Tsar (/zɑːr, sɑːr/ or /tsɑːr/; Old Church Slavonic: ц︢рь [usually written thus with a title] or цар, царь), also spelled czar, or tzar, is a title used to designate East and South Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers of Eastern Europe, originally Bulgarian monarchs from 10th century onwards. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism. The term is derived from the Latin word Caesar, which was intended to mean "Emperor" in the European medieval sense of the term—a ruler with the same rank as a Roman emperor, holding it by the approval of another emperor or a supreme ecclesiastical official (the Pope or the Ecumenical Patriarch)—but was usually considered by western Europeans to be equivalent to king, or to be somewhat in between a royal and imperial rank.
"Tsar" and its variants were the official titles of the following states:
The title Tsar is derived from the Latin title for the Roman emperors, Caesar. In comparison to the corresponding Latin word "imperator", the Byzantine Greek term basileus was used differently depending on whether it was in a contemporary political context or in a historical or Biblical context. In the history of the Greek language, basileus had originally meant something like "potentate". It gradually approached the meaning of "king" in the Hellenistic Period, and it came to designate "emperor" after the inception in the Roman Empire. As a consequence, Byzantine sources continued to call the Biblical and ancient kings "basileus" even when that word had come to mean "emperor" when referring to contemporary monarchs (while it was never applied to Western European kings, whose title was transliterated from Latin "rex" as ῥήξ, or to other monarchs, for whom designations such as ἄρχων "leader", "chieftain" were used).
As the Greek "basileus" was consistently rendered as "tsar" in Slavonic translations of Greek texts, the dual meaning was transferred into Church Slavonic. Thus, "tsar" was not only used as an equivalent of Latin "imperator" (in reference to the rulers of the Byzantine Empire, the Holy Roman Empire and to native rulers) but was also used to refer to Biblical rulers and ancient kings.
From this ambiguity, the development has moved in different directions in the different Slavic languages. Thus, the Bulgarian language and Russian language no longer use tsar as an equivalent of the term emperor/imperator as it exists in the West European (Latin) tradition. Currently, the term tsar refers to native sovereigns, ancient and Biblical rulers, as well as monarchs in fairy tales and the like. The title of king (Russian korol' , Bulgarian kral- the origin of which is Charlemagne (Karl)) is sometimes perceived as alien and is by some Russian-speakers reserved for (West) European royalty (and, by extension, for those modern monarchs outside of Europe whose titles are translated as king in English, roi in French etc.). Foreign monarchs of imperial status, both inside and outside of Europe, ancient as well as modern, are generally called imperator (император), rather than tsar.
In contrast, the Serbocroatian language (which can also be viewed as different languages—Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian) translate "emperor" (Latin imperator) as tsar (car, цар) and not as imperator, whereas the equivalent of king (kralj, краљ, король) is used to designate monarchs of non-imperial status, Serbian as well as foreign ancient rulers—like Latin "rex". Biblical rulers in Serbian are called цар and in Croatian kralj.
In the modern West Slavic languages and Slovene language, the use of the terms is nearly identical to the one in English and German: a king is designated with one term (Czech král, Slovak kráľ, Polish król, Slovene kralj), an emperor is designated with another, derived from Caesar as in German (Czech císař, Slovak cisár, Polish cesarz, Slovene cesar; Croatian cesar and Montenegrin ćesar fell into disuse after World War I), while the exotic term "tsar" (Czech, Slovene and Polish car, Slovak cár) is reserved for the Bulgarian, Russian and Serbian rulers.
In the Polish language however tsar is used as an equivalent to imperator, never as king. The term tsar is always used to refer to the Russian rulers before Peter the Great, and very often to those succeeding.
In 705 Emperor Justinian II named Tervel of Bulgaria "Caesar", the first foreigner to receive this title, but his descendants continued to use Bulgar title "Kanasubigi". The sainted Boris I is sometimes retrospectively referred to as tsar, because at his time Bulgaria was converted to Christianity. However, the title "tsar" (and its Byzantine Greek equivalent "basileus") was actually adopted and used for the first time by his son Simeon I, following a makeshift imperial coronation performed by the Patriarch of Constantinople in 913. After an attempt by the Byzantine Empire to revoke this major diplomatic concession and a decade of intensive warfare, the imperial title of the Bulgarian ruler was recognized by the Byzantine government in 924 and again at the formal conclusion of peace in 927. Since in Byzantine political theory there was place for only two emperors, Eastern and Western (as in the Late Roman Empire), the Bulgarian ruler was crowned basileus as "a spiritual son" of the Byzantine basileus.
Some of the earliest attested occurrences of the titlo-contraction "tsar" (car' ) from "tsesar" (cěsar' ) are found in the grave inscription of the chărgubilja (ichirgu-boil) Mostich, a contemporary of Simeon I and Peter I, from Preslav.
