Ivan III of Russia
Ivan III Vasilyevich known as Ivan the Great, was a Grand Prince of Moscow and "Grand Prince of all Rus'". Sometimes referred to as the "gatherer of the Russian lands", he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Mongols/Tatars over Russia by defeating the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, laid the foundations of the Russian state, he was one of the longest-reigning Russian rulers in history. Ivan's rule is marked by what some historians called'the Gathering of the Russian Lands'. Ivan brought the independent duchies of different Rurikid princes under the direct control of Moscow, leaving the princes and their posterity without royal titles or land inheritance, his first enterprise was a war with the Republic of Novgorod, with which Muscovy as a Northern district of Golden Horde had fought a series of wars stretching back to at least the reign of Dmitry Donskoi. These wars were waged over Moscow's religious and political sovereignty, over Moscow's efforts to seize land in the Northern Dvina region.
Alarmed at the growing power of Moscow, Novgorod had negotiated with the Russian state of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Rus in the hope of placing itself under the protection of the neighboring Catholic Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Casimir IV, King of Poland and Grand Prince of Lithuania, against the increasing attacks by the Muscovite dynasty, a would-be alliance, proclaimed by the Moscow rulers as an act of apostasy from Orthodoxy. Ivan took the field against Novgorod in 1470, after his generals had twice defeated the forces of the republic — at the Battle of Shelon River and on the Northern Dvina, both in the summer of 1471 — the Novgorodians were forced to sue for peace, agreeing to abandon their overtures to Lithuania and to cede a considerable portion of their northern territories, while paying a war indemnity of 15,500 roubles. Ivan visited Novgorod Central several times in the next several years, persecuting a number of pro-Lithuanian boyars and confiscating their lands. In 1477, two Novgorodian envoys, claiming to have been sent by the archbishops and the entire city, addressed Ivan in public audience as Gosudar instead of the usual Gospodin.
Ivan at once seized upon this as a recognition of his sovereignty, when the Novgorodians repudiated the envoys and swore in front of the Moscow ambassadors that they would turn to Lithuania again, he marched against them. Deserted by Casimir and surrounded on every side by the Moscow armies, which occupied the major monasteries around the city, Novgorod recognized Ivan's direct rule over the city and its vast hinterland in a document signed and sealed by Archbishop Feofil of Novgorod on 15 January 1478. Ivan dispossessed Novgorod of more than four-fifths of its land, keeping half for himself and giving the other half to his allies. Subsequent revolts were punished by the removal en masse of the richest and most ancient families of Novgorod to Moscow and other north-eastern Rus' cities. Archbishop Feofil was removed to Moscow for plotting against the Grand Prince; the rival republic of Pskov owed the continuance of its own political existence to the readiness with which it assisted Ivan against its ancient enemy.
The other principalities were absorbed by conquest, purchase, or marriage contract: The Principality of Yaroslavl in 1463, Rostov in 1474, Tver in 1485, Vyatka 1489. Ivan's refusal to share his conquests with his brothers, his subsequent interference with the internal politics of their inherited principalities, involved him in several wars with them, from which, though the princes were assisted by Lithuania, he emerged victorious. Ivan's new rule of government, formally set forth in his last will to the effect that the domains of all his kinsfolk, after their deaths, should pass directly to the reigning Grand Duke instead of reverting, as hitherto, to the princes' heirs, put an end once and for all to these semi-independent princelings. Ivan had four brothers; the eldest, died childless on 12 September 1472. He only had a draft of a will. Ivan seized the land, much to the fury of the surviving brothers. Boris and Andrei the Elder signed treaties with Vasily in February and September 1473, they agreed not to have secret dealings with foreign states.
It is unknown. He died in 1481. In 1491 Andrei the Elder was arrested by Ivan for refusing to aid the Crimean Tatars against the Golden Horde, he died in prison in 1493, Ivan seized his land. In 1494 Boris, the only brother able to pass his land to his sons, died. However, their land reverted to the Tsar upon their deaths in 1515 respectively. There was one semi-autonomous prince in Muscovy when Ivan acceded: Prince Mikhail Andreevich of Vereia, awarded an Appanage by Vasily II. In 1478 he was pressured into giving Belozersk to Ivan, who got all of Mikhail's land on his death in 1486; the character of the government of Moscow changed under Ivan III, taking on a new autocratic form. This was a natural consequence of the hegemony of Moscow over the other Vladimir-Suzdal lands, but to new imperial pretensions. After the fall of Constantinople, orthodox canonists were inclined to regard the Grand Princes of Moscow, where the Orthodox Metropolitan of Kiev moved in 1325 after the Mongol Invasions, as the success
Vsevolod the Big Nest
Vsevolod III Yuryevich, or Vsevolod the Big Nest, was the Grand Prince of Vladimir during whose long reign the city reached the zenith of its glory. Vsevolod was the tenth or eleventh son of Yuri Dolgoruky, who founded the town Dmitrov to commemorate the site of Vsevolod's birth. Nikolai Karamzin initiated the speculation identifying Vsevolod's mother Helene as a Greek princess, because after her husband's death she took Vsevolod with her to Constantinople. Vsevolod spent his youth at the chivalric court of the Komnenoi. On his return from the Byzantine Empire to Rus' in 1170, Vsevolod visited Tbilisi, as a local chronicle records that that year the Georgian king entertained his nephew from Constantinople and married him to his relative, an Ossetian princess. In 1173 two Smolensk princes captured Kiev, captured Vsevolod and installed him on the throne. Ransomed a year Vsevolod took his brother Mikhalko's side in his struggle against the powerful boyars of Rostov and Suzdal. Upon Mikhalko's death in 1176, Vsevolod succeeded him in Vladimir.
