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IVAN IV (THE TERRIBLE)

People List

BORN

MOSCOW/RUSSIA

LIVED

1530 - 1584


After the last ice age, the lands now known as Russia, began to be populated by tribes migrating from the south. Through time, cities grew, with each city, and the land around it, having its own ruler. In the early 9th Century, the Varancians from Scandinavia began attacking and capturing these cities. In 989, the Scandinavian, Vladmir I, became ruler of all the cities.

Although the Mongols invaded the area in 1233, they left the regional princes in control, under an agreement they paid for the privilege. The lands were then known as the Empire of the Golden Hoard.

Moscow became the strongest city in those lands. In 1480, Ivan III (The Great) of Moscow, ended the Mongol rule, then began taking control of the other cities. His son, Vasily III, married Yelena Glinskaya, a princess of Mongol origin. The first of their two sons was born August 25th 1530, the son that would become known as Ivan the Terrible.

When Ivan was three years old, his father died of an infection, leaving instructions for Ivan to become ruler when he reached the age of 15. The Boyars (members of the Russian Aristocracy) took control at that time. Ivan's mother managed to wrestle control from the Boyers with the intention of ruling until Ivan came of age. The death of his mother four years later, led Ivan to believe she had been poisoned by the Boyers.

The death of Ivan's mother allowed the Boyers to take complete control of the lands, using Ivan only to give people the impression the monarchy was still stable. The Boyers rule was cruel and unforgiving.

Growing up in that environment seemed to affect the young Ivan to an extent he began showing signs of Insanity, torturing and killing defenseless animals.

On January 16th 1547, Ivan was crowned Tsar (Emperor) of all Russia. On February 3rd 1547, he married the first of his seven wives, Zakharyina - Yurueva.

He soon improved life in Russia by making one law for the whole of the land, producing a list of crimes along with a list of punishments to go with each crime.

He also reformed the government before setting out to build the Russian Empire.

Ivan the Terrible image

Ivan the Terrible


In 1552, he led an army of 100,000 against the Mongols, capturing Kazan. In 1554, he captured another Mongol stronghold, Astrakhan, extending the Russian nation to the Caspian Sea, south of the Ural Mountains and into Siberia.

By 1558, Ivan had secured the Baltic seaport of Narva in Livonia and began trading with European countries. In 1560, when Ivan was still at war in Livonia, his wife Anastasia died of a lingering illness. Anastasia was his favorite wife. Her death seemed to effect him deeply as at that time, he began showing signs of insanity again.

The return of Ivan to Moscow saw the Boyars tortured and killed as he thought they had poisoned his wife. He had become paranoid, thinking everyone was trying to overthrow him.

To protect himself, Ivan founded the Oprichina, which became a separate police state. The Oprichiniki people began torturing and murdering anyone showing signs of treason. In 1570, the citizens of Novgorod were accused of treason. Although the case was not proven, Ivan had all the citizens massacred, he then ruled Russia by fear.

This time of internal fighting, allowed the Mongols and Poles to regain the land they had lost to Ivan. In 1581, when his eldest son said something to upset Ivan, he hit him on the temple with his staff, killing him.

Ivan died of a fever March 18th 1584. His remaining sons were soon murdered, allowing Michael Romanov to be elected Tsar. The Romanov Dynasty went on to rule Russia for the following 304 years.

In those days, Russia used mercury in cosmetics and medicine. It is unclear if women of that time were really being murdered, or if they were slowly poisoning themselves.

The Basilius cathedral situated in Red Square/Moscow, was built between 1555 and 1561. It was built on order of Ivan IV to commemorate the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan.

Basilius cathedral situated in Red Square/Moscow

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_IV_of_Russia People List