Ivan IV Vasilyevich (/ˈaɪvən/; Russian: Ива́н Васи́льевич, tr. Ivan Vasilyevich; 25 August 1530 – 28 March [O.S. 18 March] 1584), commonly known as Ivan the Terrible (Russian: Ива́н Гро́зный (help·info), Ivan Grozny; "Ivan the Formidable" or "Ivan the Fearsome"), was the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547 and the first Tsar of Russia from 1547 to 1584.
Ivan was the crown prince of Vasili III, the Rurikid ruler of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, and was appointed Grand Prince at three years-old after his father's death. Ivan was proclaimed Tsar (Emperor) of All Rus' in 1547 at the age of seventeen, establishing the Tsardom of Russia with Moscow as the predominant state. Ivan's reign was characterized by Russia's transformation from a medieval state into an empire under the Tsar, though at immense cost to its people and its broader, long-term economy. Ivan conquered the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan and Sibir, with Russia becoming a multiethnic and multicontinental state spanning approximately 4,050,000 km2 (1,560,000 sq mi), developing a bureaucracy to administer the new territories. Ivan triggered the Livonian War, which ravaged Russia and resulted in the loss of Livonia and Ingria, but allowed him to exercise greater autocratic control over the Russia's nobility, which he violently purged in the Oprichnina. Ivan was an able diplomat, a patron of arts and trade, and the founder of Russia's first publishing house, the Moscow Print Yard. Ivan was popular among Russia's commoners (see Ivan the Terrible in Russian folklore) except for the people of Novgorod and surrounding areas who were subject to the Massacre of Novgorod.
Historic sources present disparate accounts of Ivan's complex personality: he was described as intelligent and devout, but also prone to paranoia, rages, and episodic outbreaks of mental instability that increased with age.  Ivan is popularly believed to have killed his eldest son and heir Ivan Ivanovich and the latter's unborn son during his outbursts, which left the politically ineffectual Feodor Ivanovich to inherit the throne, whose rule directly led to the end of the Rurikid dynasty and the beginning of the Time of Troubles.
|Tsar of Russia|
|Reign||16 January 1547 – 28 March 1584|
|Coronation||16 January 1547|
|Grand Prince of Moscow|
|Reign||3 December 1533 – 16 January 1547|
|Successor||Himself as Tsar of Russia|
|Born||25 August 1530|
Kolomenskoye, Grand Duchy of Moscow
|Died||28 March [O.S. 18 March] 1584 |
Moscow, Tsardom of Russia
Cathedral of the Archangel, Moscow
|Father||Vasili III of Russia|
The English word terrible is usually used to translate the Russian word grozny in Ivan's nickname, but this is a somewhat archaic translation. The Russian word grozny reflects the older English usage of terrible as in "inspiring fear or terror; dangerous; powerful; formidable". It does not convey the more modern connotations of English terrible, such as "defective" or "evil". Vladimir Dal defines grozny specifically in archaic usage and as an epithet for tsars: "courageous, magnificent, magisterial and keeping enemies in fear, but people in obedience". Other translations have also been suggested by modern scholars.
Ivan was the first son of Vasili III and his second wife, Elena Glinskaya, who was of half Serbian and half Lipka Tatar descent, the Glinski clan (nobles based in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) claiming descent from the Mongol ruler Mamai (1335–1380.) When Ivan was three years old, his father died from an abscess and inflammation on his leg that developed into blood poisoning. Ivan was proclaimed the Grand Prince of Moscow at the request of his father. His mother Elena Glinskaya initially acted as regent, but she died of what many believe to be assassination by poison, in 1538 when Ivan was only eight years old. The regency then alternated between several feuding boyar families fighting for control. According to his own letters, Ivan, along with his younger brother Yuri, often felt neglected and offended by the mighty boyars from the Shuisky and Belsky families. In a letter to Prince Kurbski Ivan remembers, "My brother Iurii, of blessed memory, and me they brought up like vagrants and children of the poorest. What have I suffered for want of garments and food!! " It should be noted, however, that the historian Edward L Keenan has presented compelling reasons to doubt the authenticity of the source in which these quotes are found.
On 16 January 1547, at age sixteen, Ivan was crowned with Monomakh's Cap at the Cathedral of the Dormition. He was the first to be crowned as "Tsar of All the Russias", hence claiming the ancestry of Kievan Rus'. Prior to that, rulers of Muscovy were crowned as Grand Princes, although Ivan III the Great, his grandfather, styled himself "tsar" in his correspondence. Two weeks after his coronation, Ivan married his first wife Anastasia Romanovna, a member of the Romanov family, who became the first Russian tsaritsa.
By being crowned Tsar, Ivan was sending a message to the world and to Russia: he was now the only supreme ruler of the country, and his will was not to be questioned. "The new title symbolized an assumption of powers equivalent and parallel to those held by former Byzantine Emperor and the Tatar Khan, both known in Russian sources as Tsar. The political effect was to elevate Ivan's position." The new title not only secured the throne, but it also granted Ivan a new dimension of power, one intimately tied to religion. He was now a "divine" leader appointed to enact God's will, as "church texts described Old Testament kings as 'Tsars' and Christ as the Heavenly Tsar." The newly appointed title was then passed on from generation to generation: "succeeding Muscovite rulers ... benefited from the divine nature of the power of the Russian monarch ... crystallized during Ivan's reign."
