XI, 2015, 2

Dmitry Ivanovich, the Grand Prince. Rise and Fall | p. 41–74

Dmitry Ivanovich, dynastic crisis, Grand Prince, Moscow, Vasili Ivanovich


Dmitry Ivanovich, the only son of Ivan Ivanovich and Elena, daughter of Stephen the Great of Moldavia, was born on October 10, 1483. Ivan Ivanovich was the eldest son of Ivan III Vasilyevich and also a Grand Prince of Moscow, who since 1472 was designated to be the future ruler. He did not get the chance to rule due to his strange death on March 7, 1490.

Rumors had it that he was poisoned. After his death, Ivan III Vasilyevich had to choose a heir between his grandson, Dmitry Ivanovich, and his son from his second marriage with Sophia Paleologue, Vasili Ivanovich. On February 4, 1498, Ivan III had his grandson, Dmitry, crowned Grand Prince of Vladimir, Moscow and all Russia. His mother, Elena of Moldavia, was a strong, influential person who helped Dmitry receives the title of Grand Prince.

But, on April 11, 1502, Ivan III sent Dmitry and his mother Elena to prison. This was a great opportunity for Vasili Ivanovich to become the Grand Prince of Moscow. Elena died on January 18, 1505, and her son died on February 14, 1509. (Translated by Cristian Odobescu)