St. Olga, Duchess of Kiev


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Ingvarr (Igor) RURIK, Duke of Novgorod

St. Olga, Duchess of Kiev

  • Born: Pskov, Russia
  • Married: Between 930 and 935
  • Died: 11 Jul 969, Kiev, Ukraine

  Orthographic variations: Helga, Haelgha

  Research Notes:

The Primary Chronicle records that a wife Olga was brought [to Igor] from Pskov in 903. The date is clearly inconsistent with the suggested birth date of their son Sviatoslav in [935/40].... After her husband was killed, the Derevlian Slavs proposed her marriage to their own leader Mal, but the Primary Chronicle records that Olga exacted prompt and effective revenge for her husband's death after besieging the Derevlian capital of Iskorosten. Olga was regent for her son [from 945 to 964]. Her centre of power was based around Kiev where she owned two halls. The Primary Chronicle records that Olga was baptised in Constantinople in [957] by the emperor (Konstantinos VII), and took the name HELENA after the mother of Emperor Konstantinos the Great. Cedrenus records that "Elga Rossorum principis uxor" came to Constantinople after her husband died, was baptised, and returned home. The Continuator of Regino records that "legati Helenæ reginæ Rugorum", who had been baptised at Constantinople "sub Romano imperatore Constantinopolitano", visited Otto I King of Germany in 959, and that in 960 "Libutius ex cœnobitis sancti Albani" was consecrated "genti Rugorum episcopus" by "episcopo Adaldago" [archbishop of Bremen]. The Annales Quedlinburgenses record the arrival of "legati Rusciæ gentis ad regem Ottonem" in 960 and his sending "Adalbertum episcopum" to their country. The difference in the two sources of the name of the supposed first bishop is not explained.

The Primary Chronicle records that, during the invasion of the Pechenegs in 968, Olga shut herself in the city of Kiev with her grandsons Yaropolk, Oleg and Vladimir and that she died in 969. She was later esteemed to be a saint, her feast day being 11 July. 1

  Marriage Information:

Olga married Ingvarr (Igor) RURIK, Duke of Novgorod, son of Rurik (Roric), Scandinavian Duke, between 930 and 935. (Ingvarr (Igor) RURIK was born between 910 and 920 and died between 944 and 946, Iskorosten, Ukraine.)


1 Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, Medlands: Russia, Origins [862] - 1019.

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