The influence of the viking trade on the development of Kiev: data of the scandinavian runic inscriptions.


  • А. О. Kurzenkova


The Eastern trade route from Scandinavia during the Viking Age known as “the way from the Varangians to the Greeks” exerted an important impact on the development of the city of Kiev and on the process of formation of the state of Kievan Rus’. Both medieval written sources and archaeological finds in the Dnieper – runic inscriptions are strong proofs to that. The influence of the Viking trade on the development of Kievan Rus’ deserves particular attention. Commercial opportunity was a key factor. Due to trade, special trade-and-craft settlements appeared which formed the basis for the early cities of Kievan Rus’. During the Viking Age (from around 800 to around 1050) the Scandinavian merchants based at transit points on the great rivers – the Volga, later the Dnieper – formed the Eurasian trade route through the northern way. It was professional transcontinental trade by sea and river: the shortest, most economic route to Byzantium passed through Kievan Rus’. It started from the Varangian Sea, passed along the Neva, Lake Ladoga, Volkhov, Lake Ilmen, the Lovat, continued onto the Dnieper and further along the Dnieper and across the Black Sea to Constantinople. In the Rus’ Primary Chronicle it is described from the South to the North. Western European chroniclers knew the trade way as well. The account of Adam of Bremen reflects the late stage of “the way from the Varangians to the Greeks”, when it’s most active segment was the route from Hamburg to Jumne (Vollin/Jуm).




Секція "Історія"