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The Rurik Dynasty was the ruling dynasty of Kievan Rus' (since 862), the successor principalities of Galicia-Volhynia (since 1199), Vladimir-Suzdal, and Grand Duchy of Moscow, as well as early Tsardom of Russiamarker (since 1168).

According to the Primary Chronicle, the dynasty was established in 862 by Rurik, the great legendary ruler of Novgorodmarker. The exact origin of his tribe, the Varangians called Rus', is disputed and his ethnicity remains unclear, although Scandinavian and Slavic influences are cited. He and his brothers founded a state that later historians called Kievan Rus'. By the middle of the twelfth century, Kievan Rus' had dissolved into independent principalities (Russian, or Rus' principalities), each ruled by different branches of the Rurik dynasty.

In the west Galicia-Volhynia continued to be ruled by the Rurikids unitl 1323. The last ones were two brothers Andrew and Lev II, who ruled jointly and were slain trying to repel Mongol incursions on behalf of the rest of Europe. Polish king Władysław I the Elbow-high in his letter to the Pope wrote with regret: "The two last Ruthenian (Ukrainian) kings, that had been firm shields for Poland from the Tatars, left this world and after their death Poland is directly under Tatar threat." Losing their leadership role Rurikids; however, continued to play a vital role in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Most notably the Ostrogski family who held title of Grand Hetman of Lithuania and strived to preserve Old Ukrainian language and Eastern Orthodoxy in this part of Europe.

In the north-east by the end of the fifteenth century, the principality of Moscow had won a struggle for supremacy among medieval Rus states. Beginning with the reign of Ivan the Great, the Muscovite branch of the Rurik dynasty used the title "Tsar of All Russia" and ruled over the Tsardom of Russiamarker. The death in 1598 of Tsar Feodor I ended the rule of the Rurik dynasty. The unstable period known as the Time of Troubles succeeded Feodor's death and lasted until 1613. In that year, Mikhail I ascended the throne, founding the Romanov dynasty that would rule until 1762 and as Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov until the revolutions of 1917. One descendant of the Rurik Grand Prince of Tver was Catherine the Great, who married Peter III of the Romanov dynasty. Historian Vasily Tatishchev and filmmaker Jacques Tati were descended from Rurik.

File:Gagarin arms.jpg|Gagarin family Coat of ArmsImage:repnin coat.jpg|The Obolensky - Repnin coat of arms is composed of the emblems of Kievmarker and Chernigov.Image:gorchakov arms.jpg|Coat of arms of the Gorchakov familyImage:Herb Ostrogski.jpg|Ostrogski Coat of Arms

Among Rurik descendants are the Volkonsky, Obolensky, Shuyski, Dolgorukov, Khilkoff, Repnin, Gorchakov, Gagarin, Wassilchikov, and Putyatin families, as well as the Ruthenian families of Ostrogski, Wareg-Massalski, and Czetwertyński families, among others.

List of rulers of the Rurik Dynasty

Princely families of Rurik stock

from princes of

Noble families of Rurik stock

who do not use or lost their princely titles, from princes of

See also

External links

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