Borivoj I, Duke of Bohemia

Borivoj I, Duke of Bohemia

Bořivoj I (IPA2|'bɔr̝ɪvɔj) (c. 852–c. 889) was first historically documented Duke of Bohemia (870–889); founder of Přemyslid dynasty.

As the head of the Přemyslids which dominated the environs of present-day Prague, Bořivoj in c. 870 declared himself "kníže" (later translated by German scholars as "duke") of the Bohemians (Czechs). Bořivoj was recognised as such by his overlord Svatopluk I of Great Moravia around 872 who dispatched Bishop Methodius to begin the conversion of the Bohemian Slavs to Christianity. Bořivoj and his wife Saint Ludmila were baptised by Methodius (probably in 883) and the latter became an enthusiastic evangelist, although the religion failed to take root among Bořivoj's subjects.

In the years 883/884 Bořivoj was deposed by a revolt in support of his kinsman Strojmír, and restored in 885 only from the will of his Svatopluk of Moravia. When Bořivoj had died 4 years later Svatopluk took over the rule over Bohemia by himself.

As with most of the early Bohemian rulers, Bořivoj is a shadowy figure and exact dates and facts for his reign can never be considered as completely reliable, although several major fortifications and religious foundations are said to have dated from this time. In old Czech legends he is said to be son of a prince of Bohemians called Hostivít.

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