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A further requirement was that the title of grand prince must previously, at some time, have been held by the successful candidate's father.
In this way, various branches of the family were excluded from the succession.
Use of the title by Vladimirs descendants was confirmed when Prince Iaroslav Vsevolodich received the title "Grand Prince of Vladimir" from Khan Batu of the Golden Horde in 1243, in return for swearing allegiance.
In the present document, the rulers of Kiev are referred to as "Grand Prince" to indicate their position of supremacy over the other principalities and to reflect the fact that they appointed the rulers of these principalities from among the various members of their own family. In practice, the appointments were changed rapidly, giving little opportunity for any principality to develop its own hereditary leadership (except while the 1097 Liubech family accord was being observed).
This indicates an increasing, although still limited, number of immigrants tempted no doubt by trading opportunities, but Franklin & Shepard point out that it provides little evidence of organised government Chirovsky discusses the development of two theories concerning the origin of Russia: the "Normanistic" theory, developed by 18th century historians of German descent who supported a literal reading of the Primary Chronicle and emphasised Norse rule over the Slavs who were unable to rule themselves), and the "anti-Normanistic" theory, which posits the rapid assimilation of small groups of Norse immigrants into the local Slav community and is based on a broad interpretation of the Primary Chronicle.
The earliest generations of the so-called Rurikid family are reconstructed solely on the basis of the sparse information in the Povest' vremennykh let or 'Tale of the Years of Time', better known as the Primary Chronicle and also sometimes known as Nestors Chronicle, the extant manuscripts of the Primary Chronicle which date from the 12th century should not be taken at face value as they must have been compiled from patchy sources of information.However, there are still many gaps and uncertainties, particularly relating to the female members of the family.Iaroslav I's testament, referred to above, provided the basis for the tradition of succession to the title of Grand Prince of Kiev which, on the death of each grand prince, was inherited by the oldest surviving male member of each generation of the descendants of Iaroslav I's sons, passing from one branch to another before passing to the oldest member of the succeeding generation.The territorial integrity of the principality was soon fragmented as additional principalities were created for junior members of the ruling family.As Kiev's central authority declined in the 13th century, the line of the princes of Suzdal-Rostov assumed the role of "superior ruler", the focus of their political power transferring to the city of Vladimir and, in the 15th century, to Moscow.
Appointments to rule these principalities appear to have followed no particular pattern.