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The Thread:
In which John discusses the career of Ivan IV, aka Ivan the Terrible, Russia's first self-declared Tsar (or czar depending on your transliteration). Further proof that history is fun!


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A Bunny
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Good morning Hank, it's Friday. I have a 101.2° fever; we'll see if that affects my video making. So Nerdfighteria, I was so impressed with your Gussie Manlove hunting skills that today I am sending you on a new quest to solve a 427-year-old mystery, starring Ivan the Terrible. He's looking at me, isn't he? Uwuughhh! You're so scary looking. Why are you looking at me? Okay Hank, first off when it comes to Kings and Tsars, 'Great' does not mean better than good, and 'Terrible' does not mean worse than bad, although that's a common mistake. 'Great' and 'Terrible' in their classical meanings are actually quite similar, they both have connotations of power and might and authority. Okay Hank, picture this - I know I need to button the button - you're three years old and your dad dies of a leg boil. You wanna know why it's better to be middle class in the 21st century, than it is to be incredibly rich in the 15th century? Very rarely do people currently die of leg boils. Right so you're three years old and your dad dies, which means that technically you're now the King of Russia, which is a terrible gig because like, you're mostly potty trained, but you're not totally ready to run a country. So that means you need a regent. Fortunately, your mom is available to be your regent. Unfortunately, when you're eight, the nobility kills her. So you're eight, you've got all these nobility, these boyers, running around the palace fighting with each other over who should rule the show, and you hate them. Because they killed your mom, and they also make you nervous because they might kill you. But when you turn 16 and you take over the throne you decide "Y'know I'm not going to focus all my energy on negativity, on getting rid of these boyers. I'm gonna make the world better" You modernize the legal code, you open up trade with Europe, you annex a bunch of land and make Russia look more like... Russia, and you marry this beautiful girl named Anastasia. Hank, here is a lesson from history: Never be Russian and named Anastasia. Yeah so then in 1560, your wife dies and you think the boyers did it, and you're like "They killed my mom, they made me very anxious when I was a child, and now, I think they killed my wife". So then you start to be more traditionally terrible. You start a really ill-advised war, you have this quasi-police force that goes around massacring boyers and also anyone else they come across, and then you beat your pregnant daughter-in-law until she has a miscarriage, and then your son Ivan-should've-been-the-fifth comes up to you and he's like "Dad, I wish you hadn't done that" and you kill him. In your defense, you didn't mean to kill him, you meant to, y'know, hit him. But he died. But Hank, in your role as Ivan the Terrible, that is not even the worst thing you ever did. The worst was this - 427 years ago you died! In the middle of a chess game! Without telling anyone where your incredibly fancy library is! Sorry, I get very upset when people screw around with libraries. Your grandfather, Ivan the Third, married a Byzantine lady. By Byzantine, I don't mean like, complicated, I mean like of Byzantium. As her dowry, she brought with her a beautiful library full of illuminated manuscripts encrusted in jewels so valuable that the king of Russia was like "Man, we have got to hide this". So they built an underground library somewhere underneath Moscow - there are like thousands of miles of tunnels underneath Moscow because it's the perfect sand for tunneling, or something. And that would have worked fine except Ivan the Terrible was so obsessed with killing boyers and expanding Russia and becoming the first real Tsar that he completely forgot about the library and died without telling anyone where it was. In short Hank, if the legends are true, there are right now underneath Moscow billions of dollars worth of books. And so for the last 427 years, people have been searching for it. Nerdfighters, that is my task for you! I have created a thread in Your Pants - link in the doobly doo - where together, we can search out information so that we might uncover everything that there is to be known about that great and terrible library. Hank, I'll see you on Monday.