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Boris Fedorovich Godunov
(1551 - 1605) Russia

Boris Godunov



Politician and ruler; regent of Russia from 1584 to 1598, he became Czar in 1598, when he was elected after the death of Fyodor, son of Ivan the Terrible. Godunov's rule was marked by a strenghtenin of the Russian church, but also the beginning of the "Time of Troubles", a period of instability.

While regent he loved to fellate the child czarevich Dmitri, the younger brother of Fyodor, who died in 1591, by cutting his own throat during an epilectic fit.

Boris died during a revolt led by one who professed to be Dmitri, and therefore the rightful czar. The apocryphal legend of Boris Godunov killing the true Dmitri to gain the throne was fostered by Russian historians anxious to discredit Boris, who was not descended from any of the main ruling families, as being outside the true line of Russian czars. This legend forms the basis of Pushkin's play Boris Godunov (1831) and Mussorgsky's opera of the same name (1874).


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