Princely gift

In the Ipatyevsky chronicle it is told: "Xie Az, the prince Volodimer, the son Vasilkov, the grandson Romanov, I write the diploma: Kobryn both with people, and with a tribute gave esm to the princess, after the stomach the city, Kako at me thawed, taka and on me allow to at to my princess". So at summer 6795 according to annalistic tradition, or in 1287, the princess Olga Romanovna received from "creation of the world" according to the will Kobrin. This the first written mention known today of the city. There was Kobrin still earlier. In the Ipatyevsky chronicle it appears as already developed city in the north of the Volynsk earth, beyond Pripyat.

At the end of the 7th century, tesnimy from the South (frame) with Avar nomads, there were Slavic tribes of duleb. Archeologists assume that exactly from here, from the southwest, development by Slavs of that territory which will be called Belarus subsequently began then. The Duleba known later as to the buzhena and the volynena, met conditions, new to them: hilly, forest-steppe landscapes of the Carpathian foothills were replaced by continuous forests and boggy plains. On extraordinary flat district tens of the big and small rivers spread. The rivers were the most reliable reference points in uninhabited huge open spaces. They were named. It is remarkable that in this zone (the western and Central Polesia) the most archaic remained for Belarus place names (toponyms). Old Slavic language roots are also until now traced here in the speech of local population.

The abundance of a various game and fish quite compensated to new settlers lack of the cultivated fields at the beginning. Fishery in which with the greatest success it was possible to be engaged was of particular importance, having settled on coast of the rivers, small and medlennotekushchy, with zatoka and shoal. In such waters it was convenient to be active a harpoon, to put fish-traps, to catch on a hook, but it is the best of all — to shower networks. And if to consider that nearby there was a wood giving fuel, construction and ornamental material, food and covering from enemies, then the place was represented quite attractive to the subsequent accommodation. To all other, the earth was suitable for cultivation of cereals. And still it contained clay, marsh ore from which iron was melted. Here in Toky natural conditions there was once a settlement on the coast of the river Mukhavets where the rivulet which did not have a name yet flew into it from the South several channels.

Obra, apparently, for a long time pursued the fugitives leaving on the West and to the North, creating over them everyones violence. It is possible to judge it, reading the well-known "Story of temporary years" created about 1113. It is no wonder that descendants of the duleb disseminated by Avars will try to discover places safe, secluded. And everything will loom before them the image of ominous "obrin" immortalized in legends, in names of natural boundaries and settlements. But since the end of the 7th century the power of the Avarian power that it was stretched in northern Black Sea Coast, across Danube and the Balkans, became sharp to fall, and in the 90th years of the 8th century it was finally crushed by neighbors. It was not become stronger also to those Avars that reached Polesia: they unexpectedly were gone, is so unexpected that the chronicler Nestor celebrated this event, having invented a familiar expression in this occasion:" Pogibosha, like obra". Most likely, they were mown by some epidemic. But traces remained: the villages of Obrino and Obrovo near the Telekhan, Obrovskaya Vulka (Ivatsevichsky district), Obrova (The Ivanovo area), Obrino (Korelichsky district). At last, also the name of the city of Kobrin probably sounds. Perhaps, originally the settlement was called Obrin (Obryn), and the initial letter "K" appeared later as the instruction on accessory. It is not excluded that there was some center where the subject population brought a tribute: "went to Obrin".

Attempts to explain an origin of the name of the city were made more than once. One researchers connected it with emergence in these regions of Celts (during the doslavyansky period), with one of the Celtic names — Kobrunus (Kobrun), others — with long ago the forgotten Old Slavic name of Cobras who allegedly was the head of this fishing settlement. The matter is that there is still a settlement of Kobrinovo near the city of Cherkasy (USSR), in the Gatchina region of the Leningrad region there are a settlement of Kobrino and Kobrink's small river, in the neighborhood of the village of Mikhaylovskoye — the village of Kobrinka mentioned by A.S. Pushkin. And the surname Kobrin meets in a number of the cities of the country and even abroad. In one Ural village a half of inhabitants of Kobrina. There is also a surname Kobrinets.

It is possible to assume also that the name happened from - someone the archaic word expressing most characteristics of the district. For example, from the word "brny" — dirt, a bog. By the way, from it appeared Brno — the city in Czechoslovakia which arose on the edge of the boggy lowland in the place of merge of two small rivers. Kobryn arose in the marshy floodplain of the river at a confluence of inflow to it too.

