Boleslaus II, Duke of Bohemia
Boleslaus II the Pious, a member of the Přemyslid dynasty, was Duke of Bohemia from 972 until his death Boleslaus was an elder son of Duke Boleslaus I the Cruel and brother of the three other children of his father who survived to adulthood: Strachkvas and the abbess Mlada. His mother may have been a mysterious figure known only from her coins. According to some historians, she was the wife of Boleslaus I. Boleslaus II took over the rule of the Duchy of Bohemia as kníže on his father's death in 972. Like his father, Boleslaus II quarrelled with the Ottonian kings of Germany. In 974 he and Duke Mieszko I of Poland supported the rebellious Duke Henry II of Bavaria in his civil war against the rule of Emperor Otto II. In 976, Henry was defeated and fled to Boleslaus' court at Prague Castle, whereafter Otto's forces campaigned the Bohemian lands. In 978, Boleslaus solemnly pledged allegiance to the emperor at the Easter festivities in Quedlinburg. In turn, the relations with Poland deteriorated from about 980 onwards.
When Emperor Otto II died in 983 and was succeeded by his minor son Otto III, the alliance was overturned, as Boleslaus again allied with the insurgent Bavarian Duke Henry, while Mieszko I took the side of the young king. Moreover, when Boleslaus occupied the Saxon Margravate of Meissen, he thwarted the plans of Mieszko's son Bolesław, who had married a daughter of Margrave Ricdag. In 987 Boleslaus had to retire from Meissen. In 992 he approached King Otto III and participated in an unsuccessful campaign against the Lutici tribes in the wake of the 983 Great Slav Rising. Boleslaus's reign is most notable for the foundation of the Diocese of Prague in 973, earning him the epithet "The Pious" by the medieval chronicler Cosmas of Prague; the Bohemian diocese was placed at that time within the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Mainz and Emperor Otto II enforced the appointment of the Saxon monk Thietmar as first bishop. Meanwhile, the struggle with the rivalling Slavník dynasty flared up again from 981 onwards, when Prince Soběslav striving for independence began to forge alliances with the Polish and Saxon rulers.
Upon Bishop Dětmar's death in 982, Soběslav's brother Adalbert was appointed his successor until he abandoned his primacy to lead a mission to the Old Prussians in 994. On 28 September 995, Boleslaus' forces and the confederate Vršovci clan stormed Libice Castle in southern Bohemia and massacred the members of the Slavník dynasty that were found there. Boleslaus's brutal triumph ensured the unity of Bohemia under a single ruler. Boleslaus's first wife Adiva may have been a daughter of the English king Edward the Elder, though the evidence for this is weak, his second wife was Emma of Mělník. It is certain the Boleslaus's oldest son was born by Adiva, but the mother of the others cannot be established with certainty: Boleslaus III, his eldest son and successor Wenceslaus, died as an infant Jaromír, became Duke of Bohemia in 1003 Oldřich, became Duke of Bohemia in 1012Soon after his father's death, Boleslaus III entered into conflict with his brothers and was deposed in 1002; the internal struggles of the Přemyslid dynasty shook the Bohemian duchy, until Duke Oldřich's efforts stabilised the country.
Krofta, Kamil. "Bohemia to the Extinction of the Premyslids". In Tanner, J. R.. W.. N. Cambridge Medieval History:Victory of the Papacy. Vol. VI. Cambridge University Press. Joanna A. Sobiesiak: Bolesław II Przemyślida: Dynasta i jego państwo. Kraków: Avalon, 2006
Emma of Mělník
Emma was a Bohemian duchess consort as the second wife of Boleslaus II of Bohemia. Her origins are uncertain. Historian Gelasius Dobner thought she was a princess of Burgundy, this theory has been respected; the latest research of historians and numismatists, indicate that she was of Italian-Burgundian origin and have identified with Queen Emma of France, widow of King Lothair of France. She became the second wife of Boleslaus II about the year 989 and died either in 1005 or 1006, it was traditionally supposed by Czech historians that Emma was the mother of Boleslaus' younger sons Oldřich and Jaromír and that the mother of the oldest son, Boleslaus III of Bohemia, was Adiva, the first wife of Boleslaus II. Afraid of Boleslaus III, Emma chose to go into exile at the court of Bavaria in 1001 together with Dukes of Bohemia Oldřich and Jaromir; the brothers sought military backing from the German King Henry II, definitively placing Bohemia within the jurisdiction of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1004, Jaromír made himself Duke.
