Spytihněv II, Duke of Bohemia

Spytihněv II
Duke of Bohemia

Duke Spytihněv with mitre and lance, contemporary depiction in the Svatovítská apokalypsa (Apocalypse of Saint Vitus) manuscript
Spouse(s) Ida of Wettin
Noble family Přemyslid dynasty
Father Bretislav I
Mother Judith of Schweinfurt
Born 1031
Died 28 January 1061(1061-01-28)

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.[2]


He was the eldest son of Duke Bretislav I (d. 1055) and his consort Judith of Schweinfurt. 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 the Czech language. 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.

The fierce Investiture Controversy impending, Pope Victor II sought the alliance of the Bohemian duke. Thus, Rome granted Spytihněv the right to wear the mitre and tunic of a bishop for the annual sum of 100 marks. 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 II was married to Ida of Wettin (Hidda), a daughter of Margrave Theodoric II of Lusatia. Their son Svatobor (Friedrich) entered the church and became Patriarch of Aquileia in 1084. Shortly afterwards, on 23 Feb 1086, he was murdered.[3]



  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. Spitignew II, Duke of Moravia 1049/54, Duke of Bohemia 1055/61 (1031-28 Jan 1061); m. Hidda, dau of Dietrich Gf von Eilenburg The Dukes and Kings of BOHEMIA, angelfire.com
  3. BOHEMIA, fmg.ac


Spytihněv II, Duke of Bohemia
Born: 1031 Died: 28 January 1061
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Bretislaus I
Duke of Bohemia
Succeeded by
Vratislaus II
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