What do we do not know about the princess Olga?
What we know about the princess Olga? For the answer to this question it is enough to open any encyclopedic dictionary where we will read:
“ Olga - (a Christian name - Elena) (about 890 - 969, Kiev), the grand duchess Kiev, Igor`s wife. After murder of the husband by Drevlyans (945) cruelly suppressed their revolt. In 945 - 947 established the sizes of tributes for Drevlyans and Novgorodians, organized administrative centers - churchyards. Considerably expanded territorial possession of the Kiev grand-ducal house. In 955 (or 957) visited Constantinople; adopted Christianity. Ruled the state in days of the early childhood of the son Svyatoslav Igorevich and later, during his campaigns. In 968 directed protection of Kiev against Pechenegs. It is canonized by the Russian church “. (BSE)
In more developed literary statement its biography looks so. In far 945 once upon a time there was a prince Igor. Also it had a wife. The prince was is hefty greedy and somehow decided to collect twice taxes on one legal entity. The person took offense and artfully killed the collector of taxes. Olga learned about it, and history of revenge it was recorded in “ Stories of temporary years “ talented chronicler.
As bad Drevlyans wished to take the widow in the wife to the own prince, sent to her delegation with the wedding offer. The first delegation Olga buried alive, burned the second in the similar way, a third artfully gave to drink and ordered to kill to soldiers. Directly a jimjams from a simple statement of the facts... And if also to remember the final act of the drama when the princess reduced to ashes the capital of Drevlyans, then at all not the most pleasant personality gets up before our eyes.
And, nevertheless, Olga was canonized by sacred church. Certainly, not for the jealous observance of pagan rites of revenge, and for the fact that it became the first ruler of the country which adopted Christianity. The official version says that the above described revenge was beyond the power for the woman that murdered were it in nightmares until one wise priest advised it to adopt Christianity, having described all pluses of a ceremony of repentance. Olga obeyed, went to the center of Christianity of that time - Constantinople that in Byzantium (nowadays Istanbul), found the godfather in the person of the emperor Konstantin Bagryanorodny, like ideas of belief and became her obvious advocate that successfully brought closer a general hristianization of Russia in 1000. Very much “ brushed “ the character turned out … What is actually known of this surprising woman?
First of all - who is she by origin? History contradicts itself, issuing different versions, the most widespread of which - that Olga was the Norman princess by the name of Helge and that it was Oleg`s pupil (“ Prophetic Oleg “ that that died from a sting of a snake). In Chronicles it is said that Oleg “ brought “ Olga in the wife to Igor, the pupil, in 903. As the proof of this theory it is possible to consider the fact that Olga was very respected by Varangian teams, any plot against it in the state was not noted.
Perhaps, she was Slav from Pskov by the name of Prekrasa. It was renamed thanks to Oleg who (having something in common with the previous version) took it to Igor. In favor of Pskov (as well as Izborsk) says the fact that from all cities of Russians they were presented by Olga means more all others.
Karamzin considers her as the woman from a simple (not notable) Russian sort. She served as a perevozchitsa on the river, and once the prince Igor became her passenger. It liked the girl and did not manage to incline her to appointment in bushes for what strongly started to respect and decided to marry immediately. Beautiful fairy tale, but very doubtful. The first Ryuriki were so full of desire to create a noble family of Ryurik dynasty that mismatch was not in their interests.
However all legends agree on one: Olga was “ alien “ not the Kiev resident. It is possible for this reason she managed to appropriate so dashingly the power - in our country the much bigger respect to " is long since observed; alien “ than to “ the “. Let`s remember at least Catherine II.
Nothing is known by us and about Olga`s age. When she could be born? In how many years it could be given for Igor? At what age she gave rise the only thing (?) son Svyatoslav? One historians consider as date of its birth 925. It is pleasant to consider, of course, her as the young and beautiful widow 20 - ti years when in 945 she so cruelly revenged for the died husband. This version is spoken well also by date of birth of Svyatoslav - 942. However, then the age difference of spouses turns out around 40 years (date of birth of the prince Igor is unknown too, but we know that he accepted a throne from the prince Oleg in 882, and it was obviously already capable to operate the state).
However “ Story of Temporary Years “ says that the prince Oleg brought to the pupil Igor the wife in 903 that automatically increases Olga`s age for 25 years, at least. Whether the woman whom under fifty could give birth to the child? In principle, everything is possible … Then the age difference between spouses is not so big, though in this case an epithet “ old husband “ it does not seem inappropriate. And sincere rushes towards Christianity have steadier basis. Besides it is not known of private life of the princess Olga after death of the husband. Would leave the young widow alone? And here in 40 years the woman was considered as already drawn old woman - whether before new marriages by her? Though history of innocent flirtation with the emperor Konstantin is also stated in “ Stories of Temporary Years “ but the emperor for some reason does not remember him in the memoirs at all though he according to the chronicler was in love so that he offered Olga a marriage, though had quite lawful spouse at that time.
There is a wish to believe in love which connected Olga and Igor. There is no wish to think that she began to revenge so terribly, being guided only by political reasons. It is much more romantic to see before himself the woman blinded by a grief who for the sake of love falls to revenge. Besides (!) Igor lived in times when polygamy was the normal phenomenon - and, nevertheless, nothing is known about it “ harem “. Besides I hope that only for romantic reasons it did not take itself(himself) additional wives.
It turns out that of the first famous Russian woman we know only what was told to us by the anonymous chronicler who created “ Story of temporary years “ much later the events described by it. Not therefore whether the image of the princess Olga is so attractive?