Kiev is one of the oldest cities of Eastern Europe and has played a pivotal role in the development of the medieval East Slavic civilization as well as in the modern Ukrainian nation.
It is believed that Kiev was founded in the late 9th century (some historians have wrongly referred to as 482 AD). The origin of the city is obscured by legends, one of which tells about a founding-family consisting of a Slavic tribe leader Kyi, the eldest, his brothers Shchek and Khoryv, and also their sister Lybid, who founded the city (The Primary Chronicle).
According to it the name Kyiv/Kiev means to "belong to Kyi". Some claim to find reference to the city in Ptolemy’s work as the Metropolity (the 2nd century).
Another legend states that Saint Andrew passed through the area and where he erected a cross, a church was built. Also since the Middle Ages an image of the Saint Michael represented the city as well as the duchy.
There is little historical evidence pertaining to the period when the city was founded.
Scattered Slavic settlements existed in the area from the 6th century, but it is unclear whether any of them later developed into the city. 8th-century fortifications were built upon a Slavic settlement apparently abandoned some decades before. It is still unclear whether these fortifications were built by the Slavs or the Khazars. If it was the Slavic peoples then it is also uncertain when Kiev fell under the rule of the Khazar empire or whether the city was, in fact, founded by the Khazars.
The Primary Chronicle (a main source of information about the early history of the area) mentions Slavic Kievans telling Askold and Dir that they live without a local ruler and pay a tribute to the Khazars in an event attributed to the 9th century.