Rulers of Kievan Rus'

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Riurik, a semi-legendary Scandinavian Varangian, was at the roots of Kievan Rus'. He founded the Riurikovich dynasty that would rule Ruthenia for the next 800 years. Riurik's capital was the northern city of Novgorod. His successor Oleg relocated the capital to Kiev at around 880, thus laying the foundation of what has become known as Kievan Rus'.

While the early rulers of Rus' were Scandinavians, they gradually merged into the local Slavic population. Still, in the 11th century, Yaroslav, (called Jarisleif in Scandinavian chronicles) maintained the dynastic links, married a Swedish princess, and gave asylum to king Olaf II of Norway.

The movement of nobility also went in the opposite direction. According to Adam of Bremen, Anund Grdske, a man from Kievan Rus' was elected king of Sweden, ca 1070. However, as he was a Christian, 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 was all but gone by 1132. After that period Kievan Rus' shattered into a number of smaller states all of which contested for the throne of Kiev.

Kievan Rus' was finally destroyed by the Mongols in 1240, but the Riurikovich line persisted and continued to rule northern Russian principalities until the early seventeenth century.

Rulers of Kievan Rus' held the titles Knyaz and later Velikiy Kniaz, traditionally translated as Duke and Grand Duke, respectively.


List of rulers of Kievan Rus

Princes of Novgorod

Rulers of Kiev

Rulers of Kievan Rus'

For later rulers see Tsars.de:Liste der russischen Zaren

pl:Władcy Rusi Kijowskiej zh-cn:基辅罗斯统治者年表

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