Boleslau Era

Boleslau Era - Boleslau Rule - Basileos Reforms


Boleslau Era, Boleslau Rule or Basileos Reforms, are common names for period 935 - 987 and starting with usurping of Duchy of Bohemia by Boleslau the Great in 935 and end with his death in December 987. Name Basileos is based upon his most trusted advisor and member of his rulling council, councelior, advisor, scholar, chancellor and diplomat Basileos.

With First and Third Golden Age, Boleslau Era is consider as most important eras of Pagania. September 28, 935, group of assassins under personal command of Boleslau, murdered weak duke Wenceslaw at church in Stará Boleslav. His death marked end of tribute era of Bohemian duchy.

Pre-Basileos reforms

Pre-Basileos reforms happened from September 935 to July 937 and their main focus was to centralization and enpowering usurping duke Boleslau. List of pre-Basileos reforms and Boleslau early policy.

  • Complete and fast massacre of all great noblemen supporting Wenceslau and elimination of power and confiscation of property of remaining great noblemen and tribal leaders.
    • This steps led to complete collapse of tribal system and perishing of all tribal families and forces. Only supreme ruler of Bohemia and all power was concentrated to Boleslau and his family, especially his pagan mother Drahomira.
  • Creating system of fortification settlements under rule of local rulers and officials appointed by Boleslau.
    • Since this time, self-loyalty of old rulers and tribal leaders ended and all loyalty went to Boleslau. Because of old system, no one went to help Wenceslaus against Boleslau. Retinues of 17 tribal chiefs and great noblemen were destroyed by one united and well organized military power under Boleslau personal command.
  • Reorganization of border system, early fortification of borders, building patrol posts and forming personal duchy retinues.
    • This was important reform, because Bohemian historical borders became based on this basic fortification until "Battle of Five Emperors" in 1081 and heartlands of Bohemia will be forever based on this fortification system.
  • End of tribute payment for Holy Roman Empire and revoking of peace treaty between HRE and Bohemia.
    • This started earliest phase of Thousand Years War, pre-pagan time.

Basileos reforms era (937 - 977)

Basileos reforms era was long and crucial era of development and improvements in Duchy of Bohemia and also marked end of Duchy era and start of Kingdom era. July 6, 937, unknown orthodox monk, diplomat and scholar arrived to Prague, as emissar of Byzantine usurper military emperor Romanos.[1] Monk and emissar Basileos warned Bohemian duke Boleslau about church terror, madness and murdering in Rome, about "reign of terror and pornocracy". Horrified Boleslau decided to build friendship with Byzantine Emperor and newly appointed Emperor Constantin.

Intellect, talent, education and capabilities of 40-years old monk and scholar make impress on duke Boleslau and he appointed Basileos as his top-advisor and right-hand in ruling. Basileos was ordered to prepare reform policy and improvements to Duchy of Bohemia. Despite high valuation of these reforms, most of them were able to implement only because of "Anarchy in Germany", phase after death of Henry the Fowler and start of Otto I The Great reign, when most of local nobles rebelled and Otto lost nearly third of income from Bohemian tribute and was not able to suppress Boleslau regime.

