Nobility is a social class ranked under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society; the privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be honorary, vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto "noblesse oblige", nobles can carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is hereditary. Membership in the nobility has been granted by a monarch or government, unlike other social classes where membership is determined by wealth, lifestyle, or affiliation. Nonetheless, acquisition of sufficient power, military prowess, or royal favour has enabled commoners to ascend into the nobility. There are a variety of ranks within the noble class.
Legal recognition of nobility has been more common in monarchies, but nobility existed in such regimes as the Dutch Republic, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Venice, the Old Swiss Confederacy, remains part of the legal social structure of some non-hereditary regimes, e.g. Channel Islands, San Marino, the Vatican City in Europe. Hereditary titles and styles added to names, as well as honorifics distinguish nobles from non-nobles in conversation and written speech. In many nations most of the nobility have been un-titled, some hereditary titles do not indicate nobility; some countries have had non-hereditary nobility, such as the Empire of Brazil or life peers in the United Kingdom. The term derives from the abstract noun of the adjective nobilis. In ancient Roman society, nobiles originated as an informal designation for the political governing class who had allied interests, including both patricians and plebeian families with an ancestor who had risen to the consulship through his own merit.
In modern usage, "nobility" is applied to the highest social class in pre-modern societies, excepting the ruling dynasty. In the feudal system, the nobility were those who held a fief land or office, under vassalage, i.e. in exchange for allegiance and various military, services to a suzerain, who might be a higher-ranking nobleman or a monarch. It came to be seen as a hereditary caste, sometimes associated with a right to bear a hereditary title and, for example in pre-revolutionary France, enjoying fiscal and other privileges. While noble status conferred significant privileges in most jurisdictions, by the 21st century it had become a honorary dignity in most societies, although a few, residual privileges may still be preserved and some Asian and African cultures continue to attach considerable significance to formal hereditary rank or titles. Nobility is a historical and legal notion, differing from high socio-economic status in that the latter is based on income, possessions or lifestyle.
Being wealthy or influential cannot ipso facto make one noble, nor are all nobles wealthy or influential. Various republics, including former Iron Curtain countries, Greece and Austria have expressly abolished the conferral and use of titles of nobility for their citizens; this is distinct from countries which have not abolished the right to inherit titles, but which do not grant legal recognition or protection to them, such as Germany and Italy, although Germany recognizes their use as part of the legal surname. Still other countries and authorities allow their use, but forbid attachment of any privilege thereto, e.g. Finland and the European Union, while French law protects lawful titles against usurpation. Although many societies have a privileged upper class with substantial wealth and power, the status is not hereditary and does not entail a distinct legal status, nor differentiated forms of address. Not all of the benefits of nobility derived from noble status per se. Privileges were granted or recognised by the monarch in association with possession of a specific title, office or estate.
Most nobles' wealth derived from one or more estates, large or small, that might include fields, orchards, hunting grounds, etc. It included infrastructure such as castle and mill to which local peasants were allowed some access, although at a price. Nobles were expected to live "nobly", that is, from the proceeds of these possessions. Work involving manual labour or subordination to those of lower rank was either forbidden or frowned upon socially. On the other hand, membership in the nobility was a prerequisite for holding offices of trust in the realm and for career promotion in the military, at court and the higher functions in the government and church. Prior to the French Revolution, European nobles commanded tribute in the form of entitlement to cash rents or usage taxes, labour or a portion of the annual crop yield from commoners or no
Božena was the second wife of Duke Oldřich of Bohemia and mother of Bretislaus I of Bohemia. The historian Cosmas of Prague recorded the legend of Božena, in his Chronica Boëmorum. According to the legend, the young Oldřich travelled to Peruc. There, he spied a beautiful peasant girl, Božena, by a well known today as Božena's Spring and was entranced by her. Oldřich abandoned his hunt and took Božena back to Prague, where she gave birth to his illegitimate son Bretislaus. In the legend, Oldřich's first meeting with Božena took place in sight of the Oldřich Oak. Božena was indeed the savior of the Czech House of Přemysl. Oldřich had two brothers, but one of them, Jaromír, was castrated by the eldest sibling, Boleslaus III. Boleslaus himself was imprisoned in Poland having only a daughter, thus Oldřich was the one Přemyslid able to have a heir. His first wife is thought to have borne no children. Božena's low birth is alluded to in the chronicle of Cosmas, which states that Oldřich first met her "riding through the village".
The illegitimate birth of her son Bretislaus to a low-born mother is believed to have made it necessary for him to resort to abduction when he sought to marry a noble bride. At any rate, she was held to be a peasant woman by the author of the early 14th-century Chronicle of Dalimil. Labuda Gerard: Bożena. In: Słownik Starożytności Słowiańskich. Vol. 1. 1961, p. 156
Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic by population and area, the largest Moravian city, the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. Brno is the administrative center of the South Moravian Region in which it forms a separate district; the city has about 400,000 inhabitants. Brno is the seat of judicial authority of the Czech Republic – it is the seat of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office; the city is a significant administrative centre. It is the seat of a number of state authorities, including the Ombudsman, the Office for the Protection of Competition. Brno is an important centre of higher education, with 33 faculties belonging to 13 institutes of higher learning and about 89,000 students. Brno Exhibition Centre ranks among the largest exhibition centres in Europe; the complex opened in 1928 and established the tradition of large exhibitions and trade fairs held in Brno. Brno hosts motorbike and other races on the Masaryk Circuit, a tradition established in 1930, in which the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious races.