Despite calamities triggered by the Great Fire of 1547, the early part of Ivan's reign was one of peaceful reforms and modernization. Ivan revised the law code, creating the Sudebnik of 1550, founded a standing army (the streltsy), established the Zemsky Sobor (the first Russian parliament of the feudal Estates type) and the council of the nobles (known as the Chosen Council), and confirmed the position of the Church with the Council of the Hundred Chapters (Stoglavy Synod), which unified the rituals and ecclesiastical regulations of the whole country. He introduced local self-government to rural regions, mainly in the northeast of Russia, populated by the state peasantry.
By Ivan's order in 1553 the Moscow Print Yard was established and the first printing press was introduced to Russia. Several religious books in Russian were printed during the 1550s and 1560s. The new technology provoked discontent among traditional scribes, leading to the Print Yard being burned in an arson attack. The first Russian printers, Ivan Fedorov and Pyotr Mstislavets, were forced to flee from Moscow to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Nevertheless, printing of books resumed from 1568 onwards, with Andronik Timofeevich Nevezha and his son Ivan now heading the Print Yard.
Ivan had St. Basil's Cathedral constructed in Moscow to commemorate the seizure of Kazan. There is a false legend that he was so impressed with the structure that he had the architect, Postnik Yakovlev, blinded so that he could never design anything as beautiful again. In reality, Postnik Yakovlev went on to design more churches for Ivan and the walls of the Kazan Kremlin in the early 1560s, as well as the chapel over St. Basil's grave that was added to St. Basil's Cathedral in 1588, several years after Ivan's death. Although more than one architect was associated with this name and constructions, it is believed that the principal architect is one and the same person.
Other events of this period include the introduction of the first laws restricting the mobility of the peasants, which would eventually lead to serfdom, instituted during the rule of future tsar Boris Godunov in 1597. (See also Serfdom in Russia.)
The 1560s brought hardships to Russia that led to a dramatic change of Ivan's policies. Russia was devastated by a combination of drought and famine, unsuccessful wars against the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Tatar invasions and the sea-trading blockade carried out by the Swedes, Poles and the Hanseatic League. His first wife, Anastasia Romanovna, died in 1560, and her death was suspected to be a poisoning. This personal tragedy deeply hurt Ivan and it is thought to have affected his personality, if not his mental health. At the same time, one of Ivan's advisors, Prince Andrei Kurbsky, defected to the Lithuanians, took command of the Lithuanian troops and devastated the Russian region of Velikiye Luki. This series of treasons made Ivan paranoically suspicious of nobility.
On 3 December 1564, Ivan departed Moscow for Aleksandrova Sloboda. From there he sent two letters in which he announced his abdication because of the alleged embezzlement and treason of the aristocracy and clergy. The boyar court was unable to rule in Ivan's absence and feared the wrath of the Muscovite citizenry. A boyar envoy departed for Aleksandrova Sloboda to beg Ivan to return to the throne. Ivan agreed to return on condition of being granted absolute power (see Absolute monarchy). He demanded that he should be able to execute and confiscate the estates of traitors without interference from the boyar council or church. Upon this, Ivan decreed the creation of the oprichnina.
The oprichnina consisted of a separate territory within the borders of Russia, mostly in the territory of the former Novgorod Republic in the north. Ivan held exclusive power over the oprichnina territory. The Boyar Council ruled the zemshchina ('land'), the second division of the state. Ivan also recruited a personal guard known as the Oprichniki. Originally it was a thousand strong. The oprichniki were headed by Malyuta Skuratov. One known oprichnik was the German adventurer Heinrich von Staden. The oprichniki enjoyed social and economic privileges under the oprichnina. They owed their allegiance and status to Ivan, not to heredity or local bonds.
The first wave of persecutions targeted primarily the princely clans of Russia, notably the influential families of Suzdal. Ivan executed, exiled or forcibly tonsured prominent members of the boyar clans on questionable accusations of conspiracy. Among those executed were the Metropolitan Philip and the prominent warlord Alexander Gorbaty-Shuisky. In 1566 Ivan extended the oprichnina to eight central districts. Of the 12,000 nobles there, 570 became oprichniks, and the rest were expelled.
Under the new political system, the Oprichniki were given large estates, but unlike the previous landlords, could not be held accountable for their actions. These men "took virtually all the peasants possessed, forcing them to pay 'in one year as much as [they] used to pay in ten.'" This degree of oppression resulted in increasing cases of peasants fleeing, which in turn led to a drop in the overall production. The price of grain increased by a factor of ten.
Conditions under the Oprichnina were worsened by the 1570 epidemic, a plague that killed 10,000 people in Novgorod, and 600–1,000 daily in Moscow. During the grim conditions of the epidemic, and a famine along with the ongoing Livonian War, Ivan grew suspicious that noblemen of the wealthy city of Novgorod were planning to defect, placing the city itself into the control of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1570 Ivan ordered the Oprichniki to raid the city. The Oprichniki burned and pillaged Novgorod and the surrounding villages, and the city was never to regain its former prominence.
