Talk:Ivan the Terrible

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Year of birth[edit]

From the article:

There isn't much known about Ivan so this will be a difficult article to add to!

Question: Was he born in 1534 or 1533? Sources talk I believe he was the czar in 1533, but i'm not sure. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bobadeba (talkcontribs) 15 February 2007.


Exact translation of Ivan Grozny's nickname and toning down of his presumably "mad" character, as well as the commentary about the goal of Oprichina was supplemented by G.N.Boiko-Slastion on Nov.30,2003.


Considering that many historians do indeed judge Ivan to have been deranged, I think this article should consider this view as well as the view that Ivan was a farsighted, sane statesman. As is the article is learning towards the sane side more than is appropriate.



A link to the Eisenstein films (or to Eisenstein himself until the articles are written) would be appropriate.



He was not born on janurary 18 1993


Ivan IV certainly WAS born on 18 Jan, 1993. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 169.252.4.21 (talk) 02:23, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Library[edit]

Dude, where's this dude's library? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.107.158.136 (talk) 21:49, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Semen Bekbulatovich[edit]

Ivan IV officially and publicly abandoned the title of tsar in 1547following the destruction of Moscow by Devlet Girey, the han of Tatars, and a Tatar Sain-Bulat, or Semen Bekbulatovich was proclaimed tsar (Muscove tsars were vassals of Cimean Tatars, who were heirs of the Khans of the Golden Horde). Does anyone have information about this event? Compay 00:23, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

There is an article on Simeon Bekbulatovich --Ghirlandajo 08:15, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Nonsense. Moscow tsars were never vassals of crrimean tatars. Great dukes of Moscow were vassals of Golden Horde and called their sovereigns "tsar". Crimean khans were vassals of turkish sultans.
=Seva The preceding unsigned comment was added by 65.113.40.130 (talk • contribs) 1 Feb 2006.

Captions[edit]

Why does the first picture have the caption "Tsar Ioann IV the Terrible"? In what relevant language is he Ioann? Is this Latin? I can't think what else it would be. In both English and Russian he is "Ivan", though of course the vowels have different values and the accent falls differently.

Ioannes in Greek, Ioann in Church Slavonic and lofty Russian parlance. --Ghirlandajo 20:54, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Church Slavonic and lofty Russian parlance sound worth a mention, but not an unexplained use in a caption; I'll deal with this one. -- Jmabel | Talk 22:37, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

And for the second one: "In imitation of Henry VIII of England, Ivan married 7 times…" "In imitation of…" seems very unlikely, is there a citation for this? -- Jmabel | Talk 19:58, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Actually, Ivan maintained close ties with England, patronized the Muscovy Company, and built the Old English Embassy near the Kremlin, which still may be seen. He maintained a regular correspondence with Elizabeth I and proposed to marry her. As his own letters show, he was aware of the authoritorian policies of her father as well. See Skrynnikov for details. --Ghirlandajo 20:54, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
But is there any basis to say he married women in imitation of Henry VIII? Is there a citation for that claim, because it seems a bit bizarre to me. -- Jmabel | Talk 22:37, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
It's been over a month and I still don't have an answer to this. I'm very inclined to change this caption. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:21, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Tsar or Czar?[edit]

Why are both used in the article? The preceding unsigned comment was added by Harris0 (talk • contribs) 16 Dec 2006.

No good reason. Both are acceptable, though I think contemporary usage is leaning towards "tsar" for the literal meaning and "czar" for the metaphorical (such as "drug czar"). Within one article, we ought to stick to one or the other. -- Jmabel | Talk 16:24, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Tsar is used by Oxford Dictionary, Czar in Merriam Webster
=Seva

Very Primitive Article[edit]

Ioann Grosny was the first Russian tsar. Prior to him the title tsar (from latin Caesar) was used in Russia for Byzantine emperors and Mongolian khans. Not to mention this fact is ignorance.
Simeon Bekbulatovich was only one year a tsar, after that Ioann Grosny take this title back.
It was not the first time, when Ioann Grosny resigned. Remember Alexandrovskaya sloboda. Or better read a book.
Oprichnina cannot be translated as “security” (ohrana), what an ignorant fool wrote that? Yes ignorant fool. The name of this organization, which could be translated as “something except of it” or “something beyond of it”, very good describes its role. When Ioann Grosny after his resignation and escape to Axedrovskaya Sloboda was pleaded to come back to his throne, one of his conditions was the right to establish Oprichnina. Originally this means the exceptional right for tsar to give estates directly to loyal people. Later word oprichnina becomes the synonym for exceptional rights of those people – oprichniks – over lives and possessions other citizens - Zemstvo. Usually estates were given by Zemsky Sobor. Thus the opposite of Oprichnina is Zemstvo.
The fact that Ioann Grosny himself dissolved Oprichnina and even forbid to mention this word is obviously forgotten
The reason for it of course too
Comparison with Henry VIII is evidence that the author of this article gather his knowledge in yellow press. Try The Times

What else?

Ioann Grosny passed the first death sentence when aged 13.
The massacre of Poganaya Yama is not mentioned

The overall impression of this article – it written by someone who neglect to read books.

=Seva The preceding unsigned comment was added by 65.113.40.130 (talk • contribs) 1 Feb 2006.