It has been hypothesized that Simeon's title was also recognized by a papal mission to Bulgaria in or shortly after 925, as a concession in exchange for a settlement in the Bulgarian-Croatian conflict or a possible attempt to return Bulgaria to union with Rome. Thus, in the later diplomatic correspondence conducted in 1199–1204 between the Bulgarian ruler Kaloyan and Pope Innocent III, Kaloyan—whose self-assumed Latin title was "imperator Bulgarorum et Blachorum"—claims that the imperial crowns of Simeon I, his son Peter I, and of Samuel were somehow derived from the Papacy. The Pope, however, only speaks of reges, kings of Bulgaria in his replies, and eventually grants only that lesser title to Kaloyan, who nevertheless proceeds to thank the Pope for the "imperial title" conferred upon him.
The title, later augmented with epithets and titles such as autocrat to reflect current Byzantine practice, was used by all of Simeon's successors until the complete conquest of Bulgaria by the Ottoman Empire in 1422. In Latin sources the Emperor of Bulgaria is sometimes designated "Emperor of Zagora" (with variant spellings). Various additional epithets and descriptions apart, the official style read "Emperor and autocrat of all Bulgarians and Greeks".
During the five-century period of Ottoman rule in Bulgaria, the sultan was frequently referred to as "tsar". This may be related to the fact that he had claimed the legacy of the Byzantine Empire or to the fact that the sultan was called "Basileus" in medieval Greek.
After Bulgaria's liberation from the Ottomans in 1878, its new monarchs were at first autonomous prince (knjaz). With the declaration of full independence, Ferdinand I of Bulgaria adopted the traditional title "tsar" in 1908 and it was used until the abolition of the monarchy in 1946. However, these titles were not generally perceived as equivalents of "emperor" any longer. In the Bulgarian as in the Greek vernacular, the meaning of the title had shifted (although Paisius' Slavonic-Bulgarian History (1760–1762) had still distinguished between the two concepts). Accordingly, while Ferdinand and his successors, Boris III and Simeon II, used the title of "tsar" in Bulgarian, they used the title of "king" outside Bulgaria. In the same fashion, the modern rulers of Greece (1821-1923, 1935-1973) used the traditional title of basileus in Greek and the title of "king" outside Greece.
"Tsar"– was used once by Church officials of Kievan Rus' in the naming of Yaroslav the Wise of Kiev. This may be connected to Yaroslav's war against Byzantium and to his efforts to distance himself from Constantinople. However, other princes of Kievan Rus' never styled themselves as "czars". After the fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders and the Mongol invasion of Rus' (1237–1240), the term "tsar" was applied by some people of Kievan Rus' to the Mongol (Tatar) overlords of the Rus' principalities.
The title of tsar (sr. "car") was used officially by two monarchs, the previous monarchial title being that of king (kralj). In 1345, Stefan Dušan began to style himself "Emperor of Serbs and Greeks" (the Greek renderings read "basileus and autokrator of Serbs and Romans"), and was crowned as such in Skopje on Easter (April 16) 1346 by the newly elevated Serbian patriarch, alongside the Bulgarian patriarch and archbishop of Ohrid. On the same occasion, he had his wife Helena of Bulgaria crowned as empress and his son associated in power as king. When Dušan died in 1355, his son Stefan Uroš V became the next emperor. The new emperor's uncle Simeon Uroš (Siniša) contested the succession and claimed the same titles as a dynast in Thessaly. After his death around 1370, he was succeeded in his claims by his son John Uroš, who retired to a monastery in about 1373.
With the extinction of the Nemanjić dynasty in Serbia in 1371, the imperial title became obsolete (though it was retained by Stefan Uroš IV's widow Elena of Bulgaria until her death in 1376/1377). The royal title was preserved by Vukašin Mrnjavčević, a Serbian ruler in Macedonia, who had been associated by Stefan Uroš. Several other Serbian rulers are known as tsars, although they were never recognized as such. These include Tsar Lazar (who was titled autokrator), Tsar Jovan Nenad (self-given) and Tsar Stephen the Little (who claimed to be the Russian Emperor in Montenegro).
Following his assertion of independence from the khan, "Veliki Kniaz" Ivan III of Muscovy started to use the title of tsar Russian: Царь regularly in diplomatic relations with the West. From about 1480, he is designated as "imperator" in his Latin correspondence, as "keyser" in his correspondence with the Swedish regent, as "kejser" in his correspondence with the Danish king, Teutonic Knights, and the Hanseatic League. Ivan's son Vasily III continued using these titles. Sigismund von Herberstein observed that the titles of "kaiser" and "imperator" were attempts to render the Russian term "tsar" into German and Latin, respectively.
