Ivan IV the Terrible
(1530-1584 biennium) – the Grand Duke of Moscow and “All Russia”, the first Russian king of the Rurik dynasty. He had a steep and unbridled temperament, the main idea of government was the strengthening of the autocracy and the strengthening of the centralization of the state. He carried out many reforms and during the 40-year reign turned Rus from a backward, fragmented country into a great power. With the elected Rada he abolished the feeding, completed the labial, conducted the zemstvo and other reforms, established the oprichnina, abolished the peasant way out on the Yuryev day. Under him, Kazan (1552) and Astrakhan (1556) khanates were conquered, Ermak’s campaign to Siberia was organized (1581), the development of book printing in Russia was started. He tried to gain access to the Baltic Sea, but failed, having lost the Livonian War (1558-83). He died in a political and economic crisis, the exact cause of death has not been established so far.
Ivan the Terrible became king in three years.
Ivan IV was the eldest son of Grand Duke Vasily III Ioannovich from the second marriage with Princess Elena Vasilyevna Glinskaya. His birth was greeted with great national joy, since the king had no children for more than 20 years. His father died in 1533, when Ivan was only 3 years old. He inherited the throne of the Grand Duke of Moscow. For 5 years, while the boy grew up and received education, his mother Elena was the regent of the state. In 1583 the mother died. After her death, around the throne, a power struggle broke out between the Boyar clans: the Shuiskys, Belskys and Klinskys. From the correspondence of the tsar: “We, with my only-born brother, who was deceased Georgi in the Base, began to be brought up as strangers or the last poor, then we suffered hardships in clothes and food.” At age 13, he tried to take the first step for his own approval, ordering to take into custody Prince Andrey Shuisky, and then to execute him. January 8, 1547 16-year-old Ivan was married to the kingdom, becoming the first king of “all Russia”. Perhaps because his childhood was spent in such intolerable conditions of the struggle for power, he became a cruel tyrant.
Mother of Ivan IV Elena Vasilievna died a violent death.
According to some assumptions, it could have been poisoned by hostile boyars. Spectral analysis of Elena Glinskaya’s hair showed an increased content of mercury, which again suggests thoughts of deliberate killing. However, perhaps another assumption: in those distant times, mercury was often added to the cosmetics of women and, accordingly, applied to the face. Perhaps this is what led to the death.
Ivan the Terrible was a mentally unbalanced man of a weak mind.
If the first can be agreed, then the second – a weak mind – can not be recognized. From childhood, he had a fast and flexible mind, which, of course, was distorted in the process of cruel childhood conditions. In his youth he already possessed advanced mental abilities, he was able to pronounce passionate, persuasive people’s speeches, which his contemporaries also noted. He remarkably owned oratory art, perhaps, was the best in it in Russia in the XIV century. In addition, he had an excellent memory and theological erudition. His great mind is also evidenced by extensive correspondence (for example, with Prince Kurbsky and Queen Elizabeth of England). He even wrote music and text from one of the church services.
Ivan the Terrible was a deeply religious person and wanted to make “the third Rome” from Moscow.
Here it is necessary to say about the strong influence on him of the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church Macarius. It was his goal to turn Moscow into a “third Rome”: “Two Romes fell, a third stands, and the fourth does not happen.” He gave young Ivan the idea of crowning the kingdom. Even the meaning of the word “king” comes from the word “Caesar” (abbreviated version). As a result, during the coronation, Ivan was not only proclaimed the tsar of “all Russia”, but also the heir of the Roman emperor and the secular ruler of the entire Christian world.In addition, the king’s confessor, the priest Sylvester, who also had considerable influence on him, inspired the young king with fear of God. However, falling into disgrace, he was deprived of rank and exiled to Solovki.
The young king’s first marriage was successful and long.
The king married the boyar daughter of Anastasia some time after the coronation. He chose a bride from 1500 beauties of Russia. This woman was extremely soft character and gave the young king all that he was deprived from childhood: the warmth of the family hearth, the joy of life, paternity, family happiness. They lived together for 13 years, during which six children were born, only two boys remained alive: Ivan and Fyodor, three girls and Dmitry’s son died. Ivan temperament went to his father, Fedor was weak and weak-willed. But this does not mean that the king was faithful to his wife, rather the opposite. The death of his wife strongly influenced Ivan IV, the loss of an expensive man stirred up the worst features in him and aggravated the unbalanced and rabid nature.
