There is no other number in the context of Czech history, which intrigues with its mysterious fleur of destiny changing as number 8. Some historians counted that about 40 significant political – and not only political – events took their place on the years ending on “8”, and that number of ‘significant eights’ is above the average statistical rate.
Let’s go through the major ‘eights’ and discuss their details in these series of articles.
1108 – the Massacre of Vrsovci or the Game of Czech Thrones.
Vrsovci was one of the three most prominent noble families playing the games of Czech thrones in the early middle centuries. Supporting the reign of Premyslids in most of their causes, they formed a strong alliance, yet falling out of favor by the beginning of the 12th century for their attempt to dethrone Boleslaus III the Red – a member of the Přemyslid dynasty. Allegedly, they angered the later so much that he slashed his son-in-law (from Vrsovec clan) with his own sword. He eventually lost the throne, but that is a different story. The massacre of Vrsovci was conducted by his successor, Svatopluk, and, according to chroniclers, it was hard to count the number of victims, as the killings and executions lasted for months, claiming approximately 3000 lives – many at now everyone’s favorite Petrin Hill.
It is worth to mention that slightly over a century before these events, in 995, Vrsovci played an important role in executing the same bloody scenario for another noble family, Slavnikovci, who were massacred in their clan town, Libice. Among the 2 survivors was the first Czech bishop – Adalbert, later Saint. According to the legends, the holy man predicted the same destiny for masterminds behind his family extermination. And oh, it reached Vsrsovci by 1108.
This turbulent period of Czech history marked the rise of Premyslids to power which lasted, well, not that long actually, up to the early 14th century.
Come back on Monday and in the next article, we will discuss the second date which was significant in the context of Czech history and how Czech kings were coronated.