 1809, at the Battle of Wagram. In 1809, western Galicia is ceded to the grand duchy of Warsaw, but previous annexations remain part of Austria.

1809 - 1813

Heinrich Joseph Johannes

Second term of office between Napoleonic battles.

1810 - 1815

Peter Goëss

Austrian politician.

1813 - 1814

Michael Freiherr von Klienmayr

Austrian military governor of Galicia & Lodomeria.

1815

Georg Oechsner

Acting governor.

1815

The Congress of Vienna reshapes Europe in a post-Napoleonic guise, albeit without particularly taking apart many of Napoleon's changes to the political structure in the German principalities. Austria itself cedes the Lublin region and surrounding areas - including much of West Galicia - to Congress Poland. The Ternopil region - which includes southern Podolia - is returned to Austria by Russia. The city of Kraków and surroundings are removed from West Galicia to become a semi-autonomous free city under the supervision of Austria, Russia, and Prussia.

Polish-Russian War of 1830-1831
The Polish kingdom of Poland was created as a result of agreement between the partitioning powers of Austria, Prussia, and Russia, rather than being the sovereign decision of the Polish people themselves, so there was always going to be resistance against a Russian king of the Poles - which led to the outbreak of open warfare in 1830

1815 - 1822

Franz Seraph Freiherr von Hauer

Acting governor until Sep 1817. Died 1863.

1822 - 1826

Ludwig Patrick Taafe

Austrian lawyer & politician.

1826

The position of governor is raised to that of governor-general. The position of governor has largely been filled by Austrians, but some Hungarian presence has been included. Now with the position having been raised in importance, relatives of the Austrian emperor are now more likely to fill it.

1826 - 1832

August Longin Fürst von Lobkowitz

Prince of the Austrian empire. First governor-general.

1831

Following the suppression of the First (November) Insurrection in Poland, Russian control is restored on 26 September 1831 after a great deal of hard fighting by the Poles. Many Polish soldiers who are involved in the uprising choose to seek protection in Prussia, where they are disarmed and are not particularly welcome. Others flee to Galicia. When Russia offers the Polish troops amnesty, Prussian treatment of the rapidly dwindling number of surviving Poles becomes increasingly harsh.

1832 - 1846

Ferdinand Karl Joseph d'Este

Grandson of Austrian Emperor Franz I.

1846

FeatureHaving been administered by a government senate since 1815, a defeated Polish Kraków Uprising (which also involves western, predominantly Polish-dominant, parts of Galicia) ensures that the 'Kraków Republic' is now absorbed into the Austrian empire (see feature link). Its official designation becomes that of a grand duchy, with the Austrian emperor himself holding the title. This arrangement remains in place until 1918.

Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph
Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph enters his possession, the grand duchy of Kraków, in 1880, having benefited from the territory's enforced acquisition by his father in 1846

1846 - 1847

Franz Freiherr Krieg von Hochfelden

Acting governor.

1847 - 1848

Franz Seraph Graf Stadion

Count of Warthausen. Died 1853 (aged 46).

1848

In a year of European revolutions in 1848 (France, Hessen-Darmstadt, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Lombardy-Ventia, and Wallachia also experience problems), and subsequent to the February Revolution in Paris, liberal tendencies begin to be felt in Galicia, and even in Vienna. Governor Stadion abolishes all remnants of serfdom in an attempt to outmanoeuvre the revolutionary sentiment, but Lviv has to be bombarded before the uprising is extinguished.

1848

Wilhelm Karl K Freiherr v Hammerstein

Hanoverian German politician.

1848

Agenor Romuald O Goluchowski

Acting governor. A Pole. Working with von Hammerstein.

1848 - 1849

Wenzel Zalewski

Polish nobleman. Published collected Polish/Russian songs.

1849 - 1859

Agenor Romuald O Goluchowski

First term of office as full governor.

1859

The Second Italian War of Independence sees Lombardy taken from Austrian hands. The change in ownership is ratified in the same year by the Treaty of Zurich, creating the beginnings of a unified kingdom of Italy. Venice is captured in 1866, formally terminating the Austrian kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia.

Austria enters a period of internal reorganisation which includes the setting up of a legislative assembly for Galicia (a diet). At first it is dominated by pro-Habsburg Polish and Galician peasantry. The breaking out of disturbances in Russian-controlled Poland which spill over into Galicia means the diet soon ceases to sit.

1859 - 1860

Joseph Freiherr von Kalchberg

Acting governor.

1860 - 1861

Karl Ritter von Mosch

Acting governor.

1861 - 1864

Alexander Graf Mensdorff-Pouilly

Grandson of Duke Francis of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (1800).

1863

The period between 22 January 1863 to April 1865 witnesses the 'Second (January) Insurrection', or January Uprising. It owes a great deal to Count Lüders for its triggering, thanks to his brutal repression of Poles and the Catholic Church in Poland. The far more liberal hand of Grand Duke Konstatin Romanov arrives far too late to change the course of events.

January Uprising 1863
The January Uprising of 1863 took place in Poland, but it disrupted Russian governance much further afield and caused the policy of Russification to be firmly enforced

The uprising takes place across much of the former Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth, including Poland, Lithuania, the Baltic Provinces, Latgallia, Livonia, and even Austrian-controlled Galicia. Following this, Poland is administered as an integral part of Russia.

1864 - 1866

Franz Xaver Freiherr von Paumgarten

Austrian general. Died in Graz in 1866.

1866

Prussia fights the Austro-Prussian War against Austria, essentially as a decider to see which of the two powers will be dominant in Central Europe. Prussia gains the newly-created kingdom of Italy as an ally in the south and several minor German states in the north. Austria and its southern German allies are crushed in just seven weeks (giving the conflict its alternative title of the Seven Weeks' War), and Prussia is now unquestionably dominant.

