Grand Prince of Kiev

Grand Prince of Kiev
First monarch Volodymyr the Great
Last monarch Michael of Chernigov
Formation unknown
Abolition 1362

Grand Prince of Kiev (sometimes Grand Duke of Kiev) was the title of the Kievan prince and the ruler of Kievan Rus' from the 10th to 13th centuries. In the 13th century, Kiev became an appanage principality first of the Grand Prince of Vladimir and the Golden Horde governors, and later was taken over by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

According to some Ukrainian historians (i.e., Kanyhin, Tkachuk), Ptolemy's mention of Metropolis, a Sarmatian town on the Dnieper River, shows the ancient existence of Kiev.[1] The name Dnieper is derived from Sarmatian (Iranian) Dānu apara "the river far away."

Princes of Kiev

Mythological rulers

Name Reign Notes
Kyi 5th or 6th c. mythological founder of Kiev
Oleg 8th c. relation to dynasty is debatable
Bravlin 790s relation to Kiev and dynasty is debatable
Askold and Dir 870s existence debatable

According to Slavophiles, Kyi ruled since 430, one of the dates attributed to the legendary founding of Kiev in 482, although that date relates to Kovin on the Danube in Serbia. Some historians speculate that Kyi was a Slavic prince of eastern Polans in the 6th century. Kyi's legacy along with Shchek's is mentioned in the Book of Veles, the authenticity of which, however, is disputed.

Oleg, an apocryphal Kiev voivode, probably of Danish or Swedish origin, under the overlordship of the Khazar Khaganate.

Bravlin was a Varangian prince or chieftain, who led a Rus' military expedition to devastate the Crimea, from Kerch to Sugdaea, in the last years of the 8th century.

According to some Russian historians (i.e., Gleb S. Lebedev), Dir was a chacanus of Rhos (Rus' Khaganate|Rus' khagan).[2] Thomas Noonan asserts that one of the Rus' "sea-kings", the "High king", adopted the title khagan in the early 9th century.[3] Peter Benjamin Golden maintained that the Rus' became a part of the Khazar federation, and that their ruler was officially accepted as a vassal kagan of the Khazar Khaqan of Itil.[4]

Some western historians (i.e., Kevin Alan Brook) suppose that Kiev was founded by Khazars or Magyars. Kiev is a Turkic place name (Küi = riverbank + ev = settlement).[5] At least during the 8th and 9th centuries Kiev functioned as an outpost of the Khazar empire (a hill-fortress, called Sambat, "high place" in Old Turkic). According to Omeljan Pritsak, Constantine Zuckerman and other scholars, Khazars lost Kiev at the beginning of the 10th century.[6][7]

Rurik Dynasty

The Rurikids were descendants of Rurik (Rørikr), a Varangian pagan chieftain, according to the FamilyTreeDNA Rurikid Dynasty DNA Project, Rurik appears to have belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup N1c1, based on testing of his modern male line descendants.[8] But while genetically related to the later Baltic Finnic peoples, the Rurikids do not possess the DYS390=24 mutation associated with the Finnic languages, theirs remaining the ancestral DYS390=23 (which is also found among West Finns), with the Rurikid haplotype itself (all values considered) more closely associated with [North] Germanic speakers (Varangians).[9]

Portrait Name Branch Born-Died Ruled From Ruled Until Notes
Oleg the Seer (Helgi)[10]?–912882912 Relation to Rurik is debatable
Igor I (Ingvar)?–945912945 son of Rurik I
St.Olga[11] (Helga)?–969945962 (regent-consort)
Sviatoslav I (Sven)[12]942–972962972 son of Igor
Yaropolk I (Jaropolk)[13]958 (960?)–980972 980One of the two Svyatoslav's sons

