Historical Figures

Ivan IV the Terrible (1530-1584)

Last updated:2022-07-25

Ivan IV the Terrible according to Victor Wasnetsov.

Ivan IV the Terrible (1530-1584)

Moscow Grand Duke of the Rurikov dynasty. The first ruler of this country to use the title of Tsar of All Russia. Vasyl III's son was raised to the throne at the age of three. Initially, the regency on his behalf was exercised by his mother, Helena Glińska. Crowned in 1547, he started independent rule at that time.

After his wife died in an alleged assassination attempt, he unleashed massive persecution of his subjects. In Novgorod Wielki alone, he led to the death of up to forty thousand people (it was the so-called oprichnina ). At the same time, he conquered the Kazan Khanate and subjugated the Nogai Horde and the Siberian Khanate. However, he suffered a miserable defeat in the battles against the Crimean Tatars:in 1571, the invaders reached Moscow, burning and looting the Russian capital.

The significant defeats of Ivan the Terrible also include the confrontation with the Polish king Stefan Batory. As a result of a series of armed campaigns (the siege of Połock in 1579, Wielkie Łuków in 1580 and Pskov in 1581-1582) Moscow Ruthenia lost the Polotsk land and renounced its claims to Livonia. These wars were played out at a time when the Polish queen was Anna Jagiellonka:twenty years earlier she was predicted to be a possible spouse for Ivan the Terrible.

Ivan was considered a tyrant and the first of Moscow's autocrat. He was also the murderer of his two children. He died from a stroke sustained while playing chess.