Askold and Dir - mysterious princes of Kiev

history of ancient Russia keeps a lot of mysteries and secrets.One of these mysteries - the first princes of Kiev, which we know as Askold and Dir.Who were they by origin, where they came from, who had each other?Or maybe it was all one person?

try to understand, outlining the common version, as well as several options for events that allow historians, based on very specific facts.

official version

accepted that Askold and Dir were originally Vikings - Russ, as they were called.They had no relationship with the ruling prince Rurik, but merely its "nobles."When Rurik sat in Novgorod, he began giving away his closest Russian city people.So Dir and Askold he let go south in search of a suitable place for the board.Those down the Dnieper down to see the glorious city of Kiev, in which lived a glade.Askold and Dir have decided to stay there and declared himself ruler.

They are loyal to the people, local customs and religion.Tribute to the left at the same level.In addition, like any northern soldiers, they knew military affairs and came accompanied by a well-armed group.Therefore, the people of Kiev decided not to rebel and calmly accepted their new rulers.

Around 860-866 years Askold and Dir have made an ambitious military campaign against Constantinople.To protect your city from the militant Russes, the reigning emperor Michael III decided to terminate the war with the Arabs, and hurried back to the capital.

Kievan princes came under the walls of Constantinople, leading the impressive fleet of two hundred ships.They quickly and successfully plundered the suburbs and besieged the city.Above the capital of the Byzantine Empire faced a real threat of conquest.Then Emperor Michael and Patriarch Photius began to pray for the Protection of the center of the Christian world.Suddenly, the sea rose a terrible storm, which swept and destroyed the warlike ships Russes.Constantinople was saved by divine providence.

Askold and Dir were forced to sign a peace treaty with Byzantium and decided Christian cross.

in 879, died in Novgorod Prince Rurik, leaving heir infant son Igor and his guardian - his cousin, known as Prophetic Oleg.He decided to take the power not only over the northern, but also over the southern lands, so collected from the Slavs and Vikings impressive army and marched towards the south.He surrendered Smolensk and ancient Ljubech.Soon, Oleg went to Kiev.

It is well understood that the Kievan princes have a strong squad, and will be protected in order not to give up power.Therefore Prophetic Oleg decided to act cunning.He left his main army in an ambush, and he pretended to be a peaceful merchant and invited Askold and Dir to their trade negotiations.Those without fear went to a meeting, but they were surrounded by the banks of a military squad.According to the "Tale of Bygone Years", Oleg went to get caught up princes and charged them that they are not well-known kind and deception rule the people.Then he pointed to a small Igor and said: "That prince Rurik's son!ยป

Askold and Dir were killed immediately.Askold mound with the remains still stands on a steep bank of the Dnieper, and the ashes Dir long time resting near the church of St. Irene.

So Oleg began to rule in Kiev, on behalf of Igor.It was he who announced Kiev mother of Russian cities, the center of Russian lands.In 882, the first time the northern and southern lands were united under one prince.

is the official version of events.But historians are considering a variety of options based on the comparison of different chronicles and legends.

Options stories

For example, there is disagreement about the origin of Dir and Askold.Some historians believe that Askold was a Slav and a direct descendant of Dir.Others, however, only credited Deere Slavic origin and the role of the slave, and Askold believe Vikings and governor.

ancient Byzantine sources in describing the military campaign, the Rus 866 is generally referred to only one prince, so it is possible that Askold and Dir - the same people, the Vikings Askold nicknamed Dir.Translated from the Old Norse language Deere meant "The Beast", which could be a nickname-title.

If confidently treat them as two separate people, it is quite logical to assume that Askold and Dir ruled at various times, and in the Chronicle are artificially combined in a co-rulers.Chronicler could combine them logically as two illegitimate rulers.Historians surprised by the fact that the two princes who were killed at the same time, according to the Scriptures, was buried in such widely separated places.A Ioakimovskaya chronicle says that Oleg killed only one prince - Askold and Dir, where the name is not mentioned.

If we compare multiple historical sources, it becomes quite obvious that Deere was the first ruler of Kiev and lived in the early and mid-9th century, and Askold became his successor and knyazhestvoval in the second half of the 9th century.

As we can see, in the history of the Kievan princes many unexplained circumstances that securely hidden from our long history.We unravel them someday?