Ivan I

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(d. 1340), prince of Moscow and sole grand prince of Vladimir.

By collaborating with the Tatar overlords in Saray, Ivan I overcame his rivals in Tver and made Moscow the most important domain in northeast Russia. He was nicknamed "Moneybag" ("Kalita") to reflect his shrewd money handling practices.

Ivan Danilovich was the son of Daniel and grandson of Alexander Yaroslavich "Nevsky." In 1325, when he succeeded his brother Yury as prince of Moscow, he continued Moscow's fight with Tver for supremacy. Two years later the people of Tver, the town ruled by Grand Prince Alexander Mikhailovich, revolted against the Tatars. In 1328 Ivan visited Khan Uzbek, who gave him the patent for the grand princely throne and troops to punish the insurgents. After Ivan devastated Tver and forced Alexander to flee, the town and its prince never regained their position of power. Significantly, in his rivalry with Tver, Ivan won the support of the Metropolitan, who chose Moscow for his residence. In the 1330s, as Grand Prince Gedimin increasingly threatened Russia, Ivan also fought to suppress pro-Lithuanian factions in the northwestern towns. His greatest challenge was to subdue Novgorod, which used its association with Lithuania against him, and which challenged him when he levied Tatar tribute on it. By faithfully collecting the tribute, however, and by visiting the Golden Horde on nine occasions and winning the khan's trust, he persuaded the Tatars to stop raiding Russia. Moreover, by currying the khan's favour, Ivan was able to keep the title of grand prince and secure succession to it for his son Simeon. Ivan died on March 31, 1340.

See also: golden horde; grand prince; moscow


Fennell, John L. I. (1968). The Emergence of Moscow 13041359. London: Secker and Warburg.

Martin, Janet. (1995). Medieval Russia 9801584. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Martin Dimnik