This was related to Russia's growing ambitions to become an Orthodox "Third Rome", after the Fall of Constantinople. The Muscovite ruler was recognized as an emperor by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I in 1514. However, the first Russian ruler to be formally crowned as Tsar of All Rus Russian: Царь Всея Руси) was Ivan IV, until then known as Grand Prince of all the Russias. Some foreign ambassadors—namely, Herberstein (in 1516 and 1525), Daniel Printz a Buchau (in 1576 and 1578) and Just Juel (in 1709)—indicated that the word "tsar" should not be translated as "emperor", because it is applied by Russians to David, Solomon and other Biblical kings, which are simple "reges". On the other hand, Jacques Margeret, a bodyguard of False Demetrius I, argues that the title of "tsar" is more honorable for Muscovites than "kaiser" or "king" exactly because it was God and not some earthly potentate who ordained to apply it to David, Solomon, and other kings of Israel. Samuel Collins, a court physician to Tsar Alexis in 1659-66, styled the latter "Great Emperour", commenting that "as for the word Czar, it has so near relation to Cesar... that it may well be granted to signifie Emperour. The Russians would have it to be an higher title than King, and yet they call David Czar, and our kings, Kirrols, probably from Carolus Quintus, whose history they have among them".
In 1610 Sigismund III of Poland manipulated his son Władysław IV's election as tsar of Russia while Polish forces held Moscow during the Time of Troubles following the death of Boris Godunov. His election, which never resulted in his assumption of the Muscovite throne, was part of an unsuccessful plan by Sigismund to conquer all of Russia and convert the population to Catholicism. As a young man Władysław showed ability as a military leader in operations against Muscovy (1617–18) and the Ottoman Empire (1621).
In 1670, Pope Clement X expressed doubts that it would be appropriate for him to address Alexis as "tsar", because the word is "barbarian" and because it stands for an "emperor", a title reserved for the Holy Roman Emperor. Abbot Scarlati's opined that the term is not translatable and therefore may be used by the Pope without any harm. In order to settle the matter and to assert his imperial ambitions more clearly, Peter I the Great issued an edict that raised Russia to an empire and decreed that the Latin title Imperator should be used instead of Tsar (1721).
The title tsar remained in common usage, and also officially as the designator of various titles signifying rule over various states absorbed by the Muscovite monarchy (such as the former Tatar khanates and the Georgian Orthodox kingdom). In the 18th century, it was increasingly viewed as inferior to "emperor" or highlighting the oriental side of the term. Upon annexing Crimea in 1783, Catherine the Great adopted the hellenicized title of Tsaritsa of Tauric Chersonesos, rather than "Tsaritsa of the Crimea". By 1815, when a large part of Poland was annexed, the title had clearly come to be interpreted in Russia as the equivalent of Polish Król "king", and the Russian emperor assumed the title "tsar of Poland".
Since the word "tsar" remained the popular designation of the Russian ruler despite the official change of style, it is commonly used in foreign languages such as English.
Like many lofty titles, e.g. Mogul, Tsar or Czar has been used as a metaphor for positions of high authority, in English, since 1866 (referring to U.S. President Andrew Johnson), with a connotation of dictatorial powers and style, fitting since "Autocrat" was an official title of the Russian Emperor (informally referred to as 'the Tsar'). Similarly, Speaker of the House Thomas Brackett Reed was called "Czar Reed" for his dictatorial control of the House of Representatives in the 1880s and 1890s.
In the United States and in the UK the title "czar" is a slang term for certain high-level civil servants, such as the "drug czar" for the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (not to be confused with a drug baron), "terrorism czar" for a Presidential advisor on terrorism policy, "cybersecurity czar" for the highest-ranking Department of Homeland Security official on computer security and information security policy, and "war czar" to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. More specifically, a czar refers to a sub-cabinet-level advisor within the executive branch of the U.S. government. One of the earliest known usages of the term was for Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who was named Commissioner of Baseball, with broad powers to clean up the sport after it had been dirtied by the Black Sox scandal of 1919.
Alexander III (Russian: Алекса́ндр III Алекса́ндрович, tr. Aleksandr III Aleksandrovich; 10 March [O.S. 26 February] 1845 – 1 November [O.S. 20 October] 1894) was the Emperor of Russia, King of Poland, and Grand Duke of Finland from 13 March [O.S. 1 March] 1881 until his death on 1 November [O.S. 20 October] 1894. He was highly conservative and reversed some of the liberal reforms of his father, Alexander II. During Alexander's reign Russia fought no major wars, and he was therefore styled "The Peacemaker" (Russian: Миротво́рец, tr. Mirotvórets, IPA: [mʲɪrɐˈtvorʲɪt͡s]).Alexander II of Russia
Alexander II (Russian: Алекса́ндр II Никола́евич, tr. Aleksandr II Nikolayevich, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ftɐˈroj nʲɪkɐˈlajɪvʲɪtɕ]; 29 April 1818 – 13 March 1881) was the Emperor of Russia from 2 March 1855 until his assassination on 13 March 1881. He was also the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Finland.Alexander's most significant reform as Emperor was emancipation of Russia's serfs in 1861, for which he is known as Alexander the Liberator (Russian: Алекса́ндр Освободи́тель, tr. Aleksandr Osvoboditel, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ɐsvəbɐˈdʲitʲɪlʲ]). The tsar was responsible for other reforms, including reorganising the judicial system, setting up elected local judges, abolishing corporal punishment, promoting local self-government through the zemstvo system, imposing universal military service, ending some privileges of the nobility, and promoting university education. After an assassination attempt in 1866, Alexander adopted a somewhat more reactionary stance until his death.Alexander pivoted towards foreign policy and sold Alaska to the United States in 1867, fearing the remote colony would fall into British hands if there were another war. He sought peace, moved away from bellicose France when Napoleon III fell in 1871, and in 1872 joined with Germany and Austria in the League of the Three Emperors that stabilized the European situation. Despite his otherwise pacifist foreign policy, he fought a brief war with the Ottoman Empire in 1877–78, pursued further expansion into Siberia and the Caucasus, and conquered Turkestan. Although disappointed by the results of the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Alexander abided by that agreement. Among his greatest domestic challenges was an uprising in Poland in 1863, to which he responded by stripping that land of its separate constitution and incorporating it directly into Russia. Alexander was proposing additional parliamentary reforms to counter the rise of nascent revolutionary and anarchistic movements when he was assassinated in 1881.Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I (Russian: Александр Павлович, Aleksandr Pavlovich; 23 December [O.S. 12 December] 1777 – 1 December [O.S. 19 November] 1825) reigned as Emperor of Russia between 1801 and 1825. He was the eldest son of Paul I and Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg. Alexander was the first Russian King of partitioned Poland, reigning from 1815 to 1825, as well as the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland, reigning from 1809 to 1825.
