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" 볺"... " " ( )

07/06/2001 |
Copyright & other inquiries E-mail George Skoryk
http://members.ozemail.com.au/~retengnr/nestor.html
Started: 05 October 1999
Updated:14 June 2001

ABRIDGED HISTORY OF UKRAINE


KYIVAN RUS CHRONICLES

Loose, abbreviated translation by George Skoryk
of Chronicles by Venerable Nestor (1056 - 1136 AD) -
a monk of the Theodosian Monastery located in caves on the outskirts of Kyiv,
from Ukrainian text, as published on Internet by Igor Solovey.



After the Deluge, three sons of Noah - Shem, Ham and Japhet divided up the earth.
Shem obtained the East : Phoenicia, Syria, Assyria, Babylonia, Media, Persis (Persia), Mesopotamia, Bactria and India. (Presently: Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and India)
Ham obtained the South, namely North Africa including Mauritania, Libya, Egypt and Ethiopia. In the East he obtained land on the west coast of present day Turkey including Lydia; also Mediterranean islands Sardinia, Crete and Cyprus.
Japhet obtained North and West, namely all present day Europe including islands Sicily, Euboea, Rhodes, Chios (Khios) and Lesbos. Also most of the present day Turkey, Kavkaz Mountains, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
Therefore Japhed lands included the North side of the Black Sea with rivers Danube, Dnister, Dnipro and Volga, which flows toward Shem's part of the earth. These lands contained numerous tribes such as Rus, Chud, Pechera, Uhra, Lytva, Lethola, Mordva, Zmyhola, Merya, Muroma, Perm, Ves, Yam, Kors, Lib. Further North, toward the Viking Sea (Baltic Sea) were , Wends, Goths, Lakhs, Prus and Chud. Upon that sea sat Vikings and further West Japhet's domain extend up to England , then South up to Italy, neighboring with Ham's lands. Thus Japhet's domain included also Northmen, Anglo-Saxons, Galicians, Walachians and Romans.
After Shem, Ham and Japhet divided up the earth they decided not to interfere with each other and each of them lived upon their part as one nation.
After people multiplied, they come upon an idea to build a tower to reach the heaven and to construct the city Babylon around it. They build the tower for forty years but did not complete it because God came down to look at it and said "This is one nation and one language". So God mixed the nations, divided them into seventy two nations with different languages and scattered them all over the earth. After that God demolished the tower with strong wind and only ruins remained.
After that the sons of Shem, Ham and Japhet retained their father's lands and, from one of the Japhed tribes, originated Slav nations called Noriks. After long time Slavs settled around river Danube, where presently Hungary and Bulgaria exist. From there they dispersed and took up different names: those who settled on river Morava called themselves Moravians, others Czechs, Croats, Serbs and Khorutans.
When Walachians invaded those Slavs, they settled among them and oppressed them. Then some of the Slavs migrated North, settled on river Visla and called themselves Lakhs. Later they divided up into Polans, Lutychs, Mazovshans and Pomoryans. Those who settled on river Dnipro divided up into Polans (field people), Derevlans (wood people, because they lived in forests), Drehovychs (between rivers Prypyat and Dvina), Polochans (after river Polota, which flows into Dvina). The Slavs who settled on lake Ilmen were called Slovens. They built a city and called it Novhorod. Others settled on rivers Desna, Seym and Sula called themselves Siveryans.
When Polans lived on the hills of Kyiv site, it was the route along Dnipro river between Vikings to Greeks. Also from the upper Dnipro one could travel on river Lovota to lake Ilmen and then to big lake Nevo, which connects to the Baltic Sea. From there one could sail to Rome and then, past Constantinople, to Black Sea and Dnipro, which flows into the Black Sea.
Apostle Andrew, Peters brother, sailed across Black Sea into Dnipro's mouth, then up the river to the hills of Kyiv. And he told his students that there will be a big city with many churches, He then climbed up, blessed the hills and placed a cross there. He then went further up the river and visited Slavs at the site of Novhorod.
When he came back to Rome he was telling what he saw and learned about Slavs. He was specially impressed by their wooden steam houses, where people stripped naked, flogged themselves with branches , then poured cold water on themselves. "And they do it every day. Nobody is punishing them, they punish themselves; it is not seem like bathing, it is a torture."
Among Polans lived three brothers - Kyi, Shchek, Khoriv, and their sister Lybid. They resided on separate hills. They built a small town there and called it Kyiv, after their eldest brother. Surrounding this town was a big forest, where they hunted animals. Kyi ruled his tribe and traveled as far as Danube where he founded a small township called Kyivets.
After death of these brothers , their descendants continued to rule over Polans.
Derevlans had their separate principalities and so did Drehovychs, Slovens in Novhorod and Polochans at the river Polota. Further East, on the upper Volga, Dvina and Dnipro, were Kryvychs; their town was Smolensk. Further East were Siverians. On lake White were Ves and on lakes Rostov and Kleshchyna were Merya. Buzhany lived on river Buh and further, where present, Volynia is, were Dulibs.
Among Lakhs lived two brothers: Radym and Vyatko. Radym settled on river Sozh and his people were called Radymych. Vyatko settled on river Ots and his people were called Vyatychs.
Up North lived tribes which were not Slavs: Chud, Ves, Merya, Muroma, Cheremys, Mordva, Perm, Pechera, Yam. Lytva, Zymyhola, Kors, Narova, Dib. They had their own language and apparently were original inhabitants, whereas Slavs came from around river Danube.
All tribes had their own customs, legends and laws of their ancestors.
Polans' customs were quiet and gentle. They treated their women with respect and revered their elders. In their wedding custom, the bridegroom did not go to get his bride; the bride was brought to the bridegroom in the evening and next day her family received the gifts.
Derevlans lived like animals, they killed each other and ate unclean food. they did not marry, but snatched their women near the water.
Radymych, Vyatychs and Siveryans had similar customs. They lived in the forests like animals, did not respect their women and parents. Instead of weddings they had games between the villages, where they danced and sang satanic songs. Then, by previous arrangement, grabbed their women and had two to three wives. They incinerated their dead, collected their bones in a small container and placed it upon a post on the side of a road.
Such customs had also Kryvych and other pagans, who did not obey God' laws, but made their own laws.
Years after death of Kyi, Shchek, Khoriv,when Polans were besieged by Derevlans and other surrounding tribes, Khazars came to them and demanded takings, whereupon Polans gave them swords, one from each household, which were brought to Khasar elders and their King. When asked where they got these takings from, the reply was: "In the forest on the hills at river Dnipro". After inspecting the swords Khasar elders said to their King: " These takings are no good. We have conquered them by single edged swords, but their swords are double edged. Soon they will be getting takings from us and other lands." And so it happened, because they said so not because of their conviction but because of God's will.
Like it was when Moses was brought before the Egyptian pharaoh Rameses, his elders predicted that Moses will conquer Egypt, which came true. At first Jews were slaves, but later they were conquerors. So it was with Khazars - at first they were rulers and later they were ruled by Kyivan princes
In year 6360 (852 AD), during reign of Greek king Michael our land was called Rus. We have learned about it from Greek chronicles by Georgius, where he mentions Rus raids on Constantinople. Therefore we start from there and establish the dates.
From Adam to the Deluge were 2242 years, from the Deluge to Abraham were 1082 years, from Abraham to the Exodus were 430 years, from Exodus to David were 601 years. From death of David to the reign of Solomon and conquest of Jerusalem - 448 years, from then to the start of reign of Alexander the Great - 313 years, from death of Alexander to birth of Jesus Christ - 333 years, from birth of Jesus Christ to start of reign of Constantine the Great - 318 years, from then to the death of Michael - 542 years.
From the first year of reign of king Michael to the first year of reign of prince Oleh in Kyiv were 29 years.

