Who was the first king?

Irina Belova
Irina Belova
July 22, 2014
Who was the first king?

Since childhood, we used to call Russian rulers kings, but rarely think about where the word came from and when it was first used in Russia. Meanwhile, the question of who was the first Russian tsar is not as simple as it seems. Obviously, such a title could be worn only by a ruler who united the whole country under his rule. The grand dukes of the Moscow kingdom were little different in their political position from the European princes and dukes.

The word "king" is a Slavic abbreviation of the title "Caesar" worn by the Roman and Byzantine emperors. Who was the first Russian tsar? The first Russian ruler, who “tried on himself” the royal title, was Ivan III the Great, who considered himself the successor of the fallen Byzantine Empire.

The event that influenced the emergence of the Russian “tsar” was the overthrow of the Tatar-Mongol yoke, which also occurred under Ivan III.

In addition, to be called a king, you had to learn how to live "royally." Ivan III put a lot of effort into this.He surrounded himself with imperial luxury, introduced new palace rituals and radically changed his whole lifestyle. He even began to call himself more solemnly - John.

And yet, although the word “king” and slipped in the diplomatic correspondence of John III, it never came to an official title. The first Russian tsar from a formal point of view was his grandson, Ivan IV (aka Ivan the Terrible). Having reached the age of majority, Ivan the Terrible was crowned with a kingdom and began to wear the proud title of Tsar of All Russia. This happened on January 16, 1547.

The royal title allowed Ivan the Terrible to stand on an equal footing with European monarchs and be the unlimited autocrat in his state.



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