Anastasia – the first wife of the king, was killed.
According to some sources, Anastasia Romanovna often became ill and died before she reached the age of 30. Modern studies of burials have discovered the presence of mercury in the hair of this woman (as well as the mother of the king). Therefore, the question of the cause of death is just as ambivalent as in the study of the death of Elena Vasilievna. Perhaps the beloved wife of Ivan IV was poisoned with mercury chloride – mercuric chloride HgCl2, which is very soluble in drinks and was known to medicine of that time.
Ivan the Terrible captured the Kazan Khanate not from the first campaign.
Actually, three campaigns were undertaken. The first one (1547-1548) did not actually take place, as troops and artillery crossed the fledgling ice of the Volga River, as a result, most of the army and guns just went under the ice. The speech had to be stopped. But the war with the Kazan Khanate was inevitable, since the outgoing threat was too real. The second campaign (1549-1550) was more successful and the Russian troops reached Kazan, but the city itself could not be taken. During this campaign, the fortress of Sviyazhsk was laid, which later became the main military base. It took only 4 weeks to build it. The third campaign (June-October 1552) was the last one, which brought to the king the glory of the conqueror. It involved about 150 thousand people and 150 guns. It should be noted that the Russian artillery of that time was considered one of the strongest. Guns cast under Ivan the Terrible were used in many battles of the 15th and 17th centuries. This campaign ended with the capture of Kazan. About 60,000 Christians were freed from the polonium (according to some sources up to 100 thousand). And in 1556 the Astrakhan Khanate was conquered.
After the capture of Kazan, Ivan the Terrible ordered to build a cathedral.
After each successive victory in the conquest of the khanates, another church was erected on the square in the name of that saint, on whose day the victory was celebrated. After the conquest of the Kazan and Astrakhan khanates Ivan IV ordered to build in Moscow the famous Pokrovsky Cathedral (St. Basil’s Cathedral). Architects Barma and Postnik Yakovlev (perhaps it was the same person) erected on the same foundation of 8 temples around the central – the ninth. This 65-meter cathedral was the tallest building in Moscow at that time, holding the championship until the end of the 16th century. Another priceless creation was made in honor of the capture of Kazan – the famous crown of Ivan IV, decorated with rubies, turquoise, pearls with a magnificent unrestricted topaz in the center.
Ivan IV forced the people to choose between the power of the boyars and the king.
Dual power and permanent palace intrigues destroyed the country – the tsar saw it, but did not take any measures at first. The death of the first wife made him more harsh. At the end of 1564, when he suspected boyar treason, he ordered the Kremlin’s gold coffers and holy icons to be loaded into a sleigh and set off for the whole family in the Aleksandrovskaya Sloboda.On January 3, 1565, two letters were written to him: the first to the highest ecclesiastical hierarchs, which indicated that the boyars’ conspiracy does not give him the opportunity to lead the country, the second – to the people that the tsar does not get angry at people, giving them a decision. The choice was made and the higher ranks and church ministers went after Ivan IV with a request to return to the throne: “Let the king execute his own Likhodites: in the belly and death his will; but the kingdom does not remain without a head! “The result was the creation of an oprichnina by the tsar, which would allow the tsar to hold power in his hands.Then Ivan Grozny took all these events very hard.When he left for Aleksandrovskaya Sloboda by a strong willed person, he returned to Moscow in two months similar to old man, although he was 34.
The oprichniks were the main force of the king. It was a 6 thousand-strong army made up of the most devoted people to whom the king granted lands and in many ways freedom of action.The black riders were tied to the saddles of the head of dogs and a broom , symbolizing the tracing of traitors and the “sweeping away” of them from Russia.The core of the oprichnina was about 300 people forming a kind of brotherhood.The creation of the oprichnina always caused many disagreements among historians.On the one hand, they were people who committed arbitrariness, killing not only the perpetrators but also a lot of innocent people, on the other hand, it was these regiments that played the decisive role in repulsing the raids of Khan Diwlet-Girey, and also ruled the stern court of the Tsar over those who were unwanted, which in those grim times held back uncivilized Rus from the Troubles.
The disclosure of the Novgorod conspiracy led to the massacre of people.
