Rurik (rōˈrĭk) [key], d. 879, semilegendary Varangian warrior, regarded as the founder of the princely dynasty of Kievan Rus. Rurik and his two brothers, at the head of an armed band, apparently seized Novgorod and nearby districts (c.862). According to unreliable early accounts, they had been invited by the local Slavs. Rurik's successors founded the powerful Kievan state, which lasted until the 13th cent. The house of Rurik also came to rule the grand duchy of Moscow, and later all Russia, until the death of Feodor I in 1598.
More on Rurik from Infoplease:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Russian, Soviet, and CIS History: Biographies