Czech two-tailed Lion

Discussion in 'Looking for Ancestors' started by rkasparek, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. rkasparek

    rkasparek Well-Known Member

    Hello folks!

    I am wondering about the Czech two-tailed Lion, sometimes referred to in Heraldry as "Brunkvick's Lion" does anyone know the origin of this heraldic device?

    Thanks in Advance!
  2. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    I know, that Bruncvik was Czech mythical warrior, who with help of lion fought with nine-headed dragon.

    About two tails:

    By Dalimil chronicle was blazon lion reward from emperor Friedrich I. Barbarossa to king Vladislav II. for helping to conquer of Milano on 23 July 1158.

    First historical proof is on seal of moravian nobleman Vladislav Jindřich from year 1213. But number of tails isn't recognizable.

    Second tail was allegedly (again by Dalimil chronicle) added as reward from Roman king Oto IV to Czech king Přemysl Otakar I. for helping to defeat Saxons in 1204.

    First reliable image of two-tailed dragon is on seal of prince Přemysl Otakar II from 1247

    Source (Czech): ... e_znaku_ČR
  3. rkasparek

    rkasparek Well-Known Member

    Thank you again Eso!

    Since heraldic practice states that one must be a direct male descendant in order to 'inherit' an established Coat of Arms, my brother and I, after much research and work with a Heraldic Artist, have devised one which has much meaning to us. It makes use of the two-tailed lion as well as the Sternberk Star from Zlin. It has been registered with the US Heraldic Registry and although has not been 'granted' proper, it has been 'assumed' by my brother and I.

    I appreciate your comments (as always)

  4. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    Wonderfull crest, Rick!

    It's only shame, you haven't there Kasparek's cap too :)
  5. rkasparek

    rkasparek Well-Known Member

    ::laughing:: Thanks Eso! Great idea!
  6. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Something more about Bruncvík Legend.

    A dragon? That's a mistake, isn't it?
  7. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

  8. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is :)
  9. rkasparek

    rkasparek Well-Known Member

    Thank you Wer!

    There was also an interesting note at the bottom of the page about the Knights of Blanik Mountain - the sleeping army of St Wenceslas! Looks as though my genealogy includes his grandmother St. Ludmilla as well. Of course that line goes to St. Ludmilla via Duke Wratislaw (and unfortunately) through Boleslaw. Oh well.. sometimes genealogy can be heart-breaking!

    Thanks again Wer!
  10. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Excuse my ignorance, but why is that heart-breaking?
  11. rkasparek

    rkasparek Well-Known Member

    Perhaps the ignorance is on my side Dzurisovak, but wasn't it Boleslaw who murdered St Wenceslas ?

  12. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    Boleslav and Vaclav (Wenceslav) were brothers. Most widely known theory is, that Boleslav hired assasin to kill Vaclav (because religion and political differences).
    There are other teories, for example that death was accident or even that there weren't two brothers, but it was one person(!), because Vaclav and Boleslav are basically same names - „více slav“ (bole = více).

    Source (in Czech):ý_Václav
  13. rkasparek

    rkasparek Well-Known Member

    Interesting Eso! Yes perhaps I said it wrong in that Boleslav murdered the "Good King" - rather he hired someone to assasinate Wenceslaus.

    I have never heard the theory about them being one person!

    It seems from my ancestry (at this far back of course all we can really count on is legend and history) that from Boleslav, I am related by his son Boleslav II - the Pious... through his son Boleslav III the red-haired, etc.

    My comment before about the unfortunate chance that I was related through Boleslav was merely meant to relate the fact that in genealogy research we find that we are related to people with histories that are less than complimentary. I hope I didn't hurt anyone's feelings.
  14. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    Problem is, that we even don't know exact year of Vaclav's death.
    Most probable it was year 929 or 935.

    Everything is possible - who know through centuries, how many offsprings of Boleslav's blood were born. In 17th century was Czech population decimated from 3 milions to 800,000 people and it could lead to mixing lines even more.

    On other hand informations from these old times are really uncertain.
    There is only one source from these times - Chronicle of Kosmas:

    Copy is here (latin with German commentary): ... 83&seite=2

  15. rkasparek

    rkasparek Well-Known Member

    Was this a totally ficticious group or was there once a group of Knights based at Blanik Mountain loyal to Wenceslaus? - just curious
  16. rkasparek

    rkasparek Well-Known Member

    So true about the past Eso - so much has been lost and history was recorded by the victors in most cases so who knows what really happened! At this point all I can do is to rely on published histories and legends and hope that they have some basis in the truth! I have taken the ancestry back quite a ways on several lines and its not even through my Czech dad that I am related to St. Ludmilla - it's through my Irish mother! ::laughing::

    R :?
  17. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    There are more myths about Blanik. This one about knight's army is probably based on unexpected defeat of enemy army close by Blanik in 15th century.

    The legend says that a huge army of Czech knights led by sv. Václav (St. Wenceslas) sleep inside the mountain. The knights will awake and help the Motherland when there will be worst of all times ever for Czech lands.


    There of course is theatre play from famous fictional national hero Jara Cimrman. In the play newspaper journalist sneaks into Blanik a talks to knights. He asks them, if he may write to newspaper, that they really will arise, when there will be worst of all times ever for Czech lands.

    "Yes, you may", knight answers, "and write there also, that if there are bad times, they allways can turn worse."


    ("if there are bad times, they allways can turn worse" is common Czech saying)
  18. rkasparek

    rkasparek Well-Known Member

    Interesting (and a beautiful picture as well)!

    Sounds like a perfect name for a fraternal or social organization dedicated to making things better for common folk... "The Knights of Blanik" :wink: Sort of like a benevolent society.

    Very Interesting story!
  19. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    It isn't so wrong. Chronicle of Cosmas is the only Czech chronicle from that era (this is only roughly delimited - in fact, Cosmas lived cca 150 years after Wenceslaus), but there's a lot of other sources (foreign chronicles, Latin legends, Slavic legends...).
    Yes, all these sources are fishy, especially when studying the Wenceslaus story. The Slavic sources often contradict the Latin sources, but I think we can accept at least the intersection of both points of view.

    It's only a legend, one of the typical theme of King in the mountain.
    Oh, eso, such a ignorance :D. It wasn't a journalist but a teacher searching for a answer for a unpleasantly inquiring schoolboy. :wink:
  20. rkasparek

    rkasparek Well-Known Member

    Interesting! Thank you Wer! Since I don't speak Czech, I will have to see if I can find a translated copy somewhere!


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