PŘEMYSL OTTOKAR II°


PŘEMYSL OTTOKAR II° (c. 1230–1278), margrave of Moravia in 1247, duke of Austria in 1251, and king of Bohemia in 1253. Following his general policy of developing the cities, Přemysl protected the Jews in his dominions. The city privilege of *Jihlava (Iglau), which he signed in 1249, contained clauses concerning Jews. In 1254 he issued a charter, based on the 1244 declaration of *Frederick II of Babenberg and even more liberal than the earlier proclamation. It was valid for all his dominions. Among other provisions, it added sacred vestments to the articles forbidden as pledges, but it left the adjustment of the rate of interest to the contracting parties. Though omitting the provisions about capital punishment for desecration of cemeteries, it laid down that the Jews were not to be disturbed on their holidays with the return of pledges. Another provision was that an oath taken by a Jew was itself sufficient to absolve him of responsibility in the case of a pawn that was accidentally destroyed. Moreover, Přemysl included the bulls of *Innocent IV against the blood libel. He employed two Jewish comes camerae, and Jewish tax collectors and mintmasters. His favorable treatment of the Jews was opposed by the clergy. In 1268, apparently as a reaction to the Vienna Church Council of 1267, he renewed the Jewish rights "of his youth"; since the Jews belonged to his chamber, he indicated, they came under his protection. Between 1273 and 1278 he exempted the *Brno (Bruenn) community from all taxes for one year.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

J.E. Scherer, Die Rechtsverhaeltnisse der Juden in den deutsch-oesterreichischen Laendern, 1 (1901), 336–8; B. Bretholz, Quellen zur Geschichte der Juden in Maehren (1935), 2–10; idem, Geschichte der Juden in Maehren im Mittelalter, 1 (1934), index S.V. Přemysl Otakar II; Bondy-Dworský, 1 (1906), 17–32; M. Grunwald, Vienna (1936), index, S.V. Ottakar II; H. Tietxe, Die Juden Wiens (1935), index, S.V. Przemysl Ottokar von Boehmen.

[Meir Lamed]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.