Leo of Rozmital

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Zdeniek Lev Lord of Rosental aka Zdeniek Lev von Rosental (Czech Zdeněk Lev z Rožmitálu) (* circa 1460, – † July 14, 1535) was a Bohemian noble, royal ambassador, judge and the Highest Burgrave of Prague.

He came from an old Bohemian aristocratic family Lev of Rosenthal and in the period of King Vladislas II of Hungary, his son and successor King Louis II of Hungary and King Ferdinand I of Habsburg, he was one of the most influential figures in the Kingdom of Bohemia.

His father, Jaroslav Lev of Rosental was an ambassador and between 1467 - 1470 served as a royal judge of two Kings George of Podebrady and Wladislaw of Jagielllo. By heritage, Zdeněk belonged to the Catholic party in the Bohemian nobility. Even as a 26-year-old, he participated in public negotiations with the Hungarian king. From 1498 to 1504 he was the Burgrave of Karlstein, in 1504 he was appointed the Supreme Judge of the Kingdom Bohemia and in 1507, finally appointed the Supreme Burgrave.

In this position he led the kingdom since the Jagiellonian ruler stayed mostly in Hungary and Serbia and was involved in a seemingly endless battle against the Ottomans. He expressed particular interests in the Catholic stand. His goal was to expand the rights and privileges at the expense of the other religions. His character was accused by his opponents of traits such as deviousness, injustice and cruelty. As administrator of the royal estate, there was added the accusation of avarice. However, historians describe him as a righteous man who wanted, above all, to work properly by his officials.

In 1519 proceedings against him commenced, when he accused his opponents of having embezzled state funds. In 1523 he was finally forced to resign the position of Burgrave. His successor, however, lasted only two years and by 1525 Zdeněk was reappointed to the post, which benefited his friends who were also elevated to high positions. In the meantime the number of enemies from the Catholics camp grew, especially the Rosenbergs, with whom he made the disputed inheritance of the region Český Krumlov.

The death of Louis II, at the battle of Mohács on 29 August 1526 (his body was found after a month near the battlefield in ancient Serbia), ended the Jagiello dynasty. They should have been counted upon Zdeněk as a possible candidate for the election of a king. Soon, however, he was distinguished from that favored by the states of the Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand I. Rosenthal had only daughters as an heir apparent and was probably too old for the election to the monarchy. He then made his influence in the choice of the Emperor Ferdinand I to be crowned the King of Bohemia. However, whilst Zdeněk was able to exert great influence on his predecessor, Ferdinand did not let himself be influenced by him. 1528, he had to resign a second time and occupied the office since that date only with the administration of his possessions Plattern (Blatna), Rosenthal (Rožmital pod Tremšinem), Wellartitz (Velhartice), Klenau (Klenová), Opalkova, Lissa (Lysa nad Labem), Wemschen, Drohnitz, Zdechovice, Ryzemburk, Petrus (Skaly) and Podebrady.

At the same time his great fortune melted away by many demands, and numerous festivals. Only respect for his power held his creditors in check. After his death, his legacy was completely eaten up by debt.

Zdeněk was married to Catherine Svihovska of Ryzemberk (who died in 1540), daughter of the Supreme judge Puta Svihovsky of Ryzemberg, who´s office Zdeněk inherited. He was survived by the only of daughters, Anna who died in 1563. Anna married Adam I of Hradec (* 11 May 1494 – † 25. June 1531 in Prague), who tried in vain to regain the power and influence of his wife’s father, and was later left destitute in Bohemia and died during the Black Death epidemic in Prague. His sons Adam and Zdeněk could not repay the accumulated debt. The claims of the creditors were bought by Florian Griespek of Griespach in 1550 and he thus became Lord of Rosental. The Rosentals then settled in Moravia.

Zdeněk died at the age of 70 years in his newly constructed water-castle Plattern (Blatná) and his sepulcher was placed in the choir of the Virgin Mary parish church in Blatná, as well as of his wife. Both have a marmor plates with coat-of-arms there.

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