Boleslaus I Premyslid 'the Cruel' (Duke) of BOHEMIA

Boleslaus I Premyslid 'the Cruel' (Duke) of BOHEMIA


Type Value Date Place Sources
Name Boleslaus I Premyslid 'the Cruel' (Duke) of BOHEMIA
Name Boleslav "the CRUEL"
Name Boleslav I Kruty PREMYSLOVCI
Name Premyslid or PRZEMYSLIDE
Occupation Duke of Bohemia point in time between 935 and 972


Type Date Place Sources
birth about 915 Prague, Bohemia (now in Czech Republic) search of this place
death 15. July 967 Prague, Bohemia (now in Czech Republic) search of this place
marriage before 940

Spouses and Children

Marriage Spouse Children
before 940
Biagota of STOCHOV

Notes for this person

Boleslaus I the Cruel, also called Boleslav I (Czech: Boleslav I. Ukrutný) (c.915 - 15 July, 967 or 972), was the ruler (kníže, literally "prince," but usually translated as "duke") of Bohemia from 935 to his death. He was the son of Vratislaus I and the younger brother of his predecessor, Wenceslaus I. Boleslaus is notorious for the murder of his brother Wenceslaus, through which he became Duke of Bohemia. Wenceslaus was murdered during a feast; at precisely that time Boleslaus's son was allegedly born. He received a strange name: Strachkvas, which means "a dreadful feast". Being remorseful for what he had done, Boleslaus promised to devote his son to religion and educate him as a clergyman. Despite the fratricide, Boleslaus is generally respected by Czech historians as an energetic ruler who significantly strengthened the Bohemian state and expanded its territory. The pro-Christian religious policies pursued by Wenceslaus do not appear to have been a cause for Boleslaus's fratricide, since Boleslav in no way impeded the growth of Christianity in Bohemia, and in fact actually sent his daughter Mlada, a nun, to the Pope in Rome to ask permission to make Prague a bishopric. One of Boleslaau's major concerns was the tribute paid yearly to the East Frankish kings. He stopped the payment shortly after he ascended the throne, which led to the prolonged war with King Otto the Great. This conflict, presumably consisting of border raids (the general pattern of warfare in this region at the time), reached its conclusion in 950 when Boleslaus signed a peace treaty with Otto. Despite being undefeated, he promised to resume the payment of the tribute. Five years later, the armies of Czechs and Germans allied against the Magyars in the victorious Battle of Lechfeld on 10 August 955. Boleslaus had also helped Otto to crush an uprising of Slavs on the Lower Elbe in 953. After the Battle of Lech, the rest of the huge Magyar army turned to Bohemia, where it was crushed by Boleslaus. Because of this victory, Boleslaus freed Moravia from Magyar raids and expanded his territory to Upper Silesia and Lesser Poland. To strengthen the Bohemian-Polish alliance, Boleslaus's daughter Dobrawa married the pagan Piast prince Mieszko I in 965, and helped bring Christianity to Poland. Boleslaus's wife may have been Biagota. He was succeeded by his oldest son Boleslaus the Pious. Sources Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis; Line 244-7 The Plantagenet Ancestry by William Henry Turton, Page 85 Historical records of the early Premyslid rulers are scanty. According to legend, Prince Borivoj is said to have been converted to Christianity by Saint Methodius (fl. mid-9th century). Bohemia was consolidated politically in the 10th century, and the best known of its rulers at this time was Borivoj's grandson Winceslaus, or Vaclav, whose zeal for spreading Christianity in his dominions prompted his murder by his pagan brother Boleslav I (reigned 929-967). Vaclav subsequently came to be venerated as the patron saint of Bohemia. During the rule of Boleslav II (967-999), the Christian church in Bohemia was organized and a bishopric was founded in Prague. Boleslav II's death was followed by a period of fratricidal warfare between his sons that terminated in 1012 when the youngest son, Oldrich, established himself as prince of Bohemia. Oldrich died in 1037 and was succeeded by his son Bretislav I (1037-55). For the next century and a half, disputes and feuds among the members of the Premyslid family hindered Bohemia's political development, the chief source of discord being the absence of any strict law of succession to the Bohemian throne. At some periods the principle of seniority was observed, while at other times the deceased prince's oldest son attained the throne. During this period of disarray Bohemia became increasingly dependent on the Holy Roman Empire to the west. The Premyslid prince Vratislav II (1061-92) obtained from the Holy Roman emperor Henry IV the title of King of Bohemia as a personal (i.e., nonhereditary) privilege.


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