Here we will now return to the period of king Michael and describe, in chronological order, the course of events.


In 6366 (858) king Michael with his army marched on land and sea on Bulgars. Bulgars, unable to resist, surrendered and asked to be christened. Whereupon king Michael christened their king Borys and all his boyars (nobles) and made peace with Bulgars.
In 6367 (859) Vikings, coming from across the sea, were extracting takings from Chuds, Slovens, Mers, Ves and Kryvychs. And Khazars were extracting takings from Polans, Siverians and Vyatychs; they took a white squirrel from every household.
In 6370 (862) Chuds, Slovens, Ves' and Kryvychs expelled Vikings and started to govern themselves. However, due to disagreements and infighting, they decided to look abroad for a suitable ruler. They went across the sea to Vikings, who were then called Rus, and asked for somebody to come across and rule them. Three Viking brothers with their families agreed.
They came at first to Slovens and founded the town Lahoda, where settled the eldest brother Ruryk. The second brother Syneus settled on lake White and third brother Truvor settled in town Isborsk. From these Vikings (Rus) the name Rus originated.
After two years Syneus and Truvor died and their lands were taken over by Ruryk. When Ruryk came upon lake Ilmen, he founded a town on Volkhov and called it Novhorod, where first settlers were Slovens. And he ruled from there, giving his men various districts to construct towns. One of them built Polotsk, where first settlers were Kryvychs, another built Rostov, where first settlers were Meryas, another built Bilo-ozero, where first settlers were Ves', another built Muroma, where first settlers were Muromas. And all above were ruled by Ruryk. Two of Ruryk's men, not of his tribe, Askold and Dyr, got permission to travel to Constantinople. Sailing on river Dnipro they sighted a town upon the hills. They found out from the inhabitants that this town was built by three brothers Kyi, Shchek and Khoriv, who since passed away and they lived in their town, paying dues to Khazars. Whereupon Askold and Dyr decided to remain in this town, brought in many Vikings and started to reign over the Polans land. And Ruryk reigned in Novhorod.
In 6374 (866) Askold and Dyr went on Greeks. King Michael was away at that time on another military engagement, but returned when he heard that Rus were coming. In the meantime Rus entered Sud, were they killed many Christians, and besieged Constantinople with two hundred ships. King Michael and patriarch Photius barely managed to enter the city, went to the church of St Mary and prayed. Then, singing hymns, they brought St Mary's statue to the sea shore and immersed it in the water. The sea was calm, then suddenly big storm erupted, scattered atheist Rus fleet and wrecked many ships; only few came back home.
In 6375 (867) King Basil started to reign in Greece.
In 6377 (869) whole Bulgaria accepted Christianity.
In 6387 (879) prince Ruryk died, nominating Oleh as his successor and asking him to look after his small son Ihor.


