The Bohemian Crown
Definition of bohemian:
- a native or inhabitant of Bohemia.
- a person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices.
- the Czech language, especially as spoken in Bohemia.
- a Gypsy.
The Boii tribe gave their name to the regions of Bohemia (Modern Day Czechoslovakia), Bologna (Northern Italy) and Bavaria (Southern Germany). They were one of the most influential of the ancient Celtic tribes during the late Iron Age. They first appear in history in connection with the Gallic invasion of north Italy in 390 BC. They made the Etruscan city of Felsina their new capital, Bononia. After a series of battles they were decisively beaten by the Romans in a battle near Mutina and their territory became part of the Roman Empire. The Boii escaped north into Europe and established the Kingdom of Bohemia.
The Kingdom of Bohemia was first ruled by Bořivoj who declared himself kníže, which means sovereign prince. His title was later translated by German scholars as “duke” of the Bohemians. Although the German dukes have had the same title, his title was in fact completely different as he was considered to be a monarch of his country.
Until 26 September 1212 the King was appointed by the Holy Roman Empire when King Frederick II of Germany issued the Golden Bull of Sicily. This document granted the royal title obtained by Ottokar I of Bohemia in 1198, declaring him and his heirs Kings of Bohemia. The kingdom continued until its dissolution in 1806, whereupon it became part of the Austrian Empire, and subsequently the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867. Following the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I, both Kingdom and Empire were dissolved and Bohemia became part of the newly formed Czechoslovak Republic.