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The seal of Vladimir Monomakh was found on the territory of the New Castle


At the end of October, the Minsk archaeologist Ivan Spirin, who supervises the earthworks at the New Castle in Grodno, found a hanging seal that can be safely attributed to the first years of Grodno’s existence

These lead seals were clamped on laces attached to documents, such as letters. The tradition of their manufacture dates back to the times of Ancient Rome and Byzantium (3-4 centuries AD) and from there came to the lands of Kievan Rus. Examples from online forums and specialist literature made it possible to identify the seal rather quickly.
It belongs to Prince Vladimir Monomakh, the father of the Grodno princess Agafia. On one side there is an image of Basil of Caesarea (Heavenly patron of Vladimir Monomakh, who received the name Vasily at baptism) and on the other there is a divine inscription in Old Russian with a request for God’s help. The text is deciphered approximately as “Lord, help your slave Vasily, Prince of Russia.” There are finds of seals with a similar inscription in Greek. Such seals refer to the late period of the reign of Vladimir Monomakh (after 1113). Let us recall that in 1116 the great Kiev prince Vladimir Monomakh married his daughter Agafya to Prince Usvaladka Davydovich. Prince Vsevolod (Usevaladka) and is referred to as a Grodno prince in 1127. Then a great campaign of the princes who were in the sphere of influence of Kiev took place, against the Polotsk Krivichi and Grodno residents took part in it.
This finding is important primarily for two reasons. First, she, in fact, puts a fat point in the discussion about
really chronicle Goraden of 1127 is modern Grodno. Historians and archaeologists, in principle, have not doubted this since the beginning of the 20th century, but the find of the seal of Vladimir Monomakh, who wrote to his daughter and son-in-law in Grodno, almost unquestionably confirms the identity of the chronicle and modern Grodno. The second important point – the place of discovery – the area around the modern New Castle, opens up as an extremely important place for prospective archaeological research. A year ago, during excavation work, they dug out parts of the buildings from plinth – brick, which dates the object to the 12th – 13th centuries It seems that at the New Castle, future archaeologists will find no less interesting discoveries than those made on Castle Hill, where the Old Castle is now located. Grodno of the times of Kievan Rus still hides many secrets.

The seal of Vladimir Monomakh

The seal of Vladimir Monomakh

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