Emma came back to Bohemia living in the town of Mělník, where she died. Evidencing her existence are denar coins with the inscription ENMA REGINA. Jan Kilián and Luboš Polanský: Emma regina – Civitas Melnic, Mělník-Praha, 2008, ISBN 978-80-903899-1-5
The Přemyslid dynasty or House of Přemyslid was a Czech royal dynasty which reigned in the Duchy of Bohemia and Kingdom of Bohemia and Margraviate of Moravia, as well as in parts of Poland and Austria. The dynasty's origin dates back to the 9th century, when the Přemyslids ruled a tiny territory around Prague, populated by the Czech tribe of the Western Slavs, they expanded, conquering the region of Bohemia, located in the Bohemian basin where it was not threatened by the expansion of the Frankish Empire. The first historically-documented Přemyslid duke was Bořivoj I. In the following century, the Přemyslids ruled over Silesia and founded the city of Wroclaw, derived from the name of a Bohemian duke, Vratislaus I, father of Saint Wenceslaus. Under the reign of Prince Boleslaus I the Cruel and his son Boleslaus II the Pious, the Přemyslids ruled territory stretching to today's Belarus; the dynasty controlled vital trade routes during this time. The Bohemian lands and Prague were an important center of trade where merchants from all of Europe settled, including many Jews, as recalled in 965 by the Hispano-Jewish merchant and traveller Ibrahim ibn Ya'qub.
He wrote, "Prague is a city from the stone, the richest of all states north of the Alps." After their rise to prominence, struggles within the family set in motion a decline in power and, in 1002, the Polish duke Boleslaus the Brave occupied Prague. Boleslaus III, son of Boleslaus II, escaped from Bohemia; the decline ended in the reign of Prince Bretislaus I, grandson of Boleslaus II. He in turn looted Poland, including the cities of Krakow and Gniezno, where he obtained the relics of St. Adalbert, he sought the establishment of a royal title. His son and successor Vratislaus II became the first King of Bohemia in 1085. Vratislav's son Sobeslaus I destroyed the Imperial army of King Lothar III in the Battle of Chlumec in 1126; this allowed a further strengthening of Bohemia, culminating during the reign of Vratislav's grandson, King Vladislaus II. Vladislav II founded many monasteries and built the first stone bridge across the Vltava river, one of the earliest in Central and Northern Europe. Once again, internal struggles started the decline of the Přemyslids.
Many leaders from the dynasty alternated on the Bohemian throne, leading to their eventual bankruptcy. On his ascension to the throne, Ottokar I began a series of changes that brought Bohemia out of crisis, began a period of success that lasted for nearly 220 years. Ottokar I became the third King of Bohemia in the year 1198 but was the first King of Bohemia to acquire a hereditary royal title; this began significant growth of the Přemyslids' dynastic power. There was a large urban and crafts development in Bohemia. In the second half of the 13th century, the Přemyslids were one of the most powerful dynasties in Central Europe. King Přemysl Ottokar II, son of Wenceslas I, earned the nickname "Iron and Golden King" because of his military power and wealth. After several victorious wars with the Hungarian Kingdom, he acquired Austria, Styria and Carniola, extending Bohemian territory to the Adriatic Sea. King Ottokar II aspired to the imperial crown of the Holy Roman Empire, his ambitions started the conflict with House of Habsburg, who were, until little-known princes, which suited the interests of German noble Houses better than the mighty king Ottokar.
The representative of Habsburgs Rudolf was elected as King of Romans. In the Battle of Marchfeld, Ottokar clashed with Imperial and Hungarian armies yet he was killed in battle himself; the Habsburgs acquired Austria. Ottokar's son King Wenceslaus II was just seven. Over time, thanks to deft diplomacy, he gained the Polish crown for himself and the crown of Hungary for his son. Wenceslas II brought together a vast empire stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Danube river and established numerous cities, among them Plzeň in 1295. Bohemia became a wealthy nation during his reign thanks to a large vein of silver at Kutná Hora, he introduced the silver Prague groschen, an important European currency for centuries, planned to build the first university in Central Europe. The power and wealth of the Kingdom of Bohemia gave rise to great respect, but to the hostility of other European royal families; the dynasty began to collapse following the untimely death of Wenceslaus II, the assassination of his only son, Wenceslaus III in 1306, which ended their rule.
