IVAN II. (1326-1359), grand duke of Vladimir, a younger son of Ivan Kalita, was born in 1326. In 1353 he succeeded his elder brother Simeon as grand duke, despite the competition of Prince Constantine of Suzdal, the Khan Hanibek preferring to bestow the yarluik, or letter of investiture, upon Ivan rather than upon Constantine. At first the principalities of Suzdal, Ryazan and the republic of Novgorod refused to recognize him as grand duke, and waged war with him till 1354. The authority of the grand duchy sensibly diminished during the reign of Ivan II. The surrounding principalities paid but little attention to Moscow, and Ivan, "a meek, gentle and merciful prince," was ruled to a great extent by the tuisyatsky, or chiliarch, Alexis Khvost, and, after his murder by the jealous boyars in 1357, by Bishop Alexis. He died in 1359. Like most of his predecessors, Ivan, by his last will, divided his dominions among his children.
See Dmitry Ilovaisky, History of Russia (Rus.), vol. ii. (Moscow, 1876-1894).
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