Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Russia is vast, spanning over two continents, Europe and Asia.

Arthurian lore made this the realm of King Baraton.

In Layamon’s Brut, the daughter of Russia’s king marries King Alcus of Iceland, a vassal of Arthur.

Its kings in Claris et Laris are Solifas, who joins Emperor Thereus of Rome’s war against Arthur, and Baraton, who joins King Tallas of Denmark in a war against Urien.

Russia | 0 to 9th century AD

In the time of King Arthur, the territories that make up modern-day Russia were not unified as a single political entity. Instead, the region was characterized by a patchwork of various tribes and early medieval states.

Pre-Slavic Period
The territory of present-day Russia was inhabited by various tribes and cultures. The Scythians, Sarmatians, and other nomadic groups had a presence in the region.

Migration Period | 4th – 6th centuries AD
During the Migration Period, Slavic tribes migrated into the Eastern European and Eurasian regions. Archaeological evidence suggests the presence of early Slavic communities engaged in agriculture, fishing, and trade. The Slavs had interactions with nomadic groups from the Eurasian steppes, including the Huns and later the Bulgars.

7th – 9th centuries AD
The formation of the medieval state of Kievan Rus’ began in the ninth century. The Primary Chronicle, a historical narrative, attributes the establishment of Kievan Rus’ to the Viking leader Rurik around the year 862. Rurik’s successor, Oleg, consolidated and expanded the territory of Kievan Rus’. He established the capital at Kiev and extended control over trade routes connecting the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

In 988, Prince Vladimir I of Kiev embraced Christianity and adopted Byzantine Christianity as the state religion. The adoption of Christianity had a profound impact on the cultural and political development of Kievan Rus’.

The tenth and eleventh centuries are often considered the golden age of Kievan Rus’. The state flourished economically, culturally, and politically. Kiev became a major center of trade and culture. In the twelfth century, Kievan Rus’ faced internal strife and external pressures from nomadic invasions, including those by the Mongols. This period marked the beginning of the decline and fragmentation of Kievan Rus’, eventually leading to the formation of the Grand Duchy of Moscow and, later, the Tsardom of Russia.

Brut | Layamon, late 12th century to mid-13th century
Claris et Laris | 1268