The Full Wiki

Rulers of Kievan Rus': Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to Grand Prince of Kiev article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Grand Prince of Kiev (sometimes Grand Duke of Kiev) was the title of the Kievan prince and the ruler of Kievan Rus in the 9th–12th centuries.

The Annals of St. Bertin (Annales Bertiniani) for the year 839 became the first written record on the Rus’/Rhos. Louis the Pious, the Frankish emperor, came to the conclusion that the people called Rhos (qui se, id est gentem suum, Rhos vocari dicebant) belong to the gens of Swedes (eos gentis esse Sueonum).

Most of modern surveys of Rus’ history narrate that in these Frankish annals the ruler of the Rhos/Rus (people of Swedish origin) was called chaganus (Latin form of the Turk word khaqan, or khagan, qaghan, qagan), similar to the Khazar chaqan (khaqan), a title of a prime ruler in the nomadic societies in Eurasia.[1]

Yet the original Latin text, published by Georg Weitz in the Monumenta Germaniae Historica in 1883, contains a very significant difference from modern translations: it says the ruler of the Rhos was named not chaganus, but chacanus. Based on such a spelling of the royal name, chacanus, some historians thought that it simply meant the Scandianvian name Håkan. Such an interpretation of the passage in the Annales Bertiniani suggests that by 839 this konung Hakan, accompanied by his military followers from Scandinavia, most likely from East Sweden, operated in North Rus’. The Khagan-versus-Håkan debate, started in the 18th century, is still alive,[2] although at present there is almost total unity of opinion that the title of the ruler of Rus is of Khazar origin.[3]

Rurik (Rørik in Old East Norse), a semi-legendary Scandinavian Varangian, was the founder of Rurik Dynasty, which ruled Kievan Rus', Rus' principalities and early Russian Tsardom for the next 700 years.[4] Genealogical DNA test results of modern Rurikid princes indicate that Rurik was of Finno-Ugrian descent (haplogroup N1c1).[5] Rurik's capital was Holmgard (Novgorod), a city settled by Slavic and Finno-Ugrian peoples (now north-western Russia). His successor Oleg relocated the capital to Kiev (now the capital of Ukraine) at around 880, laying the foundation of what has become known as Kievan Rus'.[6]

While the early rulers of Rus' were Scandinavians, they gradually merged into the local Slavic population but in the 11th century, dynastic links still remained; Yaroslav the Wise, (called Jarisleif in Scandinavian chronicles), married a Swedish princess Ingigerd, gave asylum to king Olaf II of Norway, and invited Harald Hardrada, later king Harald III of Norway, and his warriors to fight for him. According to Adam of Bremen, Anund Gårdske, a man from Kievan Rus' was elected king of Sweden, ca 1070. As he was a Christian, however, he refused to sacrifice to the Aesir at the Temple at Uppsala and he was deposed by popular vote.

The unity of Kievan Rus' gradually declined, and by 1136 Kievan Rus' had shattered into a number of smaller states, the southern of which contested control of Kiev. Finally, Kievan Rus' was destroyed by the Mongols in the period of 1237–1240,[7] but the Rurikid line persisted and continued to rule Rus' principalities.

The rulers of Kievan Rus' held the titles Kniaz and later Velikiy Kniaz, which are traditionally translated as Grand Prince or Grand Duke.[7]


Princes of Kiev


Legendary princes of Kiev

According to some Ukrainian historians (i.e. Kanyhin, Tkachuk), Ptolemy's mention of Metropolis, Sarmatian town on Dnieper River (the name Dnieper is derived from Sarmatian (Iranian) Dānu apara "the river far away"), shows the ancient existence of Kiev.[8]

  • Bozh (Boz, Booz, Box), (born ? – died c.380 CE)

Bozh was a prince of Antes, the east Slavic people (slavized Sarmatians) who inhabited the territories between the Dniester River and the middle Dnieper River, near the present-day city of Kiev.[9] He was killed by Winithar (Viniþa-harjis, "Veneti-killer"), prince of Ostrogoths, soon after the Hunnic invasion which took place in c.376.

Alyp-bi, son of Balambér aka Bülümer, was the khan of the Western Huns who was buried on Kuyantau mountain (current Kiev).

According to some Slavic historians (i.e. Alexander Veltman), the ancient Koueve or Kievans from folk legends entered the Gothic history under the name Kwäne, Quene, Choani, Cunni, Chuni, and in the end Hunni; the town of Kiev got the name Kiänugard, Kuenagard, Konagard, Kunagard, Hunugard.[10]

  • Kyi (the 5th–6th century CE)

According to Slavophiles, Kyi ruled since 430, one of the dates attributed to the legendary founding of Kiev in 482, although that date relates to Kovin on the Danube in Serbia. Some historians speculate that Kyi was a Slavic prince of eastern Polans in the 6th century.