Non-native english speakers[edit]

I wonder if this article is being edited by non-native english speakers. The sentence "Upon his father's death, he formally came to the throne at the age of three, but his minority was dominated by the strong personality of his mother Elena Glinskaya" is just horrible. I have tried to edit some of the mangled writing in this article, only to see it reverted back to the previous rubbish. Cwiki 11:55, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

I am sure that the article is often edited by non-native English speakers. Virtually all topics related to Russia are significantly worked on by Russians: would you have it any other way?
I am a native speaker, and while I find that sentence slightly stilted, I can't imagine what about it you find "just horrible". "His minority" in this sense is slightly archaic (especially in U.S. English), and I might use "the period before he came of age", but other than that I don't see anything particularly wrong with it. Could you be clearer about what you find "horrible": you say that you "tried to edit some of the mangled writing in this article", but obviously you didn't do so under the account name you are now using, since it is nowhere to be found in the edit history. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:28, 2 April 2006 (UTC)


Slightly stilted! Let's analyze this sentence. Adding the word "formally" is confusing. If you state that someone formally does something, there is a strong assumption that they were informally doing it earlier. The sentence implies that Ivan was informally on the throne prior to his father's death - which is ridiculous given that Ivan was only three. When he was three he didn't rule - regents did. He formally came to the throne when he came of age and a regency was no longer needed. The sentence talks about him being three and being dominated by his mother. This makes the sentence ridiculous even without any historical context. His mother died when he was eight so it's fairly redundant to say that his minority was dominated by her. You talk about adults being dominated by their mother, not fatherless children. Also, she was only alive for half his minority, so she couldn't have dominated his minority that much.
Or that he didn't do it informally for some time, which, being three, he didn't. 72.166.213.6 01:24, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Remove all the garbage and the sentence is changed to - "His father died when Ivan was only three. He ascended the throne however a regency was required during his minority. His mother, Elena Glinskaya assumed power."

Of course I expect Russian articles to be edited by Russians. However I don't expect to clean up non-native English speakers' grammar, only to see it reverted back to it's original stilted form.
For what its worth, my past edits weren't under my current account name. Cwiki 12:50, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
The use of the word "formally" does not imply that informal accession was necessarily earlier, just at a different time, in this case later. To use the word slightly differently, "his accession at the age of three was an empty formality."
The way I would read "his minority was dominated by the strong personality of his mother" is not that he, personally, was dominated by his mother but that during the period of his minority the court and hence the country were dominated by his mother.
"He ascended the throne however a regency was required during his minority," would be much improved by a semicolon after "throne" and a comma after "however". But if I would probably say something more like, "In 1533, when Ivan was only three, his father died and Ivan became the Grand Duke. His mother, Elena Glinskaya, functioned as a strong regent until her death in 1538. Thereafter, the boyars Ivan and Andrey Shuisky were the de facto rulers of Russia until Ivan assumed power in 1544." More information, too.
And, yes, it's a pain if people whose mastery of the language is less than yours are editing your merely editorial changes. -- Jmabel | Talk 02:02, 9 April 2006 (UTC)


I'm glad you agree with my basic point. I enjoyed our debate about the sentence I used as an example but that was a sideshow. You're right about the semicolon. I don't normally use semicolons in informal communications such as this; however, given that I'm banging on about stilted writing, I should have been more careful. You're also right about the use of the word "formally". The sentence was so badly written that I didn't get that the author was trying to say "He formally came to the throne at the age of three, but during his minority, the country was ruled by his mother". Also, I explained how I would reword the sentence as stated. I didn't necessarily say that's how I would write it in the first place. Cwiki 12:19, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

  • I was under the impression you were only suposed to edit something if you were neutral like I couldn't make any major edits on Canada for example. Jamhaw 18:15, 16 January 2007 (UTC)jamhaw


The page is definitely edited by non-native English speakers, which I find annoying. I myself is non-native English speaker and refrain from writing or editing anything on English language pages. However I had to delete this sentence here: "Anna Glinsky (Jakšić) had a very significant role in the upbringing of little Ivan Vasilyevich. Since he left early without parents, Vasili III and Elenа, grandma Anna Jakšić of Serbia she took care of her grandson, it is certain, she met with the Serbian tradition." What I find highly irritating is that the contributor, surely a Serbian, keeps adding this sentence back. I can understand he may want to underline his country's contribution to shaping Ivan's character and therefore shaping Russian history, but either he should do it in correct English or should stick to the pages written in Serbo-Croat, or whatever language it is they speak in Serbia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bianconeri78 (talkcontribs) 11:55, 27 November 2010 (UTC)


St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow is called St. Vasili[edit]

An anonymous user wants links to St. Basil's Cathedral to redirect to the nonexistent link St. Vasili. I do not think this should be the case, but am not going to keep reverting it. I think the argument is that the cathedral is called "St. Vasili" by local people, but this is English Wikipedia. Blue Rasberry 20:39, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

If a link is changed from blue to red, it's clearly something that should be reverted without hesitation. If someone has an issue with how the target article is titled, there is always WP:RM.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); March 23, 2010; 20:44 (UTC)

Dirty Boots[edit]

Why would a drunken Boyar putting his dirty boots on Ivan's bed contribute to his mental instability? Cwiki 10:59, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Address this question to Dr. Freud. What "mental instability" do you talk about, by the way? Ivan's brains were sharper than ours. --Ghirla -трёп- 11:38, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

I refer to a passage in this article- "In one letter, he painfully recalls an episode when one drunken boyar put his dirty boots on Ivan's bed. These traumatic experiences doubtlessly contributed to his hatred of the boyars and to his mental instability." I'm trying to rid this article of garbage but it keeps on getting reverted. What do you mean by saying "Ivan's brains were sharper than ours". More garbage. Cwiki 10:54, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