  • Administrative and ruling reforms
    • Established Duchy (later King) Council as top body composed of most talented and useful military strategists, merchants, specialists, scholars and administrators. Most of them were not Bohemian origins but came from Germania, Byzantine, France and Jewish scholars from Arabia.
      • This system of co-rule and advising to ruler, based on Byzantine Emperor council, survived until 1874, when Emperor Council was disbanded and replaced by Council of Ministers and Parliament. For more then nearly thousand years, "Council system" was able to effective co-rule with duke, king and emperor/diarch.
    • End of old and ineffective seniorate heir system and implement of agnatic primogeniture.
      • This led to important stabilization of heir system in Duchy, however to implement, Boleslau was forced to kill or exile 7 his older relatives and took their properties and rights, because they wanted to rebel against this reform, including his earliest and staunchest supporter, his mother Drahomira, who was sent to orthodox monastery and died there in 952.
    • Creating self-governments in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, loyal to duke, but ruling their local matters.
      • This reform very improved local ruling, decreased corruption, disorder and increased popularity of duke and rulers.
    • Re-establishing senate.
      • In 964 was re-established senate in model of old Roman and Byzantine senate. 20 senators represented 100 powerful lords and noblemen, 20 senators represented cities, 40 senators represented villages, 5 senators represented duke and all members of duke council were also members of senate, like all family members of Premyslid dynasty (which remained only 4 capable members of dynasty after purges). Most of senate role was only ceremonial, to increase popularity of duke and later king, however senate had one strategic power - declaration of war. With establishing of senate, duke lost right to declare war against enemies and was only able to persuade or corrupt senators in to war.
    • Prague Code - law system to improve rule, rights and role of cities.
      • Prague Code is considered by historians as "most liberal code in history...", which granted more then hundred rights and privileges to cities, increasing their position against nobility and over smaller villages. Cities were able to own villages and part of taxes from villages, own local mines and logging camps, appoint (after confirmation by ruler) their own mayor and even to confiscate property of debted noblemen. Duchy of Bohemia became one of most urbanized area in Eastern Europe, because of this law system.
    • Bureaucratic reform - all educated and literate volunteers appointed, after exams, to governing structures.
      • Bureaucratic reforms with luring of capable officials greatly improved rule of law and order and implementation of improvements and reforms.
    • Archive system.
      • For historians most important reform, because "Archives" built by Basileos were treasure of all documents, reports and informations about reforms and Boleslau rule, including censuses and reports about realm situation.
    • Earliest education reform to eliminate illiteracy in Prague as capital city.
      • The only unsuccessful Basileos reforms. Literacy increased only from 3% to 7%, but Prague became one of most literate city. Basileos was even unable to teach Boleslau to write, read and count.
    • Basileos personal campaign to lure talented and capable persons from Europe by increasing salaries, rewards and reducing their personal taxes.
      • Since 939 when campaigning started, to 974, when ended, more then 18,000 literate and capable scholars, advisors, administrators and officials left their countries and arrived to Bohemia.
  • Economic reforms and domestic improvements
    • Massive support for logging and deforestation, to gain new farmlands and places for building cities and villages, plus gain income from timber export.
      • Since 939 to 977, arable land from 6% to 17%. Annual income from timber export increased from 2,000 Prague Denarius to 18,000 Prague Denarius in 975. Most of income were use to improvements and implement Basileos reforms.
    • Boleslau Code - code of law is call by contemporary economists as "most economic liberal act since Augustus and until industrial revolution...".
      • Liberalization act after which anyone, anywhere and in any status was able to start enterprise, craft and also decreasing power of guilds. Everyone who started craft or trade and was able to survive, was free from old position (if they were slaves or rightless serfs) and became rightful citizens.
    • Large investment to infrastructure and inner defense, including city guard corpse.
      • Investment to infrastructure led to repair more then 250 miles of roads within realm and building 500 miles, used by merchants, travelers and locals.
      • Built border patrol posts (most of them destroyed or perished by time, only few remained).
      • Built barracks network with armed retinues (12 barracks and forts).
      • Formed city guard corpse to defend law and order in cities (at peak in 970 had 3,500 guards to defend 152 cities, villages and settlements. Because of brutal repressions against criminals and support from barracks, it was enough).