He was born in Saint Petersburg to Grand Duke Paul Petrovich, later Emperor Paul I, and succeeded to the throne after his father was murdered. He ruled Russia during the chaotic period of the Napoleonic Wars. As prince and during the early years of his reign, Alexander often used liberal rhetoric, but continued Russia's absolutist policies in practice. In the first years of his reign, he initiated some minor social reforms and (in 1803–04) major, liberal educational reforms, such as building more universities. Alexander appointed Mikhail Speransky, the son of a village priest, as one of his closest advisors. The Collegia was abolished and replaced by the State Council, which was created to improve legislation. Plans were also made to set up a parliament and sign a constitution.
In foreign policy, he changed Russia's position relative to France four times between 1804 and 1812 among neutrality, opposition, and alliance. In 1805 he joined Britain in the War of the Third Coalition against Napoleon, but after the massive defeat at the Battle of Austerlitz he switched and formed an alliance with Napoleon by the Treaty of Tilsit (1807) and joined Napoleon's Continental System. He fought a small-scale naval war against Britain between 1807 and 1812 as well as a short war against Sweden (1808–09) after Sweden's refusal to join the Continental System. Alexander and Napoleon hardly agreed, especially regarding Poland, and the alliance collapsed by 1810. The tsar's greatest triumph came in 1812 as Napoleon's invasion of Russia proved a total disaster for the French. As part of the winning coalition against Napoleon he gained some spoils in Finland and Poland. He formed the Holy Alliance to suppress revolutionary movements in Europe that he saw as immoral threats to legitimate Christian monarchs. He helped Austria's Klemens von Metternich in suppressing all national and liberal movements.
In the second half of his reign he was increasingly arbitrary, reactionary and fearful of plots against him; he ended many earlier reforms. He purged schools of foreign teachers, as education became more religiously oriented as well as politically conservative. Speransky was replaced as advisor with the strict artillery inspector Aleksey Arakcheyev, who oversaw the creation of military settlements. Alexander died of typhus in December 1825 while on a trip to southern Russia. He left no children, as his two daughters died in childhood. Both of his brothers wanted the other to become emperor. After a period of great confusion (that presaged the failed Decembrist revolt of liberal army officers in the weeks after his death), he was succeeded by his younger brother, Nicholas I.Alexis of Russia
Aleksey Mikhailovich (Russian: Алексе́й Миха́йлович, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksʲej mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪtɕ]; 19 March [O.S. 9 March] 1629 – 8 February [O.S. 29 January] 1676) was the tsar of Russia from 1645 until his death in 1676. His reign saw wars with Poland and Sweden, schism in the Russian Orthodox Church, and the major Cossack revolt of Stenka Razin. Nevertheless, at the time of his death Russia spanned almost 2,000,000,000 acres (8,100,000 km2).Bloody Sunday (1905)
Bloody Sunday or Red Sunday (Russian: Крова́вое воскресе́нье, tr. Krovávoye voskresén'e, IPA: [krɐˈvavəɪ vəskrʲɪˈsʲenʲjɪ]) is the name given to the events of Sunday, 22 January [O.S. 9 January] 1905 in St Petersburg, Russia, when unarmed demonstrators led by Father Georgy Gapon were fired upon by soldiers of the Imperial Guard as they marched towards the Winter Palace to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
Bloody Sunday caused grave consequences for the Tsarist autocracy governing Imperial Russia: the events in St. Petersburg provoked public outrage and a series of massive strikes that spread quickly to the industrial centres of the Russian Empire. The massacre on Bloody Sunday is considered to be the start of the active phase of the Revolution of 1905. In addition to beginning the 1905 Revolution, historians such as Lionel Kochan in his book Russia in Revolution 1890–1918 view the events of Bloody Sunday to be one of the key events which led to the Russian Revolution of 1917.February Revolution
The February Revolution (Russian: Февра́льская револю́ция, IPA: [fʲɪvˈralʲskəjə rʲɪvɐˈlʲutsɨjə], tr. Febrálʹskaya revolyútsiya), known in Soviet historiography as the February Bourgeois Democratic Revolution, was the first of two revolutions which took place in Russia in 1917.
