Ivan IV Vasilyevich (25 August 1530 – 28 March 1584), known in English as Ivan the Terrible, was Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533. 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, growing during his term at a rate of approximately 130 square kilometers a day.
Ivan oversaw numerous changes in the transition from a medieval nation state to an empire and emerging regional power, and became the first Tsar of a new and more powerful nation.
Historic sources present disparate accounts of Ivan's complex personality: he was described as intelligent and devout, yet given to rages and prone to episodic outbreaks of mental illness. One notable outburst may have resulted in the death of his groomed and chosen heir Ivan Ivanovich, which led to the passing of the Tsardom to the younger son: the weak and possibly mentally retarded Feodor I of Russia. His contemporaries called him "Ivan Grozny" the name, which, although usually translated as "Terrible", actually means something closer to "Awe-Inspiring" and carries connotations of might, power and strictness rather than horror or cruelty.
Ivan IV in 1632
In life, Ivan IV had been served by court doctor Guba Ivashka Kalachnikov. After the arrival of Grantville, Kalachnikov gained access to future texts at the Embassy Bureau. He learned that mercury, which he had used to treat Ivan, was in fact poisonous and can cause mental delusions. This revelation greatly disturbed Kalachinikov, and left him wondering if his treatment caused Ivan's madness, which in turn had led to the death of the tsar's son, Ivan Ivanovich and the ultimate rise of his weak son, Feodor as tsar. As Feodor's inept reign led to the Time of Troubles, Kalachnikov wondered if the Time of Troubles might indirectly be his fault.
|Regnal titles (OTL)|
|Grand Prince of Moscow
|Tsar of Russia