Bravlin was a Varangian prince or chieftain, who led a Rus' military expedition to devastate Crimea, from Kerch to Sugdaea, in the last years of the 8th century.

  • Dir (c.838–882)

According to some Russian historians (i.e. Gleb S. Lebedev), Dir was a chacanus of Rhos (Rus khaqan).[3] Thomas Noonan asserts that one of the Rus' "sea-kings", the "High king", adopted the title khagan in the early 9th century.[11] Peter Benjamin Golden maintained that the Rus became a part of the Khazar federation, and their ruler was officially accepted as a vassal kagan of the Khazar Khaqan of Itil.[12]

Some western historians (i.e. Kevin Alan Brook) suppose that Kiev was founded by Khazars or Magyars, both Turkic people. Kiev is a Turkic place name (Küi = riverbank + ev = settlement).[13] At least during the 8th and 9th centuries Kiev functioned as an outpost of the Khazar empire (a hill-fortress, called Sambat, "high place" in Old Turkic). According to Omeljan Pritsak, Constantine Zuckerman and other scholars, Khazars lost Kiev at the beginning of the 900s.[14][15]

Rulers of Kiev and Kievan Rus (~860–1240)

Pagan rulers of the Rurik Dynasty

The Rurikids were descendants of Rurik (Rørikr), a Varangian pagan chieftain, who was of Finno-Ugrian origin.[5]

Portrait Name Born-Died Ruled From Ruled Until
Nowgorod 2005 Millenium Monument.jpg Rurik (c.830–879), Sineus (?-864), and Truvor (?-864); since 862, they ruled in Holmgard (Novgorod), Belozersk, and Izborsk.
Askold and Dir (Haskuldr and Dyri), not the Rurikids, Varangian konungs or jarls (probably of Swedish origin), were rulers (khagans) of Kiev (c.842-882).[16]
 ?-879 862[17] 879
Russian konung Oleg by Vasnetsov-2.jpg Oleg of Novgorod, Varangian konung Helgi of Hólmgarður (Holmgard)
reconquered Kiev in 882 transferring there the capital.
 ?-912 879 912
Radzivill Igor-945.jpg Igor of Kiev, Varangian konung Ingvar (regent 879-913)
seated in Kiev by Oleg in 907.
 ?-945 913[18] 945
Olga by Roerich 2.jpg Olga of Kiev (regent), Ingvar's wife Helga of Pskov since 903, was baptized by Emperor Constantine VII as Helena Lekapena, but failed to bring Christianity to Kiev.  ?-969 945 962
Sviatoslav sculputre.jpg Sviatoslav I, the first true ruler of Rus' who destroyed the Khazar Khaganate and united all of the Rus' principalities under the Kiev throne. 942-972 962 972
Yaropolk murder.jpg Yaropolk I, supposedly was baptised into Catholicism, and then was murdered by two Varangians. 958 (960?)-980 972 980

Christian rulers of the Rurik Dynasty

Christianity was officially adopted in 988 by Vladimir the Great.

Portrait Name Born-Died Ruled From Ruled Until
St. Volodymyr.jpg Vladimir the Great, early rule is characterized by a staunch pagan reaction but in 988 he was baptized into Orthodoxy and successfully converted Kievan Rus to Christianity 958-1015 980 1015
Sviatopolk silver srebrenik.jpg Sviatopolk the Accursed 980-1019 1015 1019
Bilibin yaroslav.jpg Yaroslav the Wise, (Jarizleifr), son of Volodymyr the Great (Valdamarr) and Rogneda of Polotsk (Ragnhild), Prince of Rostov, Prince of Novgorod, and Grand Prince of Kiev; during his reign Kievan Rus reached the pinnacle of its' power 978-1054 1019 1054
Iziaslav I of Kiev, first time 1024-1078 1054 1073
Usiaslau sr 2005.gif Vseslav of Kiev, was a brief ruler during Iziaslav's official reign 1039-1101 1068 1069
Izbornik.jpg Sviatoslav II of Kiev (on picture, first from right) 1027-1076 1073 1076
Iziaslav I of Kiev, second time 1024-1078 1076 1078
Vsevolod I of Kiev 1030-1093 1078 1093
Michael of salonica.jpg Sviatopolk II of Kiev 1050-1113 1093 1113
Vladimir Monomakh.jpg Vladimir II Monomakh, was the last ruler of the united Kievan Rus 1053-1125 1113 1125
Mstislav I of Kiev, during his reign Kievan Rus fell into recession starting a rapid decline 1076–1132 1125 1132

Princes of Kiev of the disintegrating Kievan Rus'

The decline of Kievan Rus′ began in the 2nd half of the 11th century. During that time, the territory of modern Ukraine was divided into the various principalities of Rus' ruled by the Rurikids.

