He was, according to the Russian chronicles, the son of Rurik who had come to rule
Novgorod. After Rurik's death Igor was taken by his kinsman and protector,
Oleg, to Kyiv, where Oleg established the capital of the
Rus-Varangian control. He married in 903 Olga, a
Scandinavian princess brought from Pskov. Their son was
Svyatoslav. They are shown on this family
chart. On Oleg's death in 913 Igor began to rule the
Slavic-Rus- Varangian principality. The main activity of the Varangian rulers
was collecting tribute from the Slavic villagers. And they were also eagerly
establishing trading and raiding campaigns down the Dniper as far as Byzantium
and the Caucasus.
More rebellions occurred when imported Nordic princes paid more attention to
collecting tribute from the people than to creating order and defending them
from nomad tribes, which by now often carried out sudden attacks from the
south-east. The animosity of the local population towards "Eternal
wanderers," as they sometimes called their Nordic rulers in the beginning
because they often changed their thrones looking for more rewarding ones,
culminated in the assassination of Prince Igor. The Veche of the
"Drevlian" tribe found that he exaggerated when he imposed very high
tribute and did very little for the people and decided to kill him. (At the
death Oleg Prince Igor' was faced with a resurgence of independence among the
conquered tribes such as the Drevliane and he quelled the insurgents and then
extracted from them an even greater tribute. The Drevliane abided by their
Prince until his greed and that of his brazen entourage forced their hand. He
was captured alone and tied to two tree trunks which had been forcefully bent
down by the furious tribesmen and split into two). The decision was promptly
executed but very dearly paid for when later Olga, Igor's wife and acting
regent sent two punitive expeditions which decimated the "Drevlian"
population. Igor also launched campaigns against Byzantium that resulted in
important trade treaties between the Greeks and Rus. He also sent campaigns
into the Caucasus - Caspian Sea area.
913 AD - Igor becomes prince of Kyiv.
914 AD Igor attacks Derevlians and imposes larger tribute.
915 AD - Pechenegs arrive from Asia across the steppe and establish peaceful
relations at first. They campaign into Balkans to Danube.
916 AD - Pecheneg return from Danube. Igor begins war against them. Meanwhile
the Bulgarians and Byzantines are at war in Thrace.
921-29 AD - Bulgarians attack Byzantium and Macedonia.
930-34 AD - Magyars attack Byzantium and Thrace.
935-41 AD - Igor attacks Byzantium by sea. His Rus army loots Asia Minor
regions but it eventually defeated by Byzantine navy using "Greek
944 AD - Russian Chronicles note another campaign by Igor to Danube. But
historians now doubt this took place.
945 AD - While on another tribute gathering campaign against the Derevlians,
Igor is killed at Iskorosten.