Casualty figures vary greatly from different sources. The First Pskov Chronicle estimates the number of victims at 60,000. According to the Third Novgorod Chronicle, the massacre lasted for five weeks. The massacre of Novgorod consisted of men, women and children that were tied to sleighs, then run into the freezing waters of the Volkhov River, which Ivan ordered on the basis of unproved accusations of treason. He then tortured its inhabitants and killed thousands in a pogrom; the archbishop was also hunted to death. Almost every day 500 or 600 people were killed or drowned. Yet the official death toll named 1,500 of Novgorod's big people (nobility) and mentioned only about the same number of smaller people. Many modern researchers estimate the number of victims to range from 2,000–3,000 (after the famine and epidemics of the 1560s the population of Novgorod most likely did not exceed 10,000–20,000). Many survivors were deported elsewhere.
The Oprichnina did not live long after the sack of Novgorod. During the 1571–72 Russo-Crimean war, oprichniks failed to prove themselves worthy against a regular army. In 1572, Ivan abolished the Oprichnina and disbanded his oprichniks.
In 1547, Hans Schlitte, the agent of Ivan, recruited craftsmen in Germany for work in Russia. However, all these craftsmen were arrested in Lübeck at the request of Poland and Livonia. The German merchant companies ignored the new port built by Ivan on the River Narva in 1550 and continued to deliver goods in the Baltic ports owned by Livonia. Russia remained isolated from sea trade.
Ivan established close ties with the Kingdom of England. Russo-English relations can be traced to 1551, when the Muscovy Company was formed by Richard Chancellor, Sebastian Cabot, Sir Hugh Willoughby and several London merchants. In 1553, Richard Chancellor sailed to the White Sea and continued overland to Moscow, where he visited Ivan's court. Ivan opened up the White Sea and the port of Arkhangelsk to the Company and granted the Company privilege of trading throughout his reign without paying the standard customs fees. Muscovy Company retained the monopoly in Russo-English trade until 1698.
With the use of English merchants, Ivan engaged in a long correspondence with Elizabeth I of England. While the queen focused on commerce, Ivan was more interested in a military alliance. During his troubled relations with the boyars, the tsar even asked her for a guarantee to be granted asylum in England should his rule be jeopardized. Elizabeth agreed on condition that he provided for himself during his stay.
Ivan IV corresponded with overseas Orthodox leaders. In response to a letter of Patriarch Joachim of Alexandria asking the Tsar for financial assistance for the Saint Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula, which had suffered from the Turks, Ivan IV sent in 1558 a delegation to Egypt Eyalet by archdeacon Gennady, who, however, died in Constantinople before he could reach Egypt. From then on the embassy was headed by Smolensk merchant Vasily Poznyakov. Poznyakov's delegation visited Alexandria, Cairo and Sinai, brought the patriarch a fur coat and an icon sent by the Tsar and left an interesting account of its 2½ years of travels.
While Ivan IV was a child, armies of the Kazan Khanate repeatedly raided the northeast of Russia. In the 1530s the Crimean khan formed an offensive alliance with Safa Giray of Kazan, his relative. When Safa Giray invaded Muscovy in December 1540, the Russians used Qasim Tatars to contain him. After his advance was stalled near Murom, Safa Giray was forced to withdraw to his own borders.
These reverses undermined Safa Giray's authority in Kazan. A pro-Russian party, represented by Shahgali, gained enough popular support to make several attempts to take over the Kazan throne. In 1545 Ivan IV mounted an expedition to the River Volga to show his support for pro-Russian factions.
In 1551 the tsar sent his envoy to the Nogai Horde and they promised to maintain neutrality during the impending war. The Ar begs and Udmurts submitted to Russian authority as well. In 1551 the wooden fort of Sviyazhsk was transported down the Volga from Uglich all the way to Kazan. It was used as the Russian place d'armes during the decisive campaign of 1552.
On 16 June 1552 Ivan IV led a 150,000-strong Russian army towards Kazan. The last siege of the Tatar capital commenced on 30 August. Under the supervision of Prince Alexander Gorbaty-Shuisky, the Russians used battering rams and a siege tower, undermining and 150 cannons. The Russians also had the advantage of efficient military engineers. The city's water supply was blocked and the walls were breached. Kazan finally fell on 2 October, its fortifications were razed, and much of the population massacred. About 60,000–100,000 Russian prisoners and slaves were released. The Tsar celebrated his victory over Kazan by building several churches with oriental features, most famously Saint Basil's Cathedral on Red Square in Moscow.
The fall of Kazan had as its primary effect the outright annexation of the Middle Volga. The Bashkirs accepted Ivan IV's authority two years later. In 1556 Ivan annexed the Astrakhan Khanate, destroyed the largest slave market on the Volga, and had a new fortress built on a steep hill overlooking the river. These conquests complicated the migration of the aggressive nomadic hordes from Asia to Europe through Volga. As a result of the Kazan campaigns, Muscovy was transformed into the multinational and multi-faith state of Russia.