It borders on the ridiculous. I'm going to pull it. NeoFreak 15:07, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Here are the primary sources (since the BBC doesnt suffice)[edit]

Anon, these are typical secondary sources. They were written in the 20th or 21st centuries. Primary sources should date to the 16th century. Are you sure that your additions are not an urban legend? --Ghirla -трёп- 09:17, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Andrey Kurbsky[edit]

I found an article about Andrey Kurbsky, doing a random article search. There is no mention of Andrey Kurbsky in the Ivan IV article. I added a link under SEE ALSO, but someone who is more knowledgable than me may wish to add it in to the main article. --KVox 20:37, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

You should have read the article more carefully. --Ghirla -трёп- 16:33, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Move?[edit]

At Talk:Jan I Olbracht it's been suggested that perhaps the easiest way to enforce the wiki conventions on naming of rulers would be to move all articles to the proper title and this one was given as an example. Any ideas on John IV of Muscovy? //Halibutt 20:39, 16 June 2006 (UTC)


Quality, Sources[edit]

Overall really badly edited. "What had been by far the richest area of Russia became the poorest" - What area are we talking about?

"In a dispute with Novgorod Republic, Ivan ordered the Oprichniks to murder the inhabitants of this city. Between thirty and forty thousand were killed. Yet the official death toll named 1,500 of Novgorod big people (nobility) and only mentioned about the same number of smaller people." -- It is not fact-based. First of all, "murder of inhabitants" needs to be re-worded. I was not the exact mission. 30-40 thousand is way too high. Estimates at Novgorod population of this time are about 20-30 thousand total and number of victims 2-3 thousand of which nobility stands at few hundred. Can someone double check this with reputable source (Skrynnikov?)? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 69.226.231.199 (talkcontribs) 22 June 2006.

Images[edit]

Is it possible to get a higher-resolution image of the Ilya Repin painting (Ivan the Terrible killing his son)? The particularly haunting expression on Ivan's face doesn't come through in the current small version. Robotman1974 09:05, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Also i do suggest remove the image of painting named "Tsar Ivan IV mourns Anastasia Romanovna. 1875 painting by Grigory Semyonovich Sedov (1836-1886)" cause it is completely misleading showing a guy in his 60's or 70's while Ivan was young lad in his 30's when Anastasia died. I know that it is probably intentionally made by artistic means but on site like wikipedia that is also educational it is unhistorical and misleading...So not good.

Cultural depictions of Ivan IV of Russia[edit]

I've started an approach that may apply to Wikipedia's Core Biography articles: creating a branching list page based on in popular culture information. I started that last year while I raised Joan of Arc to featured article when I created Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc, which has become a featured list. Recently I also created Cultural depictions of Alexander the Great out of material that had been deleted from the biography article. Since cultural references sometimes get deleted without discussion, I'd like to suggest this approach as a model for the editors here. Regards, Durova 17:20, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I have to say that this part of the article is really weak. I mean, mentioning a movie standard like "Ivan the Terrible" of Eisenstein only in "See Also" section is just not right. With three parts, including one censored and one unfinished, the filming project of the Tsar's life played a considerable part in creation of his modern legend. Deliogul (talk) 16:48, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Tendentious editing by Bel-Velvel[edit]

It is very frustrating to see a rather neutral article ruined by tendentious editing... :( --Ghirla -трёп- 18:31, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

The number of victims of Novgorod massacre is very overestimated. The article contains other mistakes also[edit]

1.

Previous text: """ In a dispute with the wealthy city of Novgorod, Ivan ordered the Oprichniks to murder inhabitants of this city, which was never to regain its former prosperity. Between thirty and forty thousand might have been killed during the infamous Massacre of Novgorod in 1570 """

This paragraph contains a lot of mistakes.

  • Novgorod was not prospering city to 1570 after the epidemics of plague and the famine of 1560s.
  • Ivan did not ordered to kill all city dwellers.
  • The number of 30-40 thousand victims is represented as finished proved statement. Though these figures strongly contradict even to a population of city to 1570 (10,000-20,000).
  • The official data were fair enough. It is the report of the commander of Oprichniki Maljuta Skuratov and commemoration lists of tsar. Would he lie before the God, being the religious person?

2.

It is incorrect to declare famine and the devastation of Russia as result of the Oprichnina only. Authors of this opnion forget the Big Drought and the epidemics of plague in 1560s, the Polish-Lithuanian and Swedish raids on Russian territory (devastation of region Smolensk, Pskov, Novgorod, Yaroslavl, South-West etc), attacks of Tatars of Crimea (They even burnt down Moscow), the trading blockade carried out by Swedes, Poles and Hanseatic League.

In 1560s the grain prices have grown ten times. Epidemic of the plague killed 10,000 in Novgorod. In 1570 the plague killed 600-1000 in Moscow daily. (R.Skrynnikov, "Ivan Grosny", M., AST, 2001)

3.

Ivan realized objective centralization tendencies. In Europe these tendencies conducted to overcoming of the feudal privileges and dissociation and to the building of the absolutistic state. It is necessary to remember the bloody acts of Henry VIII (England), Charles IX (France), Erik XIV (Sweden) and Spanish kings.

The Oprichnina was not the product of Ivan's paranoia. In the regions of Oprichnina (the Northeast of Russia) the number of large noble landowners was small. Basing on the Oprichnina, tsar wanted to suppress the nobility of the Southwest and the West of Russia, who did not support his struggle against Poland, Lithuania and Sweden.

