This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (January 2017)
Rostislav was the elder son of Yaroslav Vsevolodovich (who was the prince of Starodub when Rostislav was born), by his wife Irene. In 1192, his father sent him when the Olgovichi (the members of the dynasty of Chernigov) commanded by Igor Svyatoslavich launched an expedition against the Cumans.[failed verification] The purpose of the campaign was to plunder Cumanian camps.[failed verification] The Olgovichi ventured deep into the steppe, but the nomads assembled in great numbers and awaited the princes. Upon seeing he was outnumbered, Igor Svyatoslavich resolutely ordered his troops to steal away under the cover of the darkness.[failed verification]
On 11 July 1186, Rostislav married Vseslava Vsevolodovna, a daughter of prince Vsevolod Yurevich of Suzdalia. Rostislav was present when Bishop Luka consecrated the Cathedral of the Assumption in Vladimir for his father-in-law. Rostislav took part in the siege of Kiev on 2 January 1203, when Rurik Rostislavich (who had been expelled from the town) and the Olgovichi captured Kiev. During the siege Rostislav captured prince Mstislav Vladimirovich of Dorogobuzh.
Rostislav's cousin, Vsevolod IV Svyatoslavich of Kiev, waged war against the Rostislavichi at the beginning of 1212. Vsevolod Svyatoslavich kicked the Rostislavichi out of Rus', and probably gave Vyshgorod to Rostislav. In June 1212, the Rostislavichi (Mstislav Romanovich and prince Mstislav Mstislavich of Novgorod) launched a major offensive against Vsevolod Svyatoslavich to reclaim their lands. Vsevolod Svyatoslavich and his brothers confronted the attackers at Vyshgorod, but the Rostislavichi occupied the town and captured Rostislav and his brother, Yaropolk. When all the princes assembled in Kiev in 1223, Mikhail Vsevolodovich was the second in seniority among the Olgovichi which suggests that both Rostislav and Yaropolk had died by that time.
|Ancestors of Rostislav Yaroslavich|
- Dimnik, Martin. The Dynasty of Chernigov - 1146-1246.
- Charles Cawley (2009-03-14). "Russia, Rurikids - Grand Princes of Kiev, Princes of Chernigov, descendants of Sviatoslav II, Grand Prince of Kiev (fourth son of Iaroslav I)". Medieval Lands. Foundation of Medieval Genealogy. Retrieved 12 April 2009.