The main events of the revolution took place in and near Petrograd (present-day St. Petersburg), the then-capital of Russia, where long-standing discontent with the monarchy erupted into mass protests against food rationing on 23 February Old Style (8 March New Style). Revolutionary activity lasted about eight days, involving mass demonstrations and violent armed clashes with police and gendarmes, the last loyal forces of the Russian monarchy. On 27 February O.S. (12 March N.S.) mutinous Russian Army forces sided with the revolutionaries. Three days later Tsar Nicholas II abdicated, ending Romanov dynastic rule and the Russian Empire. A Russian Provisional Government under Prince Georgy Lvov replaced the Council of Ministers of Russia.
The revolution appeared to break out without any real leadership or formal planning. Russia had been suffering from a number of economic and social problems, which compounded after the start of World War I in 1914. Disaffected soldiers from the city's garrison joined bread rioters, primarily women in bread lines, and industrial strikers on the streets. As more and more troops deserted, and with loyal troops away at the Front, the city fell into chaos, leading to the overthrow of the Tsar. In all, over 1,300 people were killed during the protests of February 1917.Grigori Rasputin
Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin (; Russian: Григо́рий Ефи́мович Распу́тин [ɡrʲɪˈɡorʲɪj jɪˈfʲiməvʲɪtɕ rɐˈsputʲɪn]; 21 January [O.S. 9 January] 1869 – 30 December [O.S. 17 December] 1916) was a Russian mystic and self-proclaimed holy man who befriended the family of Tsar Nicholas II, the last monarch of Russia, and gained considerable influence in late imperial Russia.
Born to a peasant family in the Siberian village of Pokrovskoye, Tyumen Oblast, Rasputin had a religious conversion experience after taking a pilgrimage to a monastery in 1897. He has been described as a monk or as a "strannik" (wanderer, or pilgrim), though he held no official position in the Russian Orthodox Church. After traveling to St. Petersburg, either in 1903 or the winter of 1904–5, Rasputin captivated some church and social leaders. He became a society figure, and met the Tsar in November 1905.
In late 1906, Rasputin began acting as a healer for the Tsar and his wife Alexandra's only son Alexei, who suffered from hemophilia. At court, he was a divisive figure, seen by some Russians as a mystic, visionary, and prophet, and by others as a religious charlatan. The high point of Rasputin's power was in 1915, when Nicholas II left St Petersburg to oversee Russian armies fighting World War I, increasing both Alexandra and Rasputin's influence. As Russian defeats in the war mounted, however, both Rasputin and Alexandra became increasingly unpopular. In the early morning of 30 December [O.S. 17 December] 1916, Rasputin was assassinated by a group of conservative noblemen who opposed his influence over Alexandra and the Tsar.
Historians often suggest that Rasputin's terrible reputation helped discredit the tsarist government, and thus helped precipitate the overthrow of the Romanov dynasty, which happened a few weeks after he was assassinated. Very little about Rasputin's life and influence is certain, however, as accounts have often been based on hearsay, rumor, and legend.House of Romanov
The House of Romanov (; also Romanoff; Russian: Рома́новы, Románovy, IPA: [rɐˈmanəf]) was the reigning royal house of Russia from 1613 to 1917.
The Romanovs achieved prominence as boyars of the Grand Duchy of Moscow and later the Tsardom of Russia under the reigning Rurik dynasty, which became extinct upon the death of Tsar Feodor I in 1598. The Time of Troubles was caused by the resulting succession crisis, where several pretenders and imposters (False Dmitris) fought for the crown during the Polish–Muscovite War. On 21 February 1613, Michael Romanov was elected Tsar of Russia by the Zemsky Sobor, establishing the Romanovs are Russia's second reigning dynasty. Michael's grandson Peter I established the Russian Empire in 1721, transforming the country into a great power through a series of wars and reforms. The direct male line of the Romanovs ended when Elizabeth of Russia died in 1762 leading the House of Holstein-Gottorp, a cadet branch of the German House of Oldenburg that reigned in Denmark, to ascend to the crown under Peter III. Officially known as the House of Romanov, descendants after Elizabeth are sometimes referred to as "Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov". The abdication of Tsar Nicholas II on 15 March 1917 as a result of the February Revolution ended 304-years of Romanov rule, establishing the Russian Republic under the Russian Provisional Government in the lead up to the Russian Civil War. In 1918, the Tsar and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks and the 47 survivors of the House of Romanov's 65 members went into exile abroad.In 1924, Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, the senior surviving male-line descendant of Alexander II of Russia by primogeniture, claimed the headship of the defunct Imperial House of Russia. Since 1991, the succession to the former Russian throne has been in dispute, largely due to disagreements over the validity of dynasts' marriages, especially between the lines of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia and Prince Nicholas Romanovich Romanov, succeeded by Prince Andrew Romanov.Ivan the Terrible
Ivan IV Vasilyevich (; 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 , 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.List of Bulgarian monarchs
The monarchs of Bulgaria ruled the country during three periods of its history as an independent country: from the establishment of the First Bulgarian Empire in 681 to the Byzantine conquest of Bulgaria in 1018; from the Uprising of Asen and Peter that established the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1185 to the annexation of the rump Bulgarian principality into the Ottoman Empire in 1422; and from the re-establishment of an independent Bulgaria in 1878 to the abolition of monarchy in a manipulated referendum held on 15 September 1946.
