Novgorod the Great is one of the most important historic cities in Russia. The Sofia First Chronicle makes initial mention of it in 859, while the Novgorod First Chronicle first mentions it in 862, when it was purportedly already a major Baltics to Byzantium station on the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks. The Charter of Veliky Novgorod recognizes 859 as the year when the city was first mentioned.
In 882, Rurik’s successor, Oleg of Novgorod, conquered Kiev and founded the state of Kievan Rus’. Novgorod’s size as well as its political, economic, and cultural influence made it the second most important city in Kievan Rus’. According to a custom, the elder son and heir of the ruling Kievan monarch was sent to rule Novgorod even as a minor. When the ruling monarch had no such son, Novgorod was governed by posadniks, such as the legendary Gostomysl, Dobrynya,Konstantin, and Ostromir.