Russia History Rurikid Rurikid Dynasty

Rurikid Dynasty

The family of Prince Rurik split into a large number of branches, beginning with the prince’s great-grandson, Grand Prince Vladimir of Kiev. Vladimir’s son, Yaroslav the Wise, divided the country between his different sons. The most important branch was the offspring of his second son, Prince Svyatoslav. In the late twelfth century, his great-grandson, Grand Prince Vsyevolod Yuryevich “Big Nest” of Vladimir, was the dominant Russian prince. His descendants became the grand princes and tsars of Muscovy.

The Rurikid dynasty came to an end when Tsar Feodor I died in 1598. The descendants of Prince Rurik ruled Rus for seven centuries. Many aristocratic families traced their ancestry from the prince. They took their surnames – Odoyevsky, Mosalsky, Gorchakov, Baryatinsky, Obolensky, Repnin, Volkonsky, Kropotkin, Shakhovskoi and Dolgorukov – from the names of their hereditary estates or the nicknames of their ancestors. Besides ruling the country, Rurik’s offspring also occupied important political, legal and military posts. More than ten thousand of his descendants are now scattered throughout Russia and abroad.

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