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Ivan Vasiljevich the Terrible was born in 1530 and died in 1584 He was the son of the Grand Duke Vasili III His mother Helena Glinsky was the daughter of a Luthuanian refugee who had found asylum in Russia She was young vivacious intelligent and beautiful Vasili had married her after he tried to have an heir for 20 years with his first wife Salome Vasili was in his 50s and Helena was 20 when Ivan was born Ivan had another brother Yuri born 18 months later The day of Ivans birth August 25 1530 was a joyful one The Grand Duke ordered prison doors opened and chains of thousands of prisoners were removed and the prisoners freed Nobles who had fallen into disgrace were pardoned Hermits and holymen were invited into the walls of the Kremlin and seated as honored and guests The cloud under which his son Ivan was born and under which he would have to live his life was a dark oneKoslow Jules In 1553 Vasili died after a long ailment Ivan whom was only 3 years old at the time of his fathers death With out a ruler boyars advisors took over only to have wars and suffrage in Russia For the next several years the struggle continued with out out mercy on either side Tyranny prevailed Prisons filled relief Anarchy supplanted oligarchy The boyars behaved like wild beasts Russia was rent by contending factions bathed in blood and ruled by barbarityKoslow Jules But with in the mist of the struggles Ivan grew up behind the fortress of the Kremlin walls Ivan was 8 years old when his mother died Throughout his child years he never had a fathers hand to guild him or a mothers love tender love Him being an orphan was a blow that shaped his entire life It was marked with violence and indelibly stamped his character and future actions and thoughts He lived his earliest
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