On the distaff side, the dynasty continued, in 1355, Bohemian king Charles IV, the grandson of Wenceslaus II, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Rome. The name of the dynasty, according to Cosmas in his Chronica Boemorum, comes from its legendary founder, Přemysl, husband of duchess Libuše. Přemysl and Libuše Nezamysl Mnata Vojen Vnislav Křesomysl Neklan Hostivít The first historical Přemyslid was Duke Bořivoj I, baptised in 874 by Saint Methodius. In 895, Bohemia gained independence from Great Moravia. Between 1003 and 1004, Bohemia was controlled by Boleslaus the Brave, Duke of Poland from the Piast dynasty, grandson of Boleslaus I the Cruel. In 1085, Duke Vratislaus II, and, in 1158, Duke Vladislaus II, were crowned King of Bohemia as a personal award from the Holy Roman Emperor; the title, was not hereditary. Bořivoj I Spytihněv I Vratislaus I Saint Wenceslaus Boleslaus I the Cruel Boleslaus II the Pious Boleslaus III the Red-haired Vladivoj (1002–1003
Coloman, King of Hungary
Coloman the Learned the Book-Lover or the Bookish was King of Hungary from 1095 and King of Croatia from 1097 until his death. Because Coloman and his younger brother Álmos were underage when their father Géza I died, their uncle Ladislaus I ascended the throne in 1077. Ladislaus prepared Coloman—who was "half-blind and humpbacked", according to late medieval Hungarian chronicles—for a church career, Coloman was appointed bishop of Eger or Várad in the early 1090s; the dying King Ladislaus preferred Álmos to Coloman when nominating his heir in early 1095. Coloman returned around 19 July 1095 when his uncle died, he was crowned in early 1096. He granted the Hungarian Duchy—one-third of the Kingdom of Hungary—to Álmos. In the year of Coloman's coronation, at least five large groups of crusaders arrived in Hungary on their way to the Holy Land, he annihilated the bands who were entering his kingdom unauthorized or pillaging the countryside, but the main crusader army crossed Hungary without incident.
He invaded Croatia in 1097, defeating its last native king Petar Svačić. He was crowned king of Croatia in 1102. According to the late 14th-century Pacta conventa, he was only crowned after having ratified a treaty with the leaders of the Croatian nobility. For centuries thereafter, the Hungarian monarchs were the kings of Croatia. Coloman had to face his brother's attempts to dethrone him throughout his life. In retaliation, he seized his brother's duchy in 1107 or 1108 and had Álmos and Álmos' son Béla blinded in about 1114. Hungarian chronicles, which were compiled in the reigns of kings descending from his mutilated brother and nephew, depict Coloman as a bloodthirsty and unfortunate monarch. On the other hand, he is portrayed as "the most well-versed in the science of letters among all the kings of his day" by the contemporaneous chronicler Gallus Anonymus. Coloman's decrees, which governed many aspects of life—including taxation and relations between his Christian and non-Christian subjects—remained unmodified for more than a century.
He was the first Hungarian king to renounce control of the appointment of prelates in his realms. Coloman was the elder of the two sons of King Géza I. Géza's Byzantine second wife—whose baptismal name is unknown—left Hungary after her husband's death, implying that she was not his children's mother; the mother of Coloman and his younger brother, Álmos, must have been Géza's first wife, whose family is unknown. According to historians Gyula Kristó and Márta Font, the brothers were born around 1070, because they were mature enough to hold offices in the early 1090s. Coloman's uncommon baptismal name was recorded as Colomanus or Colombanus in medieval documents written in Latin. Kristó writes that he was most named after Saint Coloman of Stockerau, a missionary, martyred in Austria in the early 11th century. Another possibility is. Coloman's father ascended the throne in 1074; because Coloman and Álmos were minors when he died on 25 April 1077, Géza's brother Ladislaus I succeeded him. The new king decided.
The king's decision was unusual as Coloman was older than Álmos and elder brothers were ordained priests. The 14th-century Illuminated Chronicle stated that Coloman was "of mean stature, but astute and quick of apprehension", adding that he was "shaggy and hirsute, half-blind and humpbacked, he walked with a limp and stammered in his speech". If the chronicle preserved genuine tradition of his appearance, his physical deformity may have influenced his uncle's decision. However, modern scholars tend to refute this view, emphasizing that the chronicle was completed in the reigns of kings descending from Álmos. In preparation for his clerical life, Coloman learnt to read and write and acquired a good knowledge of Latin, his proficiency in canon law was praised in a letter that Pope Urban II addressed to him in 1096. According to Kristó, upon finishing his studies he was ordained priest and in the early 1090s was appointed bishop. Hungarian chronicles completed in the 14th and 15th centuries say that Coloman was bishop of either Eger or Várad.
