Ivan The Terrible
- Category : Passions-Criminal-Perpetrator-Homicide-serial
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sleeping Phoenix 3
- Birth Year: 1530
- Birthday: 25. August
- Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
- Profile: 2-4
- Type: Emotional Manifesting Generator
- Inc.Cross: The Sleeping Phoenix 3
- Definition: Double Split - Large
- Variables: BLR-MLR
- 3536 Transistoriness
- 0360 Mutation
- 0659 Mating
- 2034 Charisma
- 2461 Awareness
Russian Czar who ruled from 1547 to 1584. He was the grandson of Ivan the Great and the son of Vasili III and a princess of royal Mongolian descent. During his 40-year reign, he was responsible for centralizing the administration of Russia and expanding the boundaries of the Russian empire. A contemporary of Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I, King Philip of Spain and the Borgias in Italy, he followed the cultural pattern of his time by curbing violence with greater violence, gradually becoming the very personification of tyranny and brutality. Boundless suspicion, insatiable cruelty, and extreme depravity were perhaps his outstanding characteristics. During his reign hardly a family of noble birth was not touched by his murders, and some were completely eliminated. Countless acres of cultivated land were abandoned by farmers during the terror of the Oprichniki (his military guard), falling back into forested wilderness.
When Ivan was three, his dad died and at eight, his mom (possibly of poisoning). Under the regency of his nobles, rivalry and deception contributed to the despoiling of the people. When Ivan was 13, one of his best friends was put in prison and another executed. The youth suffered from poor health, neglect, abuse, manipulation and a lack of education. As the rivalry in the Palace for the power of Russia escalated into a bloody feud, Ivan watched and heard murders and beatings and was himself subjected to verbal and physical abuse regularly. Incapable of striking at his tormentors, Ivan took out his frustrations on defenseless animals, which he brutally tortured and threw from the tops of towers.
At the same time, Ivan read books at an incredible pace, learned to be a musician, wrote extensively, and became an excellent horseman. Intellectually, he was markedly above the level of his contemporaries, and he ranks indeed as one of the most literate of the Russian rulers. A devout churchman, Ivan scrupulously observed the complex ritual of orthodox services and was active in Church affairs.
At 16, on 1/16/1547 in Moscow's lavish Cathedral of the Assumption, Ivan was crowned Czar autocrat of "all the Russia's." Three weeks later, on 2/03/1547, he married Romanovna-Zakharyina-Yurueva, the daughter of a minor noble. She had been selected from a parade of virgins who were presented to him for his choice. Anastasia bore him six children of whom only two survived infancy, and during their 13 years together, always seemed to have a calming effect on her headstrong, nervous and erratic husband.
The years 1547 through 1560 are usually considered the constructive period
of Ivan's reign, when he was a conscientious and pious leader. He appointed an advisory council, founded a national assembly, enacted reforms in local government and drew up a new law code that standardized the responsibilities and duties of the aristocracy. He annexed three Tartar states and assumed control of the Volga River and access to the Caspian Sea. He also established the empire in Siberia and promoted trade with various European countries, including England, France and Holland. He was noted for his highly progressive administrative policies. He beautified Moscow by bringing in foreign craftsmen.
Ivan had a grave illness in 1553, during which he suspected his nobles of disloyalty. He began to take vengeance upon them and their families, with detailed instructions for a wave of tortures and executions On 12/29/1553 Ivan surprised his boyars by calling them to a meeting. He condemned them for their neglect of him and the nation, and denounced them for their misconduct, telling them he would punish their leader as an example. At a signal from Ivan, a heavily armed group of huntsmen seized Prince Andrew Shuiksy and dragged him off. Outside, before a large crowd of Moscovites, the screaming prince was thrown into an enclosure with a pack of starved hunting dogs that immediately fell on Andrew and devoured him.
