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Andrey Yurievich Bogolyubsky

Andrey <b>Bogolyubsky</b>Andrey Yuriyevich Bogolyubsky, prince of Vladimir (1157-1174).
Grand duke of Suzdal, son of Yuri Dolgoruky. The first reports of him in annals bring us to the time of well-known struggle of his father Yuri with nepnep Izyaslav Mstislavich, who came to Kiev throne not by right. Under Lutsk, Andrey showed miracles of courage. Not informing his brothers, he with a retinue went to repel a sortie undertaken from the city; having banished the enemies, he, in his impetuosity, did not noticed, that his retinue was far behind him and that he is alone in the crowd of enemies; only two "children" (members of younger retinue), and that only later, followed him. Andrey was wounded by two spears; one enemy pressed on him with bear-spear. Having prayed to saint Feodor, who was commemorated on that day, Andrey took out the sword, defended himself and galloped away from the crowd surrounding him. When he was out of danger, wounded horse died, and Andrey ordered to bury it near the river "honouring it", adds chronicler.

In 1155 Yuri Dolgoruky managed to become firmly established in Kiev; then he put Andrey near himself in Vyshgorod. But Andrey did not stay there long and left for Suzdal land; he took along from Vyshgorod the icon of Christ's Saint Mother, painted, according to legend, by Evangelist Luka. This icon, subsequently named 'Vladimirskaya', became the greatest relic of north-east Russia. The legend says, that, not reaching eleven versts to Vladimir, the horse, which carried the icon, stopped, that was taken for an omen, and there Andrey founded the city of Bogolyubov, his beloved abode.

Capital of his principality - Vladimir - he tried to decorate with churches and mansion. During the first ten years of his reign Andrey almost did not interfere with affairs of other Russian lands, though his prevalence over princes of Ryazan, Smolensk and Polotsk cities, who subsequently participated in his campaigns, was quite evident. At that time he declared claims on Novgorod city. In 1164 Andrey joined battle with Bulgars, who were not the nearest neighbours of Suzdal land, but were in the trading relations with it. Andrey himself participated in the campaign and took along the Vladimirskaya icon of Christ's Saint Mother to mark the religious character of war with Moslems. After crossing the Volga river there was a thanksgiving service; Bulgars were crashed, some cities, including well-known Brakhimov, were taken.

In March of 1169 Kiev was taken "on shield" and plundered; here Andrey put his brother Gleb as the head and after his death - Roman Rostislavich; but soon he became angry with Rostislavichi family, believing slanderers, who stated, that they gave a refuge to murderers of his brother Gleb. Rostislavichi refused to deliver up the accused and occupied Kiev. Andrey demanded, that they go away from the Kievskaya volost. Mstislav Rostislavich, having shaved the head and the beard off the ambassador, send him to tell Andrey: " Till now we have loved and respected you as our father but if you have sent your ambassador with such speeches to us, not as to prince but as to servant and commoner, than do what you have decided to, and let the God judge us". However, soon Rostislavichi family quarreled among themselves again and appealed to Andrey.

On June 29, 1174 Andrey was killed by the people he trusted. Andrey ordered to execute one of brothers of his first wife, Kuchkakovich. The brother of the executed, Yakim hatched a plot to kill the prince. In the plot his son-in-law Peter Kurkov and housekeeper of Andrey Anbal Yassin (i.e. representative of Yassy tribe, ancestors of now-days Ossetins) took part. There were 20 plotters. Murderers broke the door and rushed into the bedroom. Prince jumped and began to search for the sword of Saint Boris, which had always hung above his bed; but the sword had been put away by Yassin on the previous day. Two murderers seized the prince. "Woe upon you, ungodly, - said Andrey, - why do you what to be like Goryaser (the murderer of Saint Gleb)? Have I done any evil to you? If you shed my blood, the God will revenge you in heavens". Peter cut off prince's hand. "My God, to your hands I give my soul", - said Andrey and died.

Two days lay the body of prince on the church-porch; on the third day Arseny, abbot from Kuzma and Damian came, Andrey <b>Bogolyubsky</b>he brought the body into the church, put it into a stone coffin and read the burial service over it. Citizens of Bogolyubovo all this time were plundering the palace, houses of rich people and foreign builders of the temple; the same happened in Vladimir city.

At last disorders ended; citizens of Vladimir city went with a stretcher to Bogolyubov city and transported the body. People were mourning. Andrey was burried in Vladimir Uspensky Cathedral. The church canonized him. There is a legend that Vsevlod the Big Nest ordered to sew up murderers of Andrey in boxes and throw them into Plovucheye lake (three versts from Vladimir city; Tatishev calls it foul) and they say as if even now these boxes, covered with moss, come sometimes to the surface of lake and groans are heard.

There is information, that the second wife of Bogolyubsky, which participated in the murder, is of Yassy (Ossetin) origin. From Andrey's children only Jury, who reigned in Novgorod, lived longer than his father.

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