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Vladimir the great proclaimed ruler of all Kievan Rus’

11 Jun 2021  Fri

Vladimir the great was grand prince of Kyiv and first Christian ruler in Kievan Rus, whose military conquests consolidated the provinces of Kyiv and Novgorod into a single state, and whose Byzantine baptism determined the course of Christianity in the region.

Vladimir's father was Prince Sviatoslav I of Kyiv of the Rurik dynasty. After the death of his father in 972, Vladimir, who was then the prince of Novgorod, was forced to flee to Scandinavia in 976 after his brother Yaropolk murdered his other brother Oleg of Drelinia and conquered Rus'.

In Sweden, with the help of his relative Ladejarl Hakon Sigurdsson, ruler of Norway, he assembled a Varangian army and reconquered Novgorod from Yaropolk. By 980, Vladimir had consolidated the Rus realm from modern-day Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine to the Baltic Sea and had solidified the frontiers against incursions of Bulgarians, Baltic tribes, and Eastern nomads. Originally a follower of Slavic paganism, Vladimir converted to Christianity in 988 and Christianized the Kievan Rus'. He is thus also known as Saint Vladimir.

Vladimir's effigy on one of his coins. He is crowned in the Byzantine style, holding a cross-mounted staff in one hand and a Khazar-inspired trident in the other.

Image Source: Wikipedia.org

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