In 1568, the Grand Vizier Sokollu Mehmet Paşa, who was the real power in the administration of the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Selim, initiated the first encounter between the Ottoman Empire and her future northern rival. The results presaged the many disasters to come. A plan to unite the Volga and Don by a canal was detailed in Constantinople. In the summer of 1569 a large force under Kasim Paşa of 1,500 Janissaries, 2,000 Spakhs, and few thousand Azaps and Akıncıs were sent to lay siege to Astrakhan and begin the canal works, while an Ottoman fleet besieged Azov.
Early in 1570, Ivan's ambassadors concluded a treaty at Constantinople that restored friendly relations between the Sultan and the Tsar.
In 1558 Ivan launched the Livonian War in an attempt to gain access to the Baltic Sea and its major trade routes. The war ultimately proved unsuccessful, stretching on for 24 years and engaging the Kingdom of Sweden, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Teutonic Knights of Livonia. The prolonged war had nearly destroyed the economy, while the Oprichnina had thoroughly disrupted the government. Meanwhile, the Union of Lublin had united the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Kingdom of Poland, and the Commonwealth acquired an energetic leader, Stefan Batory, who was supported by Russia's southern enemy, the Ottoman Empire. Ivan's realm was being squeezed by two of the great powers of the time.
After rejected peace proposals from his enemies, Ivan IV found himself in a difficult position by 1579. The displaced refugees fleeing the war compounded the effects of the simultaneous drought, and exacerbated war engendered epidemics, causing much loss of life.
Batory then launched a series of offensives against Muscovy in the campaign seasons of 1579–81, trying to cut the Kingdom of Livonia from Muscovite territories. During his first offensive in 1579, he retook Polotsk with 22,000 men. During the second, in 1580, he took Velikie Luki with a 29,000-strong force. Finally, he began the Siege of Pskov in 1581 with a 100,000-strong army. Narva in Estonia was reconquered by Sweden in 1581.
Unlike Sweden and Poland, Denmark under Frederick II had trouble continuing the fight against Muscovy. He came to an agreement with John III of Sweden, in 1580, transferring the Danish titles of Livonia to John III. Muscovy recognized Polish–Lithuanian control of Livonia only in 1582. After Magnus von Lyffland, brother of Fredrick II and former ally of Ivan, died in 1583, Poland invaded his territories in the Duchy of Courland, and Frederick II decided to sell his rights of inheritance. Except for the island of Saaremaa, Denmark was out of the Baltic by 1585.
In the later years of Ivan's reign, the southern borders of Muscovy were disturbed by Crimean Tatars. Their main purpose was the capture of slaves. (see also Slavery in the Ottoman Empire.) Khan Devlet I Giray of Crimea repeatedly raided the Moscow region. In 1571, the 40,000-strong Crimean and Turkish army launched a large-scale raid. Due to the ongoing Livonian War, Moscow's garrison was as small as 6,000, and could not even delay the Tatar approach. Unresisted, Devlet devastated unprotected towns and villages around Moscow and caused the 1571 Fire of Moscow. Historians estimate the number of casualties of the fire from 10,000 to as many 80,000 people.
To buy peace from Devlet Giray, Ivan was forced to relinquish his claims on Astrakhan in favor of the Crimean Khanate (although this proposed transfer was only a diplomatic maneuver and was never actually completed). This defeat angered Ivan. Between 1571 and 1572, preparations were made upon his orders. In addition to Zasechnaya cherta, innovative fortifications were set beyond the River Oka that defined the border.
The following year, Devlet launched another raid on Moscow, now with a 120,000-strong horde, equipped with cannons and reinforced by Turkish janissaries. On 26 July 1572, the horde crossed the River Oka near Serpukhov, destroyed the Russian vanguard of 200 noblemen and advanced towards Moscow.
The Russian army, led by Prince Mikhail Vorotynsky, was half the size, estimated at between 60,000–70,000 men; yet it was an experienced streltsi army, equipped with modern firearms and gulyay-gorods. On 30 July the armies clashed near the River Lopasnya in what would be known as the Battle of Molodi, which continued for more than a week. The outcome was a decisive Russian victory. The Crimean horde was defeated so thoroughly that both the Ottoman Sultan and the Crimean khan, his vassal, had to give up their ambitious plans of northward expansion into Russia.
During Ivan's reign, Russia started a large-scale exploration and colonization of Siberia. In 1555, shortly after the conquest of Kazan, the Siberian khan Yadegar and the Nogai Horde under Khan Ismail pledged their allegiance to Ivan, in hope that he would help them against their opponents. However, Yadegar failed to gather the full sum of tribute he proposed to the tsar, so Ivan did nothing to save his inefficient vassal. In 1563 Yadegar was overthrown and killed by Khan Kuchum, who denied any tribute to Moscow.
In 1558 Ivan gave the Stroganov merchant family the patent for colonising "the abundant region along the Kama River", and in 1574, lands over the Ural Mountains along the rivers Tura and Tobol. They also received permission to build forts along the Ob and Irtysh rivers. Around 1577, the Stroganovs engaged the Cossack leader Yermak Timofeyevich to protect their lands from attacks of the Siberian Khan Kuchum.