      • Created patrol units to defend merchants and travelers through realm. More then 800 road patrol posts, each with 4 cavalry troops. Later reduced to 200 posts, each with 16 troops.
    • Increase of participation in slavery and slave trade.
      • Opened 4 new slave trade centers and sent large number of slaver expeditions to Russia and Baltic lands.
    • Investments from Venice and Genoa merchants to local villages and cities.
      • Opening Venice and Genoa embassies in Bohemian realm and trade posts in Prague, Brno, Olomouc and Pilsen. Number of slaves sold in Bohemia increased from 8000 per year to 45,000 per year in 981.
    • Decreasing village, peasants, cities and merchant taxes, massive increase of feudal and guild taxes.
      • Villages, peasant, cities and merchant taxes decreased from 10% to 1%, while guild and feudal taxes increased from 5% to 45% for guilds and 55% for feudals. This was also political act against guilds and aristocracy, to weaken aristocracy and guilds, who were staunchest opponents of reforms.
    • Elimination of customs.
      • Led to large increase of import (by 275%) and export (by 366%). Czech lands became free trade power.
    • Decreasing of road tax.
      • Decreasing of road tax in 956 from 2% to 0,5% led to massive increase of using local roads and ways under patrol post security and increase of road income from 59,000 Prague Denarius to 200,000 PD.
    • First monetary reform.
      • With increasing of gold deposits in Bohemian realm (17-times increased between 935 - 960), Basileos invited Florentian coinage experts and they created Prague Golden Denarius. 1 PGD = 100 PD, 1 PD = 100 copper coins.
    • Opening silver, coal and iron mines.
      • Locators invited by Basileos found large deposits of silver near Prague and massive amount of iron ore and coal in Silesia. Opened new mines and silver mining output increased from 75 pounds per year in 936 to 6000 pounds per year in 947 and 15,000 in 957. Coal and iron mining increased by 1,200%, respectively 3,520% per year since opening mines in 942 to 945.
    • Enlarging Prague, Brno and Olomouc.
      • Italian and Byzantine architects rebuilt most of Prague, Brno and Olomouc quarters and settlements. Population of Prague increased from 15,000 in 935 to 110,000 in 981. Built sewer system and tripled area of all these cities.
  • Societal reforms
    • Creating basic social system to help orphans and widows.
      • All orphans and widows had granted rights for 50 copper coins per month.
      • All orphans had right to gain education.
    • Increasing rights of widows and wives.
      • Widows were able to own property and open enterprises.
      • Wives gain the right to divorce.
      • Physical abuse by wife or husband punished by "Byzantine punishment" (downward).
    • End of forced marriages.
      • Ban of forced marriages. All brides have to sign or mark with witness their agreement with marriage. Forced marriages banned under punishment of slavery or exile.
    • Decreasing debt limit to enslavement.
      • One of two only regressive Basileos reform, to gain income from slavery.
    • Legalization of slavery on Christians.
      • Second regressive and unpopular reform.
    • Building of orphanage and poorhouse network.
      • All cities had orphanage and poorhouse at start of Lucius reign.
    • Spreading orthodox faith.
      • Opened orthodox monasteries and arrive of dozens orthodox monks from Bulgaria and Byzantine.
  • Military reforms
    • Reorganization of military power in model of Byzantine Empire.
      • Under command of Byzantine army officers and exiled commanders, realm retinues formed to Byzantine army model, with hierarchy and ranks system, with new barracks and fortress system and command chain. End of levies.
    • Hiring sellswords and military specialists to train Bohemian army.
      • 450 sellswords, specialists and mercenaries trained 25,000 Bohemian soldiers.
    • Forming personal elite guard corps of duke loyalists.
      • Personal guard composed of 100 knights, 50 cavalry and 50 archers, the most loyal, best equipped and best trained to defend duke and king.
    • Forming of local army garrisons responsible to commanders appointed by duke and council.
      • Created permanent army and trained retinues with 25,000 troops to defend Czech land.
  • Geopolitical orientation reforms
    • Less religion influence on geopolitical orientation.
      • Implement of "economic diplomacy" and increase of contacts with Venice and Asian nations.
    • Improving diplomatic relations between Bohemia and Byzantine, merchant republics, eastern slavic tribal states and rebelling North Germanic Union and Scandinavia.
      • All of named realms appointed permanent representatives in Prague.
    • Dramatic improve of relations between Bohemia and Poland.
      • Lucius married Piast princess Jadwiga in 968 and start era of forming Bohemian-Polish union.
  • Law and order reforms.
    • Establishing Roman court system with "Byzantine Punishment" right.
      • Courts appointed by council, were able to punish by Byzantine methods - castration, blinding and other forms of mutilation as warning punishment for criminals.
    • Establishing local, village and cities guard corps.
      • Responsible to ruler, council, magistrates and local courts, thousands guards defended law and order.

