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The ‘Long Tenth-Century’: The Point Of No Return

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Chapter Summary

From the end of the ninth-century, Bohemian suzerains devoted all their energy, skill and diplomacy to the establishment of their new state. As early as the beginning of the tenth-century, Bohemian traders were surprisingly active along the Danube. Long-distance contacts of tenth-century Bohemia may be likened to a compass indicating the four cardinal points but turned by 45°. Major structural transformations of the early state of Bohemia under Spytihněv I continued to progress during the reign of his younger but much more ambitious brother, Vratislav. One of the most extensive reports on tenth-century Bohemia and Prague comes from a traveler Ibrahim ibn Ya’qub at Turtushi. The most attention has been paid to the third source that throws light on Emma of Bohemia. This is the manuscript of a St. Wenceslas legend written by Gumpold, bishop of Mantua, at the instigation of Emperor Otto II.

Keywords: Bohemian traders; Ibrahim ibn Ya’qub at Turtushi; northern Moravia; Queen Emma; Spytihněv I; St. Wenceslas; tenth-century Bohemia



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