Roden or Rodnia [Родень or Родня; Roden’ or Rodnja]. A fortified city on the hill called Kniazha Hora, near the mouth of the Ros River, south of Kaniv. According to archeological excavations Roden was founded in the 7th or 8th century. It is mentioned in the Primary Chronicle in 980 as the place where the Kyivan prince Volodymyr the Great besieged his brother, Yaropolk I Sviatoslavych. Roden reached its economic and cultural zenith in the 11th and 12th centuries, when it was no longer simply a fortress against nomadic attacks, but also an important center of artisanship and trade. It consisted of a central castle with trade and market districts, encircled by fortified walls and moats. Excavations have unearthed wooden and clay dwellings, work implements, weapons (spear- and arrowheads, swords, sabers), and ornaments (diadems, rings, bracelets, earrings). Roden was destroyed during the Tatar invasions of the 1240s and was not rebuilt. Excavations on the site of the city were conducted by Mykola Biliashivsky in 1891 and by an expedition from Kyiv University headed by Halyna Mezentseva in 1958–65. A monograph about Roden by H. Mezentseva was published in Kyiv in 1968.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]