Ivan the Terrible is said to have started life mad as he got madder and madder as the years went on, though it's not surprising, as he was imprisoned in a dungeon by his mother for most of his early life.
He was an insatiable reader whose favourite pastimes included rapine, throwing pets out of the upper windows of the Kremlin and weddings - he had eight wives. On the other hand he was a devout Christian and a champion of the poor and the oppressed.
The first Czar of all the Russian people, Ivan IV transformed his country from a small medieval state into a wealthy empire. Because some of his behaviour was rather dubious, today we're drinking a Nutty Russian.
Copyright odd firm of sin 2016. All rights reserved