How did the geography of Russia affect the rise of Kiev?
I know Kiev is in Ukraine. I'm talking about wayyy back then. Like around...500-700 ??
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
In 500-700 the Slavic tribes were just starting to split off from each other and migrate to the various places where they are today. Much of the History of this area isn't known until the 9th century AD (800-899).
One of the reasons for the split and expansion of Slavic tribes was the massive population migrations caused by the Hunnic and Avar invasions of between 350 and 700 AD which affected either directly or indirectly ALL of continental Europe. After those groups were either crushed by the Roman/Byzantine civilizations, assimilated into those empires or into other civilizations or retreated back into Asia the Slavic tribes were able to settle down and form nation states roughly corresponding to where they are today. This is also the time when they began to form their separate collective identities and the languages became ever more distant from each other.
That's the backstory. But onto your question...
The history of the Kievan Rus (who were really Viking Traders, but rules over the Slavs in and around Kiev) is important in understanding some of the political and religious history of the area as well. This is the beginning of ORGANIZED settlement and expansion [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kievan_Rus] and political and economic impact.
The geography of Eastern Europe is one thing: VAST. Slavic populations were able to spread out quickly, establish new settlements and develop new areas, particularly the Russians since there were no strong empires/nations/ethnic groups to stop their spread east to the Urals and north to the Arctic (Side note: and even before American pioneers crossed the Appalachians Russian explorers had already crossed the Urals and before the American revolution the Russians had already reached the Pacific and crossed into Alaska setting up trading posts and villages).
The multiple river systems helped with settlement and expansion of the Slavic tribes in Europe as travel by river always occurred before roads were built to expanding towns and cities. (i.e. you don't just build roads out into the wilderness and then set up shop)
It is also very fertile [See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographical_Pivot_of... and abundant with resources.
1. Flat lowlands or plateaus.
2. Many resources and eventually large populations.
3. Ease of travel (few mountains, many rivers)
4. Nothing to stop expansion (people with Iron weapons and later Guns who were able to easily push out hunter-gather cultures)Source(s): Polish American and I know my Slavic History. There is also more than Wikipedia, but I like the way that site breaks stuff down. Do a Google search.