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27 Jul

Bohemia (9th – 13th c.)

Bohemia retained its independence after the destruction of Great Moravia by the Hungarians at the end of the 9th century and emerged as independent principality under the rule of the Premyslid dynasty. St. Wenceslaus (920-929) successfully defended his lands from German invasion but Bohemia was forced to recognize the overlordship of the Holy Roman Empire after his death in 929. Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor backed Jaromir against his brother Boleslaus III of Bohemia in 1004 but Jaromir had to promise to hold Bohemia as vassal state of the Holy Roman Empire. Thus Bohemia became an integral part of the Holy Roman Empire.

Vratislav II

Vratislav II

Bohemia retained wide autonomy within the Holy Roman Empire and captured Moravia from Hungary in 1020. The growing power of Bohemian Dukes of the Premyslid dynasty became obvious in 1086 when Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor crowned the Premyslid duke Vratislav II (1086-1092) King of Bohemia. However, the title was not hereditary and despite the rise of its political influence Bohemia was even more integrated into the Holy Roman Empire. The Bohemian kings and dukes participated the Reichstag (the parliament of the Holy Roman Empire) and the Councils of Electors responsible for the election of the Holy Roman Emperor.

The establishment of seniorate in the first half of the 12th century resulted in bitter rivalry for the throne. The Premyslid dynasty managed to retain itself and Vladislav II, Duke of Bohemia (1140-1172) was crowned King of Bohemia by Frederick I Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor in 1158. The royal title did not became hereditary until 1198 when the Holy Roman Emperor elevated Bohemia into an independent kingdom within the Holy Roman Empire.

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