The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Riurikids, Riurik dynasty), princes descended from the Kievan grand prince Igor’, who, on the basis of the accounts in the chronicles, was regarded as the son of Riurik. The Riurikovichi headed the state of ancient Rus’ (for this reason it is sometimes called the Empire of the Riurikovichi in the historical literature) and the large and small principalities of the period of feudal fragmentation. In the 12th and 13th centuries, some Riurikovichi were also called by names associated with the progenitors of branches of the Riurikovichi; examples are the Monomakhovichi, or Monomashichi, and the Ol’govichi. The Muscovite grand princes and tsars were descendants of the Monomakhovichi of Vladimir-Suzdal’. The last tsar of the Riurikovichi was Fedor Ivanovich, who died in 1598.

With the formation of the centralized Russian state, many of the Riurikovichi lost their appanage holdings and came to make up the upper stratum of the Muscovite sluzhilye liudi (military service class). In the 17th century part of the Riurikovichi gradually merged with representatives of the elite of the untitled dvorianstvo (nobility or gentry), with whom they occupied the dominant position in the court aristocracy of the 17th through 19th centuries. Examples are descendants of the Riurikovichi princes of Chernigov, such as the Bariatinskiis, Volkonskiis, Gorchakovs, Dolgorukovs, Obolenskiis, Odoevskiis, Repnins, and Shcherbatovs. Other Riurikovichi became impoverished and mixed with the middle and even the petty dvorianstvo; in the process, some of them lost their princely titles.


Vlas’ev, G. A. Potomstvo Riurika: Materialy dlia sostavleniia rodoslovii, vol. 1, parts 1-3. St. Petersburg, 1906–07.
Baumgarten, N. Généalogie et mariages occidentaux des Rurikides russes du X-e au XIII-e siècle. Rome, 1928.
Baumgarten, N. Généalogies des branches régnantes de Rurikides du XIII-e au XVI-e siècle. Rome, 1934.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.