King Vaclav II.

5 2006 Dějiny English
obálka čísla

During his reign a possibility to form an empire of the Western Slavs presented itself. Yet King Vaclav II. has been somewhat unjustly overlooked and demeaned in historical writings. Even the great historian Palacky wrote about him that he was"of a weak body and mind, and strongly influenced by his consultants." Yet Vaclav II managed to acquire two royal crowns- the Polish and the Hungarian one, and the right one for his son Vaclav III.

His rule was a successful one because of his diplomatic skills. In the year 1300 he unified and improved the value of the currency by minting the so-called Prague "grosh."

This means of payment became one of the most valuable ones in the Middle Ages at the end of the 15th and at the beginning of the 16th centuries.

He was the first ruler who attempted to establish in his kingdom a code of law, based on Roman law. He was assisted in this by his Italian advisors. Vaclav II was always very lucky in picking his consultants. He was especially helped by Peter of Aspelt who later became also an advisor to the first Luxemburg- Jan. ( If it hadn�t been for the opposition of the nobility, we could have had our university 50 years earlier.)

Vaclav II. also spent time collecting relics of various saints( as later did his famous grandson Charles IV). It is true that he was rather inconsistent in his behavior. He loved splendor and flamboyance. His coronation celebrations were talked and written about in other countries; yet he was also known to wear a penitent�s garb.

He embraced his rule as a service to his people and to his kingdom and overcame his physical weakness by the strength of his spirit- and that was an admirable achievement.

He died in 1305 of tuberculosis at the age of 34- to the detriment of both kingdoms.

Jana Volfova
Translated by Marie Dolansky

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