The most outstanding events of Kievan Rus. Princes of Kievan Rus: Oleg, Olga, Svyatoslav, Vladimir

The most outstanding events of Kievan Rus. Princes of Kievan Rus: Oleg, Olga, Svyatoslav, Vladimir

Byzantium – a powerful state of the time with the capital of Constantinople, whose lands stretched along the southern coast of the Black Sea.

Rus and Byzantium had long-standing ties, primarily trading. It was from Byzantium that Christianity came to our land – faith in the triune God – the Father God, his Son – Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

1. What information did the written sources keep about the first princes of Kievan Rus?

Several centuries after the foundation of Kiev in it and on the adjoining lands ruled by the princes – the descendants of Kiya. About those most ancient in the history of the Kiev principality, there is almost no written evidence. In 882, Prince Oleg seized power in Kiev. He arrived from Novgorod with a young

Igor of the princely family of Rurik. On his behalf, Oleg ruled for thirty years. Having no information about his activities, except for information about two successful military campaigns against Byzantium, the chronicler kept for his descendants a legend about the mysterious death of Oleg, foreshadowed by the Magi magicians: the brave military leader had to die because of his horse. Hearing the prophecy, Oleg did not ride on this horse for several years. Once he was informed that the horse had died. The prince decided to look at the horse’s bones. A venomous snake crawled out of the skull and bit Oleg.

After Oleg’s death in 912, Igor became the full-blown Kiev prince. Since then, the princely family of the Rurik people has ruled in Kiev. Igor’s successors on the grand table were his wife Olga and son Svyatoslav.

2. What do the sources tell about Princess Olga?

Princess Olga – the only woman who fell to keep the state steering wheel for the thousand-year history of the state on our lands. She began to rule in Kiev in 945.

To establish a peaceful relationship with Byzantium, Princess Olga traveled to Tsaregrad, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. According to historians, this happened in 957. This date was established on the basis of evidence of the Byzantine emperor, participant of the

event, Constantine Porphyrogenitus, who left memories of the two imperial receptions of the princess, indicating not only the dates of each, but also the corresponding days of the week. So, in the summer of 957 Olga went to Byzantium. The embassy of the princess was very representative: it consisted of 100 most respected persons. Together with the servants and soldiers, Olga’s suite was almost one and a half thousand people.

The chronicler saw the reasons for the visit in Olga’s desire to be baptized. In the annals it was told that, having arrived in Constantinople, the princess became a Christian and that her emperor was the emperor himself. True, most modern historians believe that Olga went to Constantinople already baptized. This explains the magnificent reception that the emperor arranged for her.

For the chronicler, the princess was “a forerunner of the Christian land, like the morning dawn before the sun and the lightning in front of the world”, because the task of introducing Christianity as a state religion was carried out by her grandson – Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavovich. Olga is one of the most respected saints in Orthodox Christianity.

3. Why is Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavovich called Great?

Son of Svyatoslav – Prince Vladimir took the Grand Prince’s table in 980 and ruled the state for 35 years. The prince, the first among the rulers of Russia, was sung in folk-poetic works for wisdom, and not military valor. To our days have been preserved epics, in which Vladimir, called the Red Sun, is depicted as the patron of the brave heroes-Rusich Ilya of Murom and Dobryni Nikitich.

The fateful affair of Vladimir was the introduction in 988 of the Common for all state religion – Christianity. The chronicler associated Christianity with the campaign of Vladimir to the Greek city of Chersonesos in the Crimea, which then belonged to Byzantium. Forcing the inhabitants of the city to open the gates, Vladimir addressed the rulers of Byzantium with a demand to give him their sister as wife. Being baptized in Chersonese and marrying Anna – that’s the name of the Byzantine princess, Vladimir returned to Kiev and engaged in the baptism of the people of Kiev, which initiated the work of bringing Christianity to the whole country. Subsequently, the descendants began to be called Vladimir the Great and to be honored as a saint.

4. What became Kiev under Vladimir the Great?

In the time of Prince Vladimir around the central part of Kiev were built strong fortifications. A new Detinets was formed – the “city of Vladimir” with three entrance gates, to which were attached high defensive ramparts. At the same time, with the construction of the fortifications of the “city of Vladimir” on its territory, large-scale city construction was developed. The most outstanding construction of Kiev 10 c. became the Church of the Virgin – Desyatinnaya. Near the church were luxurious princely palaces – it was here that Vladimir held feasts, the memory of which still lives in the epic. On detinets lived and city power. “The City of Vladimir” consisted of several streets that ran from the gate to the central square – Babi horde. But Detinets in Vladimir’s time was just a part of Kiev, even if central, but in no way the most populated. The life on the Kiev Podol really raged. Most of Podol was occupied by the Kiev market, where guests, merchants, from all over the world converged. It was on Podol that their ships were moored, because there was a harbor here.

Even before the 70-ies of the last century, historians knew a little about how the Kiev Podil looked like in the days of the princes Vladimir the Great and Yaroslav the Wise. Studies on Podol began when the metro began to be built there. In the pit of the metro building on the Kontraktova Square in the summer of 1972, the remains of the estate were discovered. Subsequently, scientists were fortunate enough to dig out the log buildings of the 9th and 12th centuries, which indicated that this part of Kiev was crowded.


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The most outstanding events of Kievan Rus. Princes of Kievan Rus: Oleg, Olga, Svyatoslav, Vladimir