Strange But True Facts About The Life Of Catherine The Great

History | 1/17/20

Catherine the Great had a great and wildly interesting life. She widely considered to be to mother of the Russian Renaissance, and she is also still the longest-ruling female monarch in Russia’s history.

She was empress from 1762 until her death in 1796, and during that time, she changed both Russian and world history. Catherine had a reputation for being rather raunchy. She had many lovers, hired professional foot ticklers, and was rumored to have died while in the midst of an indecent act. Keep reading to learn the truth about this great lady.

Her Name Wasn’t Even Catherine

Catherine II, 1729 - 1796, aka Catherine the Great was born as Prussian Sophie von Anhalt-Zerbst
Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images
Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images

Catherine the Great’s name was never actually Catherine. When he was born to a Prussian prince, her parents named her Sophie Augusta Frederica.

When she was 15, Czarina Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, invited her to the palace. Sophie made an immediate impact on Elizabeth. After converting to Orthodox Christianity, Sophie then took on the new name Ekaterina, or Catherine. She married into the Russian royal line and the rest, they say, is history.