In 1580 Yermak started his conquest of Siberia. With some 540 Cossacks, he started to penetrate territories that were tributary to Kuchum. Yermak pressured and persuaded the various family-based tribes to change their loyalties and become tributaries of Russia. Some agreed voluntarily, under better terms than with Kuchum; others were forced. He also established distant forts in the newly conquered lands. The campaign was successful, and the Cossacks managed to defeat the Siberian army in the Battle of Chuvash Cape, but Yermak was still in need for reinforcements. He sent an envoy to Ivan the Terrible, with a message that proclaimed Yermak-conquered Siberia a part of Russia, to the dismay of the Stroganovs, who had planned to keep Siberia for themselves. Ivan agreed to reinforce the Cossacks with his streltsi. Yermak's conquest expanded Ivan's empire to the east and allowed him to style himself "Tsar of Siberia" in the tsar's very last years.
In 1581 Ivan beat his pregnant daughter-in-law (Yelena Sheremeteva) for wearing immodest clothing, and this may have caused a miscarriage. His second son, also named Ivan, upon learning of this, engaged in a heated argument with his father, resulting in Ivan's striking his son in the head with his pointed staff, fatally wounding him. This event is depicted in the famous painting by Ilya Repin, Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan on Friday, 16 November 1581 better known as Ivan the Terrible killing his son.
Ivan was a poet, a composer of considerable talent, and supported the arts. His Orthodox liturgical hymn, "Stichiron No. 1 in Honor of St. Peter", and fragments of his letters were put into music by Soviet composer Rodion Shchedrin. The recording, the first Soviet-produced CD, was released in 1988, marking the millennium of Christianity in Russia.
D.S. Mirsky called Ivan "a pamphleteer of genius". These letters are often the only existing source on Ivan's personality and provide crucial information on his reign, but Harvard professor Edward Keenan has argued that these letters are 17th-century forgeries. This contention, however, has not been widely accepted, and most other scholars, such as John Fennell and Ruslan Skrynnikov continued to argue for their authenticity. Recent archival discoveries of 16th-century copies of the letters strengthen the argument for their authenticity.
Ivan was a devoted follower of Christian Orthodoxy and placed the most emphasis on defending the divine right of the ruler to unlimited power under God. Some scholars explain the sadistic and brutal deeds of Ivan the Terrible with the religious concepts of the 16th century, which included drowning and roasting people alive or torturing victims with boiling or freezing water, corresponding to the torments of Hell, consistent with Ivan's view of being God's representative on Earth with a sacred right and duty to punish. He may also have been inspired by the model of Archangel Michael with the idea of divine punishment.
Ivan died from a stroke while playing chess with Bogdan Belsky on 28 March [O.S. 18 March] 1584. Upon Ivan's death, the Russian throne was left to his unfit middle son Feodor. Feodor died childless in 1598, ushering in the Time of Troubles.
Little is known about Ivan's appearance, as virtually all existing portraits were made after his death and contain uncertain amounts of artist's impression. In 1567, ambassador Daniel Prinz von Buchau described Ivan as follows: "He is tall, stout and full of energy. His eyes are big, observing and restless. His beard is reddish-black, long and thick, but most other hairs on his head are shaved off according to the Russian habits of the time".
According to Ivan Katyryov-Rostovsky, the son-in-law of Michael I of Russia, Ivan had an unpleasant face, with a long and crooked nose. He was tall and athletically built, with broad shoulders and narrow waist.
In 1963, the graves of Ivan and his sons were excavated and examined by Soviet scientists. Chemical and structural analysis of his remains disproved earlier suggestions that Ivan suffered from syphilis, or that he was poisoned by arsenic or strangled. At the time of his death he was 178 cm tall and weighed 85–90 kg. His body was rather asymmetrical and had a large amount of osteophytes uncharacteristic of his age; it also contained excessive concentration of mercury. Researchers concluded that while Ivan was athletically built in his youth, in his last years he had developed various bone diseases and could barely move. They attributed the high mercury content in his body to the use of ointments for joints healing.
Ivan completely altered Russia's governmental structure, establishing the character of modern Russian political organisation. Ivan's creation of the Oprichnina, answerable only to him, not only afforded him personal protection but curtailed the traditional powers and rights of the boyars. Henceforth, Tsarist autocracy and despotism would lie at the heart of the Russian state. Ivan bypassed the Mestnichestvo system and offered positions of power to his supporters among the minor gentry. The Empire's local administration combined both locally and centrally appointed officials; the system proved durable and practical, and sufficiently flexible to tolerate later modification.
Ivan's expedition against Poland failed at a military level, but it helped extend Russia's trade, political and cultural links with Europe; Peter the Great built on these connections in his bid to make Russia a major European power. At Ivan's death, the empire encompassed the Caspian to the southwest, and Western Siberia to the east. Southwards, his conquests ignited several conflicts with expansionist Turkey, whose territories were thus confined to the Balkans and the Black Sea regions.
Ivan's management of Russia's economy proved disastrous, both in his lifetime and after. He had inherited a government in debt, and in an effort to raise more revenue for his expansionist wars, he instituted a series of increasingly unpopular and burdensome taxes. Successive wars drained Russia of manpower and resources, bringing it "to the brink of ruin". After Ivan's death, his empire's nearly ruined economy contributed to the decline of his own Rurik Dynasty, leading to the "Time of Troubles".
