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Boris Godunov


Boris Fyodorovitch Godunov (Борис Федорович Годунов), (c. 1551-1605), tsar of Russia 1598-1605.

Boris Godunov began his career of court service under tsar Ivan the Terrible, became virtual ruler of Muscovy during the reign of Ivan's imbecile son Fedor (1584-1598). In 1598 Fedor died without an heir, ending the Rurik Dynasty. Boris Godunov then convened a zemskiy sobor, a national assembly of boyars, church officials, and commoners, which proclaimed him tsar on January 6, 1598. He conducted a successful war against Sweden (1590-1595), promoted foreign trade, and dealt ruthlessly with those boyar families which opposed him. In 1604 boyar animosity combined with popular dissatisfaction ushered in the 'Time of Troubles' - a confused eight-year dynastic and political crisis. Boris Godunov died suddenly in 1605.

Preceded by:
Feodor I
List of Russian Tsars Succeeded by:
Feodor II

Boris Godunov is also the title of Modest Mussorgsky's opera, written in 1868 and revised in 1871 and 1873. See Boris Godunov (opera).
Boris Godunov is also the title of a play by Aleksandr Pushkin.\n