Grand Princes of Kiev

Rurik Dynasty

Portrait Name Branch Born-Died Ruled From Ruled Until Notes
Vladimir I the Great (Valdamarr)958–10159801015One of the two Svyatoslav's sons; in 988 baptized the Rus
Sviatopolk I the Accursed (Sventopluk)[14]980–101910151019origin is debatable
Yaroslav I the Wise (Jarizleifr)978–105410191054son of Vladimir the Great, jointly with Mstislav in 1024-36
Iziaslav I of Kiev1024–107810541073son of Yaroslav, first time (in 1068/69 lost state power to Polotsk princes)
Sviatoslav II of Kiev1027–107610731076son of Yaroslav
Iziaslav I of Kiev1024–107810761078second time, in 1075 Pope Gregory VII sent him a crown from Rome
Vsevolod I of Kiev1030–109310781093son of Yaroslav
Sviatopolk II of KievIzyaslavichi1050–111310931113son of Iziaslav I
Vladimir II MonomakhMonomakhovychi1053–112511131125son of Vsevolod I
Mstislav I the Great (Harald)Monomakhovychi1076–113211251132 son of Vladimir II
Yaropolk IIMonomakhovychi1082–113911321139 brother of Mstislav I
Viacheslav IMonomakhovychi1083–115411391139 brother of Yaropolk II (first time)
Vsevolod IISvyatoslavichi?–114611391146son of Oleh Svyatoslavich
Igor IISvyatoslavichi?–114711461146brother of Vsevolod II
Iziaslav IIMonomakhovychi1097–115411461149son of Mstislav I (first time)
Yuri I DolgorukiyMonomakhovychi1099–115711491151(first time)
Viacheslav IMonomakhovychi1083–115411511154(second time) jointly
Iziaslav IIMonomakhovychi1097–1154(second time) jointly
Rostislav IMonomakhovychi1110–116711541154brother of Iziaslav II (first time)
Iziaslav IIISvyatoslavichi?–116211541155(first time)
Yuri I DolgorukiyMonomakhovychi1099–115711551157(second time)
Iziaslav IIISvyatoslavichi?–116211571158(second time)
Rostislav IMonomakhovychi1110–116711581167(second time) jointly with Iziaslav III in 1162
Mstislav IIIzyaslavichi (Monomakh)?–117211671169son of Iziaslav II (first time)
GlebYurievichi (Monomakh)?–117111691169son of Yuri Dolgorukiy (first time)
Mstislav IIIzyaslavichi (Monomakh)?–117211701170(second time)
GlebYurievichi (Monomakh)?–117111701171(second time)
Vladimir IIIMonomakhovychi1132–117311711171son of Mstislav I the Great
Michael IYurievichi (Monomakh)?–117611711171half-brother of Gleb
Roman IRostislavichi (Monomakh)?–118011711173son of Rostislav I (first time)
Vsevolod III the Big NestYurievichi (Monomakh)1154–121211731173brother of Michael I
Rurik IIRostislavichi (Monomakh)?–121511731173brother of Roman I (first time)
Sviatoslav IIIOlgovichi?–119411741174son of Vsevolod II (first time)
Yaroslav IIIzyaslavichi (Monomakh)?–118011741175son of Iziaslav II (first time)
Roman IRostislavichi (Monomakh)?–118011751177(second time)
Sviatoslav IIIOlgovichi?–119411771180(second time)
Yaroslav IIIzyaslavichi (Monomakh)?–118011801180(second time)
Rurik IIRostislavichi (Monomakh)?–121511801182(second time)
Sviatoslav IIIOlgovichi?–119411821194(third time)
Rurik IIRostislavichi (Monomakh)?–121511941202(third time)
Igor IIIIzyaslavichi (Monomakh)?–?12021202son of Yaroslav II (first time)
Rurik IIRostislavichi (Monomakh)?–121512031206jointly (fourth time)
Roman II the GreatIzyaslavichi (Monomakh)1160–1205son of Mstislav II, jointly (1203–05)
Rostislav IIRostislavichi (Monomakh)1173–1214son of Rurik II, jointly (1204–06)
Vsevolod IV the RedSvyatoslavichi (Olgovichi)?–121212061207son of Sviatoslav III (first time)
Rurik IIRostislavichi (Monomakh)?–121512071210(fifth time)
Vsevolod IV the RedSvyatoslavichi (Olgovichi)?–121212101212(second time)
Igor IIIIzyaslavichi (Monomakh)?–?12121214(second time)
Mstislav IIIRostislavichi (Monomakh)?–122312141223son of Roman I
Vladimir IVRostislavichi (Monomakh)1187–123912231235brother of Rostislav II
Iziaslav IVSiveria (Olgovichi) or
Rostislavichi (Monomakh)
1186–?12351236son of Vladimir Igorevich or Mstislav
Yaroslav IIIYurievichi (Monomakh)1191–124612361238son of Vsevolod the Big Nest (first time)
Michael IISvyatoslavichi (Olgovichi)1185–124612381239son of Vsevolod IV (first time)

Princes of Kiev (Mongol invasion)

Due to Mongol invasion in 1240 Michael of Chernigov left Kiev to seek military assistance from the Kingdom of Hungary (Béla IV). During that time Prince of Smolensk Rostislav occupied Kiev, but was captured the same year by Daniel of Galicia who placed his voivode Dmytro to guard Kiev while the Grand Prince was away. Being unsuccessful in Hungary, Michael visited Konrad I in Masovia. Receiving no results in Poland, he eventually asked Daniel of Galicia for a sanctuary due to the invasion of Mongols.