V. I. Dahl (1801 — 1872) included many Old Russian words in 'The explanatory dictionary of living great Russian language". Is among them and very conformable to our Kobrin: "cobra" — a handful or two palms put together; "to kobrit" — to bury, hide, to conceal something;" to kobritsya" — to live it is unsociable, without leaving the house. It is possible to connect with each of these values somehow a Kobryn name — the place where two sleeves of the marshy rivulet which broke through through dense oak groves and dense dense forests fell into the big river and, like palms of the person, covered hardly towering sandy island on which the settlement of those who did not wish to be found took cover, lived in solitude, it is reserved, an utayka. The name of the settlement named the rivulet — Kobrinka. The similar phenomenon is quite widespread in Slavic regions including in Belarus. Some cities got to like names of the rivers known earlier (Polotsk from Polot, Pinsk from Ping, Vitebsk from Vitba, Drutsk from Druya, Chechersk from Checher). Small small rivers without names (or lost them), on the contrary, were named names of settlements (Braginka from Bragin, Radunka from Radun, Zelvyanka from Zelva, Volpyanka from Volp, Kobrink from Kobrin). As for the river Mukhavets on which coast Kobrin grew up its name came from merge of two small rivers: Mucha and Vets, originating in present Pruzhansky district.

While Kobrin's founders and their descendants carefully hid the existence, in Eastern Europe there were important events. Formation of Kievan Rus' was the main thing from them. Throughout the IX—X centuries its territory grows, the Old Russian nationality including gradually all east Slavic tribes from upper courses of Don to Pobuzhya is formed. The feudal relations develop, the administrative facilities are created, the first acts appear. There are cities, most often where before there were already settlements and where princes constructed strengthenings, locks.

If the drevneKobrin community swore nothing any more, except fishery and hunting, to be engaged, then, perhaps, here so never and there would be no city. But from summer by summer the wood receded all further, tesnimy economic needs of the settlement. Its place was taken by the plowed fields, the part of community members moved on more distant lands, villages appeared. Economic progress led to the fact that Kobrin found himself. And right there new masters appeared suddenly. Now the grand duke Kiev became the owner of local settlements, lands, rivers and woods.

At the end of the X century of the territory, populated volynyanam and buzhanam, were a part of the Old Russian state. Here the Vladimiro-Volynsky principality was formed. In 983, according to the legend, after a successful campaign on yatvyag the prince Vladimir in the mouth of Mukhavts falling into Bug built the fortress at which the city of Berestye grew. And is higher on Mukhavtsa, approximately in one day of traveling, there was that settlement where there was Kobrin. But so far this name did not appear in written sources.

The Volynsk earth passed into the subsequent time from hand to hand more than once, becoming possession someone from princes of Ryurik dynasty. In the 12th century it was shattered into a number of the isolated destinies among which there was also a Beresteysky earth. But at the end of the century the prince Roman Mstislavovich manages to unite all this again. The Galitsko-Volynsky principality is formed. The Galitsky team quite often accompanied the prince during hunting in the woods rich with an animal to the north of Pripyat. Perhaps, during one of such trips the eminent hunter appeared on Mukhavts's coast and stopped in the settlement which got lost in a northern porubezh of its extensive possession. Having estimated defensive value of this district, he enjoined to build on the island formed by Kobrinki's delta, the lock. Such is the presumable beginning of the city still unknown to chroniclers. But the grandson of the prince Romana, Vladimir Vasilkovich, will documentary certify real existence of the city of Kobrin in 1287.

The XIII century will bring ordeals for Russia. In the 40th years mongolo-tatar invasion which will reach Kiev, Galich and Vladimir-Volynsk, Again, as five hundred years ago, people will look for shelters beyond Pripyat, in these forest and marshy regions will fall upon it. As a result the number of the population will increase, will be increased number of settlements of farmers here and, therefore, value of the city as trade and craft center will increase. It is necessary to consider also an advantageous geographical position of Kobrin on known still in the ancient time the waterway from Baltic to the Black Sea: Vistula - Bug — Mukhavets — Pina — Pripyat — Dnieper. At the same time from Mukhavts in Pina it was necessary to deliver vessels dragging. On this piece there were also such toponyms as Mukhovloki (Mucha - vetsky drag) — the name of the village, and Voloka — the small inflow falling here from the East. And further to Pina bogs on which dragged vessels lasted.

The prince Vladimir Vasilkovich owning Kobrin in the second half of the 13th century is known as the builder of defensive works in the north of the Volynsk earth. From this party those years expansion of the Lithuanian state seeking to use the weakening of Russia caused by feudal dissociation and a mongolo-tatar yoke more and more amplified. The Ipatyevsky chronicle notes that in 1275 — 1276 Vladimir Vasilkovich constructed on approaches to Berestyyu a watchtower, and another — on the river Lesnoy.

