Russian History: Ivan the Terrible: Was he simply a tyrant gone mad or was there method in his madness.

Essay by Unknown450University, Master'sA+, January 2004

download word file, 6 pages 3.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 59 times

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...