Ivan the Terrible
Ivan IV of Russia has been know throughout the West as
Ivan the Terrible. In Russia he is called Ivan Grozny,
which would be better translated as Ivan the Awesome, but
that is not what he is known as in the West. So the
question arises, was Ivan truly the terrible murdered ruling
his people with the sword and an iron fist, or was there
more to his rule than violence?
Ivan was born August 25th, 1530 to Grand Prince Vasily
III of Moscow and Yelena Glinskaya. When Ivan's father died
on December 4th, 1533 a three year old Ivan was declared
Grand Prince of Moscow. Ivan's mother ruled in his name
until her death in 1538. Ivan suspected later on in his
life that Yelena had been poisoned by the Boyars. After
Yelena's death the Boyars ruled in Ivan's name until January
16th 1547 when, at age 17, Ivan was crowned Czar of all
There are many stories that exist about Ivan's
childhood and that his brutal behavior later in life can be
explained by the terrors he witnessed as a child. After
Yelena's death, it is believed, that Ivan was neglected and
even abused by the Boyars. The Boyars would only pay
attention to Ivan when his presence was required during a
ceremony. They would clean him and dress him in fine robes
in order to display that the monarchy was stable under this
child ruler. However after the ceremonies Ivan was stripped
of the robes and became like a beggar in his own palace.
When Ivan was 15 he called the Boyars for a meeting.
He railed against them for their neglect of him and the
nation. He told them that he would punish their leader as
an example. On Ivan's...