In 1570 many of the ranks of Veliky Novgorod were accused of plotting, including the seal keeper Ivan Viskovaty and the treasurer Nikita Kurtsev. It was not the first wave of conspiracies. The tsar had no personal hatred of the city, just further events were politically necessary for him. As a result of the campaign against Novgorod, about half of the city’s population was killed. The executions were conducted publicly and very cruelly. People were skinned alive, cut off pieces, drowned in the river, put on a stake, etc. This cruel reprisal forced Rus to fear the tsar, which enabled him to hold power in his hands and carry out reforms, creating a powerful centralized state.
Ivan the Terrible had many wives, all of them did not die by their own death.
Ivan the Terrible had seven (according to some sources eight) wives, among whom the first lived the longest and was really loved by the king. Further marriages, it seems, either did not withstand the comparison with the first in the diseased brain, or were the result of a worsening mental state. The second marriage – with the daughter of the Kabardian prince Temryuk, Kucheny, who after the baptism took the name of Maria Temryukovna. She was young and beautiful, but had a very aggressive and cruel temper. Perhaps it was she who contributed to further damage to the character and morals of the king. In 1569, she fell ill and died, although according to some sources she was poisoned by boyars. The last fact does not confirm. The third wife, Marfa Sobakina, died a virgin about two weeks after the wedding. It was said that the queen was poisoned. However, modern studies of the poison in the remains have not revealed. Perhaps the poison was of plant origin. The fourth marriage was banned by the law of the church, but by a special decree the king was allowed to marry. A new wife was Anna Koltovskaya, who was an ardent opponent of oprichnina. Many executives of the oprichnina were executed or exiled at her. Perhaps, it was such interference in the affairs of the sovereign that led to the end of the marriage, which lasted less than a year (according to some sources, 3 years). The king sent his wife to the monastery under the name of Daria, where she died in 1627. The fifth marriage (according to Kostomarov’s research) with Maria Dolgorukaya lasted one day. Discovering that she was not a virgin, the king ordered her to drown her in a pond (this marriage usually does not appear in official sources).The sixth marriage with Anna Vasilchikova (1575) lasted several months, having fallen out of favor, she was exiled to a monastery. The seventh marriage – for love with the widow of the deacon Vasilisa Melentievna. Her husband was stabbed by order of Ivan the oprichnikom, so that there would be no obstacles to marriage. However, after she had looked too openly at the handsome man, the king sent her to a monastery, and ordered the poor man to be executed. And the last – the eighth marriage – with Maria Naga (1580). The wedding was played according to all laws, contrary to the permission of the church. It was her son, Tsarevich Dmitri, who died in Uglich. But in the sick brain the decision of a new marriage was already ripe, for strengthening of relations with the European countries. My wife was not needed and was sent to a monastery.
Ivan the Terrible killed his son.
Tsarevich Ivan, like his father, had more than one wife, and three. All his wives were disagreeable to his father. On Evdokia Saburova, the tsar married his son at the age of 18, after three years she was sent to a monastery, and her new bride, Praskeva Solovaya, was found, and soon the monastery was waiting for her. The third wife – Elena Sheremetyeva, most likely caused the discord between her son and father. According to some sources, Ivan IV beat her for an immodest dress, after which Elena had a miscarriage. Perhaps the king simply did not want this child, since her uncle had already been declared a traitor. The prince stood up for his wife and Ivan the Terrible in a fit of fury hit his son with a rod in the temple. The wound was serious, as a result of Prince Ivan died in 10 days. His death greatly shocked and horrified the king himself. He deeply regretted what he had done, and two years later he died.
Ivan the Terrible died of poisoning.
One of the mysteries of that time is the death of Ivan the Terrible himself. According to some sources, the tsar was strangled by Godunov and Belsky. This version is confirmed by the memories of foreigners and popular rumor. Modern research has only added new insights into the disclosure of the mystery. As it turned out, Ivan the terrible was sick with syphilis, the only remedy against which at that time was mercury. It was given in small doses to the sick. It is not known how much Ivan the Terrible could have taken for his life. Death caused by mercury is painful, and the dose causing such an outcome is very small – does not exceed 0.18 g.
Ivan the Terrible spread the borders of Russia.
Ivan IV expanded and united the Russian lands, created a centralized state, thanks to a clever policy and cruel terror. Having conquered Astrakhan, he pushed the southeastern borders of Russia to the Caspian Sea, conquered the Kazan lands and advanced the northern borders. They made the first, but unsuccessful attempt to reach the Baltic Sea.