Early Bulgarian rulers possibly used the title Kanasubigi (khan), later knyaz (prince) for a brief period, and subsequently tsar (emperor). The title tsar, the Bulgarian form of the Latin Caesar, was first adopted and used in Bulgaria by Simeon I, following a decisive victory over the Byzantine Empire in 913. It was also used by all of Simeon I's successors until the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman rule in 1396. After Bulgaria's liberation from the Ottomans in 1878, its first monarch Alexander I adopted the title knyaz, or prince. However, when de jure independence was proclaimed under his successor Ferdinand in 1908, the title was elevated to the customary tsar once more. The use of tsar continued under Ferdinand and later under his heirs Boris III and Simeon II until the abolition of monarchy in 1946.
While the title tsar was translated as "emperor" in the First and Second Bulgarian Empires, it was translated as "king" in modern Bulgaria.
In the few surviving medieval Bulgarian royal charters, the monarchs of Bulgaria styled themselves as "In Christ the Lord Faithful Emperor and Autocrat of all Bulgarians" or similar variations, sometimes including “... and Romans, Greeks, or Vlachs".
This list does not include the mythical Bulgar rulers and the rulers of Old Great Bulgaria listed in the Nominalia of the Bulgarian khans as well as unsuccessful claimants to the throne who are not generally listed among the Bulgarian monarchs.List of Russian rulers
This is a list of all reigning monarchs in the history of Russia. It includes titles Prince of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kiev, Grand Prince of Vladimir, Grand Prince of Moscow, Tsar of All Rus'(Russia), and Emperor of All Russia. The list begins with a semi-legendary Rurik, Prince of Novgorod, sometime in the mid 9th century (c. 862) and ends with the Emperor of All Russia Nicholas II who abdicated in 1917, and was executed with his family in 1918.
The vast territory known today as Russia covers an area that has been known historically by various names, including Rus', Kievan Rus', the Grand Duchy of Moscow, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, and the sovereigns of these many nations and throughout their histories have used likewise as wide a range of titles in their positions as chief magistrates of a country. Some of the earliest titles include Kniaz and Velikiy Kniaz, which mean "Prince" and "Great Prince" respectively but are often rendered as "Duke" and "Grand Duke" in Western literature; then the title of Tsar, meaning "Caesar", which was disputed to be the equal of either a king or emperor; finally culminating in the title of Emperor. According to Article 59 of the 1906 Russian Constitution, the Russian Tsar held several dozen titles, each one representing a region which the monarch governed.
The Patriarchs of Moscow, who were the head of Russian Orthodox Church, also have acted as the leaders of Russia from time to time, usually in periods of political upheaval as during the Polish occupation and interregnum of 1610–13.Michael of Russia
Michael I of Russia (Russian: Михаи́л Фёдорович Рома́нов, Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov) (22 July [O.S. 12 July] 1596 – 23 July [O.S. 13 July] 1645) became the first Russian Tsar of the House of Romanov after the zemskiy sobor of 1613 elected him to rule the Tsardom of Russia. He was the son of Feodor Nikitich Romanov (later known as Patriarch Filaret) and of Xenia (later known as "the great nun" Martha). He was also a 1st cousin one generation removed of Feodor I (the last Rurikid Tsar) through his great-aunt (aka grand aunt) Anastasia Romanovna (his paternal grandfather's sister) thus making him a great-nephew (aka grand nephew) of hers. And through marriage, a great-nephew in-law with Tsar Ivan IV of Russia. His accession marked the end of the Time of Troubles. During his reign, Russia conquered most of Siberia, largely with the help of the Cossacks and the Stroganov family. Russia had extended to the Pacific Ocean by the end of Michael's reign.Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II or Nikolai II (Russian: Николай II Алекса́ндрович, tr. Nikolai II Aleksandrovich; 18 May [O.S. 6 May] 1868 – 17 July 1918), known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer in the Russian Orthodox Church, was the last Emperor of Russia, ruling from 1 November 1894 until his forced abdication on 15 March 1917. His reign saw the fall of the Russian Empire from one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic and military collapse. He was given the nickname Nicholas the Bloody or Vile Nicholas by his political adversaries due to the Khodynka Tragedy, anti-Semitic pogroms, Bloody Sunday, the violent suppression of the 1905 Russian Revolution, the execution of political opponents, and his perceived responsibility for the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905). Soviet historians portrayed Nicholas as a weak and incompetent leader whose decisions led to military defeats and the deaths of millions of his subjects.Russia was defeated in the 1904–1905 Russo-Japanese War, which saw the annihilation of the reinforcing Russian Baltic Fleet after being sent on its round-the-world cruise at the naval Battle of Tsushima, off the coasts of Korea and Japan, the loss of Russian influence over Manchuria and Korea, and the Japanese annexation to the north of South Sakhalin Island. The Anglo-Russian Entente was designed to counter the German Empire's attempts to gain influence in the Middle East, but it also ended the Great Game of confrontation between Russia and the United Kingdom. When all Russian diplomatic efforts to prevent the First World War (1914–1918) failed, Nicholas approved the Imperial Russian Army mobilization on 30 July 1914, which gave Imperial Germany formal grounds to declare war on Russia on 1 August 1914. An estimated 3.3 million Russians were killed in the First World War. The Imperial Russian Army's severe losses, the High Command's incompetent management of the war efforts, and lack of food and supplies on the home front were all leading causes of the fall of the House of Romanov.
