Ivan The Terrible
Russia has had its fair share of crazy rulers – but Ivan the Terrible lived up to his name. What drove him mad? Likely a mix of mental illness, a horrific childhood, and the death of his beloved first wife, Anastasia. Although he was supposedly very intelligent, his fits of rage and paranoia led to his downfall. His reign consisted of countless raids, repressions, and murders – climaxing with the murders of his son Ivan and unborn grandson. Ivan the Terrible supposedly kicked his pregnant daughter-in-law in a fit of rage – causing a miscarriage – and then murdered Ivan (his most trusted heir), leading to the end of his dynasty.