On This Day

Ivan the Terrible

Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible

Full Name: Ivan IV Vasilyevich
Profession: Russian Tsar


Biography: Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547 and Tsar of All the Russians from 1547 until his death in 1584. During his reign Russia transitioned from a medieval nation-state to an empire, growing at a rate of approximately 130 square kilometers a day.

Ivan’s parents died during his childhood and Ivan was crowned Tsar at 16. The early part of his reign saw the military conquest of the Khanates of Kazan in 1552, Astrakhan in 1556, and Siberia, transforming Russia into a multiethnic and multiconfessional state spanning almost one thousand million acres, approximately 4,046,856 km2 (1,562,500 sq mi).

However in the latter part of his reign his imperial adventuring was halted in its westward advance by the Western powers Sweden, Poland and Lithuania. This conflict became known as the Livonian War and dragged out over twenty-four years, draining Russia economically and militarily.

Ivan’s mental health suffered during this time and his violent outbursts are thought to be responsible for his daughter’s miscarriage and the death of his eldest son.

Born: August 25, 1530
Birthplace: Kolomenskoye, Russia
Star Sign: Virgo

Died: March 28, 1584 (aged 53)
Cause of Death: Stroke

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1547-02-03 Russian Tsar Ivan IV [Ivan the Terrible] (17) marries Anastasia Romanova (17)

Historical Events

  • 1547-01-16 Ivan IV the Terrible (17) crowns himself first tsar of Moscow
  • 1552-10-02 Conquest of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible.
  • 1552-10-29 Tsar Ivan IV returns to Moscow after conquering the Khanate of Kazan in the Siege of Kazan
  • 1558-04-04 Tsar Ivan IV gives parts of North-Russia to fur traders
  • 1570-01-02 Tsar Ivan the Terrible's march to Novgorod begins
  • 1570-01-09 Tsar Ivan the Terrible kills 1,000-2,000 residents of Novgorod
  • 1581-11-16 Tsar Ivan the Terrible attacks his son and heir, Ivan Ivanovich, with a scepter after an argument leading to the latter's death three days later
  • 1581-11-19 Tsarevich Ivan Ivanovich dies after being attacked by his father Ivan the Terrible three days earlier

Famous Kings