The Maidens' War, painted by Adolf Liebscher

"The Maidens' War" is a tale in Bohemian tradition about an uprising of women against men. It first appeared in the twelfth-century Chronica Boëmorum of Cosmas of Prague, and later in the fourteenth-century Dalimil's Chronicle.

TaleEdit

 
Šárka and Ctirad, Painted by Věnceslav Černý

Following the death of Libuše, Vlasta led a band of women against the (male) forces of Libuše's widower Přemysl and founded the castle Děvín. The men, however, despite the warnings of Duke Přemysl, just laughed at their preparations. Vlasta then sent the most beautiful girls to enchant the men with their charms, and led an attack against the men who came to Děvín, which the women won.

Šárka, Vlasta's lieutenant, entrapped a band of armed men led by Ctirad by tying herself to a tree and claiming that the rebel maidens had tied her there and put a horn and a jug of mead out of reach to mock her. Ctirad believed her story and untied her from the tree, whereupon she poured mead for the men as a celebratory thank-you gift. Little did the men know that Šárka and the maidens had put a sleeping potion into the mead. When all the men had fallen asleep, Šárka blew the horn as a signal for the rebel maidens to come out of their hiding places and join her in slaughtering the men. Ctirad was captured and then tortured to death in Děvín. The valley where it happened is today called Divoká Šárka (Wild Šárka).

When the men at Vyšehrad learned of this, they became angry and began to beat and capture women on roads. Vlasta responded by an attack at Vyšehrad, but was killed and the women were defeated. Děvín was burned, and then ruled only men.

DepictionsEdit

Bedřich Smetana depicted the Maiden's War in Šárka, which is also part of his collection of symphonic poems, Má vlast.[1] František Ringo Čech wrote a play entitled Maidens' War in 1985. The story is also depicted in the 2009 film The Pagan Queen by Constantin Werner.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Bedřich Smetana Archived 2013-03-10 at the Wayback Machine", CulturalDistrict.org.

External linksEdit