Svatopluk, Duke of Bohemia

Svatopluk, Duke of Bohemia

Svatopluk the Lion (died 21 September 1109) was the duke of Bohemia from 1107 to his assassination. He was a son of Otto I of Olomouc and Euphemia of Hungary and grandson of Bretislaus I of Bohemia.

Duke of Olomouc since 1091, he was at enmity with his cousin Borivoj II, whom he sought to drive out, thus precipitating a new civil war. The Emperor Henry V could not ignore the anarchy in Bohemia. He summoned Svatopluk, who dared not resist, and retained him captive and made him restore Borivoj. Soon, he became reconciled to Svatopluk and released him. Svatopluk made him godfather of his new son, who was baptised Wenceslaus Henry.

Nevertheless, Svatopluk returned to Bohemia to expel Borivoj. In 1108, the emperor had to intervene in Hungary on behalf of Prince Álmos against his brother King Coloman. Svatopluk joined the expedition, but had to return to Bohemia, where Borivoj had made and attack with the support of Boleslaus III of Poland, an ally of Coloman. Henry failed to seize Pressburg and Coloman was free to devastate Moravia (part of the lands of the Bohemian Crown). Henry desired to avenge the Polish intervention which caused his Hungarian fiasco. He invaded Poland with the support of Svatopluk. Svatopluk was assassinated on 21 September 1109 in the tent of the emperor at the Siege of Glogow by a member of the family of Vršovice, whose chief, Mutina, he had decapitated for the support he had given to Borivoj. He was succeeded by Borivoj.

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