Ivan the Terrible

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  • Topic: Ivan IV of Russia, Russia, Kazan
  • Pages : 2 (577 words )
  • Download(s) : 232
  • Published : October 8, 1999
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Ivan the Terrible Ivan the Terrible was a cruel tyrant, who never knew the meaning of moderation; He drank too much, laughed too loudly and hated and loved too fiercely. And he never forgot anything. Ivan was definitely smart and despite his cruelty, his reign is known as one of the greatest rules in Russian history. In Russia Ivan was called "Grozny", which has always been translated to "the terrible", but actually means "the awesome". Born in 1530, Ivan was only three when he inherited the Russian throne following his father's death. At the age of seven, tragedy struck again when nobles of his court poisoned his mother. By his early teens, he was already displaying some of his uglier traits. He would throw live animals from towers and appeared to derive pleasure from doing so. Ivan was crowned Russia's first Tsar at the age of 17. Three weeks later he married, having chosen his bride in a national virgin competition. Virgins over the age of twelve were brought to the Kremlin to be paraded before him. He chose Anastasia, the daughter of a minor noble, and their marriage proved to be a very close one. Ivan had huge ambitions for his new Imperial dynasty. He launched a holy war against Russia's traditional enemy, the Tartars. Showing no mercy to these Muslim people Ivan's conquest of Kazan, and later Astrakhan and Siberia, gave birth to a sixteenth century personality cult glorifying him as the Orthodox crusader. His wife Anastasia helped to hold his cruelty back but in 1560 she died. He accused his nobles of poisoning her, and became even more mentally unstable. Recent studies have shown that there was over ten times the normal amount of mercury in her hair showing that she was murdered. He set up a bodyguard that has been described as Russia's first 'secret police' (the Oprichniki) as a religious brotherhood sworn to protecting God's Tsar. In reality, they became marauding thugs, ready to commit any crime in the Tsar's name. Ivan sentenced thousands to internal...
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