It is Impossible to Describe Him

Peter the Great: His Life and World

Emperor of Russia

An excerpt from Peter the Great: His Life and World:

Unfortunately, their grumbling touched a raw nerve in Peter’s character: Once again, the Streltsy were mixed up in charges of treason. His fear and loathing of them boiled forth. The three men were bloodily executed on Red Square, losing first their arms and legs to the axe, and then their heads. In addition, Peter’s fear that their dissent might be only the prelude to an attempted Miloslavsky restoration stirred him to a lurid act of contempt against that family. The coffin of Ivan Miloslavsky, who had been dead for fourteen years, was placed on a sledge, yoked to a team of swine and dragged into Red Square. There, the coffin was opened beneath the execution block, so that the blood of the newly condemned men would spatter the face of the corpse.


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