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The Russian Line

Descent from


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