Rurik

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Rurik, or Riurik (Russian: Рюрик; pronounced [ˈrʲʉrʲɪk]; Old East Norse: Rørik, meaning "famous ruler"; c. 830 – c. 879), was a Varangian chieftain who gained control of Ladoga in 862, built the Holmgard settlement near Novgorod, and founded the Rurik Dynasty which ruled Kievan Rus and then Galicia-Volhynia until the 14th and Muscovy until the 16th century.

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Name

Riurik is the Slavic rendering of the same Germanic name as the modern Anglo-Scots Roderick, or Spanish and Portuguese Rodrigo. In old Germanic languages it had forms such as Hrodric (Old High German) and Hroðric (Old English). In Old Norse, Hrœrekr (Norway, Iceland) and RikR (Denmark, Sweden), from which Riurik is derived. The name also appears in Beowulf as Hréðrík.[1]

Origin

Even though some historians emphasize folklore roots for the Rurik legend and consequently dismiss Rurik as a legendary figure, there is a controversy about his ethnic origins in Eastern Europe.

Fenno-Ugric

A recent DNA research project by Dr. Andrzej Bajor of Poland, under the auspices of the Family Tree DNA Rurikid Dynasty Project of FamilyTree DNA company, seeks to more accurately place Rurik within the light of history and out of the shadows of legend, while simultaneously trying to map his modern descendants. The DNA results of 191 men claiming to be Rurikid descendants indicate that most (68%) of the them had haplogroup N1C1, formerly designated N3a1 typical for Finno-Ugrian people.[2][3] Further genetic studies seem to indicate the existence of two major haplogroups among modern Rurikids: the descendants of Vladimir II Monomakh (Monomakhoviches) and some others are of N1c1 group (130 people or 68%), while the descendants of a junior prince from the branch of Oleg I of Chernigov (Olgoviches) and some others (total 45 peoples or 24%) are of R1a and R1b haplogroups typical for Slavic, Germanic and Celts peoples. According to the Russian Newsweek magazine it indicates that it could have been a non-paternity event in the Chernihiv branch during wars between royal clans [4].

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