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What Are the Origins of Medieval Kyiv

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===Kiev Becomes the Dominant Rus’ Power===
[[File: IgortheOld.jpg|300px|thumbnail|left|Mosaic of Igor of Kiev]]
[[File: 1000_Sviatoslav.jpjpg|300px|thumbnail|right|Prince Sviatoslav]]
The transition from Oleg to Igor was relatively smooth, which further helped stabilize the nascent Kiev state. There were no rival claimants to the throne and Igor was apparently content to learn the nuances of statecraft and warfare from Oleg. Igor observed the peace with Byzantium for most of his reign, but in 941 he led a major Viking raid against Constantinople with 10,000 men. The long ships had the early advantage, although they were eventually routed when the Byzantine forces used their mysterious “Greek fire.” <ref> Cross and Wetzor, pgs. 71-72</ref> The defeat forced Igor to revaluate his position, so he signed a new peace treaty with Byzantium in 945. The treaty left Igor’s son and successor, Sviatoslav I (ruled 945-972) in a solid political position. By the time Sviatoslav I became the Prince of Kiev, the geopolitical situation was changing rapidly throughout Europe.
The Scandinavian Vikings were slowly but surely becoming Christianized in Western Europe and the Rus’ too were beginning to adopt Christianity. Although Sviatoslav I was a pagan just as his predecessors were, due to the influence of Byzantium more and more Rus’ were converting to Orthodox Christianity. Although Sviatoslav I retained his pagan beliefs and continued to do Viking raids, his rule marked the beginning of a transition for Kiev. Unlike his predecessors, Sviatoslav I’s name was purely Slavic and while he was not afraid to use force, and did so against numerous peoples in Eastern Europe, he was more of a “merchant prince” <ref> Riasonovsky, p. 44</ref> than a Viking warlord when it came to the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII noted in his history of Eastern Europe how Sviatoslav I controlled the Dnieper River and Rus’ commerce.
“The ‘monoxyla’ which come down from outer Russia to Constantinople are from Novgorod, where Sviatoslav, son of Igor, prince of Russia, had his seat, and others from the city of Smolensk and from Telituza and Chernigov and from Vyshegrad. All these come down the river Dnieper, and are collected together at the city of Kiev, also called Sambatas. . . And since these lakes debouch into the river Dnieper, they enter thence on to this same river, and come down to Kiev, and draw the ships along to be finished and sell them to the Russians. <ref> Porphyrogenitus, Constantine <i> De Administrando Imperio.</i> Edited by Gyula Moravcsik. Translated by Romilly J. H. Jenkins. Revised Edition. (Washington: Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, 2016), IX, 1-15 </ref>

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