In 6390 (882) Oleh, with many soldiers consisting of Vikings, Chuds, Slovens, Mers, Ves and Kryvychs, marched on Smolensk, took it and installed one of his men there. Then he went down the river Dnipro, captured Lubach and installed one of his men there.
When Oleh arrived at the Kyivan hills, where Askold and Dyr ruled, he left his soldiers behind, hiding some of them in boats. Then, with little Ihor in his arms, he stepped upon the shore and sent his emissary to Askold and Dyr to ask them to join Oleh and prince Ihor in the raid on Greece.
When Askold and Dyr came down, the soldiers jumped out of boats and captured them. Then Oleh said to them " You are not princes and are not of royal descent. Whereas I am of royal descent and this here is Ruryk's son". Thereupon they killed Askold and Dyr and buried them. Askold's grave is in location of present church of St Nicholas, and Dyr's grave is in location of present church of St Oryna.
Then Oleh installed himself as prince of Kyiv and proclaimed: " Let it be the mother of all Rus cities". Hence Slovens, Vikings and others called themselves Rus. Then he started to build towns taking taxes from Slovens, Kryvychs, Mers and Vikings from Novhorod.
In 6391 (883) Oleh started to fight against Derevlans and, after subduing them, collected taxes from them.
In 6392 (884) he defeated Siveryans, asked them to pay small taxes, but told them not to give anything to Khazars, because he was their adversary.
In 1693 (885) he sent emissaries to Radymychs and told them to pay taxes to him instead of Khazars. Thus Oleh ruled Derevlans, Polans, Siveryans, Radymychs, and also had treaty with Ulychs and Tyverts.
In 6395 (887) Greece was ruled by king Leo, his son Basil, who was also called Leo, and his brother Alexander. They ruled for twenty six years.
In 6406 (898) Magyars, who fought against Slavs and Walachians, marched past Kyiv on the hill, which nowdays is called Hungarian Hill.
In 6410 (902) Greek king Leo hired Magyars against Bulgars. Magyars defeated Bulgars and their king Symeon barely managed to escape to Derester.
In 6411 (903) When prince Ihor grew up, he kept company with Oleh during his raids and everybody obeyed him. They brought him a wife from Pskov - Olha.
In 6415 (907) Oleh left Ihor in Kyiv and went on Greece. He took with him many Vikings, Slovens, Chuds, Kryvychs, Mers, Polans, Siverians, Derevlans, Radymychs, Khorvats, Dulibs and Tyverts (collectively known as " Big Scythia"). They went on horses and some two thousand ships.
When they arrived at Constantinople, Greeks blocked the sea entry and closed the city. Oleh ordered to drag the ships onto the shore, plundered all around the city, killed many Greeks, demolished many castles and burned churches, tortured and killed the prisoners.
Then Oleh ordered to fit wheels to the ships and when a suitable wind occurred they sailed on land to the city gates.
When Greeks saw this they promised to give anything in order to spare the city. Oleh stopped the attack and Greeks brought out a lot of food and wine. However Oleh did not accept it because it was poisoned. He then demanded and received huge loot whereupon he negotiated peace with Greek rulers Leo and Alexander, resulting in additional takings and very favorable trade agreements.
Oleh returned to Kyiv with a lot of gold , cloth, fruit, wine and other goods from Greece.
In 6419 (911) A big star, looking like a spear appeared in the sky.
In 6420 (912) Oleh sent his emissaries - Karl, Ingeld, Farlof, Vermud, Ruslaw,Hudy, Ruald, Karn, Frelaf, Ruar, Aktevu, Truan, Lidul, Fost and Stemyd to Greek rulers - Leo, Alexander and Constantine wit a proposed treaty of peace, friendship an cooperation between Rus and Greece. It contained detailed procedures of how to deal with crimes and injustices committed by individuals or groups from one nation against the other. It also contained proposed maritime and trade laws and ways of solving problems relating to mercenaries, prisoners, hostages and slaves. It was dated "Second day of September of year 6420 from the creation of the earth"
King Leo bestowed on Rus envoys gifts of gold and textiles and showed them their beautiful churches, golden palaces and other riches. They also explained to them their Christian faith.
The envoys then returned to Kyiv and told Oleh how they made peace and drawn up a treaty between Rus and Greece.
Hence prince Oleh ruled from Kyiv and lived in peace with all lands.
In the Autumn Oleh remember his horse, which he did not see for four years because, one fortune teller told him, that his beloved horse will be the cause of his death. When Oleh found out that this horse died he laughed and said that the wizards were wrong "The horse died and I am alive". Thereupon he went to the place where his horse's bones and scull were, put his foot on horse's scull and laughingly said: "Will I receive death from this scull?". Suddenly a snake slid out of the scull and bit Oleh on the leg. From this Oleh got sick and died.
All people cried for him and buried him on the Shchek's hill. He ruled for thirty three years.


In 6421 Ihor succeeded Oleh as prince of Kyivan Rus.
At the same time the son or Leo and Roman's son in law, Constantine became king of Greece.
Also Derevlans locked themselves up from Ihor in Iskorsten.
In 6422 (914) Ihor attacked Derevlans, defeated them and put up taxes on them, grater than what they had to pay Oleh.
In the same year, Bulgarian king Symeon went on Constantinople, made peace with Greeks and returned home.
In 6423 (915) Pechenehs, for the first time invaded Rus, but after making peace with Ihor, left for the river Danube.
At the same time king Symeon went on Greeks and plundered Phrygia. The Greeks then called in Pechenehs but when they arrived to fight against Symeon, Greek leaders started to fight between themselves. Seeing that, Pechenehs returned home whereupon Bulgars defeated Greeks and took Adrianopole.
In 6428 (920) Romanus became the king of Greeks. Prince Ihor fought Pechenehs.
In 6437 (929) Bulgarian king Symeon went on Constantinople, occupied Phygia and Macedonia then, with a large force, arrived at Constantinople, made peace with king Romanus and returned home.
In 6442 (934) Magyars, for the first went on Constantinople and plundered Phrygia. King Romanus had to make peace with them.
In 6449 (941) Ihor went on Greeks. Although king Romanus was informed by Bulgars that ten thousand Rus ships are sailing toward Constantinople, they arrived there and started to plunder , burn and devastate the country on both shores of the gulf. They captured, tortured and killed many Greek soldiers; burned many churches, monasteries and other property on both sides of Bosporus.
Then Greek army arrived from the East and surrounded Rus. After a fierce battle, when it became apparent tat Greeks were winning, Rus boarded their ships at night and fled. However they were intercepted by Greek fleet and Rus ships were bombarded with fire from tubes. Thus many ships were destroyed. Those who managed to escape returned home and and explained what happened, saying that "Greeks have a weapon like a lightning in the skies, which they directed toward our ships and that is why we could not defeat them".
Prince Ihor then began to assemble many soldiers and send envoys to Vikings, calling upon them to join him in another raid on Greeks.
In 6450 (942) Bulgarian king Symeon went on Croats. He was defeated by Croats and died, leaving his son Peter to rule.
In the same year Ihor's son Svyatoslav was born.
In 6451 (943) Magyars again went on Constantinople but, after making peace with king Romanus, returned home.
In 6452 (944) Assembled many soldiers - Vikings, Rus, Polans, Slovens, Kryvychs and Tyverts. He also hired Pechenehs and went on Greeks, on ships and horseback, to revenge his previous defeat.
When king Romanus learned from Bulgars about it, he sent to Ihor and Pechenehs his best boyars with expensive gifts and promises of more if Ihor stops the raid.
After arriving at river Danube and consulting his soldiers, Ihor took the Greek offer, left Pechenehs to plunder Bulgaria, and returned to Kyiv.
In 6453 (945) Greek rulers Romanus, Constantine and Stephen sent their delegates to Ihor to restore the former peace. After peace talks, Ihor sent his men to Romanus and a charter was drawn detailing conditions for the second peace treaty between Greeks and Rus thus, which was being disregarded for many years.
Like the peace treaty concluded between Oleh and Leo in 6420 (912), it included in great detail items such as trade, fishing and maritime regulations, crime fighting and extradition agreements, military cooperation, exchange and ransom of prisoners or hostages. It also acknowledged the fact that Rus already contained a considerable number of Christians and that both communities were obliged to respect and obey this peace treaty. Ihor with his warriors and other pagans went upon the hill where the statue of their chief god Perun stood, put down their weapons, shields and gold there and swore to do so. Christians, which included some Rus, Vikings and Khazars swore their obedience in St Iliya's church.
Hence Ihor ruled from Kyiv and lived in peace with all lands, but in Autumn he started to plan campaign against Derevlans to obtain more taxes from them.
In 6453 (945) Ihor marched on Derevlans, violently got his booty from them and started to retreat. On the way back he told his troops to return home with the booty and, with a small detachment, went back for more takings. However Derevlans met him at Irskorsten, defeated his small team of soldiers and killed him. His burial mound remains near the town called Derevlans.