Ivan's notorious outbursts and autocratic whims helped characterise the position of Tsar as one accountable to no earthly authority, only to God. Tsarist absolutism faced few serious challenges until the late 19th century. Ivan's legacy was manipulated by Communist Russia as a potential focus for nationalist pride; his image became closely associated with the personality cult of Joseph Stalin. While early Soviet, Marxist–Leninist historiography "attached greater significance to socio-economic forces than to political history and the role of individuals", Stalin wanted official historians to make Russia's history "comprehensible and accessible" to the populace, with an emphasis on those "great men", such as Ivan, Alexander Nevsky and Peter the Great, who had strengthened and expanded the Russian state. In modern, post-Soviet Russia, a campaign has been run to seek the granting of sainthood to Ivan IV; the Russian Orthodox Church opposed the idea.
Ivan the TerribleBorn: 3 September 1530 Died: 28 March 1584
| Grand Prince of Moscow
3 December 1533 – 16 January 1547
|Tsardom created|| Tsar of Russia
16 January 1547 – 28 March 1584
The Illustrated Chronicle of Ivan the Terrible (Лицевой летописный свод) is the largest compilation of historical information ever assembled in medieval Russia. It covers the period from the creation of the world to the year 1567. It is also informally known as the Tsar Book (Царь-книга), in an analogy with Tsar Bell and Tsar CannonThe set of manuscripts was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible specifically for his royal library. The literal meaning of the Russian title is "face chronicle," alluding to the numerous hand-painted miniatures. The compilation consists of 10 volumes, containing about 10 thousand sheets of rag paper. It is illustrated with more than 16 thousand miniatures.Ivan the Terrible (1944 film)
Ivan the Terrible (Russian: Иван Грозный, Ivan Grozniy) is a two-part historical epic film about Ivan IV of Russia, written and directed by the filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. It was commissioned by Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, who admired and identified himself with Ivan.
Part I was released in 1944; Part II was not released until 1958, as it was banned on the order of Stalin, who became incensed over the depiction of Ivan therein. Eisenstein had developed the scenario to require a third part to finish the story but, with the banning of Part II, filming of Part III was stopped; after Eisenstein's death in 1948, what had been completed of Part III was destroyed.Ivan the Terrible (Prokofiev)
Ivan the Terrible (Russian: Иван Грозный), Op. 116, is the score composed by Sergei Prokofiev in 1942–45 for Sergei Eisenstein's film Ivan the Terrible and its sequel, the first two parts of an incomplete trilogy. The project was Prokofiev's second collaboration with Eisenstein, the first being the popular Aleksandr Nevskiy (1938). The majority of the non-liturgical song texts were written by Vladimir Lugovskoy, who collaborated with Prokofiev on the texts for Aleksandr Nevskiy.
The subject of the "First Tale" (Part 1) is the early years, 1547 to 1565, of the reign of Ivan IV of Russia: his coronation, his intent to curb the powers of the boyars, his wedding, his conquest of Kazan, his almost fatal illness, the poisoning and death of his first wife Anastasiya, the formation of the Oprichniki, and his abdication.
The "Second Tale" (Part 2), subtitled The Boyar Conspiracy, covers the years 1565 to 1569, and concerns the defection of Prince Kurbskiy to Poland-Lithuania, Ivan's disputes with Philip II, Metropolitan of Moscow, the intrigues of the boyars, the excesses of the Oprichniki, the attempted coup by the boyars and Ivan's aunt, Yefrosinya Staritskaya, the murder of her son Vladimir Staritsky, and Ivan's triumph over his domestic enemies.
The film scores were not published during Prokofiev's lifetime. They were arranged in 1961 as an oratorio for soloists, chorus, and orchestra by Levon Atovmyan, one of Prokofiev's assistants. However, before this version could be performed, the music received its concert premiere in 1961 in Moscow in the form of an oratorio for speaker, soloists, chorus, and orchestra by Abram Stasevich, who conducted the scores for Eisenstein.
In 1973 the composer Mikhail Chulaki and choreographer Yuri Grigorovich drew on Prokofiev's film scores to create the ballet Ivan the Terrible, which was given its premiere in 1975. Later performing editions of the scores include an oratorio put together by Michael Lankester (1989), and a concert scenario by Christopher Palmer (1991). The restoration of the entire original film score has been published and recorded.Ivan the Terrible (Treblinka guard)
Ivan the Terrible (born c. 1911) is the nickname given to notorious guard Ivan Marchenko, at the Treblinka extermination camp during the Holocaust. The moniker alluded to Ivan IV, also known as Ivan the Terrible, the infamous Tsar of Russia. "Ivan the Terrible" gained international recognition from the 1986 John Demjanjuk case. Already in 1944 a cruel guard named "Ivan", sharing the distinct duties and the extremely violent behavior with a guard named "Nicholas", is mentioned in survivor literature (Rok w Treblince by Jankiel Wiernik, translated into English as A Year in Treblinka in 1945); however, very little is known about Ivan Marchenko. John Demjanjuk was accused first of being Ivan the Terrible at the Treblinka concentration camp, but in 2011 he was accused of war crimes as a different guard named Ivan Demjanjuk who served at the Sobibor extermination camp.Ivan the Terrible (novel)
Ivan the Terrible is a children's novel by Anne Fine, published in 2007. It won the Nestlé Children's Book Prize Silver Award.Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan
Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on 16 November 1581 is a painting by Russian realist artist Ilya Repin made between 1883 and 1885. The picture portrays a grief-stricken Ivan the Terrible cradling his mortally wounded son, the Tsarevich Ivan Ivanovich. The elder Ivan himself is believed to have dealt the fatal blow to his son.The work is variously referred to as Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan, with or without the date, or Ivan the Terrible Killing His Son. Repin's painting has been called one of Russia's most famous paintings, and is also one of its most controversial. It has been vandalised twice, in 1913 and again in 2018.
