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or Dmitri Demetrius

boris, ivan and false

DEMETRIUS, or DMITRI, a series of impostors who usurped supreme .authority in Russia, and led to some of its remarkable revo lutions. Ivan Wasiliewitch, who had put his eldest son to death, left the throne in 1584 to another son, Feodor, whom Boris Godunov en tirely supplanted in his authority. Ivan had left another son, Dmitri, by a second marriage; and Boris, fearing that he might one day prove a formidable obstacle to his ambitious projects, made way with him, but no one exactly knew how. Shortly after, in 1598, Feodor died, and Boris took possession of the throne. Mystery still hung over the fate of Dmitri, and Grishka or Gregory Otrepieff, a monk belonging to the convent of Tehudov, determined to turn it to account. Several persons had been struck with his resemblance to Dmitri, and he at once ex plained the fact by declaring that he was Dmitri indeed, and that the design of Boris to murder him had been frustrated. The report quickly spread and Otrepieff fled into Poland, where Sigismund III, king of Poland, who saw in him a useful instrument for introducing Polish in fluence into Russia, aided him to enter that kingdom at the head of a body of troops. Boris

was deserted by his soldiers, and ended his life by poison. Otrepieff in 1605 entered Moscow in triumph, and, as the genuine son of Ivan, was proclaimed grand duke of Russia. He was now firmly seated on the throne, and might have transmitted it to his descendants had he gov erned with prudence. Conspirators, after ex citing a tumult, forced their way into the palace and put the false Dmitri to death. His body was exposed to public view, but in such a state that its features could not be recognized; and a rumor of his being still alive having spread, an other impostor quickly appeared to personify him. The Poles espoused the cause of the sec ond false Dmitri, and had made it triumphant, when he was assassinated in 1610 by the Tartars whom he had selected as his body guards. A state of anarchy ensued, and continued for nearly half a century, during which a numbee of other false Dmitri appeared in different quarters. Consult Munro, The Rise of the Russian Empire' (London 1900) Kostomaroff, 'Les faux Dmitri) (Petrograd 1864):