Borivoj II, Duke of Bohemia

Borivoj II, Duke of Bohemia

Borivoj II (also "Bořivoj" or "Borivoi") (c. 1064 – 2 February 1124) was the duke of Bohemia from 25 December 1100 until May 1107 and from December 1117 until 16 August 1120. He was the younger half-brother and successor of Bretislaus II.

He was originally opposed by the Duke Oldrich of Brno, his cousin, who had recoverred the stronghold originally confiscated from his father. A civil war ensued. Oldrich intended to recognise the suzerainty of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, and thereby gain his support, but Borivoj had already been confirmed by the emperor. Oldrich was eventually forced to flee to Moravia.

In 1102, Ladislaus I Herman, duke of Poland, died. A quarrel broke out in Poland over the succession, with Borivoj and his cousin Svatopluk supporting Zbigniew against the legitimate heir Boleslaus III of Poland. Boleslaus, however, paid Borivoj off and the latter withdrew from the conflict. Svatopluk, furious, defected and led a number of Bohemian grandees with him. He sought to induce Coloman of Hungary to go to war with Borivoj, but was unsuccessful until 1107. In that year, Borivoj's younger brother, Vladislaus, rebelled and, with Coloman's help, took Prague. Svatopluk, who had recently captured and been forced to release Borivoj by the Emperor Henry V, was proclaimed king.

Borivoj attacked in 1108 with the aid of Boleslaus in alliance with Coloman, whom Svatopluk and Henry were jointly attacking in Hungary. Svatopluk was recalled to fight him off and soon the emperor was invading Poland. Svatopluk was murdered on this campaign by supporters of Borivoj, but he could not regain the throne, which went to Vladislaus. In 1117, the brothers were reconciled and they ruled the duchy jointly (though divided) until 1120, when a new disagreement led Borivoj to self-exile in Hungary, where he died on 2 February 1124.

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