Letters to Vratislav

Vratislav, the Přemlyslid duke of Bohemia from 1061 until his death in 1092, was a close ally of King Henry IV of Germany during the civil war that raged in the Empire from 1073 onwards.  According to the eleventh-century chronicler, Lampert of Hersfeld, Vratislav was granted the marches of Lusatia and Meissen by Henry, holding them until about 1089.  The Latin letters translated here attest to his stature in Germany at this time.

Of the ten letters, nine are addressed to Vratislav, while one concerns him.  All (but one) refer to him as king, and thus postdate his receipt of that title from Henry in 1085.  

These letters were discovered and published by Bernard Pez in 1729.  He found all ten together, in this order, in a manuscript at the monastery of St. Emmeram in Regensburg.  Although that manuscript has long since been lost, and the letters survive nowhere else, scholars see no reason to doubt their authenticity or the integrity of the texts as presented by Pez. 

The translations here are based on the Latin edition:  "Die Briefe an Wratislaw II," ed. Carl Erdmann, in Briefsammlungen der Zeit Heinrichs IV, ed. Carl Erdmann and Norbert Fickermann (Böhlau, 1950), 383-400.

As Erdmann notes in his preface to the edition, since the collection is plainly organized around Vratislav as recipient, it is likely to have been assembled by someone in his inner circle.  The letters appear to be ordered not chronologically but by the rank of the sender, from pope to anonymous student (with the last one, a second letter from Archbishop Wezilo of Mainz, an exception).