The Info List - Rurik

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(also Riurik; Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic
Рюрикъ Rjurikŭ, from Old Norse
Old Norse
Hrøríkʀ; c. 830 – 879), according to the 12th-century Primary Chronicle, was a Varangian
chieftain of the Rus' who in the year 862 gained control of Ladoga, and built the Holmgard
settlement near Novgorod. He is the founder of the Rurik
Dynasty, which ruled the Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
and its successor states, including the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the Tsardom of Russia, until the 17th century.[1]


1 Life 2 Historicity debate

2.1 Archaeological evidence 2.2 Hypothesis of identity with Rorik of Dorestad

3 Legacy 4 References 5 External links


Monument celebrating the millennial of Rurik's arrival at Novgorod

The only information about Rurik
is contained in the 12th-century Primary Chronicle
Primary Chronicle
written by one Nestor, which states that Chuds, Eastern Slavs, Merias, Veses, and Krivichs
"...drove the Varangians back beyond the sea, refused to pay them tribute, and set out to govern themselves". Afterwards the tribes started fighting each other and decided to invite the Varangians, led by Rurik, to reestablish order. Rurik
came in 860-862 along with his brothers Sineus and Truvor and a large retinue. According to the Primary Chronicle, Rurik
was one of the Rus', a Varangian
tribe likened by the chronicler to Danes, Swedes, Angles, and Gotlanders. Sineus established himself at Beloozero (now Belozersk), on the shores of lake Beloye, and Truvor at Izborsk (or at Pskov). Truvor and Sineus died shortly after the establishment of their territories, and Rurik consolidated these lands into his own territory. According to the entries in the Radzivil and Hypatian Chronicles[2] under the years 862–864, Rurik’s first residence was in Ladoga. He later moved his seat of power to Novgorod, a fort built not far from the source of the Volkhov River. The meaning of this place name in medieval Russian is 'new fortification', while the current meaning ('new city') developed later. Rurik
remained in power until his death in 879. On his deathbed, Rurik bequeathed his realm to Oleg, who belonged to his kin, and entrusted to Oleg's hands his son Igor, for he was very young. His successors (the Rurik
Dynasty) moved the capital to Kiev
and founded the state of Kievan Rus', which persisted until the Mongol invasion in 1240. A number of extant princely families are patrilineally descended from Rurik, although the last Rurikid
to rule Russia, Vasily IV, died in 1612. Historicity debate[edit] Archaeological evidence[edit] In the 20th century, archaeologists partly corroborated the chronicle's version of events. It was discovered that the settlement of Ladoga, whose foundation has been ascribed to Rurik, was actually established in the mid-9th century, although doubt is now cast on this by the dendrochronological evidence that Ladoga existed by the mid-8th century.[citation needed] Earthenware, household utensils, and types of buildings from the period of Rurik's purported foundation correspond to patterns then prevalent in Jutland.[citation needed] but mostly the excavations denied most of the chronicle's data about Rurik's arrival when it was apparent that the old settlement stretched to the mid-8th century and the excavated objects were mostly of Finno-Ugric and Slavic origin, dated to the mid-8th century, which showed the settlement was not Scandinavian from the beginning.[3][page needed] Hypothesis of identity with Rorik of Dorestad[edit] Main article: Rorik of Dorestad

Rorik of Dorestad, as conceived by H. W. Koekkoek

The only similarly named figure described in the Carolingian Annales Fuldenses and Annales Bertiniani was Rorik of Dorestad
Rorik of Dorestad
(also spelled Rørik, Rörik, Roerik, Hrörek, etc.), a Germanic king
Germanic king
from the royal Scylding house of Haithabu
in the Jutland
Peninsula. Since the 19th century, there have been attempts to identify him with the Rurik
of Russian chronicles. Rorik of Dorestad
Rorik of Dorestad
was born about ca. 810–820 to Ali Anulo, 9th king of Haithabu. Frankish chroniclers mention that he received lands in Friesland
from Emperor Louis I. This was not enough for him, and he started to plunder neighbouring lands: he took Dorestad
in 850, captured Haithabu
in 857, and looted Bremen in 859. The Emperor was enraged and stripped him of all his possessions in 860. After that, Rorik disappears from the Western sources for a considerable period of time, while only two years later, in 862, the Russian chronicle's Rurik
arrives in the eastern Baltic, builds the fortress of Ladoga, and later moves to Novgorod. Rorik of Dorestad
Rorik of Dorestad
reappeared in Frankish chronicles in 870, when his Friesland
demesne was returned to him by Charles the Bald; in 882 Rorik of Dorestad
Rorik of Dorestad
is mentioned as dead (without a date of death specified). The Russian chronicle places the death of Rurik
of Novgorod
at 879, a three year gap prior than the Frankish chronicles. According to Western sources, the ruler of Friesland
was converted to Christianity by the Franks. This may have parallels with the Christianization of the Rus', as reported by Patriarch Photius in 867. The idea of identifying the Rurik
of Nestor's chronicle with Rorik of Dorestad
of the Carolingian chronicles was revived by the anti-Normanists Boris Rybakov
Boris Rybakov
and Anatoly H. Kirpichnikov in the mid-20th century,[4] while modern scholars like Alexander Nazarenko object to it.[5] The hypothesis of their identity currently lacks support among scholars,[6] though support for a "Normannic" (i.e. Norse, rather than Slavic) origin of the Rus' has increased. Legacy[edit] Further information: Rurikid

and his brothers Sineus and Truvor
Sineus and Truvor
arrive at Ladoga

The Rurik dynasty
Rurik dynasty
(or Rurikids) went on to rule the Kievan Rus', and ultimately the Tsardom of Russia, until 1598, and numerous noble Russian and Ruthenian families claim a male-line descent from Rurik. Vasily Tatishchev
Vasily Tatishchev
(a Rurikid
himself) claimed that Rurik
was of Wendish extraction and went so far as to name Rurik's wife, Efanda of Norway (Edvina); mother, Umila; his maternal grandfather, Gostomysl; and a cousin, Vadim (apparently basing his account on the lost Ioachim Chronicle).[citation needed] References[edit]

^ Christian Raffensperger and Norman W. Ingham, " Rurik
and the First Rurikids," The American Genealogist, 82 (2007), 1–13, 111–19. ^ Ipat’ievskaia letopis’ 1962:14; Radzivilovskaia letopis’ 1989:16 ^ Kirpichnikov, Anatoliy N. (2004). "A Viking Period workshop in Staraya Ladoga, excavated in 1997" (PDF). Journal of Swedish Antiquarian Research. Retrieved 17 September 2015.  ^ Kirpichnikov, Anatoly H. "Сказание о призвании варягов. Анализ и возможности источника". Первые скандинавские чтения, СПб; 1997; ch. 7–18. ^ Nazarenko, Alexander. "Rjurik и Riis Th., Rorik", Lexikon des Mittelalters, VII; Munich, 1995; pp. 880, 1026. ^ Andrei Mozzhukhin (5 October 2014). «Рюрик — это легенда» [" Rurik
– is a legend"] (in Russian). Russian Planet. Retrieved 12 November 2014.  Interview with Igor Danilevsky.

External links[edit]

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Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 43581032 LCCN: n97015174 ISNI: 0000 0000 3348 18