• 862-879: Prince of Novgorod

Rurik, Prince of Novgorod, was born circa 832 and died 879 of unspecified causes. He married Efanda of Urman .


Rurik (also spelled Rorik, Riurik or Ryurik;[1][2][3][4] Template:Lang-orv, from Old Norse Hrøríkʀ; Russian: Рюрик; died 879)[lower-alpha 1] was a semi-legendary Varangian chieftain of the Rus' who in the year 862 was invited to reign in Novgorod.[1][5] According to the Primary Chronicle, Rurik was succeeded by his kinsman Oleg who was regent for his infant son Igor.

He is considered to be the founder of the Rurik dynasty, which went on to rule Kievan Rus' and its principalities, and ultimately the Tsardom of Russia, until the death of Feodor I in 1598. Vasili IV, who reigned until 1610, was the last Rurikid monarch of Russia.[6]

Rurik is a legendary figure in Russian history who is said to have been the founder of the Rurik dynasty, which ruled over the Kievan Rus, a medieval state that existed from the 9th to the 13th centuries. However, the exact details of his life are shrouded in mystery and many of the stories surrounding him are considered to be more legend than fact.

According to tradition, Rurik was a Varangian (Viking) warrior who was invited by the Slavic tribes of the region to come and rule over them. He is said to have arrived in the area around the city of Novgorod in the late 9th century AD, with two other Viking leaders named Sineus and Truvor. Together, the three of them established the first ruling dynasty of the Kievan Rus.

The earliest surviving written record of Rurik comes from the 12th century AD, in the Primary Chronicle, a historical text that chronicles the early history of the Kievan Rus. According to the Chronicle, Rurik ruled over the region for many years and was succeeded by his kinsmen, who continued to rule over the area for several centuries.

While the details of Rurik's life are unclear, his legacy is significant. He is considered to be the founder of the Russian state and his descendants went on to rule over the Kievan Rus, as well as other parts of Eastern Europe, for centuries. The Rurik dynasty played a crucial role in the formation of the Russian state and its early development, and Rurik himself is remembered as a great leader who united the Slavic tribes and laid the foundations for the Russian nation.

Rurik Family Ancestry


Rurik and his brothers Sineus and Truvor arrive at Ladoga by Viktor Vasnetsov

The Rurik dynasty (or Rurikids) went on to rule Kievan Rus', and ultimately the Tsardom of Russia, until 1598, and numerous noble families in the former lands of Kievan Rus' claim male-line descent from Rurik. The last Rurikid to rule Russia was Tsar Vasily IV (from the House of Shuysky, cadet branch of the House of Rurik), who reigned until 1610. The Romanovs were also related to descendants of Rurik. They were related to Rurik through marriage. The descendants of the princely families allegedly inherited from Rurik are still living.[7]

As there are no remains of Rurik, the DNA of Rurik himself cannot be studied. The Y chromosomes of people thought to be the modern descendants of Rurik are often a subset of haplogroup N, traditionally called N1c and now known as N1a. Since then, the same N1c form has been found in other princely families descended from Rurik. These families are called Rurikids. However, not all the supposed descendants of Rurik have it.[7]

Succession and Children

Rurik remained in power until his death in 879. On his deathbed, Rurik bequeathed his realm to Oleg, who belonged to his kin, and entrusted to Oleg's hands his son Igor of Kiev, for he was very young. Oleg moved the capital to Kiev (by murdering the then-rulers and taking the city) and founded the state of Kievan Rus', which was ruled by Rurik's successors (his son Igor and Igor's descendants). The state persisted until the Mongol invasion in 1240.


Offspring of Rurik and Efanda of Urman
Name Birth Death Joined with
Igor Ryurikovich of Kiev (c878-945) 878 945 Korosten, Korosten Rayon, Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukraine Olga of Kiev (c890-969)


Research Notes

Sparse Info on Ancestry

Some information in this article or section has not been verified and may not be reliable.
Please check for any inaccuracies, and modify and cite sources as needed.