Post/Counter-Basileos reforms

Post and counter-Basileos reforms are common name of reforms implemented between Basileos death in 977 and duke/king Boleslau death in 982. Counter-Basileos reforms were reforms in disagreement with Basileos and proposed and implemented by Boleslau against Basileos will. That were only few reforms.

  • Counter-Basileos reforms.
    • 950 - implementation of Milan Edict and religious tolerance.
      • Tolerance for all religions, despite Basileos protests whose intention was to spread orthodox in Bohemia.
    • 950 - return to pagan religion by Boleslau and marriage between Boleslau son and former vestal priestess Luciana.
      • Definitive end of all Basileos orthodox religious influence and proclaiming Boleslau as supreme priest and representative of gods and goddesses on Earth.
    • 954 - confiscation of church property and lands.
      • After rebelling and insurgency from Roman Catholic church, economic and financial repression against church.
    • 959 - cut off diplomatic relations with Roman-Catholic church.
      • Exile of most church priests, expect loyal, humble and
    • 965 - end of funding of Orthodox church in Bohemian lands.
      • Funding (6,000 PD per year) ended by August 1, 965.
    • 971 - full re-conversion to Slavic pagan pantheon and opening of Great Pantheon of Perun and other gods in Prague.
  • Post-Basileos reforms (Basileos died June 6, 977).
    • 977 - second monetary reform.
      • After another dramatic economic growth and increase of gold and even diamond deposits, created Prague Diamond Denarius which had value of 100 Prague Golden Denarius.
    • 979 - massive repression against aristocracy and redistribution of aristocratic property and lands to peasants and cities.
      • Peasant armed militia, local guards and loyal retinues plundered catholic aristocracy property on duke order and gathered 100,000 PGD for realm. Two thirds of aristocrats exiled from realm and their property granted to cities, villages and merchants, their fortress granted to realm army.
    • 980 - self-proclamation of Bohemian Kingdom and declaration of Boleslau as Boleslau I, King of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, son of Perun and Zhiva.
      • Response from emperor Otto II was start of great invasion against Bohemia. 80,000 levies and mercenaries invaded to Bohemian borderland and then, all of them defected to Boleslau I, even mercenaries, while Slavic tribes started "Great Rebellion" in North Germany and some of them moved to Bohemian realm. Otto II was captured by own troops and sent do Prague, where he was held in prison, until his death in 983. After that, no one tried to invade Bohemia, until Battle of Five Emperors in 1081.
    • 981 - proclaiming Lucius as heir of Boleslau I, after death of Boleslau son and official father of Lucius.
      • In January 981 died Boleslau son, namesake and Boleslau designed his illegitimate, biological son Lucius, as heir of kingdom. Lucius, who was born in 970 co-rule with his biological father for next three years, until December 984, when Boleslau The Great, died on pneumonia.
Census 940 Census 955 Census 970 Lucius census - 1000
Population: 520,000 793,000 1,900,000 4,250,000+
Bohemia pop.: 316,000 475,000 1,000,000 2,000,000
Moravia pop.: 150,000 227,000 650,000 900,000
Silesia pop.: 50,000+ 90,000+ 250,000 350,000
Poland pop.: ---- ---- ---- 2,000,000
Slavics (original pop.): 480,000+ 517,000 893,000 3,680,000
Germans: 25,000+ 89,000 272,000 665,000
Others: Unknown 190,000+ 730,000+ 905,000
Area (km2): 75,000 -//- -//- 200,000
Pop. density (per km2): 6,93 10,57 25,3 21,25
Religion: 60% Pagan

40% Catholic

55% Pagan

32% Catholic

13% Orthodox

78% Pagan

19% Orthodox

3% Catholic

96% All forms of paganism

4% all branch of christanity

Peasants: 500,000+ 635,000+ 1,250,000 3,000,000
Merchants: 0 - 250 ? 10,000+ 50,000+ 200,000
Aristocracy: 400 590 - 700 250- 800
Citizens: 20,000 78,000+ 250,000+ 800,000
Slaves: ??? 70,000+ 340,000+ 250,000
Peasant annual income: 45 PD 57 PD 79 PD 96 PD
Merchants an. income: 250 - 300 PD 600 - 1,000 PD 2,000 PD 3,200 PD
Aristocracy an. income: 1,000 PD 1,000 PD 150 PD 150 PD
Citizens an. income: 50 - 75 PD 90 - 125 PD 250 PD 400 PD
Income per capita.: 48 PD 66 PD 137 PD 294 PD
Males under 14: 87,000+ 127,000+ 480,000+ 800,000+
Males 15 - 64: 150,000+ 235,000+ 400,000+ 1,000,000+
Males 65+: 6,000+ 15,000+ 50,000+ 193,000+
Females under 14: 92,000+ 136,000+ 503,000+ 900,000+
Females 15 - 64: 145,000+ 242,000+ 400,000+ 1,150,000+
Females 65+: 22,000+ 40,000+ 72,000+ 275,000+
National income: 25,000,000 PD 53,000,000 PD 261,000,000 PD 1,250,000,000 PD
Prague income: 690,000 PD 2,000,000 PD 27,000,000 PD 175,000,000 PD
Silver production: 242 lb. 379 lb. 15,000 lb. 27,000 lb.
Coal production: 100,000+ lb. 1,400,000 lb. 2,750,000 lb. 5,500,000 lb.
Iron production: 46,000+ lb. 1,785,000 lb. 3,100,000 lb. 4,750,000 lb.
Gold production: 10 lb. 456 lb. 2,000 lb. 6,000 lb.

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