Ivan I Danilovich Kalita

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ivan I Danilovich Kalita


Year of birth unknown; died Mar. 31, 1340. Prince of Moscow from 1325. Grand prince of Vladimir from 1328. Son of Prince Danila Aleksandrovich of Moscow.

As a ruler, Ivan I was cruel and cunning, intelligent and persistent in the achievement of his aims. He played an important role in strengthening the principality of Moscow and in gathering the Russian lands around Moscow; toward this end he accepted the help of the Golden Horde, for whom he collected an enormous tribute from the population. He mercilessly suppressed the popular discontent produced by onerous taxes and dealt summarily with other Russian princes who were his political opponents. His influence extended to numerous lands of northeastern Rus’ (Tver’, Pskov, and Novgorod, for example). He accumulated much wealth (hence his nickname Kalita, “purse” or “moneybag”), which he used to purchase land in other principalities and domains. Under Ivan I, Moscow became the residence of the metropolitan “of all Rus’ “; this was of great importance, since the church enjoyed great ideological and political influence. Ivan I’s activity was conducive to the establishment of the foundations of Moscow’s political and economic power and the beginning of the economic upsurge of Rus’.


Cherepnin, L.V. Obrazovanie Russkogo tsentralizovannogo gosudarstvavXIV-XVvv. Moscow, 1960.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.