Paul I was Emperor of Russia from 1796 until his assassination. Officially, he was the only son of Peter III and Catherine the Great, although Catherine hinted that he was fathered by her lover Sergei Saltykov. Paul remained overshadowed by his mother for most of his life. He adopted the laws of succession to the Russian throne—rules that lasted until the end of the Romanov dynasty and of the Russian Empire. He also intervened in the French Revolutionary Wars and, toward the end of his reign, added Kartli and Kakheti in Eastern Georgia into the empire, which was confirmed by his son and successor Alexander I.
He was de facto Grand Master of the Order of Hospitallers from 1799 to 1801 and ordered the construction of a number of Maltese thrones. Paul's pro-German sentiments and unpredictable behavior made him unpopular among Russian nobility, and he was secretly assassinated by his own officers.