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    2018. A History of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia. p. 119.

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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: March 2008

10 - Ivan IV (1533–1584)

from Part II - The Expansion, Consolidation and Crisis of Muscovy (1462–1613)

Summary

The knowledge of the early years of Ivan IV's life comes largely from later sources, which were politically biased. The traditional view is that Ivan created a centralised state which assumed control over its subjects through the political regime of autocracy. The period from the end of the 1540s to the early 1560s was formative for Ivan's reign. The royal family received a new status during a multi-phase transformation of the concept of its power, which began with Ivan's coronation as tsar and culminated in turning him into a sacred figure. Ivan valued the political and organisational instruments that he received in the 1550s. It is true that his policy later became extravagant and unpredictable, probably as a result of mental illness. The assumption and active propaganda of the title of tsar, transgressions and sudden changes in policy during the oprichnina contributed to the image of the Muscovite prince as a ruler accountable only to God.
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  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276
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