In Section XIX. of this journey, Wasilico, or Wasiley, is mentioned as duke of Russia; but who must only have been duke of some subordinate province. This submission of Russia, or of his particular dukedom, produced no fruit to the Romish see, as the Russian empire still remains what are called Greek schismatics. Travels of William de Rubruquis into Tartary, about the year 1253.
But because duke Daniel, the brother of Wasilico was absent at the court of Baatu, they could not then give a satisfactory answer.
After this Wasilico sent us forward to Kiow, the chief city of Russia, under the conduct of one of his servants; in which journey we were in great danger of our lives from the Lithuanians, who often invaded the borders of Russia in the very places through which we had to pass; but by means of this servant we were secured against any injury from the Russians, of whom indeed the greater part had been slain, or carried into captivity by the Tartars.
At this period Jeroslaw, or Jeroslaus, was grand duke of Wolodimir or Wladimire, then considered as the sovereigns of Russia, who was succeeded by Alexander. Playf. Syst. of Chronol. Wasilico, therefore, or Wasile, must have been a subordinate duke, or a junior member of the reigning family. There is a town named Danilovska, near the S. E. frontiers of European Russia.
On receiving notice of our approach, the whole inhabitants of Kiow came out joyfully to receive us, congratulating us as men returned from death to life; and we were received in a similar manner in our whole progress through Russia, Poland, and Bohemia. Daniel, and his brother Wasilico, feasted us splendidly, and detained us, contrary to our desire, for eight days.
And at the request of the duke, bishop, and nobles of Cracow, Wasilico conducted us into his country, and entertained us there for some days at his expense. Likewise he convened his bishops at our request, to whom we read the Pope's letters, admonishing them to return into the unity of the church, adding our own exhortation to the same purpose.