Historie – Otázky – Problémy

King John of Bohemia and the House of Luxembourg

Abstract: John of Luxembourg became widely known as a legend, which authors of chronicles started to depict immediately after his death at Crécy. Until the 19th century, he was traditionally described as a valiant and loyal knight. However, research done in the last fifteen years changed this picture and shed a different light on it. John was undoubtedly an experienced warrior, but waging war was not his only activity. Latest research emphasizes especially his diplomatic skills. In the course of thirty-six years he in fact attempted thirty-six projects of marriage convenient for the Luxembourg dynasty. His policy within the Empire was dominated by his dream to acquire the imperial crown.
The article focuses mainly on John?s policies in the county of Luxembourg, where it was important to ensure tenancy of property and if possible, to expand its territory. It expanded successfully towards several of its neighbours, while in the case of Trier, it was only possible to defend the status quo. During his reign, he was one of the first counts in the Empire to use modern means of governance: being the first to use to large extent financial means (such as loans) in order to manage and develop his territorial possessions, or appointing ministerial clerks responsible for administrative tasks, giving preference, especially in financial administration, to competent burghers. He had the land urbarium updated and was the first to appoint a general tax collector for the whole county. Under the rule of his son Charles, the focal point of the dynasty shifted to central Europe and the county of Luxembourg became, to its own detriment, a less important land frequently used as a pledge.

Key words: the county of Luxembourg, country administration, financial management, territorial expansion, John of Luxembourg

Prof. Michel B. L. Pauly působí jako profesor na Universität Luxemburg. Věnuje se zejména období pozdního středověku, konkrétně dějinám špitální péče a lucemburským regionálním dějinám ( michel.pauly@uni.lu).