Princes of Kiev (the Golden Horde overlordship)

In the period between the 2nd half of the 13th c. and the 2nd half of the 14th c., princes of Kiev were forced to accept Mongol/Tatar overlordship.

Princes of Kiev (in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania )

After the Battle of Blue Waters in 1362, Kiev and surrounding areas were incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by Algirdas, Grand Duke of Lithuania.

  • Vladimiras Algirdaitis (Volodymyr Olgerdovych) (1362-1394)
  • Skirgaila (1395-1397)
  • Ivan Olshansky (Jonas Alšėniškis) (1397-ca.1402)
  • Andrius Jonaitis Alšėniškis (Andriy Ivanovych Olshansky) (ca.1402-ca.1422)
  • Mykolas Jonaitis Alšėniškis (Mykhailo Ivanovych Olshansky) (1422-1432)
  • Mykolas Simonaitis Alšėniškis (Mykhailo Semenovych Boloban Olshansky) (1433-1435)
  • Švitrigaila (1435-ca.1440), Grand Duke of the Duchy of Rus (1432-ca.1440)
  • Aleksandras Olelka (Olelko Volodymyrovych) (1443-1454)
  • Simonas Olelkaitis (Semen Olelkovych) (1454-1471)

See also


  1. ^ Franklin, Simon and Shepard, Jonathan (1996). The Emergence of Rus, 750–1200. Longman History of Russia, ed. Harold Shukman. Longman, London. ISBN 0-582-49091-X
  2. ^ Garipzanov, Ildar (2006). The Annals of St. Bertin and the Chacanus of the Rhos. University of Bergen
  3. ^ a b Duczko, Wladyslaw (2004). Viking Rus: Studies on the Presence of Scandinavians in Eastern Europe. Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. ISBN 90-04-13874-9
  4. ^ Dunn, Dennis J. (2004). The Catholic Church and Russia: Popes, Patriarchs, Tsars and Commissars. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.. pp. 1. ISBN 0754636100.,M1. 
  5. ^ a b DNA Testing of the Rurikid and Gediminid Princes
  6. ^ Kendrick, T. D. (2004). A History of the Vikings. Courier Dover Publications. pp. 151–152. ISBN 048643396X.,M1. 
  7. ^ a b Stone, David R. (2006). A Military History of Russia: From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 3–4. ISBN 0275985024.,M1. 
  8. ^ Wilson, Andrew (2000). The Ukrainians. Unexpected Nation. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-08355-6
  9. ^ Magosci, Paul Robert (1996). A History of Ukraine. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-7820-6.
  10. ^ Spevák, Tomáš (2006). The Kievans and the Past of Europe
  11. ^ Noonan, Thomas (2001). The Khazar Qaghanate and Its Impact On the Early Rus' State: The translatio imperii from Itil to Kiev. Nomads in the Sedentary World, Anatoly Mikhailovich Khazanov and Andre Wink, eds. p. 76-102. Richmond, England: Curzon. ISBN 0-7007-1370-0
  12. ^ Golden, Peter Benjamin (1982). The Question of the Rus' Qaganate. Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi. pp. 77-92
  13. ^ Brook, Kevin Alan (1996-2009). An Introduction to the History of Khazaria
  14. ^ Pritsak, Omeljan (1981). The origin of Rus. Cambridge, Mass.: Distributed by Harvard University Press for the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.
  15. ^ Zuckerman, Constantine (2007). The Khazars and Byzantium - The First Encounter. In The World of the Khazars: New Perspectives - Selected Papers from the Jerusalem 1999 International Khazar Colloquium, eds. Peter Benjamin Golden, Haggai Ben-Shammai, and András Róna-Tas, pp. 399-432. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.
  16. ^ Suszko, Henryk (2003). Latopis hustyński. Opracowanie, przekład i komentarze. Slavica Wratislaviensia CXXIV. Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego. ISBN 83-229-2412-7; Tolochko, Oleksiy (2010). The Hustyn' Chronicle. (Harvard Library of Early Ukrainian Literature: Texts) ISBN 978-1-932650-03-7
  17. ^ according to the Tale of Bygone Years, the date is not clearly identified
  18. ^ officially
  19. ^
  20. ^


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address