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Daniel of Moscow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Daniel of Moscow
Prince of Moscow
Danila titularnik 2.jpg
Prince of Moscow
PredecessorBoris Of Moscow (Disputed)
SuccessorYuri I
Vladimir, Vladimir-Suzdal principality
Died(1303-03-04)4 March 1303 (aged 41 or 42)
Moscow, Grand Duchy of Moscow
IssueYury of Moscow
Boris of Kostroma
Afanasy of Novgorod
Ivan I of Moscow
FatherAlexander Nevsky
Motherprinces Vassa
ReligionRussian Orthodox Church
Daniel of Moscow
Daniil of Moscow (fresco in Archang. cat).jpg
Fresco in the Cathedral of the Archangel, Moscow
Died4 March 1303
Venerated inRussian Orthodox Church
Burial placeCemetery of Danilov (Russian: Даниловское кладбище)

Daniil Aleksandrovich (Russian: Даниил Александрович) (1261 – 4 March 1303) was the youngest son of Alexander Nevsky and forefather of all the Grand Dukes of Moscow.

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In the ongoing power struggle, the Moscow princes were the smartest in dealing with the Mongol conquerors. Their Grand Duchy of Moscow gradually annexed all neighboring principalities, and became the heart of the state that later came to be known as Russia. MOSCOW By the 1200’s, the biggest cities of Rus were Kiev, Novgorod, Vladimir, Tver, Ryazan, and Rostov. Moscow was of no significance until the 14th century. It had been established by Yuri Dolgorukiy, in 1147, in the middle of thick woods. RISE OF MOSCOW In 1283, the Grand Duchy of Moscow was founded by Prince Daniel. The state was also known as the “Grand Principality of Moscow,” or simply, “Muscovy”. The Moscow princes, who at first still preferred to name themselves Grand Princes of Vladimir, learned to please the Mongol khans, and earned special privileges at the expense of other principalities. Ivan I (Ivan Kalita), was good at collecting all the tax money from fellow princes and giving it to the Mongols. They in return recognized him as the Grand Prince of Moscow, superior to all other princes. Moscow’s importance grew even more when the Russian Metropolitan (head of the church) moved his residence from Vladimir to Moscow. The Grand Duchy of Moscow gradually absorbed all the neighboring lands, and became the central power in, what is now, Western Russia. VICTORY OVER THE MONGOLS In 1380, Prince Dmitry Donskoy felt he was strong enough to oppose the Mongols on a battlefield. He beat the Mongol army in the 1380 Battle of Kulikovo. Two years later, however, the Mongol Khan, Tokhtamysh, conquered Moscow again and re-established his rule over it. Thus, the end of Mongol rule was not a single event, but rather a very long process. It took another hundred years for the rulers of Moscow to rid themselves of the Mongol yoke for good.


Early life

Prince Daniel of Moscow was born at Vladimir, capital of the Great Vladimir-Suzdal principality, in 1261. He was the fourth and youngest son of Saint Prince Alexander Nevsky—famous in the history of the Russian State and the Russian Orthodox Church — and his second wife, Princess Vassa. [1] One of the most junior princes in the House of Rurik, Daniel is thought to have been named after his celebrated relative, Daniel of Galicia.


His father died when he was only two years old. Of his father's patrimonies, he received the least valuable, Moscow.[1] When he was a child, the tiny principality was being governed by tiuns (deputies), appointed by his paternal uncle, Grand Prince Yaroslav III.

Daniel has been credited with founding the first Moscow monasteries, dedicated to the Lord's Epiphany and to Saint Daniel. On the right bank of the Moskva River, at a distance of 5 miles from the Moscow Kremlin not later than in 1282 he founded the first monastery with the wooden church of St. Daniel-Stylite.[2] Now it is the Danilov Monastery. He also built a church dedicated to the Great Martyr Demetrius in the 1280s. This was the first stone church in the Moscow Kremlin.[3]

Daniel took part in his brothers'—Dmitri of Pereslavl and Andrey of Gorodets—struggle for the right to govern Vladimir and Novgorod, respectively. After Dmitry's death in 1294, Daniel made an alliance with Mikhail of Tver and Ivan of Pereslavl against Andrey of Gorodets of Novgorod.

Daniel's participation in the struggle for Novgorod in 1296 indicated Moscow's increasing political influence. Constantine, the prince of Ryazan, tried to capture the Moscow lands with the help of a Mongol force. Prince Daniel defeated it near Pereslavl. This was a first victory over the Tatars, though not a tremendous victory, but it was noteworthy as a first push towards freedom.[2]

In 1300, he went to Ryazan with an army and imprisoned the ruler of the Ryazan Principality "by some ruse", as the chronicle says, and destroyed a multitude of Tatars. To secure his release, the prisoner ceded to Daniel his fortress of Kolomna. It was an important acquisition, as now Daniel controlled all the length of the Moskva River.

In 1302 his childless nephew and ally, Ivan of Pereslavl, bequeathed to Daniel all his lands, including Pereslavl-Zalessky.[2]

During the Mongol occupation and internecine wars among the Rus' princes, Daniel created peace in Moscow without bloodshed. During 30 years of ruling Daniel participated in battles only once.[1] According to legend, Daniel was popular and respected by his subjects for his meekness, humility and peacefulness.

Death and canonization

At the age of 42 on the 5th of March in 1303 St. Daniel died. Before his death he became a monk and, according to his will, was buried in the cemetery of the St. Daniel Monastery. This was a common cemetery and by being buried there he was demonstrating humility. He was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1791 but only for local veneration. [2]

In the year 1330, the monastery was moved to Kremlin and the monastery was turned into a common parish. The cemetery became open to the public and his grave was lost. On August 30, 1652, many relics from Daniel of Moscow were found and were placed in a tomb in the Danilov Monastery in his honor.[4]

Marriage and children

His wife was named Maria. They had at least six children:

  • Yury of Moscow (1281 – 21 September 1325).
  • Aleksandr Daniilovich (died Autumn 1308).
  • Boris Daniilovich, Prince of Kostroma (died 1320).
  • Afanasy Daniilovich, Prince of Novgorod (died 1322).
  • Fedora Daniilovna. Married Yaroslav Romanovich, Prince of Ryazan (died 1299).
  • Ivan I of Moscow (1288 – 31 March 1340).

See also


  1. ^ a b c History of St. Daniel Monastery of Moscow
  2. ^ a b c d "Right-Believing Prince Daniel of Moscow", Orthodox Church in America
  3. ^ "Holy, Glorious Demetrius the Myrrh-gusher of Thessalonica", Orthodox Church in America
  4. ^ "St. Daniel of Moscow – the peace-loving prince". New York City Deanary. Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. 2015-03-17. Retrieved 2017-12-01.

External links

  • Cawley, Charles, His listing ., Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy
Preceded by
Boris Mikhailovich
Prince of Moscow Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 18 June 2019, at 20:01
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