Vasily I of Moscow

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Vasiliy I Dmitriyevich (Russian: Василий I Дмитриевич) (30 December 1371 – 27 February 1425) was Grand Prince of Moscow from 1389.

He was the oldest son of Dmitri Donskoi and Grand Princess Eudoxia, daughter of Grand Prince Dmitry Konstantinovich of Nizhny Novgorod.


Domestic policy

Basil I continued the process of unification of the Russian lands: in 1392, he annexed the principalities of Nizhny Novgorod and Murom; in 1397–1398 – Kaluga, Vologda, Veliki Ustyug and Komi peoples' lands.

During his reign, feudal landownership kept growing. With the growth of princely authority in Moscow, feudals' judicial powers were partially diminished and transferred to Vasili's deputies and heads of volosts.

Foreign policy

To prevent Russia from being attacked by the Golden Horde, Basil I entered into alliance with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1392 and married Sophia of Lithuania, the only daughter of Vytautas the Great. The alliance turned out to be fragile, since Vytautas would later capture Vyazma and Smolensk in 1403–1404.

Timur raided the Slavic lands in 1395; he ruined the Volgan regions but did not penetrate so far as Moscow. Timur's raid was of service to the Russian prince as it damaged the Golden Horde, which for the next twelve years was in a state of anarchy. During the whole of this time no tribute was paid to the khan, Olug Moxammat, though vast sums of money were collected in the Moscow treasury for military purposes. In 1408 Edigu ravaged Russians territory, but was unable to take Moscow. In 1412, however, Basil found it necessary to pay the long-deferred visit of submission to the Horde.

The growing influence of Moscow abroad was underlined by the fact that Basil married his daughter Anna to Emperor John VIII Palaeologus of Byzantium.

Marriage and children

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