He was born in 1326 to Ivan I Danilovich Kalita, grand prince of Moscow and his
first wife, Yelyena. He married first about in 1341 with Feodosia, daughter of
Dmitri Romanovich, appanage prince of Bryansk. He then married about in 1345
with Aleksandra (unknown parentage). His sons from the second marriage were
Dmitrii (Donskoi) grand prince of Moscow; and Ivan, appanage prince of Zvenigorod. His daughter was
Anna or Maria, who married Dmitrii Mikhailovich
Bobrok. He was appanage prince of Zvenigorod and Ruzsk (1340-53) and then grand
prince of Moscow and grand prince of Vladimir (1353-59), after his older
brother, Semyon, died in the great plague with all
his family and the middle brother, Andrei of Serpukhov, died as well. The
family is shown on this chart.
Summary of reign
During his relatively brief reign Ivan was unable to achieve the changes
in policy orientation he desired. Merely by the circumstance that he received
his father's inheritance from his older brother relatively intact and passed it
on without the typical permanent division to Dmitrii Donskoi, Ivan unwittingly
rendered a great service to the Moscow Principality. He was confirmed as Grand
Prince of Vladimir by Khan Jani-beg in 1353 and again by Khan Berdi-beg in
1352 - Lithuanian offensive stopped by Muscovite and Tatar army. Ivan campaign
1353 - Ivan goes to Sarai to obtain yarlik as soon as Semyon died.
jannibeg endorses Ivan
1348 - Livonian knights and Swedes attack Novgorod but Ivan fails to help.
1353-8 - Lithuania occupies Rzhev and wins victories near Smolensk and Bryansk
Ivan does not support , Ivan allies with the pro-Lithuanian factors in Suzdal -
Ivan then changes policy.
1357 - 1357 Internal revolt and popular pressure force Ivan to resume conflict
against Lithuania and return to alliance with Golden Horde. Andrei Khvut, the
chiliarch, is murdered. Some boyars leave Ivan for Ryazan. Metropolitan Aleksei
also pressures Ivan against Lithuania. Kypchak horde becomes a threat. Ivan
surrenders position and goes to Sarai to Khan Berdibeg and renews conflict with
1358 - Ivan's testament prepared
1359 - Ivan's army again at Smolensk, also renewed civil war in Tver.