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Kievan Rus' Kievan Rus' was a medieval state which existed from approximately 880 to the middle of the

13th century. Founded by the Scandinavian traders (Varangians) called "Rus'" and centred in the city of Kiev (now the capital of Ukraine), Rus' polity is widely considered an early predecessor of three modern East Slavic nations: Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians,[1][2] although attempts to nationalize the medieval state's history are common among historians from the three countries.[2] The word Rus comes probsbly from Ugforin word Ruotsi, which means warrior or inhabitant of the seaside. Even nowadays, the Finns still call so Swedish people, because roslag in old-nord language means coast. During centuries the word Rus was understood in many ways. From the 9th to about the 13th century there were 3 main phases in forming its today meaning. 1. Sources telling about the beginning of Rus in 9th century concerned it as an ethnic concept, which described a people coming from Scandinavia 2. From about 10th century until 13th the concept Rus had also geographicallypolitical meaning describing Kiev and areas around it. It was a Slovian territory ruled by Ruryk tribe and inhabited by Polan and Siewierzan tribes. 3. In 988 when Vladimir the Great was baptized, the term Rus started to have also a religious meaning, describing all believers of the East (Greek) Church. The Rus were mentioned for the first time in the source called Annales Bertiniani in the excerpt concerning year 839. Numerous, independent sources say that Rus was a people coming from Scandinavia. They differed from the Slovians in language, customs and physical appearance. An Arabian writer ibn Rust claims even that the Rus were invaders who robbed, kidnapped and used to sell inhabitants of East Europe as slaves. Other Arabians writers: al-Jakubi and al-Masudi says that Sevilla was robbed in 844 by Rus, called also Normans. Also Nestor in his chronicle mention the Rus. He used also another name while describing them the Varangians (Vikings). In contrary to east Slovians, Bulgarians and Khazars, the Rus was a sailing tribe, which was able to conquer very important trade water routes of Podnieprze and Powoe. The main aim of arrival of the Rus was a willing to get wealth. A lack of state-like organization made it for the Scandinavians easier to gradually conquer these areas. Although the prime plan of the Rus was conquering of Constantinople. The first expedition took place about 860. In 862 there was a great revolt when Slavic tribes rebelled against the Varangians and sent them beyond the sea without given them tribute. After that they started to go at each other. Some of the tribes (unknown who exactly) decided to invite the Rus Varaigians to rule over them. It was Rurik and his 2 brothers: Sineus, and Truvor. They established themselves in Novgorod, Beloozero and Izborsk, repectively. After two years two of Riurik's brothers died leaving Riurik the sole ruler. He in turn installed his nakhodniks to assist him govern over the land. The principals city became Novgorod (capital). The chronicle cites him as the progenitor of the Rurik Dynasty. Establishment of Rus The so-called Kievan Rus was officially founded by Prince Oleg a successor of Rurik, guardian of his son and heir Igor about 880. The territory of his state was much smaller, comparing it to the state Rus developed later during reign of Yaroslaw the Great. During the next 35 years, Oleg and his warriors subdued the various Eastern Slavic (Smolensk and Liubech) and Finnic tribes. In 882 chose Kiev the principal city. In 907, Oleg led an attack against Constantinople with 80000 warriors transported by 2000 ships, leaving Igor in Kyiv. Oleg managed to impose a tribute upon Greeks of no less than one million grivna. In 912 he signed a commercial treaty with the Byzantine Empire as an equal partner. After the death of Oleg later in 912, Drevlians managed to breakaway, but were conquered again by Igor. In 914 Igor concluded a peace treaty with Pechenegs who were passing by towards Danube river, attacking the Byzantine Empire.

The new Kievan state prospered because it had an abundant supply of furs, beeswax and honey for export and because it controlled three main trade routes of Eastern Europe: the Volga trade route from the Baltic Sea to the Orient, the Dnieper trade route from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, and the trade route from the Khazars to the Germans. The Christianization of Kievan Rus' took place in several stages. As a symbolic date it is concerned the date of baptism of the great prince of Kiev Vladimir the Great in 988, which was proceeded by baptizing his family and people in Kiev. As we can notice Poland was earlier to approve Christianity. Rus had a favourable location, so Christians influences were appearing there from the begging of Christianity. According to unsure information, apostle Andrew during one of his numerous expeditions reached a place, where now Kiev is located. He blessed the mountain where now is located Sobor Andrijiwski and placed there a cross. Another person who tried to Christianize Rus was pope Clemens I, who by the way died there martyr death. In 9th century Europes patrons Cyril and Metody also set out to Rus to Christianize and coming back from their mission, they took Popes remains to Rome.

Although the year 988 is concerned as the year of final Christianization of Rus some acts of Baptist took place much earlier. In early 867, Patriarch Photius of Constantinople announced to other Orthodox patriarchs that the Rus, baptised by his bishop, took to Christianity with particular enthusiasm. Photius's attempts at Christianizing the country seem to have entailed no lasting consequences, since the Primary Chronicle and other Slavonic sources describe the tenth-century Rus as firmly entrenched in paganism. During reign of Oleg Christianity wasnt spread. His successor Igor had another attitude to the religion. He neither spread nor protested against peace spreading it. Thanks to the trade treaty with Byzantium, he opened the country for Christianitys influence. Sfter death of Igor, Rus started to be ruled by the duchess Olga. She started intensive works on making Rus a Christian country. Because she couldnt wait for Christianization mission from Byzantium, she asked for help Otto I. He sent a bishop in 960, but he died in 961 and the next bishop had to escape from the country because of threat on his life. Son of Olga Svyatoslav didnt agree on baptism. He claimed that local people wouldnt approve of Christianity. His sons were baptized and in 973 sent diplomatic mission to Otto I and in 977 to the pope. As a result in Kiev was settled a Latin diocese. After death of Svyatoslav started a period of fights between his sons. The winner was Vladimir. He succeeded thanks to help of Vikings and pagan elites in 980. He built a pagan temple as a sign of his recognition. After a while, he realized that without a new religion instead of tribe gods he wont completely unify the country. Whats more Rus was almost surrounded by Christian countries. He decided to get a baptism. The sources claim that after it he completely changed. He stopped being cruel, immoral and became a sympathetic and understanding ruler. Although he stated harsh punishments for those who would continue pagan customs. In Kiev he build famous Diesiatinna Cerkiew and established the first in Rus school.