Igor, Grand Prince of Kiev

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Ship burial of Igor the Old, by Henryk Siemiradzki (1845–1902).

Igor (Old East Slavic: Игорь, Old Norse: Ingvar) was a Varangian ruler of Kievan Rus from 912 to 945. Very little is known about him from the Primary Chronicle. It has been speculated that the chroniclers chose not to enlarge on his reign, as the region was dominated by Khazaria at that time. That he was Rurik's son is also questioned on chronological grounds.

He twice besieged Constantinople, in 941 and 944, and in spite of his fleet being destroyed by Greek fire, concluded with the Emperor a favourable treaty whose text is preserved in the chronicle. In 913 and 944, the Rus plundered the Arabs in the Caspian Sea during the Caspian expeditions of the Rus, but it's not clear whether Igor had anything to do with these campaigns.

Drastically revising the chronology of the Primary Chronicle, Constantine Zuckerman argues that Igor actually reigned for three years, between summer 941 and his death in early 945. He explains the epic 33-year span of his reign in the chronicle by its author's faulty interpretation of Byzantine sources.<ref>Zuckerman, Constantine. On the Date of the Khazars' Conversion to Judaism and the Chronology of the Kings of the Rus Oleg and Igor. A Study of the Anonymous Khazar Letter from the Genizah of Cairo. // Revue des études byzantines. 1995. 53. Pp. 237–270.</ref> Indeed, no Igor's activity is recorded in the chronicle prior to 941.

Igor was killed<ref>Leo the Deacon describes how Igor met his death: "They had bent down two birch trees to the prince’s feet and tied them to his legs; then they let the trees straighten again, thus tearing the prince’s body apart."[1]</ref> while collecting tribute from the Drevlians in 945 and revenged by his wife, Olga of Kiev. The Primary Chronicle blames his death on his own excessive greed, indicating that he was attempting to collect tribute a second time in a month.

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Preceded by:
Prince of Kiev Succeeded by:
bg:Игор I

cs:Igor de:Igor (Russland) fr:Igor de Kiev it:Igor di Kiev nl:Igor van Kiev pl:Igor Kijowski ru:Игорь Рюрикович uk:Ігор Старий zh:伊戈尔·留里科维奇

Igor, Grand Prince of Kiev

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