What struck scientists with the teeth of Ivan the Terrible

It is known that Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible died at the age of 53. According to many historical sources, in the last years of his life, the monarch looked like a deep old man-bent, with parchment-yellow skin that stretched over his skull, almost bald and with a sparse gray beard. But these same historical memoirs claim that the king had excellent teeth, which could be envied by young men. Is this true, or is it just another myth, which so many have created around this ambiguous historical figure?

What struck scientists with the teeth of Ivan the Terrible

In the story of the perfect teeth of the king, who lived in the 16th century, scientists did not believe too much. Judge for yourself-oral hygiene in those days was unknown to most people, and dental services were limited to the removal of diseased teeth with a thread or ticks. At the same time, the nobility of the Middle Ages are characterized by very bad teeth, because those in power could afford sweets that the common people had never seen.

What struck scientists with the teeth of Ivan the Terrible

As for John Vasilyevich, the chronicles recall his teeth for the first time in connection with... his birth. That's right – there is a lot of evidence that the prince was born with a full set of teeth, striking everyone with this fact. There are also stories of contemporaries that the king kept several baby teeth until the age of 40, and his permanent incisors grew even after the age of 50, shortly before his death.

One of the legends says that the Kazan Khanate, having received the news of the birth of a son of the Moscow Prince Vasily III, said to the Russian ambassadors:

And so it turned out – Ivan the Terrible conquered the Kazan and Astrakhan khanates, and also exterminated many of his own subjects.

What struck scientists with the teeth of Ivan the Terrible

Whether this story is true or not, it is very difficult to say today, but there is no longer any doubt that the emperor came to the end of his life with a full set of good teeth. The study of the remains of Ivan the Terrible showed that the teeth of the tsar were very different from the goiter of most of his contemporaries. One of the researchers even noted that his jaws looked like those of a 25-30-year-old man with excellent health.

This contrasted strongly with the description of Grozny's state of health in the last years of his life, but soon found a simple explanation. Since childhood, Ivan IV was afraid of toothache, so he spared no time and effort to care for the oral cavity. After each meal, the king rinsed his mouth with various herbal remedies, and in the morning and evening he brushed his teeth with a real toothbrush.

What struck scientists with the teeth of Ivan the Terrible

The emperor's personal hygiene accessory consisted of a simple wooden handle, in which bunches of pig bristles were inserted. The shape of this product was not quite the same as that of modern brushes – it looked more like a small bottle brush. The boyars closest to him did not lag behind the tsar-they imitated Ivan the Terrible in everything and also regularly brushed their teeth.

Keywords: Moscow | History | Celebrities | Archeology | Dentistry | Teeth | Tatars | Ivan the Terrible

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