Vladimir

956-1015. Prince of Kievan Russia responsible for the Christianization of Russia. He came to power about 980, after a civil war with his two brothers at a time when Russia was experiencing a pagan revival. The first Christian ruler of Russia was his grandmother, Olga (945-62), but her conversion does not seem to have made a significant impact on her subjects, and her son Sviatoslav did not adopt his mother's faith. According to legend, Vladimir investigated Judaism, Islam, and Western Christianity before adopting the Eastern Orthodox faith around 988. Two years later he proclaimed Christianity as the faith of his realm and ordered his subjects to be baptized. He was later canonized by the church and called “equal to the apostles” for his work in converting Russia. In addition, he is remembered as an able and successful ruler.