Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Askold and Dir
They asked for permission to go to Constantinople (Norse Miklagard, Slavic Czargrad). When travelling on the Dnieper, they saw a settlement on a mountain and asked to whom it belonged. They were told that it was Kiev and had been built by three brothers named Kyi, Schek and Khoriv, who were the ancestors of the inhabitants, who were now paying tribute to the Khazars. Askold and Dir settled in the town and gathered a large number of fellow Varangians and began to rule the town and the land of the Polyane.
Askold and Dir's attack on Constantinople (866) took the Greeks by surprise, "like a thunderbolt from heaven," as it was put by Patriarch Photius in his famous oration written for the occasion. When Rurik died he was succeeded by Oleg who was of his kin and in whose care was Rurik's son Igor. Oleg attacked and conquered Kyiv arround 882.
According to the Norse Sagas, Askold was the son of Hvitserk, one of Ragnar Lodbrok's sons. Hvitserk was a contemporary of Rurik and was said to have waged a war of conquest in Eastern Europe. When Hvitserk met an army that was too big even for him, the enemies asked in what way he wished to die. He wanted to be burnt alive on a mound of severed heads.
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