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, Holy Roman emperor

Wenceslaus, 1361–1419, Holy Roman emperor (uncrowned) and German king (1378–1400), king of Bohemia (1378–1419) as Wenceslaus IV, elector of Brandenburg (1373–76), son and successor of Emperor Charles IV. He was, even more than his father, a Bohemian rather than German king. Although gifted, he was given to drunkenness and violent fits of temper. It was largely through his support that his half-brother Sigismund was able to take possession (1387) of Hungary.

Residing in Bohemia, Wenceslaus could do little to end the conflict in Germany between the nobles and the imperial towns. In the general war from 1386 to 1389, Wenceslaus finally sided with the nobles, who were favored by the Peace of Eger (or Peace of Cheb). In the Great Schism, Wenceslaus, like his father, at first supported the Roman pope, Urban VI, but in 1398 he agreed with Charles VI of France that both rival popes should resign and a new pope be elected. The two weak monarchs were unable to execute this plan.

As early as 1380, Wenceslaus's neglect of German affairs caused the princes to demand that he name a vicar for Germany. Dissatisfied with his appointment (1396) of Sigismund, they were further provoked by his entente with France and his sale (1395) of Milan as a hereditary fief to Gian Galeazzo Visconti (see under Visconti). They deposed him from the German kingship and elected (1400) Rupert of the Palatinate. Wenceslaus refused to recognize the deposition, but he retired to Bohemia; in 1411, after Rupert's death, he surrendered his claim to Germany to Sigismund.

In Bohemia, Wenceslaus was early embroiled with the nobles and higher clergy, especially with the archbishop of Prague. Constant civil war with the nobles twice led to Wenceslaus's imprisonment (1394, 1402–3); Sigismund was both times involved in the plot. As an enemy of the higher clergy, Wenceslaus supported John Huss, the Czech religious reformer. The Decree of Kutna Hora (1409), which gave the Czechs preponderance in voting for the rector of the Univ. of Prague led to the election of Huss as rector. The king attempted to prevent the burning of the writings of John Wyclif and the termination of Huss's preaching and sought to persuade John XXIII (see Cossa, Baldassare) to suspend proceedings against Huss. When the interdict was laid on Prague (1412), he persuaded the reformer to leave the city, but continued to support him covertly.

Wenceslaus avoided suppressing the national and religious outburst that followed the burning of Huss, but pressure from Sigismund, then German king, and the rise of the radical Hussite leader John Zizka cooled his feelings toward the Hussites. The reform took on a rebellious character, and after serious riots several town councilors appointed by the king were thrown from the windows of the town hall (the first Defenestration of Prague, July 30, 1419) and were killed. Wenceslaus died shortly afterward and was succeeded by Sigismund as king of Bohemia. The Hussite Wars prevented Sigismund from being accepted as king until 1436.

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, Wenceslas
1. 1361--1419, Holy Roman Emperor (1378--1400) and, as Wenceslaus IV, king of Bohemia (1378--1419)
2. Saint, known as Good King Wenceslaus. ?907--929, duke of Bohemia (?925--29); patron saint of Bohemia. Feast day: Sept. 28
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Wenceslaus as music director-organist, I became the Artistic Director of the "Nova Praha Vartoai Koncert", which utilized my church choirs as well as being augmented by many other amateur and professional musicians.
Visscher, Wenceslaus Hollar, Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg, William Faithorne, and others, indicate that the Tower's turrets were visible on the horizon, especially from locations northeast of St.
Wenceslaus Rama Makuza, the chief executive of Uganda's Civil Aviation Authority, said no international flights had been diverted to its main airport yet, but one Air Uganda flight had been turned away from Nairobi due to the fire.
Wenceslaus Rama Makuza, the chief executive officer of Uganda's Civil Aviation Authority, said no international flights had been diverted to its main airport yet, but one Air Uganda flight had been turned away from Nairobi due to the fire.
Nine papers from a September 2009 conference in New York City include six in English discussing such topics as Jewish-Christian collaboration in medieval Slavic translations from Hebrew, the afterlife of a Stoic concept in Old Rus', translation and the first Slavic life of Wenceslaus, and Ruthenian ways of (re)translating Russian history from Polish.
This sign too slipped away only to be replaced by another, Wenceslaus --CLOSED, and another, Partition--CLOSED, and another, Bloody Sunday--CLOSED.
In June 1998, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered that the execution of Tony Briggs and Wenceslaus James be suspended as a precautionary measure until it could make a decision on the case, in which there may have been a violation of due process.
929: Wenceslaus of Bohemia, Good King Wenceslas of the carol, was murdered by younger brother Boleslaw.
The composition was known from a 1650s engraving by Wenceslaus Hollar.
(21) Wenceslaus Sebastian, O.F.M., "The Controversy over the Immaculate Con ception from after Scotus to the End of the Eighteenth Century," in The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception: History and Significance, ed.
(6) Also of interest are views such as John Norden's 1593 map of London, showing for the first time Philip Henslowe's Rose playhouse near the Bear Garden on Bankside, and, much later, Wenceslaus Hollar's finely etched panorama, from the "Long View of London from Bankside," published in 1647 but probably sketched between 1636 and 1644 before he was exiled from England.