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Russian Personalities

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Olga the Beauty, Russian Ruler

olga the beauty

Holy Grand Duchess Olga. N.A. Bruni. 1901

Princess Olga, also known as Olga the Beauty, ruled Rus’ from 945 to 962 after the death of her husband Igor, Grand Duke of Kiev. She was the first of Russian rulers who adopted Christianity before the Baptism of Russia.
Olga was born in 890. According to the Primary Chronicle she was born in Pleskov (Pskov), into a family of Varyag origin. By some accounts, Olga was the daughter of Prophetic Oleg, Oleg of Novgorod, who became the ruler of Kievan Rus as a guardian of a minor Igor, the son of Rurik. It was Oleg, who married Igor and Olga.
Princess Olga was the wife of Igor of Kiev, who was killed by the Drevlians. Upon her husband’s death, their son, Svyatoslav, was three years old, making Olga the official ruler of Kievan Rus until he reached adulthood. The Drevlians wanted Olga to marry their Prince Mal, making him the ruler of Kievan Rus, but Olga was determined to remain in power and preserve it for her son.

Olga decided to revenge for her husband’s murder. 20 Drevlians arrived at the boat to ask Olga married their Prince Mal. Olga ordered to throw them and their boat into a deep pit in the yard and buried them alive.
Then Olga asked to send new the best ambassadors to her. So they were burnt in the bath.
3rd revenge: Princess with a small team came to the Drevlians land to celebrate a funeral feast at the grave of her husband. During the feast she gave the Drevlians potion and told her soldiers to cut them down. Chronicle reports about 5 thousand killed Drevlians.
According to Tale of Bygone Years, Olga burned the city of the Drevlians with the help of birds, she ordered to tie the lighted tow to their feet.
Princess Olga initiated Stone Town Planning in Russia (the first stone buildings in Kiev were the city palace and Olga’s vacation house).
In 955 Olga was baptized in Constantinople.
She died on July 11, 969.
In 1547 Olga was canonized a saint. There are only 5 women saints in Christian history: Mary Magdalene, Thekla the Protomartyr, Martyr Apphia, Queen Elena and Nina Enlightener of Georgia. Holy Princess Olga is the patron saint of widows.
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Olga the Beauty, Russian Ruler