Rulers of Russia
862 - 1359 CE
Rurik 862-879 CE
Oleg 879-913 CE
Igor 912-45 CE
Olga 945-64 CE
Sviatoslav 964-72 CE
Yaropolk 972-78 CE
Vladimir 978-1015 CE
Sviatopolk 1015-19 CE
Yaroslav the Wise 1019-54 CE
Iziaslav 1054-78 CE
Sviatoslav usurp 1073-76 CE
Vsevolod 1078-93 CE
Sviatopolk 1093-1113 CE
Vladimir II Monomakh 1113-1125 CE
Mstislav 1125-32 CE
Iziaslav 1146-54 CE
Rostislav 1154-67 CE
Andrei Bogoliubski Vladimir 1169-74 CE
Vsevolod III Big Nest 1176-1212 CE
Yuri 1212-38 CE
Yaroslav 1238-46 CE
Andrey 1249-52 CE
Alexander Nevski 1252-63 CE
Yaroslav 1264-71 CE
Dmitri 1277-94 CE
Andrey 1294-1304 CE
Yuri 1303-25 CE
Ivan I Kalita 1328-40 CE
Simeon 1340-53 CE
Ivan II 1353-59 CE
1359 - 1917 CE
|1992 - 96
Russia had its beginnings in the East Slavic cities that arose along the Dneiper and Volkhov Rivers. These cities gradually coalesced into a state and ultimately became an empire. Very little is known about the origins of the Slavs. Most of what was known about the Slavs came as hearsay from the germanic tribes living next to them. Linguists and archaeologists theorize that the Slavs moved from the west and settled originally in the Carpathian mountains. The Slavs were a group of tribes living south of the Pripet marshes (present day Belarus) when the Greeks and Romans called them as Venedi. The Romans came to know the Slavs when the Germanic tribes captured them and sold as slaves to the Romans. In time, so many of these people ended up in captivity that the name Slav, which originally meant "glorious" became the root for the English word "slave."
By the 5th century CE, they split linguistically into three groups - southern, western and eastern. The East Slavs settled along the Dneiper River (present day Ukraine). Later, they spread northward to the Volga River valley, west to the northern Dneister and the western Bug rivers.
Different peoples lived on the East European Plain (present-day Ukraine). They were Scythians (600 to 200 BCE) and Sarmatians (200 BCE.-300 CE) . The Scythians were nomadic people. They were known for horsemanship and were highly skilled in warfare. East Slavs slowly moved into this area and became widespread by 600 CE. Slavs were farmers, hunters, herders, and trappers. Hunting weapons of the time were quite different from the high-tech equipment found in the gotham custom closets of today's hunters. In the 8th century CE, many East Slavic tribes were under the indirect rule of, and paid tribute to, the Khazars of the southern Volga and Caucasus regions. The Khazars were a Turkic-speaking people who adopted Judaism in 740 CE .
By the 9th century CE, Vikings (the Slavs called them Varyagi or Varangians) from Scandinavia had moved to the East Slavic regions. The Primary Chronicle of Nestor mentions that a Varangian named Rurik from the tribe of Rus (the probable origin of the name Russia) first established himself and his clan in Novgorod around 860 CE. Another Varangian named Oleg moved south from Novgorod to expel the Khazars from Kiev and founded the Kievan Rus state in 882 CE. Oleg subdued various East Slavic tribes and expanded Kievan Rus State. This unified dynastic state at Kiev became the center of a trade route between Scandinavia and Constantinople. The rise of the Kievan Rus state came during the reigns of Prince Vladimir (978-1015 CE) and Prince Yaroslav, the Wise (1019-54 CE). Islamic dirhams were used by Kivian Rus between eight and eleventh centuries. At the time of prince Vladimir, gold zlatnik and silver srebrenik were minted (based on Byzantine nomisma). Northern part of Russia was using silver and gold coins of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
The decline of the Kievan Rus state started when the forces of the fourth crusade sacked Constantinople in 1204 CE and the Dneiper trade route between the Baltic sea and Constantinople lost its importance. Most historians agree that the Mongol invasion of 1240 CE merely accelerated the decline of the Kievan Rus state which had begun in 1204 CE. Mongols established the Golden Horde state at Saray and ruled the Kievan Rus state indirectly through their princes and tax collectors. However, the Golden Horde regime had an important role in the development of Muscovy as a state and later into the Russian Empire. When Mongol over lordship ended officially in 1480 CE, Muscovy under Ivan the Great (Ivan III) gained full sovereignty over all the Russian lands. Ivan the Great was the first ruler to use the title tsar (Czar, tzar) derived from Latin "caesar" (imperator) as well as from Greek "basileus" (potentate) - which came to mean "Ruler of all Rus".
Russia experienced a coin less period between 12th to 14th century by reverting to barter system and using silver ingots (Kievan grivnas). The word the Ruble was used instead of grivna (200 gram of silver) in late 14th century. Prince Dmitri Donskoy of Suzadal-Nizhny issued silver dengi ( at the time 1/200 of a ruble). Ivan IV introduced a unified coinage for all of the Russia in 1534 CE based on the kopek (1 ruble = 100 kopek). This system remained in place to the present. The copper kopeks were introduced in 1665 and it created a financial collapse. The silver coinage reintroduced in 1663 CE. Peter I the Great introduced machine manufactured coinage.
The House of Rurik ruled the Kievan Rus state and
from 860 to 1598 CE. In 1613 CE., another branch of the
of Rurik called the Romanovs came to power. Peter the Great expanded
state of Muscovy into the Russian Empire by the end of the18th century
CE. The Romanov Dynasty came to an end with the Bolshevik
in 1917 CE and a Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was
In 1991, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics split up into several
independent republics and the Russian Republic was established.
Rambaud, Alfred., Russia, Translation Lang,
B., vol. 1., New York: Collier, 1900.