A Look into the History of Who Named Russia

Delve into the captivating past and discover the origin of the name ‘Russia’! Unearth the secrets behind this enigmatic country’s moniker and explore how it came to be. Delve deep into its roots and uncover the story of who gave it its title. Unravel the mystery and uncover the truth about this remarkable nation’s namesake.

For centuries, the source of ‘Russia’s’ name has remained a puzzle and a subject of much contemplation. Scholars have striven to discover the truth behind the moniker of this enigmatic nation, but without great success. Nevertheless, recent archaeological evidence has brought clarity to how Russia acquired its name.

It is believed that the term ‘Russia’ was first used by Viking dealers in the ninth century AD when they encountered Slavic clans living in what is now known as Eastern Europe. The Vikings referred to these Slavic people as ‘Ruskar’, which translates to ‘rowers’ or ‘sailors’. Over time, this phrase advanced into ‘Rus’, from which the present-day name of Russia originates.

The beginning of Ruskar is also linked to an ancient Varangian prince named Rurik, who established a state called Kievan Rus in 882AD. This state was situated in what is currently Ukraine and Belarus and was inhabited by Slavic tribes. It is supposed that Rurik’s successors adopted the tag Ruskari as their official title and it eventually spread throughout Eastern Europe and beyond.

At present, Russia keeps its traditional name, a reminder of its affluent cultural background and absorbing past. Its origins can be traced back to Viking dealers who encountered Slavic clans in what was then known as Kievan Rus – an account that continues to fascinate history aficionados around the world!



A mystery surrounds the name “Russia”, a country of long and convoluted history. Its source is not fully understood, yet it’s purported to have been first used to refer to the locale in the 9th century. It’s thought that the name was derived from Rus’, an East Slavic tribe inhabiting the region around Kiev in modern-day Ukraine. The term Russia gradually spread throughout Eastern Europe, eventually supplanting earlier names such as Kievan Rus’ and Muscovy. This ancient kingdom, with its gradual expansion over time, was the predecessor of today’s Russia – one of the greatest empires ever known.

– Historical Origins of the Name Russia

The mysteriousness of the name Russia has enthralled scholars for centuries. Its origin is still unknown, with some speculating it may be derived from Old Norse, while others suggest a Slavic source. The earliest reference to ‘Russia’ was in 1147, when Prince Yuri Dolgoruky referred to his homeland as ‘Ruscia’ in a letter to Pope Eugene III. From then on, variations of the term were used in different languages and contexts; Muscovy during medieval times, Tsardom of Russia or Russian Empire depending on its political structure. After 1917, when it became part of the Soviet Union, it was officially known as ‘Soviet Russia’, and after its dissolution in 1991, simply as ‘Russia’. Thus, though its exact roots remain unclear, the name has become synonymous with one of the world’s largest countries.

– How the Name Russia was Adopted

A mysterious, convoluted saga lies behind the name ‘Russia.’ It is purported that the term originated from a tribe known as the Rus, who were inhabitants of what is now Russia in the 8th and 9th centuries A.D. These people were migrants from Scandinavia who had settled in Eastern Europe and established a kingdom called Kievan Rus. The dominion was divided into several principalities, each with its own ruler.

In the 12th century, these principalities were unified under one leader, Prince Vladimir I of Kiev. He embraced Orthodox Christianity as the official religion of this region and also adopted ‘Russia’ as his nation’s name to pay homage to the Rus people. This event marked a crucial milestone in Russian history as it was then that Russia began to develop its own distinct culture and identity.

Subsequently, Russia slowly expanded its boundaries until it became one of Europe’s biggest countries by 16th century. Other European nations eventually followed suit by referring to this huge nation as ‘Russia.’ Today, ‘Russia’ is used universally when referring to this great country and its populace worldwide.

– The Role of Ancient Slavs in Naming Russia

For centuries, the source of the name “Russia” has been a matter of conjecture. However, it is generally accepted that it comes from the Old East Slavic word “Rus”. This term was utilized by early Slavic tribes to refer to their own group as well as their lands, and is thought to have derived from an old Norse word signifying “rowers” or “oar-users” – likely in reference to the fact that many early Russian settlements were situated on rivers and relied heavily on boat transportation.

