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Article

«…и в Киеве мя посадилъ и отцемь мя назвалъ а я его сыном». Отцы и дети в династии Рюриковичей XII в.

The system of political succession in pre-Mongol Russia was that every prince, a descendant of Vladimir the Great in the male line, possessed the right to power, the right to land. The amount of power privileges during prince’s life was determined by rules of genealogical seniority, and only to a certain extent, by the personal qualities of the member of the dynasty himself. The combination of these factors made it possible to move up or down the hierarchical ladder. Under these conditions, some parameters of dynastic life are very substantial, not directly connected with either the position that member of the clan occupied in a “staircase” system by birth or his individual qualities. Since the time of Yaroslav’s the Wise heirs there was a peculiar discrimination against young princes who lost their fathers during the life of their grandfathers, and sometimes simply relatively early orphaned. On the other hand, adult Rurikids, who lost their sons or were childless, were appreciably infringed upon their dynastic rights. Although the right to rule of such Rurikid was not disputed, he virtually loses the ability to hold senior most prestigious thrones. Over time, the Rurikids started to produce special protective means aiming to protect the members of the clan from this kind of dynastic inferiority.