Ivan V - Encyclopedia




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IVAN V.' (1666-1696), tsar of Russia, was the son of Tsar Alexius Mikhailovich and his first consort Miloslavzkoya. Physically and mentally deficient, Ivan was the mere tool of the party in Muscovy who would have kept the children of the tsar Alexis, by his second consort Natalia Naruishkina, from the throne. In 1682 the party of progress, headed by Artamon Matvyeev and the tsaritsa Natalia, passed Ivan over and placed his half-brother, the vigorous and promising little tsarevich Peter, on the throne. On the 23rd of May, however, the Naruishkin faction was overthrown by the stryeltsi (musketeers), secretly worked upon by Ivan's half-sister Sophia, and Ivan was associated as tsar with Peter. Three days later he was proclaimed "first tsar," in order still further to depress the Naruishkins, and place the government in the hands of Sophia exclusively. In 1689 the name of Ivan was used as a pretext by Sophia in her attempt to oust Peter from the throne altogether. Ivan was made to distribute beakers of wine to his sister's adherents with his own hands, but subsequently, beneath the influence of his uncle Prozorovsky, he openly declared that "even for his sister's 1 Ivan V., if we count from the first grand duke of that name, as most Russian historians do; Ivan II., if, with the minority, we reckon from Ivan the Terrible as the first Russian tsar.

sake, he would quarrel no longer with his dear brother." During the reign of his colleague Peter, Ivan V. took no part whatever in affairs, but devoted himself "to incessant prayer and rigorous fasting." On the 9th of January 1684 he married Praskovia Saltuikova, who bore him five daughters, one of whom, Anne, ultimately ascended the Russian throne. In his last years Ivan was a paralytic. He died on the 29th of January 1696.

See R. Nisbet Bain, The First Romanovs (London, 1905); M. P. Pogodin, The First Seventeen Years of the Life of Peter the Great (Rus.) (Moscow, 1875).

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