Ihor's wife Olha remained in Kyiv with Oleh's small son Svyatoslav and his protector Asmud; the governor there was Sveneld.
Derevlans told Olha that they killed prince of Rus and proposed the marriage between her and their prince Mal. They sent twenty of their best men to clinch the deal. When they arrived, Olha asked them to stay in their boat, saying that they will be carried in it to her residence. In the meantime Olha ordered to dig a large and deep hole in the ground behind the town. Derevlans were carried and dropped there in their boat. As they were buried alive they complained to Olha that their death was much worse than that of her husband.
Then Olha sent her emissaries to Derevlans asking them to send their most prominent men for her so that she can depart with honor, otherwise people of Kyiv will not let her marry their prince. When they arrived Olha prepared a bathhouse for them and, after they entered it and started to wash, Olha ordered her servants to lock the doors and set fire to the bathhouse, and they perished there.
Then Olha sent her envoys to Derevlans saying that she is coming to visit the place where her husband was killed and requested them to bring plenty of mead for the funeral feast. Derevlans complied, Olha arrived with a small team of warriors, cried for her husband and ordered to construct a large mound on his burial site. Then she decreed to commence the funeral feast, serving Derevlans with lots of mead. They asked her where are their friends, which were sent to her; she replied that they are coming. When Derevlans became drunk Olha ordered his warriors to slay them all, about five thousand of them.
Then Olha returned to Kyiv and started preparation for the raid against remaining Derevlans.In 6454 (946) Olha with her son Svyatoslav gathered many brave warriors and marched on Derevlan's land. When the two armies met, Svyatoslav threw a spear, but it landed at an enemy horse's feet because Svyatoslav was then only small. His protector Asmud and the governor Sveneld then shouted "Our prince has started the battle. Let us all follow him and attack". Hence Derevlans were defeated and fled and shut themselves up in their towns.
Olha and Svyatoslav besieged Iskorsten, where Ihor was killed, but Derevlans defended themselves very well from behind strong city walls and Olha stood there during whole summer. Then Olha thought of something and told Derevlans in Iskorsten that all other towns have surrendered and are paying taxes and that she will spare them in return for a booty. When asked what she would like, Olha requested three doves and three sparrows from each household. Derevlans were happy to oblige and were told to remain within the walls while Olha retreats. At the dusk Olha ordered her soldiers to tie kindling to each dove and sparrow, lit it and set the birds free. The birds returned to their nests and set fire to all buildings. People fled the city and were captured by Olha's soldiers. The elders were burned, some were battered others were given as slaves to Olga's men. the remaining Derevlans were left to pay heavy taxes to Kyiv and Vyshhorod, which was Olga's city.
In 6455 (947) Olha went to Novhorod to establish collection of taxes from peoples living on rivers Mst and Luh. Then she returned to Kyiv to live with her son Svyatoslav.
In 6463 (955) Olha went to Constantinople, which was then ruled by Leon's son, Constantine. Impressed by her beauty and inteliegnce he said that she is fit to rule Constantinople with him. Realizing what he meant, Olha replied that she is a pagan and if he wants her to be christened, then he has to do it himself. So she was christened by Constantine and patriarch Polievkt and was explained about the rules of Christian religion.
Then, when Constantine asked Olha to marry him, she replied that when he christened her, he called her his daughter, therefore she cannot marry him. Knowing that he was outwitted, Constantine bestowed her many gifts and dismissed her, as his daughter.
After returning to Kyiv, Olha tried to convert her son Svyatoslav to Christianity, but did not succeed; she kept praying for her people and her son, while he was growing up into adulthood.


