Kyi, Scheck, Khoryv, and Lybid

VII pageKyivan RusPrincely times Princes and Princesses

Kyi, Scheck, Khoryv, and Lybid– the legendary founders of Kyiv.

Kyi was the Polianian Prince, the eldest of three brothers (Kyi, Scheck, and Khoryv, their sister Lybid is mentioned sometimes), who, according to a chronicle legend, built a city over the Dnipro River and named it Kyiv in honour of the eldest brother. The Tale of Bygone Years gives another legend as well (but the chronicler rejects it as unlikely), according to which Kyi was a ferryman on the Dnipro. The veracity of the real existence of Kyi and his family is proved by mentions in the work of the 7 th-century Armenian annalist Zenob Glak of “the Paluni” (Polianians) and their rulers “Kuar, Meltey and Khorean” (Kyi, Shcheck, and Khoryv), and also excerpts from Byzantine chronicles about “the prince of the Huns” named Kuver or Kuvrat. The historian M. Braichevsky, who combined information from these sources with scanty materials from chronicles, suggested that at the turn of the 7 th c. Kyi was in a military alliance with Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, directed against nomadic Turkic tribe of the Avars (mentioned in The Tale of Bygone Years as “obry”). According to M. Braichevsky, Kyi’s state united the territories of contemporary Ukraine from the Right Bank of the Dnipro to the Carpathians (and, may be, Transcarpathia).

Kyivan annalists also derived the Polianians tribe from Kyi and his brothers. The Polish historian Jan Dlugosz (15 th c.), who widely used Ukrainian chronicles that did not survive to the present, gave the compilation, in which the Kyiv dynasty, including Askold and Dir, was represented as direct descendants of Kyi and his brothers.