Portrait Name Branch Born-Died Ruled From Ruled Until Notes
Rostislav MikhailovichSmolensk (Rostislavichi)1210–126212391239son of Michael II
Voivode Dmytro 12391240appointed by Daniel of Galicia
Michael IISvyatoslavichi (Olgovichi)1185–124612411243(second time)
Yaroslav IIIYurievichi (Monomakh)1191–124612431246(second time)
St. Alexander NevskyVladimirsky (Monomakh)1220–1263 12461263son of Yaroslav III
Yaroslav IVVladimirsky (Monomakh)1230–127112631271brother of Alexander
LevGalicia (Monomakh)1228–130112711301son of Daniel
Volodymyr-Ivan IvanovichSiveria (Olgovichi)?–?1301?
Stanislav IvanovichSiveria (Olgovichi)1228–1301?1321

Olshanski dynasty

Since the 14th century the principality of Kiev started to fall under the influence of Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1299 Metropolitan of Kiev Maximus moved his metropolitan see from Kiev to Vladimir-on-Klyazma. In 1321 after the battle on the Irpin River Gediminas installed one of his subjects Mindgaugas from the house of Olshanski, a descendant of exiled to the Byzantine Empire family of Vseslav of Polotsk.

Portrait Name Branch Born-Died Ruled From Ruled Until Notes
Mindaugas Holshanski?–?13211324son of Holsha Romanovich
Algimantas-Michael?–?13241331[15]son of Mindaugas

Rurik dynasty

In 1331 Kiev once again was taken by members of Rurik dynasty (Olgovich branch), the prince of Putivl.

Portrait Name Branch Born-Died Ruled From Ruled Until Notes
Fyodor (Teodoras)Siverski (Olgovichi)?–?13311362son of Ivan
Prince of Kiev
First monarch Vladimir VI
Last monarch Simonas
Formation 1362
Abolition 1471

After the Battle of Blue Waters in 1362, Kiev and surrounding areas were incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by Algirdas, Grand Duke of Lithuania.


Portrait Name Branch Born-Died Ruled From Ruled Until Notes
Vladimir VI?–?13621394son of Algirdas
Casimir1354–139713951397son of Algirdas


Portrait Name Branch Born-Died Ruled From Ruled Until Notes
Ivan?–?1397c. 1402son of Algimantas (in 1404-11 Jurgis Gedgaudas as voivode)
Andrew?–?c. 1412c. 1422son of Ivan
Michael IV?–1433c. 1422c. 1432son of Ivan
Michael V Boloban?–1435c. 1433c. 1435son of Simonas


Portrait Name Branch Born-Died Ruled From Ruled Until Notes
Boleslav1370–145214321440son of Algirdas
Alexander-Olelko?–145414431454son of Vladimir
Simonas1418–147014541470son of Alexander

See also


  1. Wilson, Andrew (2002). The Ukrainians. Unexpected Nation. Yale University Press. pp. 31–32. ISBN 0-300-09309-8.
  2. Duczko, Wladyslaw (2004). Viking Rus: Studies on the Presence of Scandinavians in Eastern Europe. Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. ISBN 90-04-13874-9
  3. Noonan, Thomas (2001). The Khazar Qaghanate and Its Impact On the Early Rus' State: The translatio imperii from Itil to Kiev. Nomads in the Sedentary World, Anatoly Mikhailovich Khazanov and Andre Wink, eds. p. 76-102. Richmond, England: Curzon. ISBN 0-7007-1370-0
  4. Golden, Peter Benjamin (1982). The Question of the Rus' Qaganate. Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi. pp. 77-92
  5. Brook, Kevin Alan (1996-2009). An Introduction to the History of Khazaria
  6. Pritsak, Omeljan (1981). The origin of Rus. Cambridge, Mass.: Distributed by Harvard University Press for the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.
  7. Zuckerman, Constantine (2007). The Khazars and Byzantium - The First Encounter. In The World of the Khazars: New Perspectives - Selected Papers from the Jerusalem 1999 International Khazar Colloquium, eds. Peter Benjamin Golden, Haggai Ben-Shammai, and András Róna-Tas, pp. 399-432. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.
  8. Rurikid Dynasty DNA Project - News
  9. Stratification of Y-haplogroup N1c, Jaakko Häkkinen. 5 August 2010. University of Helsinki.
  10. Sveerne (konung of Holmgård (Novgorod) and Kønugård (Kiev))
  11. Olga was first of Rurikid to be baptized by Emperor Constantine VII but failed to bring Christianity to Kiev
  12. Leszek Moczulski, Narodziny Międzymorza, p.475, Bellona SA, Warszawa 2007 ISBN 978-83-11-10826-4
  13. Ярополк is modern Ukrainian, Jaropełk is Polish, Jaropluk is Czech, Jaropelkas is Lithuanian, Iaropelkos is Greek, Jaropolk is German and Swedish.
  14. The Old Slavonic is Свѧтопълкъ in the Cyrillic alphabet, the modern Ukrainian is Святополк, Polish is Świętopełk, Czech is Svatopluk, and Slovak is Svätopluk. Reconstructed, his name is Sventopluk. More commonly, his name is given in its Latin and Frankish equivalents: Suentopolcus, Suatopluk, Zventopluk, Zwentibald, Zwentibold, Zuentibold, or Zuentibald.
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