Following the February Revolution of 1917, Nicholas abdicated on behalf of himself and his son and heir, the Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich. He and his family were imprisoned and transferred to Tobolsk in late summer 1917. On 30 April 1918, Nicholas, Alexandra, and their daughter Maria were handed over to the local Ural Soviet council in Ekaterinburg (renamed Sverdlovsk during the Soviet era); the rest of the captives followed on 23 May. Nicholas and his family were executed by their Bolshevik guards on the night of 16/17 July 1918. The remains of the imperial family were later found, exhumed, identified and re-interred with elaborate State and Church ceremony in St. Petersburg on 17 July 1998.
In 1981, Nicholas, his wife, and their children were recognized as martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in New York City. On 15 August 2000, they were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church as passion bearers, commemorating believers who face death in a Christ-like manner.Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I (Russian: Николай I Павлович, tr. Nikolay I Pavlovich; 6 July [O.S. 25 June] 1796 – 2 March [O.S. 18 February] 1855) was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855. He was also the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland. He is best known as a political conservative whose reign was marked by geographical expansion, repression of dissent, economic stagnation, poor administrative policies, a corrupt bureaucracy, and frequent wars that culminated in Russia's defeat in the Crimean War of 1853–56. His biographer Nicholas V. Riasanovsky says that Nicholas displayed determination, singleness of purpose, and an iron will, along with a powerful sense of duty and a dedication to very hard work. He saw himself as a soldier—a junior officer totally consumed by spit and polish. A handsome man, he was highly nervous and aggressive. Trained as an engineer, he was a stickler for minute detail. In his public persona, says Riasanovsky, "Nicholas I came to represent autocracy personified: infinitely majestic, determined and powerful, hard as stone, and relentless as fate." His reign had an ideology called "Official Nationality" that was proclaimed officially in 1833. It was a reactionary policy based on orthodoxy in religion, autocracy in government, and Russian nationalism. He was the younger brother of his predecessor, Alexander I. Nicholas inherited his brother's throne despite the failed Decembrist revolt against him and went on to become the most reactionary of all Russian leaders. His aggressive foreign policy involved many expensive wars, having a disastrous effect on the empire's finances.
He was successful against Russia's neighbouring southern rivals as he seized the last territories in the Caucasus held by Persia (comprising modern day Armenia and Azerbaijan) by successfully ending the Russo-Persian War (1826–28). By now, Russia had gained what is now Dagestan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia from Persia, and had therefore at last gained the clear upper hand in the Caucasus, both geo-politically as well as territorially. He ended the Russo-Turkish War (1828–1829) successfully as well. Later on, however, he led Russia into the Crimean War (1853–56) with disastrous results. Historians emphasize that his micromanagement of the armies hindered his generals, as did his misguided strategy. Fuller notes that historians have frequently concluded that "the reign of Nicholas I was a catastrophic failure in both domestic and foreign policy." On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its geographical zenith, spanning over 20 million square kilometers (7.7 million square miles), but in desperate need of reform.Peter the Great
Peter the Great (Russian: Пётр Вели́кий, tr. Pyotr Velikiy, IPA: [ˈpʲɵtr vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj]), Peter I (Russian: Пётр I, tr. Pyotr I, IPA: [ˈpʲɵtr ˈpʲɛrvɨj]) or Peter Alexeyevich (Russian: Пётр Алексе́евич, IPA: [ˈpʲɵtr ɐlʲɪˈksʲejɪvʲɪtɕ]; 9 June [O.S. 30 May] 1672 – 8 February [O.S. 28 January] 1725) ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from 7 May [O.S. 27 April] 1682 until his death in 1725, jointly ruling before 1696 with his elder half-brother, Ivan V. Through a number of successful wars, he expanded the Tsardom into a much larger empire that became a major European power and also laid the groundwork for the Russian navy after capturing ports at Azov and the Baltic Sea. He led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political systems with ones that were modern, scientific, Westernised and based on the Enlightenment. Peter's reforms made a lasting impact on Russia, and many institutions of Russian government trace their origins to his reign. He is also known for founding and developing the city of Saint Petersburg, which remained the capital of Russia until 1917.SAR supergroup
Sar or Harosa (informally the SAR supergroup) is a clade that includes stramenopiles (heterokonts), alveolates, and Rhizaria. The first letter of each group provides the "SAR" in the name (alternatively spelled "RAS").The term "Harosa" (at the subkingdom level) has also been used for this grouping by Cavalier-Smith (2010). Adl et al. (2012) formalized the SAR supergroup as the node-based taxon Sar. They defined it as:
Sar: the least inclusive clade containing Bigelowiella natans Moestrup & Sengco 2001 (Rhizaria), Tetrahymena thermophila Nanney & McCoy 1976 (Alveolata), and Thalassiosira pseudonana Cleve 1873 (Stramenopiles). This is a node-based definition in which all of the specifiers are extant.
