Talk:Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia

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The images layout is ugly. The lead is a little hard on the eyes (too much bold). The text could use some copyediting. It's not major, but this is not an insignificant article. I'll do it eventually if nobody beats me to it. Srnec 05:14, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

What about the old carol about him
I'm a witness to the fact that there indeed is a (very small) army, including St. Wenceslas, in a cave inside Mt. Blanik. Unfortunately both the leader and his soldiers are carved out of sandstone and unlikely to ride to his country's rescue. Particularly in view of the fact that St. Vaclav/Wenceslas is better known for his decency and his peaceful reign than for his valor.

One of these days when I have more time I'll try to find some literature to back me up. Fairlind (talk) 02:58, 15 October 2008 (UTC)


I have no doubt that Duke Wenceslaus is an important historical figure, but I can find no evidence of this in the article. From reading the article I'm left with the impression that he was a minor royal in a distanct place and a barbaric time. Certainly, there is more to write about him than this. Why is he the patron of the Czech Republic? What did he do that was so great? Why was he canonized? The article says that he died a martyrs death, but it reads like a political assassination. What were the miracles referered to in the article? Healings? -ErinHowarth (talk) 22:22, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

The martyrdom aspect is intimately tied to the political nature of the events - it was a fairly classic tenth-century struggle between Christian and Pagan rulers for the future of the country, similar things were going on almost contemporarily in Hungary with St. Stephen. Vaclav was devoted first and foremost to the strengthening of Christianity in Bohemia and its firm establishment as a Christian kingdom; he also seems to have taken very seriously a Christian emphasis on peace and mercy, refusing to take Bohemia to war against the Germans. For the Pagans Boleslav and Drahomira, this was nothing holy but only the sign of a weak and spineless leader, bringing Bohemia into shame and inevitable collapse and ruin at the hands of foreign powers. So on a purely historical, political level it was an assassination over a foreign policy dispute and a succession struggle over the religious future of the country. It can be seen from a theological perspective, though, that Vaclav became an archetypal martyr when he laid down his life rather than betray the principles of his faith. (It reminds me also of the Russian story of Boris and Gleb, one allowed himself to be assassinated by his brother in a coup, rather than plunge Russia into a bloody succession struggle.)
As for hagiography, most of the legends I know of deal with his deeds while alive - he's well known as having been generous to the poor: for one well-known example, the Christmas song about him is based on stories you find in the tenth and eleventh century chronicles to the effect that he would sometimes, while traveling through the city giving alms to the poor, walk barefoot in the snow! so that he could better sympathise with the plight of the unfortunate and downtrodden. There's another story that he prevented a war with a neighboring Slavic tribe by, upon reaching the field of battle, ordering his army to stand down and calling on the rival prince, Radslav, to duel him one-on-one rather than throw away their men's lives. When Radslav was just near enough to strike Vaclav, the story goes, he suddenly had a vision of two angels flanking Vaclav and protecting him. Radslav fell off his horse in shock and knelt before Vaclav, who immediately pulled him back up equal to him and embraced him as a brother. The two angels are one of his most common iconographic attributes, and appear again in the chronicles of the Saxon king describing Vaclav's diplomatic visit to their capital (during which he negotiated peace and recovered the relics of St. Vitus), someone walked in on him praying alone in a chapel and the angels were seen on either side of him again.
There's....a lot more of this, but I should shut up until I have my hands on my actual citable sources again (I'm missing books, missing translated editions and can't deal with Latin, need to reorganize my bookshelves like whoa) and it's one in the morning. But, here all this is, for any curious Wikipedians :-) Florestanová (talk) 05:28, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Clarification Needed[edit]

From the article: "Wenceslaus is the subject of the popular Christmas Carol and Boxing Day song, "Good King Wenceslas"." Wait, what? I've never heard of Boxing Day songs before. Can someone elaborate on how this is a Boxing Day song? MattFromOntario (talk) 01:09, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

"Good King Wencelas" is a St. Stephen's Day Carol. In the West, this feast is celebrated on December 26. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:59, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your input, anon, and your edit of the article to reflect this. MattFromOntario (talk) 02:31, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

German version[edit]

The German-language Wikipedia's article about St. Vaclav is a Featured Article, and seems to be very thorough and well-researched. It has a significant amount about the iconography, hagiography and religious significance of Vaclav, which I notice someone mentioned above on this talk page. Anyway my German, however, is not good at all, I know enough to give a cursory read-through of the article but I'm nowhere near up to translating or adapting any of the material to English. It looks like a good jumping-off point that could help make this article quite excellent, though, if any German-speaking participants felt inspired! Florestanová (talk) 04:49, 21 March 2013 (UTC)