For instance, the Illuminated Chronicle states, he was "bishop of Warad", Ladislaus I wanted to appoint him "bishop of Agria". According to the Illuminated Chronicle, both Coloman and Álmos accompanied their uncle on a military campaign against Bohemia in early 1095. Before reaching the border of his kingdom, Ladislaus I "was overcome by a grave infirmity" and decided to appoint Álmos as his heir. Instead of obeying his uncle's decision, Coloman fled to Poland, he returned to Hungary around 29 July 1095. The exact circumstances of his ascension to the throne are uncertain; the Illuminated Chronicle states Ladislaus had invited him back from Poland. The same source adds that Álmos, "in the true simplicity of his heart honoured his brother and yielded to him the crown of the kingdom", which suggests that he ascended the throne without bloodshed. On the other hand, Coloman was crowned king in early 1096, the delay implying that the two brothers had been fighting for the crown before they reached an agreement.
It is possible, as proposed by Font, that he could only be crowned after Pope Urban II had released him from his clerical vows. Coloman was crowned in Székesfehérvár by Arc
Bolesław III Wrymouth
Bolesław III Wrymouth, was a Duke of Lesser Poland and Sandomierz between 1102 and 1107 and over the whole Poland between 1107 and 1138. He was the only child of Prince Władysław I Herman and his first wife Judith, daughter of Vratislaus II of Bohemia. Bolesław began to rule in the last decade of the 11th century, when the central government in Poland was weakened. Władysław I Herman fell under the political dependence of the Count palatine Sieciech, who became the real ruler of the country. Backed by their father and his half-brother Zbigniew expelled Sieciech from the country in 1101, after several years of fighting. After the death of Władysław I Herman in 1102, two independent states were created ruled by Bolesław and Zbigniew. Bolesław sought to gain Pomerania which caused an armed conflict between the brothers, forced Zbigniew to flee the country and seek military help from German King Henry V. Bolesław punished Zbigniew by blinding him; this action caused outrage among supporters of Zbigniew.
Bolesław once again gained the favor of his subjects with public penance, made a pilgrimage to the monastery of his patron, Saint Giles, in Hungary. Bolesław, like Bolesław II the Generous, based his foreign policy on maintaining good relations with neighboring Hungary and Kievan Rus, with whom he forged strong links through marriage and military cooperation in order to break the political dependence on Germany and his vassal, the King of Bohemia, who in moments of weakness of Polish policy was forced to pay tribute in Silesia; these alliances have allowed Bolesław to defend the country from invasion in 1109. Several years Bolesław skillfully took advantage of the dynastic disputes in Bohemia to ensure peace on the south-west border. Bolesław devoted the second half of his rule to the conquest of Pomerania. In 1113 he conquered the northern strongholds along Noteć, which strengthened the border with the Pomeranians. In subsequent years, he took steps toward the conquest of Pomerania; the resolution of the conflict with the Holy Roman Empire allowed Bolesław to subordinate Western Pomerania and incorporate Gdańsk Pomerania.
The military expeditions, carried out in three stages, ended in the 1120s with military and political successes. Integration of the newly annexed lands enabled Bolesław to build churches and began the process of converting Pomerania. Bishop Otto of Bamberg confirmed the Christianization of Pomerania from 1123 onward. In the 1130s Bolesław participated in the dynastic dispute in Hungary. After an unexpected defeat, he was forced to make an agreement with Germany; the Congress of Merseburg of 1135 addressed the issues of Pomerania, Silesian sovereignty and the supremacy of the Archbishopric of Magdeburg over the Polish Church. Bolesław was married twice, his first marriage with the Kievan princess Zbyslava gave him an excuse to intervene militarily in the internal affairs of Russia. After her death, Bolesław married to a German noblewoman, Salomea of Berg, which in some way was the cause of changes in Polish foreign policy: in the second half of his rule, the Prince sought to restore diplomatic relations with his western neighbor.
His last, the most momentous act, was his will and testament known as "The Succession Statute" in which he divided the country among his sons, leading to 200 years of feudal fragmentation of the Polish Kingdom. Bolesław III Wrymouth has been recognized by historiography as a symbol of Polish political aspirations until well into the 19th century, he upheld the independence of the Polish archbishopric of Gniezno, despite a temporary failure in the 1130s. Despite undoubted successes, he committed serious political errors, most notably against Zbigniew of Poland, his half-brother; the crime against Zbigniew and his penance for it show Bolesław's great ambition as well as his ability to find political compromise. In 1086 the coronation of Vratislav II as King of Bohemia, his alignment with László I, King of Hungary, threatened the position of the Polish ruler, Prince Władysław I Herman. Therefore, that same year Władysław I was forced to recall from Hungarian banishment the only son of Bolesław II the Bold and a rightful heir to the Polish throne, Mieszko Bolesławowic.
