Novgorod, which means “new town,” was the first and only Russian Republic. Founded as a trading port near the Baltic Sea in 859 A.D., it is considered the first city of the Rus people, and was their capital until 882 A.D. when Oleg moved the capital to Kiev.
During the Middle Ages, Novgorod grew so prosperous that was it was Russia’s second main city after Kiev. Novgorod controlled an enormous area as large as Sweden. Novgorod’s economy was based on Baltic sea trade, being a member of the Hansa Union of rich Baltic ports. It was situated on one of the main travel routes from Northern Europe to Rome and Constantinople.
During this era in history, Russia was divided into numerous princedoms which fought against each other. Novgorod supported Vladimir the Great of Kiev, who converted to Christianity in 988 A.D. Vladimir proceeded to have all KievanThis post was originally published on this site