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BOHEMIA


613


BOHEMIA


Hungarian Monarchy, which until 1526 was an independent kingdom.

Physical Characteristics. — Bohemia has an area of 20,058 square miles. It is bounded on the north- west by Saxony, on the north-east by Prussian Silesia, on the south-east by Moravia and the Grand duchy of Lower Austria, on the south by the Grand duchy of Upper Austria, and on the south-west by Bavaria. It is enclosed on three sides by mountain ranges, namely: the Bohemian Forest (Bohmerwald), the Ore mountains (Erzgebirge), and the Sudetic moun- tains. The highest peaks of these ranges seldom rise above 4,593 feet. On the fourth, or south- east3rn, border Bohemia is separated from Moravia by a moderately high range called the Bohemian- Moravian highlands (about 1,968 feet high). The country resembles the flat bottom of a trough with a depression towards the north. The average height -above sea-level is 1,460 feet. Bohemia is drained by the Elbe, which rises in the Isergebirge, a range of the Sudetic mountain system. After receiving the waters of the Moldau, a stream from the south, the Elbe, now greatly increased in size, passes out of Bohemia at Tetschen near the most northern point of the country. Besides the Moldau, which may be called the most important river of Bohemia, the chief tributaries of the Elbe are the Iser and the Eger.

Geologically the country forms the so-called Bohemian system of mountain ranges, the spurs of which run into Moravia and Silesia. The greater part consists of old crystalline rocks; in the south gneiss predominates, in the north the formation is chiefly cretaceous sandstone, with tertiary deposits due to the action of water from the south. This part of the country also shows volcanic action, as in the Bohemian mineral springs. The climate is moderate and, with the exception of the mountain districts, does not show great variations of tempera- ture. The mean temperature of the year is about 46.4° Fahrenheit. Bohemia has much mineral wealth; it is especially rich in silver, tin, lead, semi- precious stones, such as Bohemian garnets, hard coal, and lignite.

PoPUL.^Tiox. — According to the last census (31 De- cember, 1900) , Bohemia has a population of 6,318,697. It is one of the most thickly settled pro\inces of the monarchy, having 315 inhabitants to the square mile. The Czechs form 63 per cent of the population, and the Germans 36 per cent. The Germans live chiefly near the boundaries of the country, especially near the northern and north-western boundaries.

National History. — Bohemia (home of the Boii) owes its name to the Boii, a Celtic people which occupied the country in prehistoric times. About 78 B. c. the land was occupied by a Suevic people, the Marcomanni, while the related tribe of the Quadi settled in Moravia and that part of Hungary adjoining Moravia. Some years after the birth of Christ, Marbod, King of the Marcomanni, united the German tribes as far as the North Sea and the Baltic to form a great confederation which menaced the Roman Empire. When the Marcomanni and the Quadi left Bohemia and Moravia in the sixth century, there came in from the north-east a Sla- vonic people which was soon to appear in history under the general name of Cechen (Czechs). Before the close of the sixth century this Slavonic people came under the domination of the Avars of Hungary. But early in the seventh century they regained their freedom with the aid of the Frank, Samo, whom the Czechs elected as their king. In 796, Bohemia paid tribute to Charlemagne. Eighty years later Borziwoi, Grand Duke of the Cechen (Czechs), seems to have been tributary to Swatopluk, King of Great Moravia. In the confusion which followed the break-up of the Empire of Great Mo- ll.— 39


ravia Spitihnev I succeeded in uniting the varioui tribes of Czechs under his rule. From his time there is an unbroken succession of dukes of the Premysl line. One duke of this line, Wratislaw II, received the title of King for life from the German Emperor, Henry IV. After 1158 the title of King became hereditary. Ottokar I and Ottokar II were the most conspicuous rulers of the Premysl dynasty. After this line became extinct (1306) Bohemia came under the sway of John of Luxem- bourg (1310-46). The Bohemian rulers of the Luxembourg line, from Charles I, of Bohemia (the Emperor, Charles IV), until the extinction of the dynasty at the death of Sigismund (1437), were all German emperors. Bohemia reached the height of its prosperity under the Emperor Charles IV, who conquered Silesia and also occupied for a time the Mark of Brandenburg and the Upper Palatinate. In 1348, Charles founded the L'niversity of Prague, the first university on German soil. By his Golden Bull, Charles IV gave Bohemia the highest secular electoral dignity of the Holy Roman Empire. After 1437, Bohemia was ruled by kings of various lines until the death of Ludwig II, of the Jagellon dynasty, who was King of Bohemia and Hungary. He fell in the battle of Mohacz (1526). Both Bohemia and Hungary after this battle came into the possession of Ferdinand I of Hapsburg who had married the sister of Ludwig II. (For the further history of Bohemia see Austro-Hungajuan Monarchy.)

Introddction of CHRISTI.4.N1TY. — Fritigil, Queen of the Marcomanni, in 396 applied to Ambrose of Milan for instruction in the doctrines of Christianity. In 846, fourteen princes of the Czechs were bap- tized at Ratisbon. Although the two brothers, CjTil and Methodius, the Apostles of the Slavs, never entered Bohemia, yet Methodius was able to win over the Bohemian Duke Borziwoi to Chris- tianity when the latter was at the court of Swatopluk, Grand Duke of Moravia. In 878, Borziwoi was baptized by Methodius at Welehrad. Soon after this Borziwoi's wife, Ludmilla, and most of his relations were also baptized. The grandson of Borziwoi and Ludmilla, St. Wenzel I (NVenceslaus), was murdered in 935 at Alt-Bunzlau by his brother and successor Bole.slaw I. Religious and national motives prompted this act. Christianity made such pro,j;ress in Bohemia that in the latter part of the tenth century (973) the German Emperor Otto I gave the country a bishop of its own with his see at Prague, the capital of the country. Bo- hemia had until then formed a part of the Diocese of Ratisbon. In 1344, the Diocese of Leitomischl was founded, while Prague was made an archbishop- ric with the Diocese of Olmiitz as suffragan. The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries may be called the golden age of Christianity in Bohemia. In 1384, 240 ecclesiastics were attached to the Cathedral of Prague. Bohemia contained at that time 1,914 parish priests with many assistants; there were one hundred monasteries, and almost a third of the land belonged to the Church. But when John Hus was condemned by the Council of Constance for spread- ing the errors of Wyclif, and was burned at the stake in 1415 by the secular authorities, the Hussite wars followed (1420-34), and the Church in Bohemia met with losses which it took centuries to repair.

The causes of tliis religious-national movement were the excessive numbers and wealth of the clergy, their moral decay, and, in addition, the national reaction against the disproportionate power of the Germans, and the weakness of the secular govern- ment. Notwithstanding the death of the leaders, Hus and Jerome of Prague, the fire of revolution broke out when the followers of Hus demanded the Lord's Supper under both kinds (Utraquists). Those in revolt encamped with their leaders, Ziska,