In 6472 (964) Svyatoslav gathered many brave warriors and went on many raids. He himself was very brave and traveled light, without a kettle or a tent. He ate meat sliced into thin pieces cooked on coal. Before a raid he always warned his adversaries "I am coming against you". When he came on Vyatychs at river Oko and Volga, they said that they pay taxes to Khazars.
In 6473 (965) Svyatoslav vent on Khazars, who met him with their prince Yosyf. The battle was won by Svyatoslav, who then took Khazar capital Ityl and city Bila Vezha (White Tower).
He then defeated Yas and Kasohs and returned to Kyiv.
In 6474 (1966) Svyatoslav defeated Vyatychs and imposed taxes on them.
In 6475 (1967) Svyatoslav vent on Bulgars at river Danube, defeated them, took their seventy towns and began to rule from Peryaslavets, collecting taxes from Greeks.
In 6476 (968), while Svyatoslav was in Peryaslavets, Pechenehs invaded Rus. They besieged Kyiv, with Olha and her grandsons Yaropolk, Oleh and Volodymyr within. There was a detachment of Rus soldiers in boats on the other side of Dnipro river, but Pechenehs had much greater force, which prevented people to move in or out of the city.
People within the city, suffering from thirst and hunger, began to look for somebody to cross the river and to ask soldiers to break the siege, otherwise the city would be forced to surrender. A young boy volunteered, sneaked out of the city and holding a snaffle bridle, pretended to look for his horse. Pechenehs thought he was one of them because he kept asking in their language "Has anybody seen my horse." When he came near the river he took off his clothing, plunged in and started to swim. Pechenehs were shooting arrows at him but failed to harm him and he was picked up by a boat from the other side. The leader of Rus soldiers Pretych, hearing the boy's message, decided that he must rescue Olha and her grandsons, otherwise Svyatoslav will punish him. Early next morning, with a loud fanfare, he and his soldiers sailed toward the city. Pechenehs, thinking that it was Yaroslav coming to the rescue with his main force, retreated and allowed Olha, her grandsons and other people to come aboard the boats. Seeing that, Pecheneh's prince Kurya wondered if it really was prince Svyatoslav. When informed by Pretych that he was only one of prince's men and that the main force will be arriving shortly, Kurya asked Pretych to be his friend and they parted after exchange of gifts.
Then a messenger was sent to Svyatoslav asking him to return home from foreign land, otherwise Pechenehs may take his mother and sons. Whereupon Svyatoslav, with his warriors arrived in Kyiv, kissed his mother and sons, gathered an army, expelled Pechenehs and established peace.
In 6477 (969) Svyatoslav informed his mother and boyars that he does not like to remain in Kyiv and would like to live in Peryaslavets on river Danube because it was the centre of his land, where all the goods arrive: textiles, gold, wine and fruit from Greeks; silver and horses from Czechs and Hungarians; furs, wax, honey and utensils from Rus. Olha was then very ill and asked him to stay until she dies. She died three days after that and was mourned by her son and all the people. She was one of the first Christians and herald of Christianity in Rus.
In 6478 (970) Svyatoslav sat Yaropolk in Kyiv, and Oleh in Derevlans. Volodymyr and his uncle Dobrynya went to Novhorod. Svyatoslav then set off to Peryaslavets.
In 6479 (971) Svyatoslav arrived at Peryaslavets, which was defended by Bulgarians. After a fierce battle Svyatoslav defeated Bulgarians and proclaimed Peryaslavets his City. Then he sent envoys to Greeks to inform them that he is coming to take also their cities. Cunning Greeks replied that they are not strong enough to resist and are prepared to pay a booty, but wanted to know how many soldiers Svyatoslav has in order to calculate the amount. Svyatoslav said that he had twenty thousand, although there were only ten thousand soldiers. Thereupon Greeks refused to give booty and gathered one thousand soldiers. When confronted with such outnumbering force Svyatoslav told his soldiers that he has no choice but fight and that he will lead them up front and if he gets killed they can all look after themselves. His soldiers replied that if he dies they will fight until death too. A fierce battle ensued and was won by Svyatoslav, who then chased fleeing Greeks up to Constantinople, destroying their other cities on the way.
The Greek king Ion offered a multitude of gifts, which were accepted and Svyatoslav returned to Peryaslavets. Realizing that he lost many men in battles, Svyatoslav decided to make peace with Greeks and sent emissaries to their king in Derester proposing a strong peace and friendship treaty. The king was glad to hear it and sent more gifts. Then a comprehensive peace treaty was drafted by which Svyatoslav, in return for taxes, pledged not raid counties under Greek rule, including Korsun country and Bulgaria. Thereupon Svyatoslav sailed toward Dnipro cascades, ignoring Sveneld's warning that Pechenehs are there and that he should bypass cascades on horsebacks. Unable to cross the cascade, Svyatoslav decided to spend winter at Biloberezhya. There was not much food and his soldiers became very weak.
In 6480 (972), in spring Svyatoslav arrived at the cascades and was attacked by Pechenehs under their prince Kurya. They killed Svyatoslav, made a chalice from his scull and drank from it. Thus ended Svyatoslav's twenty eight year rule. Sveneld vent to Kyiv to Yaropolk.


In 6481 (973) began the rule of prince Yaropolk in Kyiv.
In 6483 (975) Sveneld's son Lyutych, while chasing an animal during a hunt, was killed by prince Oleh, who was also hunting there. This caused hate between Yaropolk and Oleh. Sveneld wanted to revenge the death of his son and kept asking Yaropolk to fight Oleh and take his land.
In 6485 (977) Yaropolk marched on his brother Oleh in Derevlan's land. Oleh came out against him, but was defeated and ran away toward a town called Vruchyi. There was a bridge across a deep trench in front of the town's gate and in panic soldiers and horses pushed each other off the bridge and piled up on the bottom of the trench. When Yaropolk arrived there, they found his brother dead under other corpses in the trench. He cried and told Sveneld that he got what he wanted. He buried Oleh on a hill near Vruchyi and took over his land.
When prince Volodymyr in Novhorod heard about it, he got scared and and went oversees. Then Yaropolk sat his people in Novhorod and ruled Rus by himself. His wife was Greek, a former nun, which was brought in earlier by his father for him, because she had a nice face.
In 6488 (980) Volodymyr, with Vikings, returned to Novhorod and sent his messengers to his brother Yaropolk to tell him to be prepared for a fight against him. He also sent envoys to Polovetsian prince Rohvolod in Polotsk to ask for his daughter's hand. However they came back with the the message that Rohnid wanted to Marry Yaropolk.
Then Volodymyr gathered a fighting force of Vikings, Slovens, Chuds and Kryvychs, raided Polotsk killed Rohvolod and his two son, took his daughter Rohnid for his wife and marched on Yaropolk.
Yaropolk, unable to to fight Volodymyr's superior force, closed himself up with his governor Blud in Kyiv. Volodymyr entrenched his force between Dorohozhych and Kapych and secretly sent a message to Blud saying that he only fights Yaropolk because he was afraid for his life since Yaropolk killed his brothers. Hence he promised that if Blud helps him to kill Yaropolk, he will treat Blud with respect, as he would his own father.
Blud replied that he he will side with Volodymyr. Then he treacherously convinced Yaropolk to flee from Kyiv, saying that people were plotting to hand him over to Volodymyr. Yaropolk listened to this advice, retreated from Kyiv and closed himself up in Rodno. Volodymyr entered Kyiv.
A big famine ensued in Rodno where Yaropolk was besieged and Blud advised Yaropolk to meet Volodymyr in person to make peace with him. Although one of his boyars, Varyazhko, warned him not to do so, Yaroslav went to Volodymyr's quarters and was killed there by two Vikings. Varyazhko escaped to Pechenehs and continued to fight against Volodymyr.

