The Russian Line
Viking Founder of the Russian Royal House of Kiev
Rurik or Rorik of Jutland was one of the most famous Viking conquerors of
western Europe. His Skioldung ancestors had been defeated by their rivals,
the Ynglingars, in the middle of the 8th century and they had sought refuge
with Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Emperor, who settled the margrave of Frisia
on them They were subsequently converted to Christianity.
It appears that Rurik abandoned his faith and emperor and embarked on a career
of pillage and destruction in an area stretching from London to Hamburg before
settling down in northern Russia to found the city of Novgorod. In old Russian
chronicles, the Vikings were called Varangians or Rus, hence the origin of
the name of Russia.
Kiev became the political centre of a federation of Russian states
under Rurik's son Oleg, who also initiated contacts with the Byzantine
Empire. The close relations that developed with Byzantium led to the conversion
of Princess Olga to Christianity and, through her grandson, St Vladimir who
married the daughter of the Emperor of Byzantium, the subsequent mass conversion
of Russia to the Orthodox faith.
Lines of Descent