Ivan III the Great
1440 - 1505
Grand Duke of Moscow
In 1480 Ivan, the Grand Duke of Moscow (1462--1505), renounced his allegiance to the Golden Horde who had ruled over most of Russia for several hundred years.

Ivan III united the Russian nation and strengthened the authority of the monarchy. His reign marks the beginning of Muscovite Russia. He assumed the title of 'Sovereign of all Russia', and adopted the emblem of the two-headed eagle of the Byzantine Empire.

Note :
After the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, the Russians came to regard their branch of the Orthodox Church as the last stronghold of true Christianity. The myth of Moscow as the 'third Rome' established a sense of mission for the Russian people and their ruler, who was welcomed by the Orthodox Church, as God's deputy.

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