Ivan The Terrible

(biography, photos, videos) Ivan IV Vasilyevich

picture of Ivan the terrible

  • Name: Ivan the terrible ( Ivan IV Vasilyevich )
  • Date of birth: 25 August 1530g.
  • Age: 53 years
  • Date of death: 28 March 1584
  • Place of birth: page Kolomenskoye, near Moscow
  • Height: 180
  • Activity: the First Russian Tsar, Grand Prince of Moscow and all Russia
  • Marital status: was married to Maria Nagaya

    Ivan the terrible: biography

    Ivan the terrible – first Tsar of all Russia, known for its barbaric and incredibly rigid methods of government. Despite this, his reign is considered significant for the state, which is due to foreign and domestic policy was terrible twice. The first Russian ruler was powerful and very angry monarch, but managed to achieve a lot in the international political arena, supporting in his state of total sole dictatorship, rich executions, opals and terror for any disobedience to the authorities.

    Born Ivan the terrible (Ivan IV Vasilyevich) on 25 August 1530 in Kolomenskoye village near Moscow in the family of Grand Prince Vasily III of Moscow and Lithuanian Princess Elena Glinskaya. He was the eldest son of my parents, therefore, became the first successor to the throne of the father which was to change in adulthood. But nominal Tsar of Russia, he had become 3 years of age, as Vasily III became seriously ill and died. After 5 years of a future king died and the mother, resulting in the 8 years he became fully orphaned.

    The young monarch’s childhood passed in an atmosphere of Palace coups, serious power struggles, intrigue and violence that made Ivan the terrible. Then, considering the throne is nothing uncomprehending child, the Trustees did not pay any attention to him, mercilessly killed his friends and kept the future king in poverty, up to the deprivation of food and clothing. It taught him the aggression and violence that is in his early years expressed the desire to torture animals, and in the future and the entire Russian people.

    In that period the country was ruled by the princes Shuisky and Belsky, a nobleman Mikhail Vorontsov and family of the future ruler’s maternal Glinsky. Their rule was marked by all Rus indiscriminate disposal of state property, which is very clearly understood Ivan the terrible. In 1543 he first showed guardians of his temper, ordered the killing of Andrei Shuisky. Then the boyars began to fear the king power over the country is fully concentrated in the hands Glinsky, who began by all means to please the heir, nurturing it animal instincts.

    While the future king a lot of time was devoted to self-education, read a lot of books that made him the most well-read ruler of those times. Then, being a powerless hostage to the temporal rulers, he hated the whole world, and his main idea was the complete and unrestricted power over people, which he placed above all laws of morality.

    Governance and reform

    In 1545, when Ivan the terrible came of age, he became a full king. His first political decision was the desire to be crowned, which gave him the right to the undivided heritage and traditions of the Orthodox faith. The Royal title became useful for the country’s foreign policy, as it allowed us to take a different position in diplomatic relations with Western Europe and Russia to claim the first place among European States.

    From the first days of the reign of Ivan the terrible, the country held a number of key changes and reforms that he has developed with the Elected Parliament, and in Russia began a period of autocracy, during which all power fell into the hands of one monarch.

    The next 10 years, the king of all Russia dedicated to the global reform – Ivan the terrible spent the Zemstvo reform, which established the estate-representative monarchy in the country, passed a new law that has tightened the rights of peasants and slaves, entered Cambridge reform pereraspredelitel powers of volatile and governors in favor of the nobility. In 1550 the Governor gave the «chosen» thousands of Moscow noblemen estates within 70 km from the Russian capital, and created the Streltsy army, which was armed with a firearm. The same period was marked by the enslavement of the peasants and a ban on entry into Russia of Jewish merchants.

    Foreign policy of Ivan the terrible in the first stage of the Board was full of many wars, which were quite successful. He personally participated in the campaigns and in 1552 took control of Kazan and Astrakhan, and then annexed to Russia a part of the Siberian land. In 1553 the monarch began to organize trade relations with England, and after 5 years entered the war with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which suffered a resounding defeat and lost part of the Russian lands.