The ancient Slavs have left a lasting impression on Russia, not only in its name but also in its culture, literature, and political structure. Orthodox Christianity and folk music are just two examples of cultural practices that originated with them; they also bequeathed a rich literary tradition including The Tale of Igor’s Campaign and The Lay of Igor’s Host written in Old East Slavic language. In 862, Prince Rurik united multiple quarreling tribes into one kingdom known as Kievan Rus’, which ultimately became the basis for modern-day Russia and other countries like Ukraine and Belarus.

The legacy of the ancient Slavs continues to reverberate through Russia today – their influence can still be felt in its name, culture, literature, and political structure – making it clear that they played an integral role in shaping this nation into what it is today.

– Changes to the Name Russia over Time

Throughout the ages, a nation with many names has come to be known as Russia. In the early Middle Ages, it was referred to as Rus’ or Kievan Rus’; however, after the Mongol invasion in 1237-1240, it became part of the Golden Horde and was called Muscovy or Muscovite Rus’. Ivan IV declared himself Tsar of All Russia in 1547, beginning the Tsardom of Russia until 1721 when Peter I proclaimed himself Emperor of All Russia. Then in 1917, following a revolution led by Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik Party, it became the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) until its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Today, The Russian Federation is one of the world’s largest countries by area and population and continues to be an influential global power.

– Impact of Geography on the Naming of Russia

The fabled nation of Russia has been forged by its geography, a vast land that has helped to create its culture and identity. This is evidenced in the name of the country, which has been shaped by the diverse landscape and expansive size. The term “Russia” originates from the Rus people, a Scandinavian group who established a trading post on the Volga River in the 9th century. The word “Rus” itself comes from an Old Norse phrase meaning “people who row”, an accurate description for those living near such a great river. Over time, this area developed into modern-day Russia.

In 1721, Tsar Peter I declared that all lands east of the Ural Mountains should be known as “Russia”, signifying his desire to expand his empire beyond Europe into Asia. This decision effectively doubled Russia’s size and led to its current borders.

The Russian language also reflects this connection between geography and identity, with citizens referring to themselves as “Rossiyane” (literally meaning “residents of Russia”) and their homeland as either Rossiya or Rossiyskaya Federatsiya (the Russian Federation). Both names are derived from the original term “Rus”, demonstrating how deeply rooted Russian identity is in its geography.

Thus it can be seen that geography has played an integral role in determining how Russia was named over time. Its vastness and varied terrain have not only defined its borders but also molded its cultural identity – making it one of the most unique countries on earth.


A cryptic conundrum of confounding circumstances, a seeming enigma of perplexing properties, was first to be known as Rus’ in the 9th century. An origin from Scandinavian settlers, this name derived from a band of Varangians who descended upon Novgorod in 862 and embraced the Slavic culture of those already there. Ultimately, the term Rus’ would come to signify all East Slavs, and eventually encompass present-day Russia.


Some questions with answers

Q1. Who named Russia?
A1. The origin of the name “Russia” is unknown, though some theories suggest it derives from the name of the Rus people, who were Scandinavian settlers in Eastern Europe.

Q2. What is the historical origin of Russia’s name?
A2. It is believed that the modern name for Russia comes from the ancient Rus people, who were Viking warriors and traders who settled in Eastern Europe during the Middle Ages.

Q3. When did Russia get its name?
A3. The exact date when Russia got its name is unclear, but it has been used since at least the 10th century AD, when it was first mentioned in chronicles written by Byzantine authors.

Q4. What other names have been used for Russia in history?
A4. Other names that have been used for Russia throughout history include Kievan Rus’, Muscovy, and Tsardom of Russia.

Q5. How has the meaning of “Russia” changed over time?
A5. Initially, “Russia” referred to a small region around Kiev; however, over time it has come to refer to a much larger area encompassing most of Eastern Europe and northern Asia.

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