Volodymyr then lived with Yaropolk's Greek wife, who was pregnant and gave birth to Svyatopolk, who was disliked by Volodymyr. In the meantime Vikings demanded reward for their past services, which Volodymyr promised but was slow in giving it. Instead he selected among Vikings the god, clever and courageous ones and granted cities to them. He told others to go to Greeks to seek their fortune there. Then he sent a warning to Greek king Basil not to keep Vikings in Constantinople because they will cause a lot of trouble, but to disperse them throughout the country instead and not let them to come back.
Then Volodymyr started to reign in Kyiv. He erected statues of Perun, Khors, Dazhboh, Struboh, Simarhl and Mokosha and people called them gods and kept bringing offerings to them, including their sons. Volodymyr sat his uncle Dobrynya in Novhorod, who erected a statue of Perun there and people were bringing offerings to him.
Volodymyr liked women and had six wives:
Rohnid, who bear him four sons - Izyaslav, Mstyslav, Yaroslav, Vsevolod and two daughters Peredslava and Peremyslava.
His Greek wife had a son - Svyatopolk.
His two Czech wife Allogia had a son - Vysheslav and other Czech wife Malfrid had two sons - Svyatoslav and Stanislav.
His Bulgarian wife had two sons Borys and Hlib.
He also had three hundred concubines in Vyshhorod and three hundred in Berestov.
In 6489 (981) Volodymyr vent on Lakhs (Poles) and took their cities Peremyshl, Cherven and others. He also conquered Vyatychs and put taxes on them.
In 6490(982) Vyatychs staged an uprising but were subdued by Volodymyr.
In 6491(983) Volodymyr went on Yatvyahs and took their land. Then he returned to Kyiv and continued to bring offerings to the pagan gods together with his people. The human offerings were selected by the coin throw.
There was a certain Viking called Turyn, who returned from Greeks and observed Christian faith. When he was told that his son was selected to be sacrificed, he replied that the idols which people worship are not gods but chunks of wood which will rot in time. He refused to give his son to them saying that there is only one god who created heaven and earth and people and stars. Thereupon people broke into his house and killed him and his family.
In 6492(984) Volodymyr sent his governor called Vowchyi Khvist (Wolfe's Tail) to conquer Radymychs, who descended from Lakhs. He defeated them on river Pishchana and imposed taxes on them.
In 6493(985) Volodymyr, with his uncle Dobrynya, moved on Bulgars defeated them and made peace with them.

In 6494 (985) Bulgars came to Volodymyr and tried to talk him into adopting the faith of Mohammed. They said that, according to this faith they circumcise boys, do not eat pork or drink wine. Also, they said, Mohammed will give each man seventy beautiful women, with the most beautiful one as the number one wife. Volodymyr heard them out and, although he liked the part about women, he was not impressed by the cirumsission and not eating pork or drinking. He told them that in Rus drinking is joy, which people cannot do without.
Then came Germans from Rome. They told Volodymyr that they were sent by Pope to say: "Your land is same as ours, but our faith is different. Our faith is light. We worship one god, who created heaven and earth and stars and the moon and all life, but your gods are only wood. When Volodymyr asked them about their commandments they replied: "Fasting as much as possible and drinking only to glorify God". Volodymyr sent them away saying that he was not prepared to adopt their faith because his forefathers stayed with old ways.
Then came Khazars, who practice Judaism and said to Volodymyr: "We heard that Bulgars and Christians were trying to convince you to adopt their faith. Christians believe in one that we crucified, but we believe in God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob". When asked what are their laws they replied: "Circumcision, not eating pork or hares and observance of Sabbath". Then Volodymyr asked : "Where is your homeland ?" and they replied : "In Jerusalem". When asked if it is their homeland now, they replied that God became angry with their ancestors, scattered them throughout the world and their homeland was given to Christians. Thereupon Volodymyr said: "How can you teach others if you were rejected by God? If God loved you then you would not have been scattered throughout the world. Do you want us also to suffer such misery?"
Then Greeks sent to Volodymyr a philosopher called Cyril. Volodymyr told him about his previous visitors and their beliefs. Cyril said that Bulgars, who believe in Mohammed, practice offensive customs. The faith of Germans, who came from Rome is similar to faith of Greeks, only they do not use wine and bread in holly communion, which represent flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. The Jews did not believe that Jesus was the son of God and crucified him. However Jesus rose from death and ascended to heaven. After waiting forty six years for their repentance, he sent Romans on them, who destroyed their cities and scattered them throughout the world.
When Volodymyr asked why the son of god came to earth to undergone such torment, Cyril replied: "If you would like to listen, I am going to tell you the whole story from the beginning". Volodymyr said that he would like that and Cyril told him following story:

