The beginning of the reign of Daniel Alexandrovich

After the news of the death of Mikhail Khorobrit, news of Moscow disappears from the pages of the chronicle for a long time, reappearing only in 1282 in connection with the story of the troubles between the Grand Duke Dmitry Alexandrovich and his brother Andrey.

Tver, Muscovites and Novgorodians came to Pereslavl, where Dmitry settled down . At the head of the Muscovites was the youngest of the sons of Alexander Nevsky, Prince Daniel. The Nikon Chronicle calls him the Grand Duke of Moscow, but earlier chronicles say briefly: “Moscow Danilo Alexandrovich … from Muscovites.”

From these words it is not entirely clear what the speech is about – whether Daniel tried to establish himself in Moscow with the help of Muscovites who wanted a special prince, or he was already a Moscow prince in 1282. The fact is that we also have another testimony according to which Daniel was established in Moscow much later. Thus, the Suprasl Chronicle, reporting on the death of Daniel, adds that he was “reigning for 11 years” – words missing in other chronicles.

Since we know that Daniel died in 1303, the beginning of his Moscow reign should be set in 1292. There is one more testimony placed in the Book of the Degrees. According to him, Daniel inherited Moscow from his father, where he grew up. This testimony is accepted by our historians as quite reliable, although it is only an echo of the later legends about Daniel and Moscow of the 13th century. Under Ivan the Terrible, when the Book of Degrees was compiled, that is, almost three centuries after the death of the founder of the dynasty of Moscow princes , they wrote about Daniel only on the basis of legends and speculation.

The only valuable indication of the life can be considered the testimony that Daniel was two years old when his father Alexander Nevsky died. Consequently, Daniel was born around 1261.

From the conflicting testimonies of the chronicles, it seems that one conclusion can be made – to recognize as an error either the data of the Suprasl Chronicle, or the contradicting evidence of the Nikon Chronicle, which calls Daniel the Moscow prince already in 1282. But another assumption is also possible – the recognition of the error in the date set in the Suprasl Chronicle, especially valuable for the history of early Moscow. Instead of the number 11, it could have been 21, since the letters “i” for 10 and “k” for 20 are very close in spelling. Then it turns out that Daniel became a Moscow prince in 1282.

This year was marked by an internecine struggle between the sons of Alexander Nevsky – Grand Duke Dmitry and his brother Andrei Gorodetsky. Andrei brought with him the Tatars, who terribly ruined the environs of Vladimir, Suzdal, Yuriev and Pereslavl. So in front of us is the road along which they went to Pereslavl, the capital city of Dmitry, the Tatars. Moscow found itself on the sidelines of this road, perhaps because Daniel successfully took advantage of the troubles in order, with the help of the Tatars, to establish himself in the Moscow reign and with apparent obedience to avoid their attack. Therefore, he ended up near Pereslavl, along with the Muscovites, who had come at the khan’s demand to fight against Dmitry Alexandrovich.

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