Another cultural tradition is an international fireworks competition, Ignis Brunensis, that attracts tens of thousands of daily visitors. The most visited sights of the city include the Špilberk castle and fortress and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Petrov hill, two medieval buildings that dominate the cityscape and are depicted as its traditional symbols; the other large preserved castle near the city is Veveří Castle by Brno Reservoir. This castle is the site of a number of legends. Another architectural monument of Brno is the functionalist Villa Tugendhat, included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. One of the natural sights nearby is the Moravian Karst; the city is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and has been designated as a "City of Music" in 2017. The etymology of the name Brno is disputed, it might be derived from the Old Czech brnie'muddy, swampy.' Alternative derivations are from a Slavic verb brniti or a Celtic language spoken in the area before it was overrun by Germanic peoples and Slavic peoples.
Throughout its history, Brno's locals referred to the town in other languages, including Brünn in German, ברין in Yiddish and Bruna in Latin. The city was referred to as Brunn in English, but this usage is not common today; the Asteroid 2889 Brno was named after the city, as well as the Bren light machine gun, one of the most famous weapons of World War II. The Brno basin has been inhabited since prehistoric times, but the town's direct predecessor was a fortified settlement of the Great Moravia Empire known as Staré Zámky, inhabited from the Neolithic Age to the early 11th century. In the early 11th century Brno was established as a castle of a non-ruling prince from the House of Přemyslid, Brno became one of the centres of Moravia along with Olomouc and Znojmo. Brno was first mentioned in Cosmas' Chronica Boëmorum dated to year 1091, when Bohemian king Vratislav II besieged his brother Conrad at Brno castle. In the mid 11th century, Moravia was divided into three separate territories. Seats of these rulers and thus "capitals" of these territories were castles and towns of Brno and Znojmo.
In the late 12th century, Moravia began forming the Margraviate of Moravia. Since until the mid of the 17th century, it was not clear which town should be the capital of Moravia. Political power was therefore "evenly" divided between Brno and Olomouc, but Znojmo played an important role; the Moravian Diet, the Moravian Land Tables, the Moravian Land Court were all seated in both cities at once. However, Brno was the official seat of the Moravian Margraves, its geographical position closer to Vienna became important. Otherwise, until 1642 Olomouc was larger than Brno by population, it was the seat of the only Roman Catholic diocese in Moravia. In 1243 Brno was granted the large and small city privileges by the King, thus it was recognized as a royal city. In 1324 Queen Elisabeth Richeza of Poland founded the current Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, now her final resting place. In the 14th century, Brno became one of the centres for the Moravian regional assemblies, whose meetings alternated between Brno and Olomouc.
These assemblies made political and financial decisions. Brno and Olomouc were the seats of the Land Court and the Land Tables, thus they were the two most important cities in Moravia. From the mid 14th century to the early 15th century the Špilberk Castle had served as the permanent seat of the Margraves of Moravia. In the 15th century Brno was besieged in 1428 and again in 1430 by the Hussites during the Hussite Wars. Both attempts to conquer the city failed. In 1641, in the midst of the Thirty Years' War, the Holy Roman Emperor and Margrave of Moravia Ferdinand III commanded permanent relocation of the diet and the land
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
Spytihněv II, Duke of Bohemia
Spytihněv II, a member of the Přemyslid dynasty, was Duke of Bohemia from 1055 until his death. He was his consort Judith of Schweinfurt. While his father entered into conflict with the Salian king Henry III, young Spytihněv from 1039 onwards spent several years as a hostage at the German court; when he succeeded his father as duke, his coronation was celebrated with the first known rendition of Hospodine pomiluj ny, the earliest known song in the Czech language. After his accession to the throne, he went at once to Regensburg to receive imperial confirmation. According to the contemporary chronicler Cosmas of Prague, this loyalty to the Holy Roman Empire did not prevent him from expelling all Germans from his lands, including his mother Judith, the new anti-German policy continued to his death. In 1056, Spytihněv had all the monks driven out of Sazava Abbey, yet despite this, Pope Nicholas II sought the alliance of the Bohemian duke in 1059. Thus, Rome granted Spytihněv the right to wear the mitre and tunic of a bishop for the annual sum of 100 marks.
