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Boleslaus I of Bohemia

Boleslaus I of Bohemia

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Boleslaus I the Cruel, also called Boleslav I (ca. 915 – July 15, 967 or 972), was the ruler (kníže
Knyaz
Kniaz, knyaz or knez is a Slavic title found in most Slavic languages, denoting a royal nobility rank. It is usually translated into English as either Prince or less commonly as Duke....

, translated as "duke") of Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

 from 935 to his death. His was the son of Vratislaus I
Vratislaus I of Bohemia
Vratislaus I , a scion of the Přemyslid dynasty, was Duke of Bohemia from 915 to 921.He was the son of Duke Borivoj I of Bohemia by his wife Ludmila, and the younger brother of Duke Spytihnev I....

 and the younger brother of his predecessor, Saint Wenceslaus.

Boleslav 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 Boleslav's son was allegedly born.
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Boleslaus I the Cruel, also called Boleslav I (ca. 915 – July 15, 967 or 972), was the ruler (kníže
Knyaz
Kniaz, knyaz or knez is a Slavic title found in most Slavic languages, denoting a royal nobility rank. It is usually translated into English as either Prince or less commonly as Duke....

, translated as "duke") of Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

 from 935 to his death. His was the son of Vratislaus I
Vratislaus I of Bohemia
Vratislaus I , a scion of the Přemyslid dynasty, was Duke of Bohemia from 915 to 921.He was the son of Duke Borivoj I of Bohemia by his wife Ludmila, and the younger brother of Duke Spytihnev I....

 and the younger brother of his predecessor, Saint Wenceslaus.

Boleslav 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 Boleslav's son was allegedly born. He received a strange name: Strachkvas
Strachkvas
Strachkvas was a prince of Bohemia, son of Boleslav I and brother of Boleslav II, all members of the Přemyslid dynasty...

, which meant "a dreadful feast". Being remorseful of what he had done, Boleslav promised to devote his son to religion and educate him as a clergyman.

Despite the fratricide
Fratricide
Fratricide is the act of a person killing his or her brother....

, Boleslav is generally respected by Czech historians as an energetic ruler who significantly strengthened the Bohemian state and expanded its territory. Citing Wenceslas' religious policies as the cause of Boleslav's fratricide seems unlikely as Boleslav in no way impeded the growth of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 in Bohemia, and in fact he actually sent his daughter Mlada, a nun, to the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 to ask permission to make Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 a bishopric
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

.

One of Boleslav's major concerns was the tribute payed yearly to the East Frankish kings. He stopped the payment shortly after he ascended the throne, which led to the prolonged war with the 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 Boleslav signed a peace with Otto. Despite 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
Battle of Lechfeld
The Battle of Lechfeld , often seen as the defining event for holding off the incursions of the Hungarians into Western Europe, was a decisive victory by Otto I the Great, King of the Germans, over the Hungarian leaders, the harka Bulcsú and the chieftains Lél and Súr...

 on August 10, 955. Boleslav had also helped Otto to crush an uprising of Slavs on the Lower Elbe
Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

 in 953.

After the Battle of Lech, the rest of the huge Magyar army turned to Bohemia, where it was crushed by Boleslav. Because of this victory, Boleslav freed Moravia from Magyar raids and expanded his territory to Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia is the southeastern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia. Since the 9th century, Upper Silesia has been part of Greater Moravia, the Duchy of Bohemia, the Piast Kingdom of Poland, again of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown and the Holy Roman Empire, as well as of...

 and Malopolska. As a sign of the Bohemian-Polish alliance, Boleslav's daughter Dobrawa married the then still pagan Piast prince Mieszko I in 965, bringing Christianity to Poland. Boleslav's wife may have been Biagota
Biagota
Biagota was probably the wife of duke Boleslaus I of Bohemia.Michal Lutovský writes in his book Bratrovrah a tvůrce státu that only a few coins confirm the existence of Biagota....

. He was succeeded by his oldest son Boleslaus the Pious
Boleslaus II of Bohemia
Boleslaus II the Pious was the duke of Bohemia from 972, a member of the Přemyslid dynasty.The son of Boleslaw also called Boleslaus I and Biagota, Boleslaus II became Duke in on his father's death. Boleslaus maintained good relations with the Ottonian German kings, and in 975 supported Otto II...

.

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