"At the beginning, on the first day, God created heavens and earth. On the second day he created lands among the waters. On the third day he created oceans, rivers, springs and lakes. On the forth day - sun, moon and stars.
When the chief angel Satan saw this, he decided to come down and rule the earth as equal to God. However God defeated him and installed angel Michael in his place. Ever since Satan became God's adversary.
Then on the fifth day God created whales, reptiles, fish, birds and animals. On the sixth day God created a man called Adam. On the seventh day, which is Sabbath, God rested. Then God planted a paradise east of Eden, put Adam there and told him to eat fruits from any tree except one, which contains the knowledge of good and evil.
One day, when Adam was asleep, God took one of his ribs and made a woman for him, called Eve. And God subjugated all animals for Adam and they obeyed him.
When Satan noticed how God respected humans, he turned into a snake, came to Eve and convinced her that they should eat fruit from the forbidden tree in the middle of the paradise because it will open their eyes and they will become like god, who understands good and evil. After Adam and and Eve ate this fruit they realized that they are naked and covered themselves with leaves. And God said to Adam: "The world will be damned for your deeds and you will have to eat for the rest of your life and, if any of you reach for the fruit from the tree of life, you shall live for ever". Thereupon God expelled Adam and Eve from the paradise and they settled outside it, crying and cultivating the soil for food.
And they had sons - Cain and Abel. Cain became a farmer and Abel a Shepherd. Cain brought God offering of agricultural products but God did not accepted them. Abel offered God a first born lamb and God accepted it. Then Cain, being instigated by the Satan, killed Abel. And Adam and Eve cried and did not bury Abel for thirty years.
When Adam was 230 years old he begot a son - Seth and two daughters.One Daughter was taken by Cain and second by Seth. From them people multiplied throughout the world and They did not recognize their creator, lived a nomadic existence and practiced deception, uncleanliness, murders and jealousy. Only one man called Noah lead a righteous life. He had three sons - Shem, Ham and Japhet. And God told Noah that, because his spirit was not among the people, he will destroy all people and animals. He told Noah to build an ark - 300 elbows long, 50 elbows wide and 30 elbows high. And Noah was building this ark for one hundred years, while people laughed at him for predicting a deluge.
When the ark was completed God told Noah, his wife, their sons and their wives to come aboard and to take with them a pair of all animals, birds and reptiles. Then God brought a deluge upon the earth and everything was destroyed by it except the Noah's ark, which floated upon the waters.
When water subsided Noah and his family came out and from them the world was again populated. There were many people, all speaking the same language, and they decided to build a tower to reach the heavens. But God came down from heaven, destroyed the tower and divided peoples into seventy one nations with different languages. Only Jews retained the original language, others settled all over the earth, each with different customs and worships - some taking sacrifices to forests and springs others to rivers, but they did not recognize God. (From Adam to the Deluge were 2242 years, from the Deluge to separations of the nations were 529 years.)
Later the devil created even a greater deception and people started to construct different idols, some made from wood or marble others from copper, silver or gold. And they worshiped them and sacrificed their sons and daughters to them.
The instigator of of the idol worship was Serug, who begot Nahor, who begot Terah, who begot three sons - Abram, Nahor and Haran. Terah continued to worship pagan idols and when Abram grew up he realized that his father was wrong and set the idols on fire. His brother Haran tried to save the idols and was also incinerated.
God liked Abram and told him to leave his father's home and go to another land where he will create a great nation. So Abram took his son lot an the daughter of Haran - Sarah and, guided by God, came to the land of Canaanite. And God gave this land to Abram and his descendants.
Sarah became Abram's wife but, as she was unable to bear him children, asked Abram to take her slave - Hagar. Abram was 86 years old when Hagar bare him a son - Ishmael. Later Abram begot another son with Sarah - Isaac. Abram died when he was 175 years old. When Isaac was sixty he begot two sons - Esau and Jacob. Esau became wicked and Jacob became. righteous.
Jacob worked for his uncle Laban and was married with his elder daughter Leah for seven years and his younger daughter Rachel also for seven years. With them he had eight sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun from Leah; Joseph and Benjamin from Rachel. Two slaves Zilopha and Biloham bare Jacob sons - Gad, Asher, Dan and Naphtali. From Jacob's sons multiplied all Jews.
At 130 years of age, Jacob with 65 members of his clan, went to Egypt and died there after 17 years. His descendants lived there for 400 years as slaves. They multiplied there while Egyptians exploited them as hard labor slaves.
During those times when Moses was born, Egyptian wizards told their king that a child was born among Jews that will destroy Egypt. Hence king ordered to throw all new born Jewish boys into river Nile. Moses' mother put him in a basket and hid him among the bulrushes on the river bank. When Pharaoh's daughter came to the riverbank to have a bath, she found the crying baby and decided to look after it. Thus Moses was brought up in Pharaoh's home.
When Moses grew up, he became a trusted and respected member of Pharaoh's household. Later during the reign of another king, after killing an Egyptian who was abusing a Jew, Moses escaped from Egypt to Midian. There, while waking in the desert he learned from archangel Gabriel about creation of the world, the first man, the deluge, astronomy and other wisdoms. Later God appeared before him near a burning bush and told him to go to Paraoh and tell him to release Jews otherwise God will punish him. After Pharaoh did not listen, God delivered ten punishments upon him: bloody rivers, frogs, fleas, dog flies, cattle disease, inflammation, hailstorm, locust, three days of darkness and plague among people. After that Paraoh relented, Moses collected all Jewish people and started to exit from Egypt. When Pharaoh found out that Jews are escaping he chased after them and caught up with them at the Read Sea shore. Then God made the sea waters part and Jews crossed over to the other side. Then God made the sea waters come together again and drowned pursuing Egyptians.

Hence Jews, after wandering upon the Sinai desert for three days, arrived at Marah. They complained to God that water was bitter there, so God showed them a piece of wood. Moses put it in the water and water became sweet. Later people complained that they have nothing to eat, saying that it would have been better to stay in Egypt, so God fed them with manna from heaven. Later God gave them a set of commandments on the Sinai mountain. However when Moses was away to collect them, Jews made a casting of a calf's head and worshiped it. It made Moses very angry and he killed some three thousand of them. Later, when Jews complained about lack of water, God told Moses to strike the stone with an iron bar, and when Moses said : " What if we do not get water from the stone", God was offended and prevented Moses from reaching the promised land. Instead, God only showed him the promised land from the top of a mountain, where Moses died.
Thereupon Jesus Navin became the leader and brought Jews to the promised land called Israel. When Navin died, his son judge Judah together with other 14 judges ruled over Jews. Under them and their successors Jews forgot God and worshiped devils until God installed David as king of Israel, who restored faith of God. And God promised David that from his descendants will come the son of God. David died after forty years of rule. His son, King Solomon built God a temple and was renown for his wisdom, but at the end he sinned and died after 40 years of rule.
Solomon's son Rehoboam divided his father' kingdom into Jerusalem and Samaria. Again Jews forsake their God - in Jerusalem they worshiped Waal, the god of war and in Samaria they worshiped golden calves. Angry God started to send prophets to Jews, who predicted many calamities unless people repent and start worship their true God. But they were also predicting the coming to earth of Son of God, his life, his death and resurrection, which all later happened."

