Capital of the Rus (q.v.), established ca. 879 by Oleg (q.v.), successor to Rurik of Novgorod (q.v.), according to the Russian Primary Chronicle. Kiev was a center from which raids were launched down the Dnieper (q.v.) against Constantinople (q.v.), the purpose of which seems to have been the acquisition of formal trading privileges with Byzantium (q.v.). Oleg's raid on Constantinople in 907 was followed by a trading agreement in 911. Subsequent raids by Igor (q.v.) in 941 and 943 (or 944) produced a new treaty. The closer relationship between the Rus and Byzantium that developed from these treaties is seen in Olga's (q.v.) visit to Constantinople, in Svjatoslav's (q.v.) attack on Bulgaria (q.v.) in 968, and in the Varangians (q.v.), whom Vladimir I supplied to Basil II (qq.v.) in 988. After the conversion of Vladimir I, Byzantine influence in Kiev increased dramatically. This is especially seen during the reign of Jaroslav (q.v.), who attempted to rebuild Kiev in the image of Constantinople. Kiev flourished until it was pillaged by the Mongols (q.v.) in 1240; thereafter it declined. In the next century Moscow (q.v.) emerged as the true successor to Kiev, the center of all Russia, and the focal point for continued transmission of Byzantine civilization.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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