Ivan IV "The Terrible" Czar of Russia
Ivan IV was a Czar terrible beyond words. He succeeded his father Vasily III who died in 1533 when Ivan IV was just 3 years old. Ivan's uncle challenged his right to the throne and as a result he was arrested and imprisoned in a dungeon. His mother was ruled as a regent for 5 years until she died of what is thought to be poisoning. Now, the real trouble began. Ivan IV was now somewhat capable of being the Grand Duke of Moscow. Ivan, who was not even 8 years old yet, was a sensitive and intelligent young boy. Although powerful, Ivan soon became lonely and depressed. There was no one to watch over him and boyars often molested or neglected him. The boyars were a class of high Russian nobility during the rule of Ivan IV. He became a vagabond in his palace. Ivan was unable to lash out at his tormentors, so he took out his frustration on helpless animals, ripping feathers off of birds, poking their eyes out, and/or slitting their bodies open (Bos, 2002).
In 1543, Ivan IV ordered the arrest of Prince Andrew Shuisky who was a cruel leader of the boyars. He threw Shuisky to a pack of starving dogs and as a result the rule of the boyars ended. At the ripe age of 13, Ivan was a disturbed young man and already a heavy drinker. He walked the streets of Moscow with his malicious gang. They drank, knocked down old people, and raped women. The gang disposed of their victims by having them hanged, strangled, buried alive, or thrown to the bears. Besides killing animals Ivan enjoyed robbing and beating farmers. Ivan began reading religious texts at an unbelievable pace. He was a bothered young man and in efforts to confess his sins Ivan would throw himself before icons and bang his head on the floor of numerous public churches in Moscow. These "confessions" usually ended when Ivan's forehead was a massive bloody bump (Bos, 2002).
In 1547 Ivan was officially crowned Czar of Russia. As a method of choosing his...
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