Ottocar II

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Ottocar II

or

Přemysl Ottocar II,

c.1230–1278, king of Bohemia (1253–78), son and successor of Wenceslaus I. Ottocar shrewdly exploited the disorders of the great interregnum in the Holy Roman EmpireHoly Roman Empire,
designation for the political entity that originated at the coronation as emperor (962) of the German king Otto I and endured until the renunciation (1806) of the imperial title by Francis II.
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 to build an empire reaching from Bohemia to the Adriatic. He won (1251) the duchy of Austria by election, marriage, and conquest and became involved in a long war over Styria with Bela IVBela IV
, 1206–70, king of Hungary (1235–70), son and successor of Andrew II. He tried to curtail the power of the magnates and set out to recover the crownlands his father had given to supporters.
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 of Hungary; after defeating (1260) Bela, he added Styria to his possessions and, having procured the annulment of his first marriage, married a Hungarian princess. In 1269 he acquired, through diplomacy, Carinthia, Carniola, and Istria. Thus Ottocar's domains included most of the later Hapsburg crownlands. Ottocar sought the German crown in 1273, but his unprecedented power made him unpopular with the electors. Rudolf IRudolf I
or Rudolf of Hapsburg
, 1218–91, German king (1273–91), first king of the Hapsburg dynasty. Rudolf's election as king ended the interregnum (1250–73), during which time there was no accepted German king or Holy Roman emperor.
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 of Hapsburg was elected Holy Roman emperor. Ottocar, who contested the election, was declared deprived of his dominions by the Diet of Regensburg (1274) and was placed by Rudolf under the ban of the empire (1275). In 1276, yielding to a powerful German-Hungarian coalition headed by Rudolf, Ottocar surrendered all but Bohemia and Moravia, with which he was reinvested by Rudolf. However, Ottocar's revived ambitions and Rudolf's interference in Bohemian affairs provoked a new war. Ottocar was defeated and killed on the MarchfeldMarchfeld
, plain, NE Austria, NE of Vienna, between the Danube and the Morava (Ger. March) rivers, on the border of Slovakia. A strategic approach to Vienna, it was the site of several important battles.
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 in a fierce battle against Germans and Hungarians. He was succeeded by his son, Wenceslaus IIWenceslaus II,
1271–1305, king of Bohemia (1278–1305) and of Poland (1300–1305), son and successor of Ottocar II. From the death (1278) of his father until 1283 the regency was exercised by Otto, margrave of Brandenburg, appointed by the German king Rudolf I of
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. Ottocar greatly encouraged the growth and independence of the towns, thereby earning the reproach of favoring the Germans (most numerous in the towns) over the Czechs, and he sought to reduce the power of the great nobles. An astute diplomat, he was also a courageous warrior. He helped to conquer East Prussia from the pagan Prussians and founded the city of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad).
References in periodicals archive ?
The chronicle begins in the mid twelfth century, focussing in its first part on the power struggle between Ottokar II of Bohemia and Bela IV of Hungary for the overlordship of Austria after the deaths of duke Frederick (1246), last of the Austrian Babenberg dynasty, and the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II (1250)--thus approximately at the time and place Biterolf und Dietleib was written, according to the standard view.