Based on genealogy from Works of Empress Catherine II (Сочинения императрицы Екатерины II), Book 8, pages 28-41: "...Rurik's father was Finlandia's King, and his mother was Umila, daughter of Gostomysl. Rurik I was Grand Prince (Velikiy Knyaz) of Northern Russia 862-879. His wife was Efanda (Yefanda), Norwegian Princess (Kniazhna Urmanskaya). From this union was born: Igor I, Grand Prince (Velikiy Knyaz) of Northern and Southern Russia 879-945. His wife was Olga, [Igor I was] great-grandchild of Gostomysl and grandchild of eldest of his daughter. From this union Svyatoslav was born..."

The earliest generations of the so-called Rurikid family are reconstructed solely on the basis of the sparse information in the "Povest' vremennykh let" or 'Tale of the Years of Time', better known as the Russian Primary Chronicle and also sometimes known as Nestor´s Chronicle. As pointed out by Franklin & Shepard, the extant manuscripts of the Primary Chronicle which date from the 12th century should not be taken at face value as they must have been compiled from patchy sources of information. It is likely that the compilers exaggerated the role of Rurik's family in the 9th and 10th centuries, in order to establish a lengthy, credible history for the Russian principalities which were flourishing by the 12th century. Any reconstructed genealogy of the Rurikid dynasty during the early years, as well as all dates and even names, must be viewed with caution.

See Also

Contemporary Resources

As Rurik lived during the early medieval period, reliable contemporary resources about his life are scarce. Most of the information about Rurik and the early history of the Kievan Rus comes from later sources, which are often based on legend and folklore. It is worth noting that the information contained in these sources should be treated with caution, as much of it is based on legends and folklore rather than verifiable facts. Nevertheless, they provide valuable insights into the early history of Russia and the role that Rurik played in its formation.

That being said, there are several primary and secondary sources that provide valuable insights into Rurik's life and the era in which he lived. These include:

  1. The Primary Chronicle - This is the most important primary source on the early history of the Kievan Rus. It was compiled in the 12th century by monks and contains a mixture of historical facts and legends. The Chronicle provides the earliest written record of Rurik's life and reign.
  2. The Russian Primary Chronicle - This is a modern translation of the Primary Chronicle, which provides valuable insight into Rurik and the early history of the Kievan Rus.
  3. The Novgorod First Chronicle - This is a later chronicle from the 14th century, which provides additional details about Rurik's life and reign, as well as the early history of Novgorod.
  4. The Nestor Chronicle - This is another later chronicle from the 12th century, which provides additional information about Rurik's life and reign, as well as the early history of the Kievan Rus.
  5. The Cambridge History of Russia - This is a comprehensive secondary source that provides an overview of the history of Russia from ancient times to the present. It includes a chapter on the Kievan Rus and provides valuable insights into Rurik and the early history of the region.


  1. ^ a b Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named sawyer
  2. ^ Obolensky, Dmitri (1990). The Russian chronicles : a thousand years that changed the world: from the beginnings of the Land of Rus to the new revolution of Glasnost today. London: Century. pp. 32. ISBN 9780712637640. 
  3. ^ (2004) "The Inconsistencies of History: Vikings And Rurik". New Zealand Slavonic Journal 38: 105–130. ISSN 0028-8683. 
  4. ^ Lotha, Gloria. "Rurik | Norse leader | Britannica" (in en). 
  5. ^ Perrie, Maureen (2006). The Cambridge History of Russia. Volume 1. From Early Rus' to 1689. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 2, 47–48. ISBN 1107639425. 
  6. ^ Christian Raffensperger and Norman W. Ingham, "Rurik and the First Rurikids", The American Genealogist, 82 (2007), 1–13, 111–119.
  7. ^ a b Kalmistopiiri, julkaissut (27 October 2021). "Ruhtinas ja ruhtinaan pojat – paljastavatko geenit Venäjän perustajana pidetyn Rurikin alkuperän?" (in fi). 

Footnotes (including sources)

Ω Birth
  • year of birth from average life span

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