Vladimir the Great, the leader of Kievan Rus from 980 to 1015, was originally a pagan but sought to find another religion for his realm. After rejecting Catholicism and other religions, he chose Eastern Orthodox Christianity after the emissaries he sent to Constantinople were impressed with the splendors of what they saw. He later married Anna, the sister of the Byzantine ruler Basil II. The connection between Kiev and Byzantium provided advantages for Kievan Rus, as the connection brought Greek classics and learning to Rus and inspired the building of Orthodox churches in Rus. The Kievan rulers also adopted the Byzantine legal code. In addition, Rus had connections through marriage and other ties to Europe. The connection between Rus and Byzantium fostered trade between the two regions. This trade had existed before Vladimir's conversion, and it continued afterward, bringing goods from the Far East to Rus in exchange for items such as furs.