Russ 321/HSTAM/SISRE 443
Lecture Outline

The Development of Absolutism

I. Ivan III (1462-1505) and Muscovy's new position in the world.

A. Political Realities.
B. The Process of Self-Definition.
1. "The White Tsar."
2. The Byzantine/Roman imperial legacy.
a. The fall of Constantinople.
b. The marriage to Zoe Palaeologa.
c. The imperial seal.
d. The "Third Rome" theory.
C. Rebuilding the Kremlin.

II. Ivan IV Groznyi (1533-1584), autocrat incarnate?

A. Continuity, change and personalities.
B. Ivan's image and the reasons why.
1. Some realities: The Livonian War, the Oprichnina, and the Time of Troubles.
2. Polemical sources.
3. The evidence of the corpse.
C. The realities of the reign.
1. The era of good government.
2. The aberration of the Oprichnina.
3. The consequences of bad government.