Fragment of the Ipatyevsky chronicle. First written mention of Kobrin

In this place where the pillar a fireplace" began to rise "(The white vezha which remained up to now), it put the city "... from scratch and narecha name to it Kamenets". Most likely, also Kobrin in whom, probably, works on strengthening of the lock were also conducted was not ignored. However it was not succeeded to protect these territories from capture. They were sawn-off at the Lithuanian prince Gedimin (1305 — 1341), and during the first half of the 14th century the power of his successors extended to the most part of West Russian lands.

As the competitor in fight the Galitsko-Volynsky inheritance was supported by the Polish king Kazimir Veliky (1310 — 1370) who occupied in 1349 the cities of Lviv, Galich, Vladimir - Volynsk, Berestye, having pressed from Volhynia Lyubart Gediminovich invited here to reigning (1340 — 1382). To the aid of Lyubart elder brothers, Keystut and Olgerd hurried. As a result of two wars Kazimir Veliky was forced to leave the most part of the acquisitions. According to the treatise of 1366 confirming Lyubart's rights for the Volynsk principality, the king renounced the rights for Berestye, Kamenets, Dorogichin, Melnik and Belsk, "and also — on Kobrin with povety, Olgerdu belonging".

By the end of the 14th century Olgerd's descendants, the grand duke Lithuanian (1345 — 1377), strongly located in Kobrin. One of them, Roman Fedorovich, since 1387 began to be called as the prince Kobrin officially. As well as many of the Lithuanian princes, this generation Olgerdovichey was connected by conjugal ties with representatives of local feudal surnames. From the Slavic mothers they inherited Orthodoxy and language and almost did not differ from other West Russian feudal lords. Kobrin it concerned to princes fully. However after the Krevsky union concluded between Poland and Lithuania in 1385, in affairs of the state Catholics began to acquire privileges. Therefore orthodox princes though flaunted in royal suite, but had no high positions. But they were full owners in the ancestral lands, having own yard, Rada (princely council), deputies and clerks, and to that still extensive lands and dense forests, mass of dependent peasants. Like princes Golshansky, Slutsk, Mstislavsky or Zaslavsky, Kobrinskiye's princes immortalized the names construction of churches and locks, only occasionally appearing in important events. For example, Semyon R. Semenovich Kobrine a cue (died in 1460) participated in the war of orthodox feudal lords against the Polish king undertaken for the purpose of expansion of the political rights. Broken in one of battles, he was forced to sit out then in the Kobrin lock, waiting for the best times.  

In the second half of the XV century two towns — Dobuchin (is later than Pruzhana) and Gorodets were a part of the Kobrin principality. The territory was divided into volosts: Kobrin, Cherevachitsky, Vezhitsky, Dobuchinsky, Bludensky, Grushovsky and Gorodetsky. The principality still kept independence. From the South it began to border on the Polish possession on Volhynia which a wedge crashed by this time into the territory of Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Now Kobrin district already forever separated from the Volynsk earth.

The subsequent masters of the city — the vdovy princess Ulyana, her son Ivan Semenovich with the spouse Fedora — gained fame the foundations (subsidies) in favor of orthodox church. At them the Kobrin monastery St. was built. Saviour, fish ponds, at a volok of the earth, a tribute with bread and honey from part of castle lands, and in addition — two taverns are allocated to monks a mill on Shevna (Mukhavts's inflow). In the same Spassky monastery buried the died about 1490 Ivan Semenovich, the last man's representative of princes Kobrin.

When in 1501 his sister — Anna Semenovna became the wife of the royal marshal Václav-Kostevich, having passed at the same time from Orthodoxy into Catholicism, foundations began to be sent to other address. In Kobrin there was a church in which as documents testify, on Anna Kobrinskoy-Kostevich's money the altar was erected. So she disposed of the income from the manors where orthodox peasants farmers slaved away.

On Kobrin's inheritance there was always a great number of applicants. By order of the king Sigismund I Stary who began to rule since 1506, all claims for these possession were scrupulously fixed in the special book. Among competitors there were also representatives of orthodox and Catholic churches. The king did not hurry with pronouncement of decisions because itself intended to appropriate this extensive and rich destiny. Conducting active domestic and foreign policy, it needed considerable means which could come to its treasury only from personal possession. However well-born feudal lords, proceeding from legally consecrated traditions, had no objection to increase the riches too. The magnate oligarchy was furiously opposed by a shlyakhta as its land interests in such cases were ignored.

At the end of 1518 the princess Anna Semenovna Kobrinskaya died. Princely time of Kobrin ended. But for a long time, not less than two centuries, on the European cards by some strange historical inertia existence will continue the Kobrin principality — Kobinol Ducatus.


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