Bismark oversees the seizure of four of Austria's northern German allies, the kingdom of Hanover, the electorate of Hessen-Kassel, and the duchy of Nassau, along with the free city of Frankfurt. Prussia also subsumes Schleswig and Holstein, although the former has technically been Prussian since 1864, and forces Saxe-Lauenberg into personal union (annexation in all but name, which turns into fact in 1876). Many of these gains ensure that Prussian territories in the east and west are now connected through the Rhineland and Westphalia.

Austro-Prussian War 1866
Austria's slow-moving forces were outpaced by Prussia's fully modern army during the Austro-Prussian War, which decided the power balance in Central Europe, as shown in this oil by Georg Bleibtreu

1866 - 1867

Agenor Romuald O Goluchowski

Acting governor. Second term of office.

1867

The 'Austro-Hungarian Compromise' (Ausgleich in German and Kiegyezés in Hungarian) sets in place a dual structure for what henceforth will be the Austro-Hungarian empire. The compromise arrangement is a result of Austria's weakened position in Europe, especially in Italy and in German lands.

The sovereignty of the kingdom of Hungary is restored following its loss in 1848. Emperor Francis Joseph is formally crowned king of Hungary on 8 June as the dual monarch of both nations. He will officially be known as the emperor and king. The sub-kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria is now a crown land under the Austrian side of the power arrangement. Pressure gradually forces through increasing levels of autonomy within the region, and a gradual increase in Ukrainianisation.

1871 Plenipotentiary Conference in Rome
The delegates of the 1871 Plenipotentiary Conference in Rome pose for a group photo, shortly after Italy achieved full unification under the House of Savoy

1867 - 1871

Ludwik v Choborski Freiherr Possinger

Acting governor.

1871 - 1875

Agenor Romuald O Goluchowski

Acting governor. Third term of office. Died aged 63.

1875 - 1883

Alfred Józef Graf Potocki von Pilawa

Polish nobleman. Grandson of Jan Potocki, writer.

1883 - 1888

Filip Zaleski

Son of Wenzel Zalewski (1848).

1888 - 1895

Kazimierz Feliks Graf Badeni

Polish nobleman. Pushed for Czech statehood but failed.

1895 - 1898

Eustachy Fürst Sanguszko

Polish nobleman. Died 1903.

1898 - 1903

Leon Graf von Pilinski

Polish scholar & historian. Highly conservative. Dismissed.

1903 - 1908

Andrzej Graf Potocki von Pilawa

Related to Alfred Józef (1875).

1908 - 1913

Michal Bobrzynski

Polish Galician professor and politician. Died 1935.

1913 - 1915

Witold Korytowski

Lost much of Galicia 1914-1915.

1914 - 1917

Having jointly guaranteed in 1839 to support the neutrality of Belgium, when the country is invaded by Germany, Britain, France, and Russia are forced to declare war against imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary at midnight on 4 August 1914 in what becomes known as the Great War or First World War.

The Russian army occupies most of Galicia following a rather disastrous Austro-Hungarian defence of the frontier in 1914. They reach Lemberg (Lvov) on 3 September 1914 and Przemysl on 22 March 1915. Military governors are appointed to the occupied territory in Galicia, with their names being shown in green.

Galicia during the First World War
Galicia found itself being incorporated into the Eastern Front during the First World War

1914 - 1915

Georgy Aleksandrovich Bobrynski

Russian military governor in occupied Galicia.

1915

A combined Austro-Hungarian and German offensive in the east largely repulses the Russians from Galicia. The Gorlice–Tarnów offensive starts out as a simple German attempt to relieve pressure on the Austro-Hungarian defences, but develops into the most major campaign of the year, with the Russian lines collapsing and Russian troops fleeing far into the Russian interior. Only bad weather in October ends the offensive.

1915 - 1916

Hermann von Colard

Austrian governor in restored Galicia.

1916 - 1917

Erich Freiherr von Diller

Austrian governor in restored Galicia until 1916.

1916 - 1917

Fyodor Fyodorovich Trepov

Russian military governor in occupied Galicia.

1917 - 1918

Karl Georg Graf Huyn

Austrian military governor of Galicia and then governor.

1917

Russia's February Revolution of 1917 begins with riots in Petrograd over food rations and the conduct of the war against Germany, and it ends with the creation of a Bolshevik Soviet republic following the October Revolution. Mismanaging their own administration of the country and badly handling the war effort, the Bolsheviks start to lose control of some of Russia's imperial dominions, and the former empire slides into civil war. Several Ukrainian republics emerge, with the Ukrainian People's Republic being internationally recognised.

1917 - 1918

Prince Witold Czartoryski

Polish general commissar of Galicia & Lodomeria.

1918

Towards the last days of the First World War, the Austro-Hungarian empire begins to collapse. On 1 November 1918, Galicia and Lodomeria are incorporated into the new republic of Poland, which itself is declared on 7 November. This has replaced the 'Regency of the Polish Kingdom' which has only existed on paper since 1917.

Vienna in 1918
With the various peoples who made up its ethnically-diverse population pulling apart from it in 1918, Vienna was left with a rump state which greatly reduced its power and significance in post-Austro-Hungarian empire Europe

Eastern parts of Galicia are claimed as the West Ukrainian People's Republic, while the Lemko-Rusyn republic which is formed in western Galicia tries to link up with Russia before being suppressed by Poland.

The competing territorial claims lead to war between Poland, Russia, and Ukraine, with the immediate result that Galicia remains a Polish possession of its 'Second Republic'. The short-lived Galitzian Socialist Soviet Republic is declared at Ternopol in eastern Galicia in 1920. Today, following post-Second World War border changes, the former kingdom is almost entirely within Ukraine, except for its westernmost edge.