(pərzhĕm`ĭsəl), earliest dynasty of BohemiaBohemia,
Czech Čechy, historic region (20,368 sq mi/52,753 sq km) and former kingdom, in W and central Czech Republic. Bohemia is bounded by Austria in the southeast, by Germany in the west and northwest, by Poland in the north and northeast, and by Moravia in the
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. Its semilegendary founder was the peasant Přemysl, whom the Bohemian Princess (sometimes called Queen) Libussa chose as her husband at some time in the 8th cent. Their successors united Bohemia into a single duchy and completed its Christianization. Outstanding among the early Přemyslid dukes were St. WenceslausWenceslaus, Saint
, d. 929, duke of Bohemia. He was reared in the Christian faith by his grandmother, St. Ludmilla. He became duke at an early age, and during his minority his mother, Drahomira, acted as regent.
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 ("Good King Wenceslaus"); Boleslav I (reigned 929–67), who extended his kingdom to Moravia and parts of Silesia; Bratislav I (reigned 1034–55), who temporarily occupied Poland and Silesia; and Vratislav II (reigned 1061–92), who in 1086 received from Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV the nonhereditary title of king of Bohemia. The royal title became permanent and hereditary only with Ottocar IOttocar I
or Přemysl Ottocar I
, d. 1230, duke (1197–98) and king (1198–1230) of Bohemia. The struggle within the Holy Roman Empire for the imperial crown enabled Ottocar to obtain (1198) from Philip of Swabia the royal title.
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 (reigned 1198–1230). He was succeeded by Wenceslaus IWenceslaus I,
d. 1253, king of Bohemia (1230–53), son and successor of Ottocar I. He invited large numbers of Germans to settle in the villages and towns of Bohemia and Moravia.
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, Ottocar IIOttocar 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 Empire to build an empire reaching from Bohemia to the
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, 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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 (who was also king of Poland), and Wenceslaus IIIWenceslaus III,
c.1289–1306, king of Bohemia (1305–6) and of Hungary (1301–5), son and successor of Wenceslaus II. On the death of Andrew III of Hungary, last of the Arpad dynasty, he was elected (1301) king of Hungary.
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, with whom the dynasty died out in 1306. Wenceslaus III's sister married John of Luxembourg, elected king of Bohemia in 1310.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



In Bohemia:

Otakar I Přemysl. Date of birth unknown; died Dec. 15, 1230. Bohemian prince in 1192, 1193, and 1197; king from 1198. The reign of Otakar I was marked by the consolidating of centralized power and by Bohemia’s expanding international influence. Otakar I encouraged German feudal colonization in Bohemia. In 1212 he obtained from Frederick II of Hohenstaufen recognition of Bohemia’s independence.

Otakar II Přemysl. Born circa 1230, died Aug. 26, 1278. Bohemian king from 1253; son of Vaclav I. Otakar II carried out a series of reforms that consolidated his authority and the military power of Bohemia, which during his reign extended from the sources of the Labe and Odra rivers to the Adriatic. In 1254 and 1267 he fought in the campaigns of the Teutonic Knights against the Prussians and Lithuanians. The city of Královec (from the Czech word král [king]; modern Kaliningrad), founded in 1255, was named in his honor.

Otakar II competed with Rudolf of Hapsburg for the imperial throne. After Rudolf was elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1273, Otakar II refused to take the oath of vassalage; this led to war with the Hapsburgs and with other German princes, who were joined by Hungary and by insurgent Bohemian magnates. In 1276, Otakar II was compelled to yield Austria, Styria, and Carinthia. He died at the battle of Dürnkrut in Moravia.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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