Members of the SAR supergroup were once included under the separate supergroups Chromalveolata and Rhizaria, until phylogenetic studies confirmed that stramenopiles and alveolates diverged with Rhizaria. This apparently excluded haptophytes and cryptomonads, leading Okamoto et al. (2009) to propose the clade Hacrobia to accommodate them.Stefan Dušan
Stefan Uroš IV Dušan (Serbian Cyrillic: Стефан Урош IV Душан, pronounced [stêfaːn ûroʃ tʃětʋr̩ːtiː dǔʃan] (listen)), known as Dušan the Mighty (Serbian: Душан Силни / Dušan Silni; c. 1308 – 20 December 1355), was the King of Serbia from 8 September 1331 and Emperor and autocrat of the Serbs, Bulgarians, Greeks and Albanians from 16 April 1346 until his death. Dušan conquered a large part of southeast Europe, becoming one of the most powerful monarchs of the era. Under Dušan's rule Serbia was the major power in the Balkans, and a multi-lingual empire that stretched from the Danube in the north to the Gulf of Corynth in the south, with its capital in Skopje. He enacted the constitution of the Serbian Empire, known as Dušan's Code, perhaps the most important literary work of medieval Serbia.
Dušan promoted the Serbian Church from an archbishopric to a Patriarchate, finished the construction of the Visoki Dečani monastery (a UNESCO site), and founded the Saint Archangels Monastery, among others. Under his rule Serbia reached its territorial, political, economic, and cultural peak.Dušan died in 1355, seen as the end of resistance against the advancing Ottoman Empire and the subsequent fall of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the region.Tsar Bomba
The Soviet RDS-220 hydrogen bomb (code name Ivan or Vanya), known by Western nations as Tsar Bomba (Russian: Царь-бо́мба, tr. Tsar'-bómba, IPA: [t͡sarʲ ˈbombə], lit. Tsar bomb), was the most powerful nuclear weapon ever created. Tested on 30 October 1961 as an experimental verification of calculation principles and multi-stage thermonuclear weapon designs, it also remains the most powerful explosive ever detonated. It was also referred to as Kuzma's mother (Russian: Ку́зькина ма́ть, tr. Kúz'kina mát', IPA: [ˈkusʲkʲɪnə ˈmatʲ]), possibly referring to First secretary Nikita Khrushchev's promise to "show the United States a Kuzma's mother" (an idiom roughly translating to "We'll show you") at a 1960 session of United Nations General Assembly.The bomb was detonated in secret but was detected by US Intelligence agencies. The US apparently had an instrumented KC-135R (Operation SpeedLight) in the area of the test, close enough to have been scorched by the blast. The bhangmeter results and other data suggested the bomb yielded about 58 megatons, and that was the accepted yield in the literature until the Soviet scientists revealed that their instruments indicated a yield of 50 megatons in 1991. As they had the instrumental data and access to the test site, their yield figure has been accepted as more correct.In theory, the bomb would have had a yield in excess of 100 megatons if it had included a uranium-238 tamper, but because only one bomb was built, that capability has never been demonstrated. The single bomb was detonated at the Sukhoy Nos ("Dry Nose") cape of Severny Island, part of Novaya Zemlya.The remaining bomb casings are located at the Russian Atomic Weapon Museum in Sarov and the Museum of Nuclear Weapons, All-Russian Research Institute of Technical Physics, at Snezhinsk.Tsardom of Russia
The Tsardom of Russia (Russian: Русское царство, Russkoje tsarstvo later changed to Российское царство, Rossiyskoye tsarstvo), or the Tsardom of Muscovy, was the centralized Russian state from the assumption of the title of Tsar by Ivan IV in 1547 until the foundation of the Russian Empire by Peter the Great in 1721.
From 1551 to 1700, Russia grew 35,000 km2 per year. The period includes the upheavals of the transition from the Rurik to the Romanov dynasties, many wars with the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sweden and the Ottoman Empire as well as the Russian conquest of Siberia, leading up to the ground-changing reign of Peter the Great, who took power in 1689 and transformed the Tsardom into a major European power. During the Great Northern War, he implemented substantial reforms and proclaimed the Russian Empire (Russian: Российская империя, Rossiyskaya imperiya) after victory over Sweden in 1721.