Upon his return young Bolesławowic accepted the over-lordship of his uncle and gave up his hereditary claim to the crown of Poland in exchange for becoming first in line to succeed him. In return, Władysław I Herman granted his nephew the district of Kraków; the situation was further complicated for Władysław I Herman by a lack of a legitimate male heir, as his first-born son Zbigniew came from a union not recognized by the church. With the return of Mieszko Bolesławowic to Poland, Władysław I normalized his relations with the kingdom of Hungary as well as Kievan Rus; these actions allowed Herman to strengthen his authority and alleviate further tensions in international affairs. The lack of a legitimate heir, remained a concern for Władysław I and in 1085 he and his wife Judith of Bohemia sent rich gifts, among, a life size statue of a child made of gold, to the Benedictine Sanctuary of Saint Giles in Saint-Gilles, Provence begging for offspring; the Polish envoys were led by the personal chaplain of Piotr.
The date of birth of Bolesław is linked with the death of his mother Judith. This fact is evidenced by contemporary sources: Gallus Anonymus in the Cronicae et gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum reported that Duchess Judith gave birth to Bolesław on the day of King Saint Stephen of Hungary (w
Malusha Malkovna was a servant for Olga of Kiev and wife of Sviatoslav I of Kiev. According to Slavonic chronicles, she was the mother of sister of Dobrynya; the Norse sagas describe Vladimir's mother as a prophetess who lived to the age of 100 and was brought from her cave to the palace to predict the future. Malusha monuments in Korosten, with her young son Vladimir; as the chronicles are silent on the subject of Malusha's pedigree, 19th-century Russian and Ukrainian historians devised various theories to explain her parentage and name. Malusha Malkovna is said to be the daughter of Malk of prince of the Drevlians; the same one that wanted to marry Olga of Kiev after she became a widow. Primary Chronicle records that a certain Malusha died in 1000; this record follows that of Rogneda's death. Since Rogneda was Vladimir's wife, historians assume that Malusha was another close relative of the ruling prince, preferably his wife or mother; the anti-Normanist historian Dmitry Ilovaisky managed to draw an opposite conclusion: that the Slavic name Malusha was turned into a Scandinavian Malfried.
This claim received no wider support
Bořivoj I, Duke of Bohemia
Bořivoj I was the first documented Duke of Bohemia and progenitor of the Přemyslid dynasty. His reign over the Duchy of Bohemia is believed to have started about the year 870, but in this era Bohemia was subordinated to Great Moravia. One of the most important clues to the approximate time of his accession is the contemporary Frankish chronicle Annales Fuldenses, which mentions several West Slavic princes in the year 872, among them one Goriwei, who may be identical with Bořivoj. According to the early 12th-century Chronica Boëmorum, Bořivoj was a son of the legendary Bohemian prince Hostivít, thus a descendant of Queen Libuše and her husband Přemysl the Ploughman, his ancestry has not been conclusively established by historians, however. In view of his dependence on Great Moravia, he might have been related by blood to the Mojmir dynasty. Bořivoj resided at Levý Hradec, a gord situated northwest of present-day Prague; as the head of the Přemyslids who dominated the Central Bohemian environs, Bořivoj declared himself kníže - in Latin dux, which means a sovereign prince - around the year 867 AD.
His title was translated by German scholars as "duke" of the Bohemians. Although the rulers of the German stem duchies emerging in the late 9th century held the same title, the meaning of his title was in fact different. In contrast to the German dukes who acted as the representatives of higher rulers, the Czech dux denoted a sovereign ruler. Bořivoj was recognised as such around 872 by his overlord King Svatopluk I of Moravia, who dispatched Bishop Methodius of Thessalonica to begin the Christianization of Bohemia. In 872, Bořivoj supported Svatopluk militarily in his dispute with the East Frankish king Louis the German, in south Bohemia, they defeated the Frankish troops. About 874, Bořivoj married Ludmila; the couple had Spytihněv and Vratislaus, both of whom succeeded him as dukes. Ludmila and Bořivoj were baptised by Methodius, the latter became an enthusiastic evangelist, although the religion failed to take root among Bořivoj's subjects. In the years 883/884 Bořivoj was deposed by a revolt in support of his Přemyslid kinsman Strojmír.
He was restored in 885 only with the support of his suzerain Svatopluk of Moravia. The duke or his son Spytihněv moved his residence to the Hradčany mountain and laid the foundations for Prague Castle; when Bořivoj died about 889, his sons still minors, King Svatopluk concluded an agreement with the East Frankish ruler Arnulf of Carinthia and took over the rule of the Bohemian duchy himself. As with most of the early Bohemian rulers, Bořivoj is a shadowy figure. Nonetheless, several major fortifications and religious foundations are said to have dated from this time