Polygamy in ancient Rus

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
This subject has actually come up in recent times, in the Duma, the Russian parliament, where some right-wing nationalist hardliners, such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky, have repeatedly argued for a need to fully legalize polygamy today, federally.

As it is, polygamy is mostly illegal in Russia, yet fairly openly practiced in some more conservative rural areas of the Muslim regions, such as Bashkortostan or Chechnya, with Moscow mostly turning a blind eye to this

Well, politicians like Zhirinovsky claim that polygamy is, in fact, just as traditional for Slavic men as for the Muslims. They claim that, in the pagan era, before ancient Rus state converted to Orthodox Christianity over 1000 years ago, it was perfectly normal for men have a number of wives.

Powerful Knyazi (warlords who ruled the medieval city states that made up Rus in those days) indeed often had one favorite wife, who was his Knyaginya, alongside a bunch of lesser concubines

Those concubines, in some cases, could number in the hundreds! Some of these guys could have voracious sexual appetites lmao

The more powerful a Knyaz, the bigger his harem was, really, as, among other tributes, such as gold or furs, every region he controlled would often bring him their most beautiful women to offer at his palace

Other wealthy men could have numerous women too.

Here, at a successful merchant's house, his older wives evaluate a young new girl

This is why some doubt even parts of the whole story of the Orthodox Christening of Russia.

At that time, the young Tsar Vladimir I (arguably the first actual "Tsar", one who united all the Knyazi and their respective cities under his direct rule) was trying to choose a new religion for the Rus, as he felt that paganism was from the dark ages of the past, something new and fresh was needed.

He had various delegations visit from abroad, even Muslims from the Middle East

and also Catholics from the Vatican.

But the Orthodox Greeks from Byzantium, wise guys, were the only ones who offered him something besides empty words, promises of rich trade and powerful military alliances and such: they offered him their own Princess Anna for marriage, if he converted to their faith lol

She was reportedly a young woman of amazing beauty

And Vladimir - still a horny young man too hehe

And so, basically, that is how Russia became Orthodox

because a 20-something Tsar wanted to get laid by a hot Greek Princess haha

But then, here's the thing that clashes with that story: if Vladimir wanted to, pardon me, fuck someone on any given night, he had literally an bloody army of young ladies to choose from. He was, at the time, the richest and mightiest of all Knyazi. Again, he had united all of Rus under his foot, for the first time ever. And, he had not just harems, but fucking PALACES full of women in at least three or four different cities, Rostov, Kiev, Novgorod, and Ryazan, all at his disposal. There is actually an account from some foreign envoy, this is just a few years before the Christening, that describes how he came to see the young Tsar, and was escorted right into one of these great harem palaces of his, where he found Vladimir half naked, on a golden bed, surrounded by no less than 30 females, some of them COMPLETELY nude.

And yet, the modern, Orthodox Church-influenced narrative tries to teach people that he just gave up all of this, at once, for ONE wife, ONE woman, even if she was some incredibly sexy Greek demi-goddess?! Come on...

Maybe he did indeed marry Anna, and converted himself, on paper. And he did convert the rest of the nation. But whether he actually also got rid of all his harems... That is a question nobody ever did answer conclusively.

This is NOT something that has, until again quite recently, come up in wide conversation there, nor something the government has particularly before encouraged to discuss. Today, however, some like Zhirinovsky say legalizing polygamy will actually improve quality of Russian families, as there will no longer be all the secret cheating and affairs and men living with two or even three different families in different cities, as is sadly common today. Basically, they are arguing it is against men's nature to be faithful to just one woman, and they shouldn't be expected to. Putin is certainly a showcase example of this: http://politicalhotwire.com/current-events/183507-putins-daughter-ided.html#post5610786

Personally, though, I disagree with that. I love my own wife and am more than content with her and she, I think, with me. Each other is all we need, thank you very much...

We will see how far those guy get with this one though, as time goes by. I think the Russian women may finally put their foot down on this one haha But, who knows...
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