Oleksandr Palii, A History of Ukraine, 02.01.2018
One of the Antean princes involved in a campaign in the region of the Danube River was Kyi, a prince from the tribe of the Polans. The city of Kyiv, which he founded, was located on hills, which was convenient for defense. It stood at the crossroads of many trade routes between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, the Desna River etc.
Kyi, Shchek, Khoryv and Lybed, miniature from the Radziwiłł Chronicle
According to the Rus’ Primary Chronicle (an ancient Ukrainian chronicle), the three Polan princes — Kyi, Shchek and Khoryv initially founded three different fortresses (each his own fortress) on the Kyivan hills and later formed one city under the leadership of the eldest brother.
This occurred after the breakup of the Roman Empire into Eastern and Western (395 AD), approximately in the late 5th or early 6th century AD. Prince Kyi founded the city of Kyievets on the Danube.
According to the chronicle, Kyi was a fairly important prince and met personally with the Byzantine emperor.
The history of the three brothers and their founding of a city in “the land of Palun” (Scythia) was retold in Armenian sources in the 7th century AD.
Kyiv still has the Starokyivska, Shchekavytsia and Khoryvytsia hills. The Vikings were amazed at the large number of fortresses in Ukraine and called it Gardariki, “the realm of cities”.
The founders of Kyiv Kyi, Shchek, Khoryv and Their Sister Lybed, painting by Ivan Yizhakevych, 1907.
In the 11th century, Kyiv was the second largest city in Europe, after only Constantinople. It had a population of between 50,000 to 150,000 people, according to various sources.
The inhabitants of Rus’ had a somewhat higher standard of living than people in Western Europe, because at the time wealth was largely determined by the fertility of land and convenient trade routes.
All proper names associated with Kyiv that are found in ancient chronicles have distinctly Ukrainian sounds: Kyiv, Lybid, Pecherska lavra, Dovbychka, Uhorske urochyshche, etc.
Dancing men in masks and embroidered shirts, Ros river, 6th century