Spytihněv II, Duke of Bohemia

Spytihněv II (also Spitignew, Spitihnew or Spytihnev; Latin: Spitigneus;[1] 1031 – 28 January 1061), a member of the Přemyslid dynasty, was Duke of Bohemia from 1055 until his death.

Spytihněv II
Duke Spytihněv with mitre and lance, contemporary depiction in the Svatovítská apokalypsa (Apocalypse of Saint Vitus) manuscript
Duke of Bohemia
ReignJanuary 1055 – 28 January 1061
PredecessorBretislav I
SuccessorVratislaus II
Died(1061-01-28)28 January 1061 (aged 30)
SpouseIda of Wettin Krešimir III Croatia daughter Barbara
Issuenot known (VuKhan) father from Mara
FatherBretislav I
MotherJudith of Schweinfurt


He was the eldest son of Duke Bretislav I (d. 1055) and his consort Judith of Schweinfurt.[2] While his father entered into conflict with the Salian king Henry III, young Spytihněv from 1039 onwards spent several years as a hostage at the German court.

When he succeeded his father as duke, his coronation was celebrated with the first known rendition of Hospodine pomiluj ny, the earliest known song in Czech. After his accession to the throne, he went at once to Regensburg to receive imperial confirmation. According to the contemporary chronicler Cosmas of Prague, this loyalty to the Holy Roman Empire did not prevent him from expelling all Germans from his lands, including his mother Judith, and the new anti-German policy continued to his death.

In 1056, Spytihněv had all the monks driven out of Sazava Abbey,[3] yet despite this, Pope Nicholas II sought the alliance of the Bohemian duke in 1059.[4] Thus, Rome granted Spytihněv the right to wear the mitre and tunic of a bishop for the annual sum of 100 marks.[4][5]

His brothers having inherited Moravia, Spytihněv tried to reduce their authority by arresting 300 Moravian magnates and stripping his brothers of their rights in the province. Thus, Vratislaus of Olomouc fled to Hungary in 1058.

Spytihněv was succeeded by Vratislaus, who in turn entrusted Moravia to his brother Conrad.


About 1054 Spytihněv was married to Ida of Wettin (Hidda),[6] a daughter of Margrave Theodoric II of Lusatia. They had:


  1. ^ In his imperial chronicle the Annalista Saxo mentions "Spitigneus dux de Boemia" in the year 1058: "Iuditha, soror Ottonis ducis de Suinvorde, uxor Bracilai, ductrix Boemiorum, obiit 4. Non. Augusti. Quam quia filius suus Spitigneus dux de Boemia eiecerat, cum non posset aliter iniuriam ulcisci in filio, ad contumeliam eius et omnium Boemorum nupserat Petro regi Ungariorum. Hec postea a filio suo Wratizlao duce inde translata est et Prage sepulta iuxta virum suum Brazilaum in ecclesia." Annalista Saxo, dmgh.de, p. 692
  2. ^ Berend, Urbanczyk & Wiszewski 2013, p. 166.
  3. ^ Curta 2017, p. 489.
  4. ^ a b Berend, Urbanczyk & Wiszewski 2013, p. 384.
  5. ^ Bažant 2003, p. 41.
  6. ^ Thompson 1926, p. 621.
  7. ^ Gresser 2006, p. 256.


  • Bažant, Jan (2003). The Classical Tradition in Czech Medieval Art. Peter Lang.
  • Berend, Nora; Urbanczyk, Przemyslaw; Wiszewski, Przemyslaw (2013). Central Europe in the High Middle Ages:Bohemia, Hungary and Poland, c.900-c.1300. Cambridge University Press.
  • Curta, Florin (2017). "Foundation of Sazava Abbey". In Curta, Florin; Holt, Andrew (eds.). Great Events in Religion: An Encyclopedia of Pivotal Events in Religious History. Vol. I. ABC-CLIO.
  • Gresser, Georg (2006). Die Synoden und Konzilien in der Zeit des Reformpapsttums in Deutschland und Italien von Leo IX bis Calixt II, 1049-1123. Ferdinand Schoningh.
  • Thompson, James Westfall (1926). "Medieval German Expansion in Bohemia". The Slavonic Review. 4 (12).
Spytihněv II, Duke of Bohemia
Born: 1031 Died: 28 January 1061
Regnal titles
Preceded by Duke of Bohemia
Succeeded by