Why Was Ivan IV Called ‘The Terrible,?
‘Terrible, in Ivan’s nickname is a translation of the Russian ‘grozny,. It is not representative of the true English meaning of the word terrible. In the Russian grozny, it means to strike fear and danger, or formidable.
Ivan was known as the Terrible because of his reputation of brutal reign of the Russian Empire. He was the oldest son of Vasilij III and Yelena Glinskaya. When his mother died, Ivan was neglected. At Sixteen, he then assumed his throne as a Czar, instead of a Duke. He married thrice, with Maria Sobakina as the last in 1571.
Bloody battles adequately give justice to Ivan’s character as a dictator. The death of Anastacia, his first wife, overwhelmed him greatly. He began to blame her death to his loyal and chosen aristocrats. This changed the way he ruled Russia and upon gaining back his position after stepping down of power, he controlled the whole of the Empire with stern orders. The country experienced the most brutal terror an official had done.
After dividing Russia into two spheres, he handpicked and created a new army. These men were told to slay, burn, and rape all in the name of the Czar. The time came when the people in the army became imbalanced, and barmy. They were out selfishly killing innocent lives, sparing no one. Fear and panic spread across the country. In one of the killings, over 60,000 were tortured and killed.
It was also rumored that Ivan caused the miscarriage of his son’s pregnant wife who he had beaten. Also, in a fiery discussion, Ivan got very mad with his son that he hit him with an iron rod which killed him instantaneously. This overwhelmed Ivan, but this too fueled his greed for absolute power.
Ivan was not as tough as many thought he was. Consumed by guilt and paranoia, we became severely depressed. He began listing down names of those he had executed in lieu of remorse. He died at the age of 54, leaving a broken dynasty and country.