4. My text: "In 1552 tsar won Kazan Khanate, whose armies repeatedly devastated the Northeast of Russia (ref), and annexed its territory. 1556 he annexed Astrakhan Khanate and destroyed the largest slave market on the river Volga. These gains of tsar complicated the migration of aggressive nomadic hordes from Asia to Europe through Volga and transformed Russia into a multinational and multiconfessional state."... "He introduced the local self-management in rural regions, mainly in the Northeast of Russia, populated by the state peasantry. What in this versions frustrate my opponent?

Ben-Velvel 18:43, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

What you need to do is to add facts and place a reference and page number for them. At present, reference three is faultily presented. One reference for each source here would be preferable, with a page number for published books, including chronicles. Editorial comment by the editor is not the done thing, even in notes. And it is always best to reference opposing sources where sources clash, or the reader will then only see a partial interpretation of events. qp10qp 19:04, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
"Would he lie before the God, being the religious person?" Quite possibly. Religious people have certainly been known to lie. - Jmabel | Talk 05:50, 16 November 2006 (UTC)


Now that section says that there were up to 60,000 killed - in a town of 10-20,000. What the hell? Somebody fix it! I don't know enough to, but I can sure recognize an error like that when I see it! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.226.52.221 (talk) 03:49, 15 November 2007 (UTC)


In looking at the massacre in 1570, you could look at the sources in the Wikipedia article specificially on the massacre; The casualty figures are not just for the town, but for the whole district, and it is unclear what the population was - I would say most population figures for the medieval and early modern periods are guesses, as there aren't very good records. There was no census and the land cadastres (pistsovye knigi) are incomplete). Ruslan Skryinnikov argued that perhaps only about 6,000 were killed, based on prayer lists the tsar sent to the Kirillov Monastery and Skryatov, but those may be only the most important people (boyars, middle-servicemen, clergymen) and not the peasantry; The figure of 60,000 is from German accounts at the time. No one really understands why Ivan implemented the Oprichnina. There is the argument that it was to suppress the boyars, but then a lot of boyars were in the Oprichnina and most of the victims appear to be peasants. Skrynnikov, Zimin, and others who have studied it aren't really sure why Ivan implemented it, so it very well might be Ivan's paranoia. There was an article a few years back that argued Ivan was just another renaissance prince (I believe it was by Michael Cherniavsky, but I don't know how well that claim has been accepted. Ivan liked to thow animals off of towers, he scalded peasants with hot wine when they came to petition him, and he found ways to kill people beyond the normal execution of traitors and criminals - he is reported to have sewn Archbishop Pimen of Novgorod up in a bearskin and set dogs on him. It seems there were some mental problems, if not paranoia, something else. When his sarcophagus was opened in the Soviet period, his spine was fused and it is thought that may have put pressure on the spinal column and caused nervous or mental disorders. So it seems it was more than the harsh realities of rule in the sixteenth century that made Ivan do what he did. --Mcpaul1998 (talk) 00:00, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Birthplace[edit]

Ivan IV(Ivan the Terrible) was born in Kolomenskoye NEAR Moscow not actually there. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by L 2 Da U (talkcontribs) 03:32, 27 February 2007 (UTC).

It is true that Kolomenskoe was near Moscow in 1530; it is now well within the city of Moscow, four stops on the Metro from Teatralnaya on the Second Line, four miles or so from the Kremlin. --Mcpaul1998 (talk) 00:16, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Conquest of Siberia[edit]

I have a map here published by Rand McNally & Company that indicates that Siberia was acquired by Russia between 1598 and 1689. Since Ivan dies before 1598, his reign could not have seen the conquest of Siberia as indicated in the first paragraph of the article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 69.156.93.39 (talkcontribs) 25 March 2007.

As far as I know Ermak and his cossaks defeated the khanate of Siberia in 1581 near the place where the city of Tobolsk currently stands. So you can say Ivan conquered Siberia, even though Russian troops reached the Pacific shores much later due to the vastness of Siberia.Bianconeri78 (talk) 12:04, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

name[edit]

Ivan Grozny is the Russian name given to Ivan IV, almost invariably translated as "Ivan the Terrible" into English, but a reference should be made to its literal Russian meaning; "Ivan the Threatening". While a minor point from a historical point of view, it should perhaps be mentioned as it does illustrate the subtle, but definetly different takes on the character from the West and in English-speaking countries. Eddie max 23:47, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Threatening doesn't quite do it justice either. It means 'terrible' in the old sense of the word, mighty and awe-inspiring. A russian friend said 'inspiring reverential dread' is an excellent phrase to describe the adjective. English just doesn't have the particular vocabulary for a direct translation. While a few people still know the old usage of 'terrible' its very unlikely that succeeding generations will, so perhaps a better translation is in order. My Russian professor suggested 'thunderous' but that doesn't quite sound correct in english.(S.L)

"Thunderous" sounds fine in English. That seems to be the most accurate translation, since "groza" in Russian is "thunder". Esn (talk) 03:27, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

thaNKS FOR UR HELP[edit]

THIS HELPED ME A LOT IN MY ASSINGMENT. THANKS. ŚиíþéЯ 03:43, 2 June 2007 (UTC)


Another translation of Grozny[edit]

I've heard (not knowing Russian myself) that in the name "Peter the Great", the "Great" represents "grozny" in the original Russian. So can't we call the earlier tsar Ivan the Great?

Note: I once heard of a lecture in which a historian started by explaining that "terrible" was not a good translation. After subsequently summarizing Ivan's career he concluded: "Now that I think about it, he really WAS pretty terrible". CharlesTheBold 04:40, 8 June 2007 (UTC)


Peter the Great is Pyotr Velikii. Ivan the Terrible is Ivan Grozny. Different words with very different meanings.

