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Spytihněv I, Duke of Bohemia

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Spytihněv I, Duke of Bohemia

Spytihněv I
Duke of Bohemia
Fresco, Rotunda of St Catherine, Znojmo
Reign 894–915
Predecessor Bořivoj I
Successor Vratislaus I
Noble family Přemyslid dynasty
Born c. 875
Died 915

Spytihněv I (c. 875 – 915), a member of the Přemyslid dynasty, was Duke of Bohemia from 894 or 895 until his death.[1]

Life

He was the eldest son of Duke Bořivoj I, the first historically documented Bohemian ruler, and his wife Ludmila. Spytihněv and his younger brother Vratislaus were still minors upon their father's death about 889, and the Bohemian lands were placed under the regency of their suzerain, the Great Moravian ruler Svatopluk I.

After Svatopluk died in 894, an inheritance conflict arose between his sons Mojmír II and Svatopluk II. Spytihněv took advantage of the situation to free himself from Moravian vassalage: according to the Annales Fuldenses, he appeared at the 895 Imperial Diet (Reichstag) in Regensburg and paid homage to the East Frankish king Arnulf of Carinthia. He reinforced the Přemyslid rule in Central Bohemia around present-day Prague, having several castles erected along the borders of his realm at Mělník, Libušín, Tetín, Lštění, and Boleslav. He also continued the extension of Prague Castle as the administrative centre of the rising Přemyslid duchy, replacing the early medieval gord of Levy Hradec.

Spytihněv further strengthened the ties with East Francia by forming an alliance with Margrave Luitpold of Bavaria, who in 898 fought against Mojmír II, finally separating Bohemia from the Greater Moravian realm. Designed to protect Bohemia against the ravages of the Hungarian forces, this pact also opened Bohemia to East Frankish Carolingian culture and paved the way for the eventual triumph of Roman Catholicism in Czech spiritual affairs.

He was buried probably in the Church of the Virgin Mary (Prague Castle), as were many members of the royal Přemyslid dynasty during this period.

Notes

  1. ^ Jan Klapste (11 November 2011). The Czech Lands in Medieval Transformation. Brill. p. 361.  
Spytihněv I, Duke of Bohemia
Born: ~875 Died: 915
Preceded by
Bořivoj I
Duke of Bohemia
c. 894–915
Succeeded by
Vratislaus I
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