Sobeslaus II, Duke of Bohemia

Sobeslaus II, Duke of Bohemia

Sobeslav II, called "Prince of the Peasants" or "King of the Peasants", was the duke of Bohemia from 1173 to 1179. He was the second son of Sobeslav I. Supported by neither noblesse nor emperor, he was backed solely by the lowest classes.

In 1172, Frederick, son of Ladislaus II, succeeded his abdicating father. Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor, held a diet at Hermsdorf in September 1173 and deposed Frederick, nominating Oldrich, son of Sobeslav I. Oldrich immediately abdicated in favour of his elder brother Sobeslav II. Sobeslav had been imprisoned since 1161.

Sobeslav granted a charter to the town of Prague, but he entered into a fight with Henry II, Duke of Austria, in 1175. In Summer 1176, an army led by the Duke Conrad Otto of Znojmo devastated the country to the north of the Danube. Churches and monasteries were attacked and Pope Alexander III excommunicated the duke. Barbarossa intervened in 1177 and recognised Frederick as duke. By 1179, Sobeslav was removed and he died in "some part of a foreign land" on January 29, 1180, without heirs from his union with Elisabeth (d.1209), daughter of Mieszko III of Poland.

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