Ivan II "the Meek
" was the son of Grand Prince Ivan I
. He was born in 1326
and came to the throne in 1353
on the death of his older brother Simeon
. As the nickname
implied, Ivan wasn't much of a fighter, but he did manage to hold Russia together and stave off Lithuanian
attacks from the west.
Many of his decisions were made on the advice of Orthodox Church leader Metropolitan Alexis, who Simeon had recommended as an advisor in his last testament. Ivan actually started out his reign denying support to the western cities attacked by the Lithuanians, but public opinion and Alexis' advice led him to change his mind.
Ivan died in 1359 and left his nine-year-old son Dmitry III Donskoi to be Grand Prince, with Alexis as advisor.