Chronology of the Early History of Moscow

[This is based primarily on infomation in John Fennell, The Emergence of Moscow 1304-1359 (Berkeley and L.A.: U.Cal. Pr., 1968), which remains the authoritative study of the political history of Moscow in the first half of the fourteenth century.]


First mention of Moscow in the chronicles. It is a minor, border outpost of the Grand Prince of Vladimir.


Moscow sacked by Mongols, at a time when already has become reasonably important town.

after 1261

As appanage principality comes under rule of Daniil Aleksandrovich, youngest son of Aleksandr Nevskii.


Kolomna (where Moscow R. joins Oka R.) and Serpukhov added to Moscow territories.


Pereiaslavl' obtained on death of its prince and in face of opposition of Grand Prince of Vladimir.


Prince Daniil Aleksandrovich dies.


Mozhaisk, to the west, taken from Smolensk. This marks tripling of size of Moscow's territory since 1301. Now controls all of Moscow River and part of Oka, giving access to Riazan' and south; has foothold in Kliazma R. basin and thus direct access to Vladimir.

betw. 1304 & 1311

Moscow gains control of Nizhnii Novgorod, where Oka meets Volga; this means it now controls territory both east and west of the Grand Principality of Vladimir.


Metropolitan Peter, newly appointed to see of Kiev over oppostion of Tver', takes up residence in Vladimir.


Peter prevents Tver' army from marching on Nizhnii Novgorod.


Khan Özbeg ascends throne in Sarai.


At Novgorodian request, Iurii Danilovich of Moscow enthroned in city (replacing Tver' rule there).


Mongols help Tver' regain control of Novgorod.


Iurii Danilovich marries sister of Özbeg and obtains iarlyk for Grand Principality of Vladimir in place of Mikhail of Tver'. Moscow/Tatar army defeated by Tver', with khan's sister dying in captivity.


Mikhail of Tver' executed at Sarai.


Iarlyk for Grand Principality of Vladimir given Dmitrii of Tver'.


Iurii Danilovich of Moscow killed at Sarai.


Dmitrii Mikhailovich of Tver' killed at Sarai, possibly because of pro-Lithuanian policies. His brother Aleksandr receives iarlyk for Grand Principality. Metropolitan Peter dies and is buried in Moscow, a few months after laying the foundations of the new Cathedral of the Dormition in the Moscow Kremlin.


Tver' sacked by Mongols, effectively eliminating city as serious rival to Moscow for a generation. Prince Ivan Danilovich of Moscow involved in the military campaign vs. Tver'.


? Division of Grand Principality of Vladimir between Aleksandr of Suzdal' and Ivan Danilovich of Moscow.


Ivan Danilovich (Ivan I "Kalita"--"Moneybags") becomes sole Grand Prince of Vladimir.