5 Remarkable Medieval Slavic Women

Women who shaped history…

darksouls1 (CC0), Pixabay

Slavic women are famous for their beauty around the world. However, the lands of Slavs gave the world hundreds of ladies who were not only beautiful but also fascinating, charismatic, wise and talented. When medieval Europe was struggling, the ones who supported the glorious ideas were women. They were wives, mothers, daughters, but they were also politicians, leaders, and rulers. Some of them were golden hearted, some hard political players:

1. Jelena Šubić

She was the daughter of Stefan Uroš III Dečanski of Serbia. Her family ruled Dalmatia from Klis Fortress. When her husband Mladen III Subić died, Jelena ruled as a widow over Klis and Skradin. Many biographical facts about this remarkable woman had been lost through the time, but it is known that Mladen died in 1348. She ruled for a few years as a strong and powerful leader. Jelena had to face many problems with opponents including the Republic of Venice. Although she was unable to save the Skardin of the attack by Venice, her political skills saved lives of her and her son Mladen IV, who stayed in Klis as a political hostage.

2. Anna of Poland

The Countess of Celje, who was n f the most influential women in European politics of her times. She was a daughter of King Casimir III of Poland, who was succeeded by his nephew, King Luis of Hungary. Louis wasn’t a son of Anna, but her cousin. However, he didn’t stop her career. She was born in 1366, her mother was the fourth wife of the king – Hedwig of Sagan. Anna was married to William, Count of Celje (1361–1392), a man chosen by Anna’s first cousin, King Louis I, from among his vassals in Hungarian south. After his death, in 1394 the widowed Anna married Ulrich, Duke of Teck. During both marriages, she played an important role in politics staying the adviser to her husbands and the other noblemen who asked her for opinions.

3. Saint Solomonia Yuryevna Saburova

She was the wife of Grand Prince of Muscovy, Vasili III. Due to her unique personality, she was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church as Saint Sofia of Suzdal. She was known as a beautiful woman, whose personality was mild and morals clean and full of love en empathy. Sadly, her husband wasn’t the same. When he discovered that Solomonia cannot give him a child, made him divorce her and forced her to take the veil under the name of Sophia at the Nativity Monastery of Moscow. Although her life wasn’t rich in remarkable events, she was well known as a person who helped many. Solomonia died in 1542, she was 52 years old.

4. Doubravka of Bohemia

She was the wife of Mieszko I, first historical ruler of Poland and mother of Bolesław I Chrobry, the first king of Poland. According to the historical sources she urged Mieszko to accept baptism in 966. Although nowadays the historians doubt in her role in the conversion of Mieszko from paganism to Christianity, in medieval chronicles her position appears as strong. She was born as a princess of Premyslic dynasty c. 940-945 and died in 977.

5. Świętosława

The daughter of Doubravka of Bohemia and perhaps a wife of two very important Scandinavian rulers. She grew up on the court of her father Mieszko I and stays known in history as Sigrid the Haughty. She was married first to Eric the Victorious of Sweden and then Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark. Her sons were Olof, Canute, and Harald. Although there is not enough information about her, it is believed that she was buried in the UK. Sadly, it is hard to explain details about her life, because many researchers still doubt in her story. If the official story is right, as a wife and mother of very important Scandinavian rulers, świetosława stays a mother of the monarchs, the political leader and a beautiful woman whose life deserves to be rediscovered.

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