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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an Old Russian voevoda (military commander) of the tenth century.

Svenel’d was of Norman (Varangian) origin. During the reign of Igor’ he helped subdue the Ulichi and fought in the wars against Byzantium of 941 and 944 and in the Transcauca-sian campaign of 943–44. In 946 he led a campaign against the Drevliane; he also took part in all the campaigns of Prince Svia-toslav Igorevich. Svenel’d was the closest advisor of Grand Prince Iaropolk Sviatoslavich. In 977, when his son was murdered by Iaropolk’s brother, the Drevlianian prince Oleg, Svenel’d gained revenge by inciting Iaropolk to seize Oleg’s land-holdings. After the defeat and death of Oleg, Svenel’d evidently fell into disgrace and soon died.


Artamonov, M. I. “Voevoda Svenel’d.” In Kul’tura Drevnei Rusi. Moscow, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.