Romanov (or Romanoff), House of, the ruling family of Russia from 1613 until the revolution of 1917. Following the death of Czar Fyodor I in 1598, wealthy landowners and pretenders who claimed to be brothers of the dead czar disputed the throne. Poland intervened, and Polish troops occupied Moscow until they were ousted in 1612. A national assembly then met and chose as czar Michael Romanov, grandnephew of the first wife of Ivan the Terrible.
Under Michael Romanov and his descendants, Russia expanded westward and southward, and became a great European power. Peter the Great and Catherine II (the Great) were the most famous Romanovs. The dynasty ended with the abdication of Nicholas II in 1917 and the murder of the royal family the following year.