He promptly subjugated the boyars and systematically raided the Volga peoples, notably Volga Bulgaria. He installed puppet rulers on the throne of Novgorod and married his daughters to princes of Chernigov and Kiev. Vsevolod showed little mercy to those. In 1180 and 1187 he punished the princes of Ryazan by ousting them from their lands. In 1207 he burnt to the ground both Belgorod, his military fame spread quickly. The Tale of Igor's Campaign, thought to be written during Vsevolod's reign, addresses him thus: "Great prince Vsevolod! Don't you think of flying here from afar to safeguard the paternal golden throne of Kiev? For you can with your oars scatter in drops the Volga, with your helmets scoop dry the Don." But Kievan matters concerned Vsevolod little in the latter part of his reign. He concentrated on building up Vladimir, his Ossetian wife, Maria Shvarnovna, who devoted herself to works of piety and founded several convents, was glorified by the Russian church as a saint. By her Vsevolod had no fewer than fourteen children, thus earning for himself the sobriquet Big Nest.
Four of them—Konstantin, George and Sviatoslav—succeeded him as Grand Dukes of Vladimir. He was buried at the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir. Vsevolod married first Maria, she has been variously identified as Ossetian and Moravian. They had at least fourteen children: Sbyslava Vsevolodovna. Vseslava Vsevolodovna. Married Rostislav Yaroslavich, Prince of Snov, he was a son of Prince of Chernigov. His paternal grandfather was Vsevolod II of Kiev. Verchoslava Vsevolodovna. Married Rostislav II of Kiev. Konstantin of Rostov. Boris Vsevolodovich.. Gleb Vsevolodovich. Yuri II of Vladimir. Yaroslav II of Vladimir. Helena Vsevolodovna. Vladimir Vsevolodovich, Prince of Yuryev-Polsky. Sviatoslav III of Vladimir. Ivan Vsevolodovich, Prince of Starodub. Anna Vsevolodovna. Married Vladimir, Prince of Belgorod. Maria died in 1205 or 1206. Vsevolod married Liubov Vasilkovna in 1209, she was a daughter of Prince of Vitebsk. They had no known children, his listing in "Medieval lands" by Charles Cawley
Macarius, Metropolitan of Moscow
Macarius was a notable Russian cleric and icon painter who served as the Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia from 1542 until 1563. Macarius was born in the region around Moscow, his parents' names are known. His secular name is thought to have been Mikhail. In the late 15th century, Macarius became a monk at the St. Paphnutius Monastery in Borovsk, where he would serve as a reader, subdeacon and priest, it was here. He is known to have been a firm supporter of Joseph Volotsky and his disciples. In 1523, Metropolitan Daniel raised Macarius to the rank of archmandrite of a monastery in Mozhaisk, it was there that Macarius became acquainted with the Grand Prince of Moscow, Vasili III. He was one of a few clerics who supported Vasili III's divorce from the barren Solomonia Saburova and blessed his second marriage with Elena Glinskaya. In 1526, Macarius was appointed Archbishop of Novgorod. In 1533 and again in 1535, he sent the monk Il'ia and others on missionary work among the Finno-Ugric peoples along the Neva, Lakes Ladoga and Onega, up into the Kola Peninsula.
In 1541, Macarius and his companions finished work on the first edition of their great work, the Great Menaion Reader. This compilation of lives of the Russian saints comprised 12 volumes arranged on monthly basis, he is credited with beginning the Stepennaia Kniga which traced Ivan the Terrible's lineage back to a fictitious brother of Caesar Augustus named Prus. He is said to have painted the icons in the little iconostasis of the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom in Novgorod. Having secured the support of powerful Prince Andrey Shuisky, Macarius was elected Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia on March 16, 1542. During Ivan IV's nonage and Shuiskys' regency, Macarius's relations with the Boyar Duma worsened due to his constant "grief" over the disgrace of courtiers and church dignitaries, his independent-mindedness induced a number of attempts to dislodge him. In the summer of 1544, Macarius escaped a sure death in the fire raging in the Moscow Kremlin. Three years he took part in removing Ivan's maternal relatives, the Glinskys, from the Russian government.
