Sviatoslav I of Kiev
Sviatoslav I Igorevich (943 – 26 March 972), also spelled Svyatoslav, was a Grand Prince of Kiev. His decade-long reign over the Kievan Rus’ was marked by rapid expansion into the Volga River valley, the Pontic steppe, and the Balkans. He died in ambush, and his failure to establish a stable succession led to a fratricidal feud among his three sons.
About Sviatoslav I of Kiev in brief
Sviatoslav I Igorevich (943 – 26 March 972), also spelled Svyatoslav, was a Grand Prince of Kiev. His decade-long reign over the Kievan Rus’ was marked by rapid expansion into the Volga River valley, the Pontic steppe, and the Balkans. By the end of his short life, Sviatoslav carved out for himself the largest state in Europe, eventually moving his capital in 969 from Kyiv to Pereyaslavets on the Danube. He died in ambush, and his failure to establish a stable succession led to a fratricidal feud among his three sons, resulting in two of them being killed. His mother, Olga, converted to Orthodox Christianity at the court of Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus in 957, at the approximate age of 67. However, he remained a pagan all of his life. The fact that Predslava was his mother is presented by Vasily Tatchev as the fact that he came from a Hungarian family. It is possible that he was not only the only son of his parents, but also the son of Predslav, who came from the Russo-Byzantine war of 945-955. He is believed to have been the first ruler of the Rus’ with a name of Slavic origin. Some scholars see the name as an artificial derivation combining the names of his predecessors Oleg and Rurik. Virtually nothing is known about his childhood and youth, which he spent reigning in Novgorod.
His life was spent with his druzhina in permanent warfare against neighboring states. According to the Primary Chronicle, he carried neither wagons nor kettles on his expeditions, and he boiled no meat, rather cutting off small strips of horseflesh, game, or beef to eat after roasting it on the coals. He wore a single large gold earring bearing a carbuncle and two pearls. He had a bald head and a wispy beard and wore a bushy mustache and a sidelock as a sign of his nobility. He preferred to dress in white, and it was noted that his garments were much cleaner than those of his men, although he had a lot in common with his warriors. He believed that his warriors would mock him and mock him if he became a Christian. In the treaty of 971, the Byzantine emperor John I Tzimiskes swore by the gods Perun and Veles that he would not lose respect for him. The Primary Chronicle records Sviatoslav as the first Ruler of theRus’ with the Slavic roots for ‘holy’ and ‘glory’. He was a bright-eyed man of average height but of stalwart build, much more sturdy than Tzemiskes. He never had a tent, rather spreading out a horse-blanket under him and setting his saddle under his head, and all his retinue did likewise.