Historie – Otázky – Problémy

Peter of Zittau and the myth of the last woman of the Přemyslid dynasty


Abstract: The Chronicle of Zbraslav (Chronicon Aulae Regiae) is traditionally considered as a reliable source by Czech historiographers. Nevertheless, latest research has shown that its author, Peter of Zittau, was far from being an altogether trustworthy writer as is until recently believed.
The study contains an analysis of literary means which Peter of Zittau uses to substantiate and justify the way in which Eliška (Elizabeth) of Bohemia from the House of Přemyslids gained the Bohemian throne. Under the rule of Henry of Carinthia, who became king chiefly because he was the husband of Anna, the eldest of Wenceslas II?s daughters, Eliška teamed up with Bohemian nobility who offered the throne of Bohemia as well as Eliška?s hand to Henry VII, to be given in marriage to his son, John the Luxembourg. Peter of Zittau transforms the struggle for the throne into a struggle for bonum commune of the Bohemian State. He denigrates Henry of Carinthia (among other means by using the topoi rex-tyrannus and rex-puer) as well as his wife, denying them their right to the throne and to the title of king. He considers Eliška, though younger of the two sisters, as the lawful or rightful heiress of the Kingdom, emphasizing her qualities typical of a future sovereign, and since her marriage to John of Luxembourg he consistently calls her Queen of Bohemia.
The description of the change on the throne of Bohemia in 1310 is a great example of the fact that history is written by the winners.

Key words: The Middle Ages, Czech history, Eliška (Elizabeth) of Bohemia, Anna of Bohemia, Henry of Carinthia, John of Luxembourg, the Chronicle of Zbraslav, Peter of Zittau

Prof. PhDr. Kateřina Charvátová, CSc., působí jako profesorka českých dějin na Pedagogické fakultě Univerzity Karlovy. Věnuje se dějinám středověku, především dějinám českých zemí ve 13. století a dějinám cisterciáckého řádu ( katerina.charvatova@pedf.cuni.cz).