  • Literal meaning of "Grozny" is closer to "threatening", from "грозить" - "to threat". This epithet is not derogatory, but does not mean "great" anyway.Garret Beaumain 17:32, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't speak Russian, but in context, perhaps "Ivan the Terrifying" best gets the point across? - CronoDAS 05:46, 15 September 2007 (UTC)


Ivan III (r. 1462-1505)was "Ivan the Great".


Grozny implies awe-inspiring and demanding respect, that he is harsh toward the wicked and good to the just - there is an aspect of justice in the term in the 1500s; Similarly Russians spoke of Jesus as the Terrible or Fearful Judge and of the Last Judgment as "The Fearful Judgment" (Strashnyi Sud); not that Jesus is terrible; he is good to just and good people but justly punishes the wicked. There is an icon know as "The Savior of the Terrible Eyes" now in the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow. The _Domostroi_, written by Metropolitan Makary, a main advisor to Ivan in his early reign, also refers to a father being "grozen" in his household. See Maureen Perrie's book _The Image of Ivan the Terrible in Folklore_, pp. 62-3; Cherniavsky, "Ivan the Terrible as Renaissance Prince."; Domostroi Section 14: How to teach Children and Save them through Fear.

That said, I would argue that he is known to the English-speaking world as Ivan the Terrible, and calling him Ivan the Dread or Ivan the Awesome, or Ivan the Fear Inspiring but Orthodoxy Tsar confuses rather than elucidates. A point should be made to define his sobriquet, but he should not be "renamed". --Mcpaul1998 (talk) 00:46, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

If he is known to the English-speaking world as Ivan the Terrible and Wikipedia wants to keep that usage, fine. But don't have the lead paragraph pretend that this is a correct translation of the Russian. Instead, say just that and then give the proper translation. Every native Russian-speaker I know would use Äwe-Inspiring or Thundrous or even Awesome as the correct translation into modern English.--LeValley 22:51, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
The verb grozit' (грозить) means "to threaten", as in "он грозил меня убить" "on grozil menya ubit'" "he threatened to kill me". The noun groza (гроза) means a violent storm with lots of energy-release, thunder, and lightning. So someone who's groznyj (грозный) would be like a bad storm that's unpredictable and unpredictably violent, thus rather than "terrible" a more appropriate translation, as suggested above, would be "frightening" or even "terrifying". Ivan was sufficiently crazy in a violent way that today he'd at a minimum have a prescription for serious meds and quite possibly would be an in-patient in a locked environment. 98.118.26.43 (talk) 22:55, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
LeValley, the lede para does not "pretend" that Terrible is the correct translation of the Russian Гро́зный​. It is saying that he is known in English as "Ivan the Terrrible" (which is undeniably true) and that he is known in Russian as "Ива́н Гро́зный​" (which is equally undeniably true). That's all. It's also true that if he were a much more recent historical figure than he was, we'd probably be calling him "Ivan the Awesome" or whatever. But he wasn't and we don't. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:11, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Epithet "The terrible"[edit]

The abstract notes that Terrible in this context is its archaic form of 'inspiring fear.' Perhaps it should, for clarity, give an alternate translation to exemplify this, "Ivan the Awesome" or "Ivan the Fearsome."

My Russian mother, who lectured in Durham University, preferred the translation "the Dread" for Grozny. As I recall it, this translation is also used in Hedrick Smith's "The Russians". Smith called Ivan "John the Dread". Sasha (talk) 10:14, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Ignoring, for a moment, the fact that The Russians is not an academic work and is not period-specific, I was unable to find any references to "John the Dread" in it anyway. The index points to several pages where "Ivan the Terrible" is used, though. Are you confusing this book with some other book, perhaps?—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 18:00, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I beg your pardon, You are right - I was wrong: I confused Hedrick Smith's work with Bernard Pares' "A History of Russia" - which I have in front of me now! (I've since unpacked my mum's books out of storage.) :-) Sasha (talk) 12:38, 21 October 2008 (UTC)


I think failing to describe the archaic nature of the adjective "Terrible" is confusing. I'd like to expand the sentence in the introduction

The epithet "Grozny" is associated with might, power and strictness, rather than poor performance, horror or cruelty. Some authors more accurately translate it into modern English as Ivan the Awesome [2][3][4]."

by replacing it with

The epithet "Grozny" is associated with might, power and strictness, and corresponds to the archaic definition of terrible meaning "most formidable" rather than the modern one, which might suggest poor performance, horror or cruelty. Some authors more accurately translate it into modern English as Ivan the Awesome[2][3][4]."