Upon becoming one of the closest advisers of Ivan the Terrible, Macarius arranged his coronation on January 16, 1547. That same year, he blessed the tsar's marriage with Anastasia Zakharyina-Yuriyeva. Macarius was an active participant at the zemsky sobors of 1547, 1549, 1550, advocating conciliation between the opposing boyar groups. During the synod of 1542, Macarius achieved the excommunication of Maximus the Greek's associate Isaac Sobaka. Curiously enough, Macarius would correspond with the exiled Maximus the Greek and include some of his essays in his the Great Menaion Reader, however, his appeals for pardon. During Stoglav and other such synods, Macarius carried out canonization of 39 all-Russian saints. In 1551, Macarius convened the so-called Stoglavi Sobor, he blessed the Russian army before its departure to Kazan in 1552. During his Kazan campaign in 1559, Ivan the Terrible left Macarius in Moscow to "protect the tsardom", which made him a temporary head of state. In 1552 and 1554, Macarius completed the third editions of the Grand Menaion.
During the church councils in 1553-1555, Macarius supported the accusations of heresy, aimed at a boyar son Matvei Bashkin, starets Artemiy, monk Feodosiy Kosoy. However, he took the side of Silvester, a monk at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in the Moscow Kremlin, accused by diak Ivan Viskovatyi in uncanonical wall-painting of the above-mentioned cathedral; when the tsar was away from Moscow, Macarius was in charge of diplomatic negotiations and dispatching messengers abroad with different deeds. The painting of the Saint Basil's Cathedral and Kremlin's Golden Chamber was carried out with his assistance, he took part in compiling the Chronicle of the Beginning of Tsardom of Tsar and Grand Prince Ivan Vasiliyevich, i.e. an official chronicle of Ivan the Terrible's reign and the Regal Book, an illuminated manuscript about Ivan's reign and policies. In his declining years, Macarius moved away from the affairs of the state, he supervised the creation of the Stepennaya kniga, supported Ivan Fyodorov's book-printing, renovated icons.
Metropolitan Macarius died on January 12 of 1563 and was buried in the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Moscow Kremlin. After his death, they wrote his A Tale of the Last Days of Metropolitan Macarius. Macarius was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1988, his icon hangs in a niche over the archway of the entrance to the Russian State Archive of Ancient Documents in Moscow
Grand duke is a European hereditary title for either certain monarchs or members of certain monarchs' families. It is traditionally ranked in order of precedence below the title of emperor or king and above that of sovereign prince or sovereign duke, it is used in some current and former independent monarchies in Europe, particularly: In the present-day Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Historically the sovereigns of former independent countries such as: Tuscany. The self-styled monarchs of several micronations claim use of the title. Translations for grand duke include: in Latin, magnus dux; the term "grand duke" as a monarch reigning over an independent state was a invention to denote either a mighty duke or a monarchy playing an important political, military and/or economic role, but not large enough to be a Kingdom. It arose because the title of Duke had lost status and precedence during the Middle Ages by having been granted to rulers of small fiefs, instead of the large tribal regions or national territories to which the title was once attached.
One of the first examples occurred when Count Gonçalo I Mendes of Portucale took, in 987, the personal title of Magnus Dux Portucalensium and rebelled against his feudal lord, King Bermudo II of León. He was defeated by the royal armies but obtained a remarkable autonomy as a Magnus Dux, leading to Portuguese independence from the Spanish Kingdom of Castille-León. Another example was the line of self-proclaimed grand dukes of Burgundy in the 15th century, when they ruled most of present-day north-eastern France as well as the entire Low Countries, they tried—ultimately without success—to create from these territories under their control a new unified country between the Kingdom of France in the west and the Holy Roman Empire in the east. Philip III, Duke of Burgundy assumed the subsidiary void style and title of "Grand Duke of the West" in 1435, having brought the Duchies of Brabant and Limburg as well as the counties of Holland, Friesland and Namur into his possession, his son and successor Charles the Bold continued to use the same title.
The title magnus dux or grand duke has been used by the rulers of Lithuania, who after Jagiello became Kings of Poland. From 1573, both the Latin version and its Polish equivalent wielki ksiaze, the monarchic title of the rulers of Lithuania as well as of Russia, Mazovia, Kiev, Podolia, Livonia, Smolensk and Chernigov, were used as part of their full official monarchic titles by the Kings of Poland during the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth; the first monarchs officially titled grand duke were the Medici sovereigns of Tuscany, starting from the late 16th century. This official title was granted by Pope Pius V in 1569. Napoleon I awarded the title extensively: during his era, several of his allies were allowed to assume the title of grand duke at the same time as their inherited fiefs were enlarged by annexed territories belonging to enemies defeated on the battlefield. After Napoleon's downfall, the victorious powers who met at the Congress of Vienna, which dealt with the political aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, agreed to abolish the Grand Duchies created by Bonaparte and to create a group of monarchies of intermediate importance with that title.
Thus the 19th century saw a new group of monarchs titled Grand Duke in central Europe in present-day Germany. A list of these is available in the article grand duchy. In the same century, the purely ceremonial version of the title "grand duke" in Russia expanded massively because of the large number of progeny of the ruling House of Romanov during those decades. In the German and Dutch languages, which have separate words for a prince as the issue of a monarch and for a sovereign prince, there is a clear linguistic difference between a sovereign Grand Duke reigning over a state of central and western Europe and a non-sovereign, purely ceremonial Grand Duke of either the Russian Imperial family or other non-sovereign territories which are de facto dependencies of a major power. In 15