The region east of Poland, and south of Lithuania, the name signifies Byelo-Rossiya, land of the White Rus; said by some to be the original hearthland of the Slavic peoples. Like many Eurasian regions, it was deeply partitioned during the Middle Ages.

Presently this covers: Belarus, Drutsk, Gomiy, Gorodets-Dregovsky, Grodno, Izyaslavl, Klechesk, Logozhesk, Lukoml, Minsk, Nesvezh, Novgorodok, Pinsk, Polotsk, Sluchesk, Strezhev, Svisloch, Turov, Visloch, Vitebsk, Volkoviysk, and Vslonim.

See also: the Caucasus, Central Asia - West, Crimea, Minor Russian States, Mongols, Nomads, Russia, and Ukraine.

BELARUS A general survey of the region as a whole.

DRUTSK Known as Dryutesk in the Middle Ages, this place no longer exists. Its site is within the modern Mogilev oblast of Belarus 25 miles (40 km.) west of Mogilev, and 80 miles (135 km.) east of Minsk.

GOMIY Now called Gomel, center of Gomel oblast in Belarus. Formerly a sub-Principality under Chernigov.

GORODETS-DREGOVSKY Now called Gorodok, a town in modern Minsk oblast of Belarus 12 miles (20 km.) north of Minsk. It was called G.-Dregovskiy (G.of the Dregoviches tribe) to distinguish from many other towns called Gorodets. It was an ephemeral sub-Principality under Polotsk in the 12th century.

GRODNO Known as Gorodno in the Middle Ages. It is now the modern center of Grodno oblast of Belarus, located not far from the Poland/Lithuania frontier. This town was center of Cherno-Russia ("Black Rus") until the early 13th century.

IZYASLAVL Now called Zaslavl, it is a town in Minsk oblast of Belarus 12 miles (20 km.) northwest of Minsk.

KLECHESK (KLETSK) Town in modern Minsk region of Belorussia. It was called Kletsk from 14th-15th cent. Sub-principality (under Turov, then Pinsk) from 1113.

LOGOZHESK (modern Logoisk) A town in modern Minsk oblast of Belarus 20 miles (35 km.) northeast of Minsk. A sub-Principality of Polotsk.

LUKOML (or Lukomye) A town in modern Vitebsk region of Belorussia 55 miles (90 km.) south of Polotsk. A sub-Principality under Polotsk in the early 12th century.

MINSK Modern capital of Belarus. Originally called Menesk, the modern name dates from the14-15th centuries. From late 12th cent. to mid 14 cent. there is no information about rulers of Menesk, except Pr.Basil (c.1326).

NESVEZH (NESVIZH) Town in modern Minsk oblast of Belorussia.

NOVGORODOK Now called Novogrudok, a town in modern Grodno oblast of Belarus about 75 miles (120 km.) east of Grodno and a similar distance west of Minsk. This town, a center of Cherno-Russia from the early 13th century, was a sub-Principality under Grodno in the 12th and 13th centuries, then a Principality within the Lithuanian sphere of influence from 1239.

PINSK In Brest oblast of Belarus, near the Pina river before it enters the Pripyat. Sub-principality 1184-96, Grand Principality 1196-early 14th century.

POLOTSK A town built near the Polota river as it flows into the West Dvina (Daugava). After death of Prince Svyatoslav the Warlike of Kiev (972) it was captured by Varyags (Swedish vikings) and ruled by Ragnvald who became the first prince of Polotsk. Later recaptured by Kiev, it became the most significant of the White Russian Principalities during the Middle Ages.

SLUCHESK (SLUTSK) Town in moder Minsk region of Belorussia. It is called Slutsk from 14th-15th cent. During 1158-62 princes exiled from their possessions ruled there: Rogvolod of Polotsk captured it before his march to Polotsk in 1158. 3 years after, Vladimir Mstislavich also captured and held it briefly when he failed to achieve an increase to his possessions.

STREZHEVA town (no longer in existence) in modern Vitebsk oblast of Belorussia. The site is 30 miles (50 km.) southeast of Polotsk and 35 miles (60 km.) west of Vitebsk. It was a sub-Principality of Polotsk for an extremely brief time.

SVISLOCHTown in modern Mogilev region of Belorussia (100 km south-west from Mogilev and 100 km south-east from Minsk). Not the modern Svisloch of Grodno oblast, Belarus.

TUROV A Russian Principality during the Middle Ages, located in what is now southern Belarus.

VISLOCH (modern Svisloch) A town (now village) in modern Grodno oblast of Belarus 45 miles (75 km.) south of Grodno; not the Svisloch in Mogilev oblast, Belarus. This place was briefly a Principality within Novgorodok in the 13th century.

VITEBSK Modern center of Vitebsk oblast of Belarus. A sub-Principality under Polotsk 1101-1129, a Principality within the Polotsk sphere of influence 1140-1240's, A Grand Principality 1240's-1316, and a Principality within Lithuania 1316-1436.

VOLKOVIYSK (modern Volkovysk)A town in modern Grodno oblast of Belarus about 40 miles (70 km.) southeast of Grodno. This place was briefly a Principality within Novgorodok in the 13th century.

VSLONIM (modern Slonim) Town (now village) in modern Grodno region of Belarus 45 miles (75 km.) south from Grodno).