71.41.210.146 (talk) 18:55, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

The problem is not confined to Russian. Italian writers in the early 1500s frequently stated that Pope Julius II possessed "terribilita" (literally, terribleness), but that Michelangelo could stand up to him because the artist also had "terribilita". They meant that they both men were awe-inspiring. CharlesTheBold (talk) 17:43, 18 December 2009 (UTC)


I have removed the semi-protection of the article. You should now be able to make this change yourself (I could, of course, do it for you, but am unwilling to due to implications with the attribution of the edit).—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 19:12, March 18, 2009 (UTC)


Degradation of Wikipedia[edit]

I've been unable to detect a single reasonable edit made in the main body of this article since last year. --Ghirla-трёп- 12:25, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

No... and you should also notice that the article for the TV show "Ninja Warrior" is twice as long as this article.--38.136.14.239 (talk) 14:19, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

"Degradation of Wikipedia"? - wouldn't that imply that Wikipedia was some respectable, august, or honorable institution in order for it to be debased? Isn't it just a mass of people writing what they want on any subject under the sun?  :) --Mcpaul1998 (talk) 00:53, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Bad link[edit]

I'm unregistered so I can't. Someone remove the broken BBC link at the bottom. 88.114.251.167 13:10, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Death of Son[edit]

If you have an argument with someone, and strike him in the head with a staff, how exactly does that constitute an "accident"? Manslaughter rather than murder, by modern evaluation, but hardly an accident. Mapjc (talk) 16:27, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

The result of striking his son on the head (the death) was probably an accident. The act however, would almost definitely be considered manslaughter, but the killing, to our knowledge was an accident. 209.90.142.206 (talk) 04:05, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I think the word the writer intended was "unpremeditated". Ivan had nothing to gain from killing his son. It was the self-indulgent, momentary whim of an absolute monarch. According to William Durant's STORY OF CIVILIZATION, Ivan realized within minutes that he had not only committed a horrible personal act but also destroyed his dynasty.CharlesTheBold (talk) 17:33, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

You should be aware that modern Russian academic research concluded that the story about "Murder of Son" most probably was fabricated long after the events. Historical sources from XVI century indicate that elder son died of illness, not ever having any conflict with his father. Research of tsarevich's remains in 1963 found out that he was probably poisoned with mercury (likely poisoned by enemies of his father); it was impossible to judge about any head wounds because remains of tsarevich's scull almost turned to ash. (You can see Russian wikipedia page for links to Russian sources.) It is just a matter of time before this information goes into English-language academic sources.

Questionable ref[edit]

http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm#IvanT Looks like a blog source, which list references. Not reliable. Tyrenius (talk) 02:15, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

  • The 1911 Brittanica Novgorod article (reference 3) says not fewer than 15 thousand, 60 000 by some estimates, I think the number 60 000 is not impossible although on the higher side Alex Bakharev (talk) 11:49, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Seven wives and eight children[edit]

The infobox mentions only Feodor I as his offspring and only Anastasia of Russia as his wife.

But he had 6 children with Anastasia - Anna, Maria, Dmitri (1), Ivan, Evodokia, and Feodor. And he married 6 more times (people talk of the 6 wives of Henry VIII, but never about the 7 wives of Ivan the Terrible) and produced 2 more children.

There was Maria Cherkasskaya (1561), who produced a son Vassily. Then came Maria Sobakina (1571), Anna Koltoskaya (1574), Anna Vasilshchikov (1576), Vassilisa Malentieva (1577), and finally Maria Nagaya (1580), who produced a final child, Dmitri (2). [3]

In the article we mention his son Ivan, whom he killed on 16 November 1581. But there’s some suggestion that he also killed Dmitri (1), on 3 July 1583 (or maybe they were getting confused with Ivan). Dmitri (2) supposedly died aged 9, in 1591, but False Dmitri I claimed that he had survived and that he was him.

These details all need to get into the article. -- JackofOz (talk) 03:32, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

I noticed that omission. Has it been fixed and I missed it?--T. Anthony (talk) 08:00, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean. There's a reference to his 7 wives as part of a photo caption, but that's likely to be overlooked, and apart from Anastasia there's no mention of his marriages anywhere. Nor is there mention of any of his 8 children, apart from Feodor I. -- JackofOz (talk) 08:12, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Dang. I looked for information on his wives, but I didn't find that much. He apparently shipped some of them off to convents never to be heard from again, more or less, so they don't seem to be as well-documented. (I believe Henry wanted to ship Catherine of Aragon off to a convent, but it didn't work out)--T. Anthony (talk) 16:37, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Kabard princess[edit]

Ivan married a Kabard princess[4]. What was her name? --71.108.3.62 (talk) 11:34, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

I think her name was Maria Tscerkaski because I have gathered that the Kabard princess was his 2nd spouse and her name was first name Maria. It is said that the marriage was of a political nature to solidify the grip of the Russian Empire on Kabardino-Balkaria.--71.108.3.62 (talk) 12:13, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Her name was Maria Cherkasskaya. I provided all the names of his 7 wives above, with details of the other children as well, with a link to where I found them all. All it needs is someone to put them into the article, because I'm crap with infoboxes. -- JackofOz (talk) 07:21, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Polygamy[edit]

Did Ivan at any time have more than one wife at the same time?--71.108.3.62 (talk) 11:50, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

No he did not, but he had innumerable mistresses.

Speculation?[edit]

In the early reign section, it reads "According to his own letters, Ivan customarily felt neglected and offended by the mighty boyars from the Shuisky and Belsky families. (These traumatic experiences may have contributed to his hatred of the boyars and to his mental instability. Alternatively, the negative feelings revealed in his letters may have been a reflection of his disagreeable temperament.)"

Isn't the part inside the parinthesis just speculation? Shouldn't that part be removed?

GBizzle (talk) 05:33, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Changing the name of the state[edit]

From my talk page:

Concerning this change. Alex Bakharev, although
in the piece of text you‘ve added in the article there was some link, the linked text doesn't contain this information, so this piece of text remained unreferenced and thus should be removed. Please try not to add this piece of text again before you find an appropriate source for it. Thanks! 戦車 besuch mich 03:01, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
P.S. besides that adding “the“ to ”1525” is useless. Next time try to examine the subject properly before reverting.