At that point Volodymyr asked the philosopher: "When did it all happened? Or is it still to come?" And Cyril replied: " It did happen some time ago, when God, within a body of man came to earth." Then he continued:

"When Jews and their kings continued to disobey God's commandments and kill the prophets, God punished them for their sins. They were captured, taken to Assyria, where they spent 70 years as slaves. When they returned, they were without the king and were governed by Pharisees, until King Herod. During Herod's rule, in year 5500, angel Gabriel was sent to Nazareth to tell virgin Mary that she will bear the son of God, which she did and called him Jesus. When three kings from the East followed a star to Bethlehem to greet the new born king of Jews, king Herod ordered to kill all children under two years old in Bethlehem; some 1400 children were slain as result. Fortunately Mary and her husband Joseph fled with Jesus to Egypt and stayed there until Herod's death. Thereupon they returned to Israel and settled in Nazareth. At the age of 30, Jesus started to perform miracles and predicted God's kingdom. He collected twelve apostles and continued to perform great miracles: resurrected dead, cured sick, made lame walk. When he was baptized in river Jordan by John, a spirit in the form of a dove appeared in the sky and a voice proclaimed: "This is my beloved son and I am pleased with him"

Then he sent his apostles to preach about God's kingdom. And when Jesus was teaching people in the temple, Pharisees became jealous, captured him and took him to the Governor Pilate. They told him: "If you release Jesus, - you will not be a friend of Caesar." And Pilate ordered to crucify him. So they crucified Jesus, and darkness fell throughout the world from six o'clock to nine and after nine o'clock Jesus died. Then he was taken to a tomb, which was sealed and guards were placed. But on the third day Jesus resurrected and appeared before his apostles telling them to "Go to all nations and christen them in the name of Father and Son and the Holly Spirit". And Jesus stayed with them for forty days, reappearing after resurrection, then he asked them to remain in Jerusalem "until I send a messenger from my father."After saying that he ascended to heaven. Thereupon his disciples returned to Jerusalem and stayed in the temple. And after fifty days the Holly Spirit descended on apostles, and on his command they spread throughout the world preaching and christening people with water"

Again Volodymyr asked philosopher: "Why was Jesus borne by a woman, crucified on the wood and christened by water" and philosopher replied that it was because the man was prompted by a woman to commit original sin and Adam ate the fruit of the wood and God punished sinful people by water during Deluge, thus God cleanses sins by water at christening.

Therefore, Cyril continued, when apostles were convincing peoples around the world to believe in God, their teachings were adopted by us Greeks and most of the world. And already God nominated a day when he will descend from heaven, will judge living and dead, and will, according one's deeds, decide who shall go to heaven for eternal happiness or to hell for eternal punishment for their sins.
Volodymyr sighed and said that it will be good for those who go to heaven and bad for those who go to hell. And Cyril said: "If you want to go to heaven, then you should get christened." Volodymyr took it to heart and replied: "I shall wait for a while", because he wanted to investigate other religions. Then, after giving him many gifts, he dismissed Greek philosopher with great honor.

In 6495 (967) Volodymyr gathered his boyars and local elders and told them that he was receiving emissaries from around the world, asking him to adopt their customs. They all believed that there is life after death and only their faith will ensure eternal happiness after death, while other faith will ensue in eternal punishment by fire. The boyars and elders suggested to send delegates to various countries to find out which faith and custom is most suitable for Rus. So selected ten good, wise men were at first sent to Bulgars, then to Germans and to Greeks. On return they told Volodymyr that Greek customs and faith was by far the best: "When they took us where they serve their God, we did not know whether we are in heaven or on earth. Because there is no such spectacle and beauty on earth, we cannot describe." They also mentioned that if it was not the best faith then his Grandmother Olha, the wisest of all people, would not have adopted it. And when Volodymyr asked: "Where shall we conduct christening?", they replied: "Wherever it may be convenient for you."
In 6496 (988) Volodymyr marched on, and besieged, Greek city Korsun. The Greeks defended well until a man called Anastas sent the message wrapped on an arrow disclosing location of the pipeline supplying water to the defenders. Volodymyr swore that if this is true he will adopt Christianity. The pipeline was located and water to the city was cut off, whereupon the defenders, suffering from thirst, surrendered. Then Volodymyr informed Kings Basilius and Constantine that he took their famous city and now he wants to take their sister for his wife. When they replied that Christians cannot marry pagans, Volodymyr suggested that they should come with their sister and christen him. She resisted but was convinced by her brothers that it will be good for Greece. When she came to Korsun, Volodymyr suffered blindness but after he was christened at St Sofia Church, he regained his sight. Seeing that many of his warriors also decided to be christened. Then Volodymyr collected some church utensils and few icons, took Princess Anna and several priests from Korsun and returned to Rus. There he decreed to destroy pagan idols. Chief idol Peru was tied to the horse's tail and dragged around while people were hitting him with sticks. Eventually Peru was dragged to the river Dnipro and Volodymyr urged people to keep pushing him away from the bank until he disappeared at the cascades. Then Volodymyr called on all people in the city to come to the river, where they were all christened next day. Hence Volodymyr, his sons and his country became Christian. And he had 12 sons: Vysheslav, Izyaslav, Svyatopolk and Yaroslav, Vsevolod, Svyatoslav, Mstyslav, Borys and Hlib, Stanislav, Pozvid, Sudyslav... (approximately 3 to 4 pages of text are unavailable here)

In 6522 (1014) when Yaroslav was in Novhorod, his annual donation to Kyiv was 2000 Hryvni, while 1000 Hryvni were spent in Novhorod. When Yaroslav stopped giving money to his father in Kyiv, Volodymyr decided to march on his son. However during preparations he fell sick.



TO BE CONTINUED


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