Old%C5%99ich of Bohemia
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Old%C5%99ich of Bohemia

Depiction in the Chronicle of Dalimil, 14th century
Duke of Bohemia
Reign1012 - 1033
Duke of Bohemia
SuccessorBretislaus I
Bornc. 975
Died(1034-11-11)11 November 1034 (aged c. 60)
IssueBretislaus I
FatherBoleslaus II of Bohemia

Old?ich (Latin: Odalricus, Udalrichus, German: Odalric, Udalrich; c. 975 - 9 November 1034 or 1042[1]), a member of the P?emyslid dynasty, was Duke of Bohemia from 1012 to 1033 and briefly again in 1034. His accession to the Bohemian throne marked the start of a phase of stability after a long period of internal dynastic struggles. Under his rule, the Moravian lands were reconquered from Polish occupation.


Old?ich was the fourth (third surviving) son of Duke Boleslaus II of Bohemia (d. 999).[2] Like all his father's children, his mother was Adiva.Upon the death of his father, his eldest brother Boleslaus III succeeded as duke, however, he soon entered into a fierce conflict with his younger brothers Old?ich and Jaromír. In 1001, both had to flee to the Bavarian court at Regensburg. When Boleslaus III was deposed by the rival Vr?ovci dynasty the next year and the Polish ruler Boles?aw I the Brave invaded Bohemia, King Henry II of Germany intervened. As a part of Henry's expedition to Prague, Boleslaus's brothers were able to return to Bohemia, and Jaromír was installed as Bohemian duke in 1004.

Old?ich and his wife Bo?ena enter Prague, Chronicle of Dalimil

In the German-Polish War of 1002-18, Duke Jaromír remained a loyal supporter of the German king. Nevertheless, Henry did not take action when he was deposed and blinded by his brother Old?ich on 12 April 1012. While Jaromír fled to Poland, Old?ich recognised the suzerainty of the German king. He secured his rule by suppressing the Vr?ovci insurgents.

Old?ich and his son Bretislaus sought to win back Moravia, once conquered from the Poles by Old?ich's grandfather Duke Boleslaus I. Bretislaus and his wife Judith of Schweinfurt took up residence in Olomouc. In 1029, the Bohemian forces, backed by Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II, finally drove the Poles out of the eastern lands. However, Bretislaus's efforts to occupy adjacent territories in what is today Slovakia by marching against the forces of the Kingdom of Hungary failed in 1030 due to the jealousy of the emperor, who reached an agreement with King Stephen I. In the following year, Bohemian forces refused to take the field for the emperor.

In 1032, Duke Old?ich was invited to the Hoftag diet at Merseburg, but did not appear. His absence raised the ire of the emperor and Conrad, busy with events in Burgundy, charged his son Henry III with punishing the recalcitrant Bohemian. Old?ich was arrested, deposed and sent to Bavaria. He was again replaced by his brother Jaromír. However, when Old?ich was pardoned the next year, he returned to Bohemia and had Jaromír captured and deposed. He seized power again and drove out Jaromír's son from Moravia.

Old?ich died abruptly on 9 November 1034 and later examination of his skeleton reveal his skull to have suffered a fatal blow. Jaromír then renounced the throne in favour of his nephew Bretislaus.

Marriage and children

Old?ich and Bo?ena, painting by Franti?ek ?ení?ek, 1884

According to legend rendered by the medieval chronicler Cosmas of Prague, Duke Old?ich about 1002 married a Bo?ena, daughter of K?esina, after discarding his first wife on the grounds that they were childless. Together they had a son:

  • Bretislaus I (1002/1005-1055),[3] Duke of Bohemia from 1035 until his death



  • Wolverton, Lisa (2001). Hastening Toward Prague: Power and Society in the Medieval Czech Lands. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Krofta, Kamil (1957). "Bohemia to the Extinction of the Premyslids". In Tanner, J.R.; Previte-Orton, C.W.; Brooke, Z.N. (eds.). Cambridge Medieval History:Victory of the Papacy. Vol. VI. Cambridge University Press. |volume= has extra text (help)

External links

Old?ich, Duke of Bohemia
Born: c. 975 Died: 11 November 1034
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Duke of Bohemia
Succeeded by
Duke of Bohemia
Succeeded by
Bretislaus I

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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