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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



Princes and kings in the Czech lands and Poland.

Saint Václav. Born circa 907; died 935 or 936. Became Czech prince in 924 and ruled until 935 or 936. He belonged to the Premysl dynasty and was the son of Prince Bratislav. He aided the spread of Christianity in its western (Catholic) form. He was killed by conspirators led by his brother Boleslav I. The church canonized him and proclaimed him the patron saint of the Czech lands.

Václav I. (“The One-eyed”). Born 1205; died Sept. 22, 1253. Czech king from 1230; he was the son of Otakar I Premysl. During the reign of Vaclav I, an estate monarchy took form in the Czech lands, and German colonization proceeded.

Václav II. Born Sept. 27, 1271; died June 21, 1305. Czech king from 1283, king of Poland from 1300, and king of Hungary from 1301. Son of Přemysl Otakar (Ottokar) II. Strengthened royal power in the Czech lands. He implemented monetary reform in 1300. He also protected German colonization.

Václav III. Born 1289; died Aug. 4, 1306. Became king of the Czechs and of Poland in 1305. Son of Václav II; last king of the Přemysl dynasty.

Václav IV. Born Feb. 26, 1361; died Aug. 16, 1419. Became king of the Czechs in 1378 and was emperor of the Holy Roman Empire from 1378 to 1400. Son of Charles I (IV). During his reign the separatist actions of feudal lords became more vigorous, and Václav IV was forced to make a series of concessions to powerful feudal nobles, including the creation in 1396 of a permanent royal council that consisted of powerful nobles and limited royal power. He was deposed from the German throne in 1400 by the electors. In the last years of his reign the Hussite revolutionary movement began in the Czech lands, and for some time Václav IV supported the reform activities of Jan Hus.

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