What can make someone burn people alive or tear them apart? What leads to such cruelty without feeling remorse, but rather satisfaction? This is the story of Ivan the Terrible.
Childhood is a phase that can mark a person for life. Our first experiences, relationships with the people around us and the examples of teaching we have received will accompany us for the rest of our lives, for better or for worse.
This is why love is so important, it is no coincidence that it is said that “love is the engine of the world”. Certainly love, and its opposite, hatred, are responsible for humanity’s best successes, but also for the worst atrocities that have been committed throughout history.
That’s why today we want to talk to you about a significant example of how childhood can mark a person for life, in this case in a negative sense. It is the story of Ivan the Terrible.
Ivan the Terrible is known in the collective imagination for the nickname “the Terrible”, the result of an ambiguous translation of the Russian adjective “groznyj”, which in any case perfectly reflects the atrocities committed by this man.
It all began in his childhood. When Ivan was just three years old, he lost his father and became “Prince of Muscovy”, although the regency belonged to his mother, who died five years later, probably poisoned by the boyars who vied for power.
From that moment on, Ivan was educated by the boyars, who resorted to any kind of humiliation against him throughout his childhood: they mistreated him, humiliated him, beat him for fun and locked him in the Kremlin palace where he lived almost like a beggar.
Everything Ivan underwent in childhood he poured out in his first act of cruelty when, at the age of 13, he sentenced one of his enemies to death by hurling a pack of dogs at him. His helplessness had turned into anger and counterattack. Ivan was beginning to be respected.
Little by little, Ivan’s personality and character began to take shape. The childhood he lived, the sadness of having a brother with a mental illness, which he valued for his whole life, and the death of his beloved wife Anastasia were hard blows for Ivan that did nothing but tarnish his character.
Ivan the Terrible loses his beloved bride and takes the field against Novgorod
Although Ivan the Terrible was married 7 times, only his first wife, Anastasia, really stole his heart. He fell ill until his death, which happened in a short time. At the time, no one agreed with Ivan, convinced that his wife had been poisoned, but then the research and analysis of the bones confirmed that Anastasia had been given doses of mercury that ended up killing her.
After the death of his wife, Ivan’s character became even more “terrible”, so much so that he was wary of everything and everyone. His wife was the only person he trusted and they killed her.
As we all know, “it is the mind that governs our actions” and, despite Ivan the Terrible’s expansionist aspirations, his dreams never came true. The fact is that Ivan lacked everything that the envied rival city Novgorod had. She was known for the education and good manners of all its inhabitants, qualities that had made her truly famous.
It was commercially developed, and the merchants themselves built churches to lovingly ask God for help with their business. Few things can really be conquered by force, so Ivan only had to put into practice what he had known and lived all his life: cruelty. Again, he attacked and ravaged the city, torturing, beheading and impaling many of its inhabitants. In fact, according to recent studies, it is estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 people died at the hands of Ivan the Terrible.
Ivan kills his own son
Ivan the Terrible seemed to have completely lost his reason and the last terrible act he committed was to assassinate his son. One day, Ivan beat his daughter-in-law because, in his opinion, she was improperly dressed. The angry son confronted him and Ivan, seized by a deep anger and rage, hit him until he killed him. Only the fury, aggression and hatred that overwhelm a person at a given moment can lead him to commit atrocities like this, kill his own child, or at least that’s what experts say.
200 years later, Peter the Great achieved everything Ivan was unable to do due to force and madness: modernize and build St. Petersburg.
Why, you can build something only with love … This is the moral of the story of Ivan the Terrible.