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Ivan III of Russia

Ivan III Vasilevich (January 22, 1440 - October 27, 1505) also known as Ivan the Great ruled from 1462 - 1505. Ivan has been referred to as the "gather of the Russian lands" and united most of the areas of Russia under his control. Ivan's greatest conquests were the annexation rival Tver[?] and the conquest of Novogorod[?] with its important fur trade and massive northern territorial holdings. Ivan defeated Lithuania in a long and costly war that finally ended Lithuania's long expantion and pushed it into an alliance with Poland that would eventually end Lithuania's independence. Ivan is even more famous, however, for finally freeing Russia from the Tatars. The Mongol army of Khan Akmad[?] moved into Russia attempting to demand more tribute from Ivan. The two armies met at the Ugra River, but no battle was fought. Neither ruler was willing to risk their forces, and eventually the Khan retreated back to his territory. The Mongol's never again attempted to enforce their control over Russia. Ivan the Great was the first national sovereign, but not the first Tsar. He married Sophia, niece of the last Byzantine Emperor, Constantine XI. Sophia introduced the customs of the Byzantine court, and the idea of Moscow as a “third Rome” (Rome and the Byzantine Empire being the 1st and 2nd) became popular.

Preceded by:
Vasili II
List of Russian Tsars Succeeded by:
Vasili III

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