The source is an article from Rodina magazine. The web version only provides the beginning of the article but the material is reasonably clear (and a public knowledge anyway). I will add another sources over recognition of Ivan IV claims Alex Bakharev (talk) 07:01, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

1 photo, 2 captions[edit]

The article shows a photo of Ivan looking over a woman: "Tsar Ivan IV admires his sixth wife Vasilisa Melentyevna (while sleeping)." However, if you click on the link to his first wife, Anastasia, you see the same picture with a different caption: "Ivan the Terrible at the deathbed of his first and most-beloved wife, Anastasia Romanovna." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 142.179.231.179 (talk) 20:35, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Rough Read?[edit]

I was looking up Ivan the Terrible after playing AoEIII, thinking who exactly was this guy... This page scared me. I believe the introduction section needs to be redone. It seems really messy and the thoughts seem rather scattered. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.36.75.51 (talk) 17:29, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Archangelsk[edit]

Shouldn't we mention that he opened Archangelsk as a major port? That was pretty significant, he opened up trade with the English. 149.152.191.3 (talk) 21:46, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

To clarify, should we mention how the English got there in the first place? 149.152.191.3 (talk) 21:48, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Ivan Murdered[edit]

I have no idea who keeps putting on this article that Ivan IV was murdered, but the sources they use either are about something else entirely or state that the idea is very unlikely. If you're going to make a statement like that it needs to be backed up with real sources.

"Medieval nation state"[edit]

possible? Louboi (talk) 23:27, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Ivan the Terrible[edit]

"The English mistranslation of the historical name of Ivan IV stems from traditional American propaganda's intention to distort and demonize Russian history."

This is the sort of rhetoric that wiki editors should avoid. There is no reason such a proposition should be given credence as historians as far back as the 19th century have called Ivan “The Terrible” or “The Mad”. The opening line should be re-written to avoid the inaccuracy and bias reflected therein.

DeusImperator (talk) 05:09, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Agreed, good catch. I removed that bit, which certainly violates WP:OR and WP:POV. I am not sure when exactly it was added, but this article does occasionally get "drive-by" POV edits. Nsk92 (talk) 05:24, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, that was one of those "drive-by" POV/OR edits[5], which was just added yesterday. Anyway, reverted. Nsk92 (talk) 16:06, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was moved per consensus below that, in this case, the common name should be used rather than the MOS regnal number style.--rgpk (comment) 23:53, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Ivan IV of RussiaIvan the Terrible — The deficiencies of the translation to "terrible" aside, this is by far the most common name by which Ivan is known in English. Per WP:COMMONNAME, it's what should be used (until, perhaps, a better translation takes hold in the English speaking world). --Powers T 16:24, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Support wholeheartedly. Having "of Russia" in the title is completely unnecessary (no other country had ever been ruled by an "Ivan IV"), and Ivan the Terrible is indeed the most common name by which this Tsar is known.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); January 6, 2011; 16:35 (UTC)
  • Oppose. General naming convention is that epithets ("Terrible, Blessed, Great") are not included. We have Alexander I of Russia not Alexander the Blessed, Alexander II of Russia, not Alexander the Liberator. --DonaldDuck (talk) 05:56, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Google Books shows how much more common "Ivan the Terrible" is. "Ivan IV of Russia" gives 2,630 results; "Ivan the Terrible" returns 106,000. The ratio is reversed for the Alexandrine examples given above. Dohn joe (talk) 23:39, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support, obvious, and the claim that general naming conventions are against this is simply false; see WP:NCROY and multiple examples such as Alfred the Great.--Kotniski (talk) 17:06, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose as monarchial article title includes a regnal number. GoodDay (talk) 17:09, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
    But what about WP:NCROY, which says that 2. If a monarch or prince is overwhelmingly known, in English, by a cognomen, it may be used. Examples: Alfred the Great, Charlemagne, Louis the Pious, Henry the Lion, Skanderbeg, etc.? Dohn joe (talk) 19:22, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
    It may be used, but don't have to be. GoodDay (talk) 20:33, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
    Doesn't have to, but if it's allowed, why not? Powers T 23:44, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment We could equally ask, if it's not mandatory, why? Skinsmoke (talk) 04:23, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
That's already been answered - it's because in this case the cognomen is vastly better recognized. If the only arguments against this are based solely on false statements about naming conventions, I think we can say we have effective consensus here.--Kotniski (talk) 07:15, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Agree. I was tempted to close this as rough consensus, but decided to vote instead. Hopefully that will give us a clearer decision. Andrewa (talk) 21:02, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Ivan the Terrible is a name known almost universally, and by many who would have no idea of his regnal number. The only argument against the move above appeals to a convention that explicitly does not apply in cases such as this. Andrewa (talk) 20:58, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Only about roughly 6 editors took part in this RM & there's a 4-2 in favour of moving. I'd hardly call this a consensus to move to Ivan the Terrible. GoodDay (talk) 23:43, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

If it were done again, you could add my name in support of the move to "Ivan the Terrible" and PMAndersen has stated the same in another forum. That would make it 6-2, a much clearer consensus. --Taivo (talk) 01:07, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
A very odd move indeed. --Ghirla-трёп- 12:23, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Other odd moves to nicknames are Robert the Bruce, Ivan the Terrible & one I just correctly reverted William the Lion. -- GoodDay (talk) 23:34, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Catherine move proposed[edit]

Now that this move succeeded, I've proposed that Catherine II of Russia be moved Catherine the Great by the same reasoning. See: Talk:Catherine II of Russia#Requested move. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:25, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Unit of Conversion[edit]

I am sorry but I am unable to understand the following line:

His long reign saw the conquest of the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia, transforming Russia into a multiethnic and multiconfessional state spanning almost one billion acres, approximately 130 km2 (50 sq mi)

One billion acres making 130 km2 while this all express Russian state of Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan and Siberia included. Any explanation will be appreciated.--قیصرانی (talk) 13:53, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Moving hidden comment from within article[edit]

This comment was hidden within the article. I thought it would be better to bring it to the fore on the talk page. --GentlemanGhost (talk) 07:10, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Please don't justify tyranism by mental problems. Modern researchers, basing on the analysis of the remains of Ivan, assume the mercury poisoning of tsar (as well as at his mother Helena Glinskaya). The mercury poisoning destroyed his mental health.

