Vasily III

Vasily III

Vasily III (Vasily Ivanovich) (vəsēˈlyē ēväˈnəvĭch), 1479–1533, grand duke of Moscow (1505–33). Carrying on the policies of his father, Ivan III, he rounded out the territorial consolidation of the Russian state, formally annexing Pskov (1510), Ryazan (1517), and Novgorod-Seversk (1523) and gaining Smolensk (1514) in a war with Sigismund I of Poland and Lithuania. In 1525, he forced his childless first wife to become a nun and soon remarried. His older son from the second marriage succeeded him as Ivan IV.
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Russians think they are "not subject to the vices of other nations but are uniquely able to realize a more perfect political order, which God calls them to offer to the world." When Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, an Orthodox abbot told Czar Vasily III that the czar was the last remaining "lord and protector of the altars of God." "Two Romes [Constantinople and Rome itself] have fallen" the abbot said.
1530: Birth of Ivan the Terrible: The son of Vasily III, Ivan IV became tsar of Muscovy from 1533-84.