The artist used Grigoriy Myasoyedov, his friend and fellow artist, as the model for Ivan the Terrible, with writer Vsevolod Garshin modelling for the Tsarevich. In 1885, upon completion of the oil on canvas work, Repin sold it to Pavel Tretyakov, for display in his gallery. It remains on display in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.Ivan the Terrible in Russian folklore
The image created of Ivan the Terrible throughout Russian folklore is a direct contrast to that which is typically painted of him and his rule by historians. As folklorist Jack V. Haney claims, the tales “about Ivan IV, known as the Terrible, are especially interesting in that they portray the first Orthodox Tsar of All Russia in quite a different light than historians do”.By studying a variety of folktales about Ivan the Terrible, we can see that, in general, the overall image of this tsar is a positive one. Maureen Perrie states that “insofar as he is the friend of the common people, and the enemy of the boyars, he (Ivan IV) is seen as a ‘good tsar’”. Consequently, the image depicted of Ivan is not one in which he is a “meaningless, bloodletting” ruler, but rather he is kind and compassionate towards his lower subjects. By creating the tsar to be either a friend of the commoners or an enemy to the boyar, a positive image of Ivan IV is represented through the particular folktale.John Demjanjuk
John Demjanjuk (born Ivan Mykolaiovych Demianiuk; Ukrainian: Іван Миколайович Дем'янюк; 3 April 1920 – 17 March 2012) was a retired Ukrainian-American auto worker, a former soldier in the Soviet Red Army, and a POW during the Second World War.
John (Ivan) Demjanjuk was convicted in 2011 in Germany as an accessory to the murder of 28,060 Jews while acting as a guard at the Sobibór extermination camp in occupied Poland. Since his conviction was pending appeal at the time of his death, Demjanjuk remained not guilty under German law, since his conviction had not completed through the appeal judgment. According to the Munich state court, Demjanjuk does not have a criminal record.Demjanjuk was born in Ukraine, and during World War II was drafted into the Soviet Red Army, where he was captured by Germans as a Soviet prisoner of war. In 1952, he emigrated from West Germany to the United States and was granted citizenship in 1958, whereupon he formally anglicized his name from "Ivan" to "John".In 1986, he was deported to Israel to stand trial for war crimes, after being identified by eleven Holocaust survivors, many from Israel, as "Ivan the Terrible", a guard at the Treblinka extermination camp in Nazi occupied Poland. Demjanjuk was accused of committing murder and acts of extraordinarily savage violence against camp prisoners during 1942–1943. He was convicted of having committed crimes against humanity and sentenced to death in 1988, but the verdict was overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1993, based on new evidence that cast reasonable doubt over the identity of "Ivan the Terrible". Demjanjuk was nearly a decade younger than "Ivan the Terrible", who was believed to have been born around 1911. After the trial, in September 1993, Demjanjuk returned to his home in Ohio. In 1998, his citizenship was restored after a United States federal appeals court ruled that prosecutors had suppressed exculpatory evidence concerning his identity.In 2001, with new evidence, Demjanjuk was charged again, this time on the grounds that he had served as a guard named Ivan Demjanjuk at the Sobibor and Majdanek camps in Nazi occupied Poland and at the Flossenbürg camp in Germany; separate documents were found in archives from each respective camp. Demjanjuk became again a stateless person in 2002 (until his death in 2012). His deportation was again ordered in 2005, but after exhausting his appeals in 2008 he still remained in the United States, as no country would agree to accept him at that time. On 2 April 2009, Germany announced that Demjanjuk would be deported to Germany, where he would stand trial. On 11 May, Demjanjuk left his Cleveland home by ambulance and was taken to the airport, where he was deported by plane, arriving in Germany the next morning. On 13 July, he was formally charged with 27,900 counts of acting as an accessory to murder, one for each person who died at Sobibor during the time he was alleged to have served as a guard. On 30 November, Demjanjuk's trial began in Munich.On 12 May 2011, Demjanjuk was convicted pending appeal by an ordinary German criminal court as an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews at Sobibor and sentenced to five years in prison. The interim conviction was later annulled, because Demjanjuk died before his appeal could be heard. After the conviction, he was released pending trial and final verdict by the German Appellate Court. He lived at a German nursing home in Bad Feilnbach, where he died on 17 March 2012. Despite decades of legal wrangling and controversy, Demjanjuk died a free man and legally innocent as his appeal had not been heard and decided.List of historical ballet characters
This is a list of historical figures who have been characters in ballets.Malyuta Skuratov
Grigory Lukyanovich Skuratov-Belskiy (Russian: Григорий Лукьянович Скуратов-Бельский), better known as Malyuta Skuratov (Малюта Скуратов) (? – January 1, 1573) was one of the most odious leaders of the Oprichnina during the reign of Ivan the Terrible.Oprichnina
The oprichnina (Russian: опри́чнина, IPA: [ɐˈprʲitɕnʲɪnə]) was a state policy implemented by Tsar Ivan the Terrible in Russia between 1565 and 1572. The policy included mass repression of the boyars (Russian aristocrats), including public executions and confiscation of their land and property. In this context it can also refer to:
The notorious organization of six thousand Oprichniki, the first political police in the history of Russia.
