Ottakar I - Encyclopedia

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OTTAKAR I, (d. 1230), king of Bohemia, was a younger son of King Vladislav II. (d. 1174) and a member of the Premyslide family, hence he is often referred to as Premysl Ottakar I. His early years were passed amid the anarchy which prevailed everywhere in his native land; after several struggles, in which he took part, he was recognized as ruler of Bohemia by the emperor Henry VI. in 1192. He was, however, soon overthrown, but renewing the fight in 1196 he forced his brother, King Vladislav III., to abandon Bohemia to him and to content himself with Moravia. Although confirmed in the possession of his kingdom by the German king, Philip, duke of Swabia, Ottakar soon deserted Philip, who thereupon declared him deposed. He then joined the rival German king, Otto of Brunswick, afterwards the emperor Otto IV., being recognized as king of Bohemia both by Otto and by his ally, Pope Innocent III. Philip's consequent invasion of Bohemia was a great success. Ottakar, having been compelled to pay a fine, again ranged himself among Philip's partisans and still later was among the supporters of the young king, Frederick II. He united Moravia with Bohemia in 1222, and when he died in December 1230 he left to his son, Wenceslaus I., a kingdom united and comparatively peaceable.

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