His brothers having inherited Moravia, Spytihněv tried to reduce their authority by arresting 300 Moravian magnates and stripping his brothers of their rights in the province. Thus, Vratislaus of Olomouc fled to Hungary in 1058. Spytihněv was succeeded by Vratislaus. About 1054 Spytihněv was married to Ida of a daughter of Margrave Theodoric II of Lusatia, they had: Svatobor, Patriarch of Aquileia in 1084. Shortly afterwards, on 23 Feb 1086, he was murdered. Bažant, Jan; the Classical Tradition in Czech Medieval Art. Peter Lang. Berend, Nora. Central Europe in the High Middle Ages:Bohemia and Poland, c.900-c.1300. Cambridge University Press. Curta, Florin. "Foundation of Sazava Abbey". In Curta, Florin. Great Events in Religion: An Encyclopedia of Pivotal Events in Religious History. Vol. I. ABC-CLIO. Gresser, Georg. Die Synoden und Konzilien in der Zeit des Reformpapsttums in Deutschland und Italien von Leo IX bis Calixt II, 1049-1123. Ferdinand Schoningh. Thompson, James Westfall. "Medieval German Expansion in Bohemia".
The Slavonic Review. Vol. 4
Boleslaus I, Duke of Bohemia
Boleslaus I the Cruel called Boleslav I, a member of the Přemyslid dynasty, was ruler of the Duchy of Bohemia from 935 to his death. He is notorious for the murder of his elder brother Wenceslaus. Despite his complicity in this fratricide, Boleslaus is respected by Czech historians as an energetic ruler who strengthened the Bohemian state and expanded its territory, his accomplishments include significant economic development due to an expansion in trade, the introduction of silver mining and the minting of the first local coinage, the Prague denarius. Boleslaus was the son of Duke Vratislaus I of Bohemia by his marriage with Drahomíra a Hevellian princess, his father took over the rule in Prague during the time of his birth, he had to deal with both the exertion of influence by both the East Frankish dukes of Bavaria and Saxony and the Magyar incursions. Boleslaus and his elder brother Wenceslaus were taught the Christian faith and reading the Psalms by their grandmother Ludmila. There is evidence that Boleslaus's pagan mother might influenced him against his brother and Christianity, though he repented.
In no way did he impede the growth of Christianity during his reign in Bohemia, in fact, he sent his daughter Mlada, a nun, to Pope John XIII in Rome to ask permission to make Prague a bishopric. Upon his death, Vratislaus was succeeded by his eldest son Wenceslaus. While the external situation worsened with the alliance between Duke Arnulf of Bavaria and the Saxon duke Henry the Fowler, King of East Francia from 919, he could only maintain his independence by entering an agreement on an annual tribute payable to the East Frankish ruler. Shortly afterwards, in 935, Wenceslaus was murdered at Stará Boleslav to where he was invited by Boleslaus. According to tradition, he was killed during the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian, at the time when a son of Boleslaus was born; the child was given a strange name: Strachkvas, which means "a dreadful feast". Remorseful for what he had done, Boleslaus promised to have his son educated as a clergyman and devoted his life to religion. Once having taking over the Prague throne, one of Boleslaus's major concerns was the tribute paid yearly to the East Frankish kings as stipulated in the peace treaty that Henry the Fowler had established with Boleslaus's brother Wenceslaus.
He stopped the payment shortly after he ascended the throne, which led to a prolonged war with Henry's successor King Otto. In 935 Boleslaus attacked the Thurinian allies of the Saxons in the northwest and defeated two of Otto's armies; the war deteriorated to border raids and reached its conclusion in 950, when King Otto besieged a castle owned by Boleslaus's son. This prompted Boleslaus to sign a peace treaty with Otto. Although he remained undefeated, he promised to resume the payment of tribute. Five years the armies of Czechs and Germans allied against the Magyars in the victorious Battle of Lechfeld on 10 August 955. After the battle, the remainder of the huge Magyar army turned to Bohemia, where it was crushed by Boleslaus. Shortly afterwards, in October, he helped Otto to crush an uprising of Slavic tribes led by the Obotrite princes Nakon and Stojgněv on the Lower Elbe river in the Battle on the Raxa; the defeat of invading Hungarians brought the same benefits to both Czechs. Less obvious is what Boleslaus expected to gain from his participation in Otto's war against the Obotrite princes in far north.
He wanted to ensure that his powerful German neighbors did not interfere with him in expanding the Bohemian territories to the east. As a result of the victory, Boleslaus freed the Moravian lands from Magyar raids and expanded his territory into the Polish territories of Upper Silesia and Lesser Poland. By occupying the city of Kraków, he controlled important trade routes from Prague to Lviv. To defuse the Bohemian-Polish conflict, Duke Boleslav married his daughter Dobrawa to the pagan Piast prince Mieszko I in 963/964, helped bring Christianity to Poland, he allied with Mieszko in the campaign against the Saxon count Wichmann the Younger. According to the medieval chronicler Cosmas of Prague, Duke Boleslaus died on 15 July 967, a date questioned by recent research, he was succeeded by his eldest son Boleslaus the Pious. Boleslav's wife may have been Biagota, it is unknown if she was the mother of all his four adult children: Doubravka of Bohemia, Boleslaus II, Duke of Bohemia, Strachkvas of Bohemia, Mlada of Bohemia.
Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis.
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