The portion of Russia, ruled directly by Ivan the Terrible, where his Oprichniki operated.
The corresponding period of Russian history.The term oprichnina, which Ivan coined for this policy, derives from the Russian word oprich (Russian: опричь, apart from, except).Sergei Eisenstein
Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (Russian: Сергей Михайлович Эйзенштейн, IPA: [sʲɪrˈɡʲej mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪtɕ ɪjzʲɪnˈʂtʲejn], tr. Sergey Mikhaylovich Eizenshteyn; 22 January [O.S. 10 January] 1898 – 11 February 1948) was a Soviet film director and film theorist, a pioneer in the theory and practice of montage. He is noted in particular for his silent films Strike (1925), Battleship Potemkin (1925) and October (1928), as well as the historical epics Alexander Nevsky (1938) and Ivan the Terrible (1944, 1958). In its decennial poll, the magazine Sight & Sound named his Battleship Potemkin the 11th greatest movie of all time.The Death of Ivan the Terrible
The Death of Ivan the Terrible (Russian: Смерть Иоанна Грозного, translit. Smertʹ Ioanna Groznogo) is a historical drama by Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy written in 1863 and first published in the January 1866 issue of Otechestvennye zapiski magazine. It is the first part of a trilogy that is followed by Tsar Fiodor Ioannovich and concludes with Tsar Boris. All three plays were banned by the censor. It dramatises the story of Ivan IV of Russia and is written in blank verse. Tolstoy was influenced by the work of William Shakespeare in writing the trilogy, which formed the core of his reputation as a writer in the Russia of his day and as a dramatist to this day.The Maid of Pskov
The Maid of Pskov (Russian: Псковитянка, Pskovityanka), is an opera in three acts and six scenes by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The libretto was written by the composer, and is based on the drama of the same name by Lev Mei. The story concerns the Tsar Ivan the Terrible and his efforts to subject the cities of Pskov and Novgorod to his will. The original version of the opera was completed in 1872, and received its premiere in 1873 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The third and final version was completed in 1892, and is considered "definitive". This version was made famous by Chaliapin in the role of Ivan the Terrible. It was introduced to Paris in 1909 by Diaghilev under the title Ivan the Terrible, on account of the dominance of his role, and because of European audience's familiarity with his name.
Rosa Newmarch has characterized the music for the solo singers as mainly of "'mezzo-recitative' of a somewhat dry quality, but relieved by great variety of orchestral color in the accompaniments".Tsar (film)
Tsar (Russian: Царь) is a 2009 Russian drama film directed by Pavel Lungin. It competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.Vasily and Andrey Shchelkalov
Vasily Yakovlevich Shchelkalov (Василий Яковлевич Щелкалов in Russian) (? – 1610 or 1611) and Andrey Yakovlevich Shchelkalov (Андрей Яковлевич Щелкалов) (? - c. 1597) were two influential diplomats and heads of the Posolsky Prikaz during the reigns of Ivan the Terrible, Feodor I, and Boris Godunov in Russia.Waxworks (film)
Waxworks (German: Das Wachsfigurenkabinett) is a 1924 German silent fantasy-horror film directed by Paul Leni. The film is about a writer (William Dieterle) who accepts a job from a waxworks proprietor to write a series of stories about the exhibits of Caliph of Baghdad (Emil Jannings), Ivan the Terrible (Conrad Veidt) and Jack the Ripper (Werner Krauss) in order to boost business.
Although Waxworks is often credited as a horror film, it is an anthology film that goes through several genres including a fantasy adventure, a historical film, and a horror film through its various episodes. This film would be director Paul Leni's last film made in Germany before he went on to make The Cat and the Canary (1927) in the United States.Xacitarxan
Hajji Tarkhan (Tatar: Cyrillic Хаҗітархан, Latin Xacitarxan), also known as Hashtar Khan / Actarxan (Tatar: ʌɕtʌrˈxan) or Astrakhan, was a medieval city at the right bank of Volga, situated approximately 12 km north of the modern city of Astrakhan. The first mention of the town was recorded in 1333. In the 13th and 14th centuries it was one of the main trade and political centres of the Golden Horde. In 1395 the city was sacked by Timur. Astrakhan was rebuilt afterwards and became the capital of the Khanate of Astrakhan in 1459. In 1547 the city was seized by the Crimean khan Sahib Giray. In 1556 Astrakhan was besieged and burned by Ivan the Terrible.
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