ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Who Were the Rus Vikings?

Updated on June 6, 2019
Asp52 profile image

This veteran writer has been on HubPages for a decade and has created over 100 original pieces.

The Rus Vikings Were Traders and Explorers

The ancient warrior culture known as the Vikings are often portrayed as marauding pirates who love raping, pillaging and the occasional horn of mead. Yes they did do these things, but they also traded with other cultures and built the infrastructure of some of the most beautiful and metropolitan cities of the old world. {I have listed a few cities that began life as a Viking settlements}. The Vikings often took prisoners from raids and battles, which were sold into slavery. But in their defence most other societies at the same time held similar practices.

The Vikings were not technically a single race, as they had their origins in a Germanic culture that worshipped both conflict and the harvest. But if you were to visit a Viking town in 900 A.D the inhabitants would be ethnically mixed and so would the make up of their family units. The Vikings took opportunity were they found it. Unfortunately for the owners of the superior land, the Viking mindset was not given over to compromise with those who were defeated.

The Rus Vikings Created Many Trading Settlements

A Rus Viking outpost
A Rus Viking outpost

The Vikings who Headed East

The Rus Vikings were the Swedish raiders and traders who settled deep into modern Estonia, Ukraine and Russia. The superior seamanship of the Swedish settlers allowed their ships to navigate the Volga river to travel deep within the lands of the Central and Eastern European peoples. The Rus Viking legend tells us that the Finn and Slavic peoples initially resisted the Rus Viking incursions.

The Finns and the Slav's decided that the Rus Vikings could prove useful in maintaining order of their lands. They decided to ask three brothers who were noble princes to come to their plentiful lands to keep order and rule justly over all the peoples of the lands.

The Rus Vikings and Their Dragon Ships

The Viking dragon boats were highly adaptable to travel along rivers, streams and the open sea.
The Viking dragon boats were highly adaptable to travel along rivers, streams and the open sea. | Source

Rus Viking trade routes


get directions

A major Rus Viking settlement


get directions

Rus Trader's laid the foundations for the future city in the Dark Age's


get directions

Many Swede's left their homeland for adventure and riches in the East.


get directions

The site of the former Capital of the Byzantine Empire

The Rus Vikings

The Rus Vikings originally came into their lands to trade with the native tribes, as soon as trade developed thriving market towns and ports burst into life. The Swedish settlers initially built fortifications to protect their trading posts. This was a new experience for many of the new settlers,as mainland Sweden had geographical protection from its off shore islands. The towns of Novgorod and Kiev grew rich on the back of trade between the Rus Vikings and traders from the lucrative Black Sea and eastern European markets.

Meeting the Eastern Roman Empire

From the secure Viking settlements, the Rus stretched out deeper into Eastern Europe to trade. The Rus Vikings were full of ambition and the expansion eastwards would guarantee many of the Rus Vikings their fortunes. The Rus Vikings arrived in Constantinople in 838 A.D, They claimed friendship with the Emperor and told him of their Swedish heritage. It is believed that the Greek speaking Byzantines gave the Swedish Vikings their name Rus. It is derived from the Greek word "Rusiori " which was ancient Greek for blond. It is entirely likely that all the of those called Rus Vikings would be of Nordic ancestry.

Trade and Conquest

There was a considerable amount of trade between the Rus and the Byzantine Empire. The Vikings traded furs and captured slaves in return for silks and other luxury goods that Constantinople had to offer. Silk was highly desired by the Vikings as they had never seen silk before. Some Rus Vikings had tried to raid Constantinople, but never with any real conviction. To assault a city of Constantinople's size would have been a massive undertaking. Instead the Rus Vikings decided to raid the Monastery of Trebinthos on Princes Islands, they used exactly the same tactics as their fellow Viking's used when raiding the monastery at Lindisfarne Island in the eighth century.

By 941 A.D The Rus Vikings and Byzantine Empire had decided that continued trade and peace would be preferred as it was a good profitable arrangement. The Byzantine Emperor even had Rus Vikings in his own personal bodyguard. The Rus warrior's were highly valued as their military prowess and bravery was legendary. After the Norman Conquest in Great Britain, these numbers were diminished due to an influx of cheaper Anglo-Saxon exiles.

European Cities of Viking Origin

  • Dublin, Republic of Ireland
  • Kiev, Ukraine
  • Novgorod, Ukraine
  • Cork, Republic of Ireland

Rus Vikings and Their Settlement in Russia

The Rus Vikings inter married and interbred with the Slavic population and by the year 1000 AD the children of the Swedish traders had become as Slavic as the general populace. Although still of Viking descent, the Rus Vikings would eventually forsake their pagan roots and convert to Christianity. The original Rus continued to move on into Asia and there are reports of Rus Viking's been used as a mercenary force by the Muslim world.

The Rus visited Baghdad and traded white slaves for Silver as the Muslim world had a vast amount to trade with. The Rus Vikings had a good trading arrangement with the Muslim world and there was only one major sea battle which the Vikings lost. The Rus left their legacy in the name Russia, and they explored deep into were other Europeans dared not tread.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Andrew Stewart


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Asp52 profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Stewart 

      6 years ago from England

      Thank you for the kind comment. I am glad this article was of use to you.

    • seraphic profile image


      6 years ago from Canada

      I am exploring migration paths of the Sami and this is very interesting to explore! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Historically Slavonic king invited his grandson Rurik to reign after him.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)