Ivan IV Vasilyevich's personality is a subject of fascination among historians. Some claim that he tortured animals as a young child, but whether or not this is true, his youth could not have been easy: both of his parents had died by the time he was eight years old. At the age of 16, he was the first to be crowned "Tsar of All the Russias." Though his rule began with peaceful reforms, his paranoia and fits of rage grew worse as he matured, especially after the death of his wife Anastasia. His legacy eventually became one of mental illness and ruthlessness toward the nobility.
Ivan The Terrible Murdered His Chosen Heir
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Key Facts In This Video
Ivan IV Vasilyevich was crowned Tsar of Russia at the age of 16, and began his reign with peaceful reforms. 00:23
After the death of his wife, Ivan the Terrible became more prone to erratic and paranoid behavior. 00:55
The name "Ivan the Terrible" may actually be a mistranslation of "Ivan the Fearsome" or "Ivan the Fearless." 01:40