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In the present document, the rulers of Kiev are referred to as "Grand Prince" to indicate their position of supremacy over the other principalities and to reflect the fact that they appointed the rulers of these principalities from among the various members of their own family. In practice, the appointments were changed rapidly, giving little opportunity for any principality to develop its own hereditary leadership (except while the 1097 Liubech family accord was being observed).
This fragmentation increased with the expansion of the different families.Nevertheless, his citations are not as helpful as they could be, firstly because the publications include no key to the abbreviations which the author uses and no full list of works cited, and secondly because the absence of exact quotations means it is impossible to judge the weight of their evidence.In any case, many of the works cited are in the Russian language.Iaroslav I consolidated the dynasty's contacts with other European ruling families by arranging dynastic marriages.The countries included the Scandinavian kingdoms, reflecting the dynasty's sense of origin, its neighbours Byzantium, Hungary and Poland, and countries further afield such as France and several of the Germanic states.A Scandinavian-origin trading community at Kiev appears to have been formed during the early 900s as an offshoot of the more northerly settlements, although it is possible that the Khazars still exercised hegemony in this area as late as The titles attributed to the rulers of the Rus principalities are a source of confusion, in particular the use of "Grand Prince/Grand Duke" as opposed to "Prince/Duke", especially in relation to the rulers of Kiev and Vladimir.
Chirovsky points out that all Kievan princes were theoretically equal (they are all referred to in the Russian chronicles as "Knyaz", female "Knyaginya") and that Vsevolod III Prince of Vladimir was the first prince to start calling himself "Grand Prince/Duke" ("Veliki Knyaz").
From the time of Grand Prince Iaroslav I, the genealogy of the dynasty can be considered more reliable.
However, there are still many gaps and uncertainties, particularly relating to the female members of the family.
The author suggests that Vsevolod adopted this title to strengthen the separation of the principality of Vladimir from Kiev and also to place himself over the lesser princes of the Russian north.
Use of the title by Vladimirs descendants was confirmed when Prince Iaroslav Vsevolodich received the title "Grand Prince of Vladimir" from Khan Batu of the Golden Horde in 1243, in return for swearing allegiance.
This policy of foreign marriages was pursued by Iaroslav's successors but did not survive long into the 13th century.