    After losing the war Ivan the terrible began to blame someone for the defeat, broke off relations and legislative Elected Parliament and embarked on the path of autocracy, filled with repression, opals and executions of all who did not support his policies.


    The reign of Ivan the terrible in the second stage became even more brutal and bloody. In 1565, he introduced a special form of government, which Russia was divided into two parts – the oprichnina and zemshchina. The guardsmen who took the oath of allegiance to the king, fell under its full sovereignty and could not communicate with the district paying the lion’s share of their income to the monarch.

    The estates of the oprichnina thus gathered numerous army, which Ivan the terrible freed from responsibility. They were allowed to organize looting and riots forced the boyars, and in the case of resistance they were allowed to mercilessly torture and kill all who disagree with the Emperor.

    In 1571, when Russia invaded the Crimean Khan Devlet Giray, the oprichnina of Ivan the terrible demonstrated a complete incapacity to defend the state – the spoiled ruler of guardsmen simply did not go to war, and of all the large army of the king managed to collect only one regiment, which was unable to resist the army of the Crimean Khan. As a result, the Tsar abolished the oprichnina, stop killing people and even ordered to compile a memorial list of executed people, that the monasteries had given them souls.

    The end of the reign of Ivan the terrible were the collapse of the economy and resounding defeat in the Livonian war, which, according to historians, was his life. The monarch realized that ruling the country, he made a lot of mistakes not only in domestic, but also foreign policy, by the end of the Board was forced to repent of Ivan the terrible. During this period, he committed another bloody crime and in moments of rage accidentally killed his own son and the only possible heir Ivan Ivanovich. After this, the king completely desperate, and even wanted to leave the monastery.


    The death of the first Tsar of all Russia Ivan the terrible came on March 28, 1584 in Moscow. The Governor died in a game of chess from the proliferation of osteophytes, which has in recent years made him almost immobile. Nervous shock, unhealthy lifestyle and this is a serious illness made Ivan the terrible in his 53 years «decrepit» old man, what led to such an early death.

    Ivan the terrible was buried next to them killed his son Ivan in the Archangel Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin. After the funeral, the monarch began to appear rumors that the king died a violent and not natural death. Historians claim that Ivan the terrible was poisoned with poison Boris Godunov, who, after he became the ruler of Russia.

    The version of the poisoning the first monarch was tested in 1963 at the opening of the tombs of the kings, the researchers found the remains of a high arsenic content, so the murder of Ivan the terrible was not confirmed. The Rurik dynasty is completely broken, and the country began a time of Troubles.

    Personal life

    Personal life Ivan the terrible also saturated, as its Board. According to historians, the first king of all Rus ‘ had been married seven times. The first wife of the monarch was Anastasia Zakharyin-Yuriev, whom he married in 1547. More than 10 years of marriage, the Queen gave birth to six children, of whom survived only Ivan and Fedor.

    After Anastasia died in 1960, Ivan the terrible married the daughter of Kabardian Prince Maria Cherkasskaya. In the first year of marriage with the monarch’s second wife bore him a son, who died at the age of one month. The interest of Ivan the terrible to his wife disappeared, and after 8 years has died and Mary herself.

    The third wife of Ivan the terrible Maria Sobakina, the daughter of a nobleman of Kolomna. Their wedding took place in 1571. The third marriage of the king lasted only 15 days, Maria died for unknown reasons. After 6 months the king married again to Anna Koltovskaya. This marriage was childless, and after a year of family life his fourth wife, the king made a wife in a convent, where she died in 1626.

    The fifth wife of the ruler was Maria Dolgoruky, whom he drowned in the pond after the wedding night because he found out that his new wife was not a virgin. In 1975, he remarried to Anna Vasilchikova, who did not long remain the Queen as her predecessors suffered the same fate to be forcibly referred to the monastery, supposedly for betraying the king.

    The last, seventh wife of Ivan the terrible was Maria Nagaya, who married him in 1580. Two years later, the Queen gave birth to the Tsarevich Dmitry, who died at 9 years of age. Mary after her husband’s death the new king was exiled to Uglich and after forcibly tonsured a nun. She became a significant figure in Russian history as the mother of false short reign which fell on troubled times.


    Ivan The Terrible

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