Kuyaba (Arabic: كويابة Kūyāba[1]) was one of the three centers of the Rus[1][2] or Saqaliba (early East Slavs) described in a lost book by Abu Zayd al-Balkhi (dating from ca. 920) and mentioned in works by some of his followers (Ibn Hawqal, Al-Istakhri, Hudud ul-'alam). The two other centers were Slawiya (Arabic: صلاوية Ṣ(a)lāwiya)[1][2] (tentatively identified with the land of Ilmen Slavs, see Rus' Khaganate) and Arthaniya (Arabic: ارثانية ’Arṯāniya) (not properly explained).[1][2]

For a region in Poland, see Kuyavia, Poland

Soviet historians such as Boris Grekov and Boris Rybakov hypothesized that "Kuyaba" was a mispronunciation of "Kiev". They theorized that Kuyaba had been a union of Slavic tribes in the middle course of the Dnieper River centered on Kiev (now in Ukraine).[3] Kuyaba, Slawiya, and Artaniya later merged to form the state of Kievan Rus', believed to include modern Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. This explanation has been adopted by modern Ukrainian historiography.

See also


  1. M. Th. Houtsma, ed. (1993). E. J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam: 1913-1936. Leiden: Brill. p. 1182. ISBN 90-04-09792-9.
  2. Duczko, Wladyslaw (2004). Viking Rus: studies on the presence of Scandinavians in Eastern Europe. Leiden: Brill. p. 123. ISBN 90-04-13874-9.
  3. Magocsi, Paul Robert (2010). A History of Ukraine: The Land and Its Peoples. University of Toronto Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-1-4426-1021-7.
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