The?[edit]

Notice that "the" is sometimes left out when it should be there in Russian articles. Just saying. English avoids overuse but it's still used or it sounds like a Russian speaking English, or a Yorkshire person "put kettle on". Manytexts (talk) 13:37, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Structure[edit]

The article is chaotic, pathetically emotional, and lacks any structure.

A good example is that formation Oprichnina and Crimean raids are mentioned TWICE, as if these parts were written by different editors. At the same time article does not tell how and why Ivan launched Oprichnina (it completely misses the story of his staged abdication), and lacks any mention of Battle of Molodi.

We need it to be completely re-arranged. Russian article has a good structure to copy:

  • Internal Policy (includes Oprichnina)
  • Foreign policy (divided to Diplomacy and Wars)
  • Family and death
  • Legacy.Garret Beaumain (talk) 11:41, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

name ?[edit]

So the first sentences gives his name twice, as something in cyrillic which apparently transliterates as "Ivan Chetvyorty" and then another in cyrillic which transliterates as "Ivan Grozny". And the OGG soundbite for these BOTH comes out as "Ivan Grozny". Now I know there are issues with Russian transliteration, but you can't get "Chetvyorty" from "Grozny". Now we all know what "Grozny" means, what does "Chetyvorty" mean ?Eregli bob (talk) 06:30, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Removed the duplicate, as I couldn't find an ogg file for Ivan IV Vasilyevich. Chetvyorty means fourth. Materialscientist (talk) 06:42, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

I think "Четвёртый-Chetvyorty-Fourth" must be deleted. I've never seen similar things in other articles. Who needs the transcription of russian numerals? BTW he was Ivan I until 19 century. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.87.136.201 (talk) 15:21, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

Ivan the Terrible[edit]

Ivan the Terrible - означает Иван Ужасный, это не верно!!!(Terrible - страшный, ужасный, грозный, жуткий, ужасающий, чудовищный, кошмарный, отвратительный, убийственный), "Грозный"(Grozny) - означает, грозящий, угрожающий, тот у кого грозный вид, который пугает окружающих, Menacing (in some states known as brandishing) is a violent crime in most state jurisdictions of the United States. Although the wording and degrees of offense vary slightly from state to state, the criminal act of menacing generally consists of displaying a weapon to a person with the intention of threatening them with bodily harm from said weapon. - это близкое по значению определение!)) Поясняю еще раз, это не значит что он был страшным или уродливым или пугающим, это значит что один его вид грозил всем окружающим и вселял в сердца страх перед Царем, который был 180 см роста, имел атлетическое сложение, это значит что по тем временам он был великаном, был умен и суров! Смотрите реконструкцию Mikhail Gerasimov! Grozny - означает выражение его лица, содержащее в себе угрозу, грозный взгляд.SpecialAdviser (talk) 08:53, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Дело совсем не в правильности перевода отдельных слов, а в полном имени которое наиболее популярно в англоязычной печати. Это имя Ivan the Terrible, и мы его используем в википедии. Materialscientist (talk) 09:00, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
О черт, я об этом забыл, обычно я не такой беспечный, мне пора отдыхать!) Уже хотел добавить для разъяснения пару примеров, что бы было понятно о чем я говорю "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace"))SpecialAdviser (talk) 09:06, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Пусть перевод будет популярным, но мы как носители языка не вкладываем в слово "Грозный" отрицательной коннотации. И не имеем в виду "ужас-ужас", слово родственно слову "гроза" и по смыслу должно переводиться как "строгий", "бескопромиссный", в плоть до "громовержца". Предлагаю это озвучить! 80.78.120.89 (talk) 02:48, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

  • Google Books has english "Ivan the Terrible" (228,000) and "Ivan the Fearsome" (6 hits).--Zoupan 16:37, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Descendant of Leo I and Michael VIII[edit]

Leo I, King of Armenia > Isabella, Queen of Armenia > Leo II, King of Armenia > Rita of Armenia > Andronikos III Palaiologos > John V Palaiologos > Manuel II Palaiologos > Thomas Palaiologos > Sophia Palaiologina > Vasili III of Russia > Ivan the Terrible

Michael VIII Palaiologos > Andronikos II Palaiologos > Michael IX Palaiologos > Andronikos III Palaiologos > John V Palaiologos > Manuel II Palaiologos > Thomas Palaiologos > Sophia Palaiologina > Vasili III of Russia > Ivan the Terrible

Ivan is descended from the last Armenian King and the last Greek Emperor. Isn't this worthy of noting? --Steverci (talk) 17:19, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

It may be worthy of noting if you supply reliable sources supporting this lineage (and preferably elaborating on its significance). What you have above is original research, which is a big no-no. Cheers,—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); May 15, 2014; 17:40 (UTC)