Tmutarakan Principality

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tmutarakan’ Principality


a tenth- to 12th-century Russian principality on the Taman’ Peninsula headed by the city of Tmutarakan’.

The first settlements of Eastern Slavs on the Taman’ Peninsula date from the time of the campaigns waged by Igor against Byzantium in A.D. 944 and by Sviatoslav against the Iasy (Alani) and Kasogi (Adygs) in 965. The Tmutarakan’ Principality was noted for its ethnic diversity. From 988 to 1036 it was a possession of Mstislav Vladimirovich (died 1036), who subjugated the Kasogi and expanded the territory of the principality. The Church of the Bogoroditsa (Mother of God) was founded by Mstislav in Tmutarakan’; later, with the establishment of the Tmutarakan’ eparchy, the church became a bishopric. In the 1060’s the principality became a possession of the Chernigov prince Sviatoslav Iaroslavich; it was subsequently ruled by Sviatoslav’s sons Gleb, Roman, and Oleg. During this period—the later 11th century—the principality became the object of political claims by other Russian princes as well as by Byzantium. In the late 11th and early 12th centuries, the growing strength of the Polovtsy succeeded in breaking the ties between Tmutarakan’ and the Russian realms, until the principality forfeited its independence.


Nasonov, A. N. “Tmutorokan’ v istorii Vostochnoi Evropy X v.” In the collection Istoricheskie zapiski, fase. 6. Moscow, 1940.
Mongait, A. L. “O granitsakh Tmutarakanskogo kniazhestva v XI v.” In Problemy obshchestvenno-politicheskoi istorii Rossii i slavianskikh strati: Sbornik statei k 70-letiiu akademika M. N. Tikhomirova. Moscow, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.