Oleg, Veshchii

Oleg, Veshchii

 

(Sage Oleg). Died 912. Prince of ancient Rus’. According to the chronicles, he was related to the semi-legendary Rurik and became prince of Novgorod after Rurik’s death.

In 882, Oleg mounted a campaign against the Krivichi and seized their chief city, Smolensk. Proceeding down the Dnieper, he took Liubech and then Kiev, which he made the capital of his state. In 883–885, Oleg annexed the lands of the Drevliane, Severiane, and Radimichi and by 907 he had also taken the lands of the Viatichi, Khorvaty, Duleby, and Tivertsy. Oleg imposed tribute- on the conquered tribes and compelled them to supply him with fighting men. He fought successfully against the Kha-zars. In 907 he besieged Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium, and imposed an indemnity on the empire. In 911 he concluded an advantageous trade agreement with Byzantium. According to legend, he died of a snakebite; this fact was the basis of a number of songs and legends.

REFERENCES

Povest’ vremennykh let, part 2: Prilozheniia; Stat’i i kommentarii D. S. Likhacheva. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950. Pages 249–81.
Levchenko, M. V. Ocherki po istorii russko-vizantiiskikh otnoshenii. Moscow, 1956.
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