When his wife died in 1560, Ivan began a downward spiral into a bestial and cruel tyranny. His married life became increasingly unstable, underlining his egocentricity, insecurity and manic temperament. In 1561 he had married a Circassian beauty, Maria Temiukovna, but he soon tired of her. Two years after her death in 1569 he married Martha Sobakin, a merchant's daughter, but she died two weeks later. Ivan's fourth wife was Anna Koltovskaya, whom he sent to a convent in 1575. He married a fifth time to Anna Wassilchikura, who was soon replaced by Wassilissa Melentiewna. She foolishly took a lover, who was impaled under Wassilissa's window before she, too, was dispatched to a convent. After his seventh wedding day Ivan discovered that his new bride, Maria Dolgurukaya, was not a virgin. He had her drowned the next day. His eight and last wife was Maria Nagaya, whom Ivan married in 1581. It is suspected if not assumed that some of his wives died of poisoning.
Ivan’s reign of terror was conducted in earnest from 1564 to 1572, when he ruthlessly tortured and murdered thousands of his people, many by his own hand. The oprichniki constituted a security police whose relentless aim was to purge the land of treacherous elements. In 1570, on the basis of unproven accusations of treason, the entire city of Novgorod was put to torture on the charge that its archbishop was planning to hand over the city to the Lithuanians. Sixty thousand of its citizens were butchered in a week-long orgy. Observers reported that so many bodies clogged the Volkhov River, which bisects the city, that it overflowed its banks. Ivan's victims suffered heartless torture. Many were drowned or strangled or flogged to death; some were impaled, others roasted on a spit, still others fried in large skillets. But churchmen, boyars, and merchants whom Ivan suspected of treason were not the only ones to suffer. His favorites, the oprichniki leaders, whose loyalty had become suspect, died in an agonizing torture more fiendish than anything they had devised for their victims.
Ivan had always had a quite good relationship with his eldest son, and young
Ivan had proved himself at Novgorod. On 11/19/1581 Ivan became angry
with his son's pregnant wife because of the clothes she wore, and beat her, causing her to miscarry a baby. His son argued with his father about this beating. In a sudden fit of rage, Ivan the Terrible raised his iron-tipped staff and struck his son a mortal blow to the head. The Prince lay in a coma
for several days before succumbing to his festering wound. Ivan was
overcome by extreme grief, knocking his head against his son's coffin. He
never slept properly again, but roamed the palace at night in terrible remorse.
It has been suggested that Ivan suffered from syphilis due to his sexual promiscuity with both sexes. His last illness and many features of his personality underline such a diagnosis. However, it can not indisputably be determined if Ivan's problems were basically organic or psychological.
Ivan's mistrust, sadism and uncontrolled rages suggest an abnormal
personality which could be traced back to his traumatic childhood. After his illness of 1553, that could have been pneumonia or encephalitis, and the death of his first wife in 1560, Ivan's erratic and cruel behavior increased. He had some psychopathic characteristics; his quick mood shifts, unreliability, egocentricity and his impersonal sex life and lack of lasting emotions. He was a master at manipulating other people, while convincing them of his good intentions. He was without any compassion for his subjects, whom he beat, robbed or raped, exercising violence for its own sake. His personal friendships were of short duration, often due to murder. Ivan became addicted to the ingestion of mercury, which he kept bubbling in a cauldron in his room for his consumption. The later exhumation of his body showed that he suffered from mercury poisoning.
By the end of his life, Ivan was habitually bad tempered. His biographer stated that in his rages Ivan "foamed at the mouth like a horse." He
looked older than his years with long white hair dangling to his shoulders from a bald pate. Toward the last, he had to be carried on a litter with a swollen body giving off a terrible odor. Jerome Horsey wrote, "The emperor began grievously to swell in his cods, with which he had most horribly offended above fifty years, boasting of a thousand virgins he had deflowered and thousands of children of his begetting destroyed."
On 3/18/1584, as he was preparing to play a game of chess, Ivan fainted suddenly and died. Because of the murder of his older son, he was succeeded by his younger son, Fedor, who was feebleminded. The dynasty was doomed to extinction, for Ivan's sole remaining heir had a barren marriage. Ivan was the last of the House of Riurik and through kin of his first wife, the Romanov dynasty ruled Russia from 1613 to 1917.