PRAGUE, ARCHBISHOPRIC OF: The city of Prague, situated in the central part of Bohemia, was founded in the eighth century near the site of the ancient ducal castle; and first gained a position of importance in history with the establishment of Christianity in the interior of Bohemia. The Christianization of this was accomplished in connection with that of Moravia under the Eastern missionary brothers Cyril and Methodius (see CYRIL AND METHODIUS), but after Bohemia had withdrawn from the Moravian kingdom and placed itself under German protection Bohemia became a part of the diocese of Regensburg in 895. Boleslaw II., the Pious, sent his sister Milada to the pope to appeal for the establishment of a separate bishopric, and
in 971 this was granted by John XIII. Half a century earlier Duke Wenzel had erected the Church of St. Veit, and this, as the church of the martyrs St. Veit and St. Wenzel, the pope designated as the cathedral. However, the step was opposed by the bishop of Regensburg and his chapter and not until 973, upon a compact with the Emperor Otto I., was the bishopric of Prague established. The act of creation was ratified by Benedict VI. and the emperor, and the new bishopric was attached to the archdiocese of Mainz. The new diocese was an extensive one, embracing Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, southern Poland, Galicia as far as Lemberg, and Slavic Hungary. The first bishop, proposed by the duke and unanimously chosen by the clergy and the people, was the Benedictine Dietmar (973-982); he was a Saxon who had lived in Bohemia, for many years and was familiar with the Slavic language. His successor was Adalbert (see ADALBERT OF
), the first native bishop, who introduced the Benedictine order and became the apostle of the Prussians, suffering martyrdom in 997. After 999 the erection of the dioceses of Cracow and Breslau diminished the area of that of Prague. In 1063 Moravia was separated. In 1212, after the elevation of the dukes to the kingship, the investiture of the bishop was conferred from the emperor upon. the king of Bohemia. In 1344, through the efforts of Emperor Charles IV., Prague was made an archbishopric by Clement VI., and the bishopric of Olmiitz and the recently formed bishopric of Leitomischl were subordinated to it. The first archbishop, Ernest of Pardubitz (1343-64), won great fame by his character and his wisdom and zeal in organization and administration. He proceeded to build the archcathedral and under him the university was founded in 1348. With the apostasy of Conrad and the rise of the Hussites the jurisdiction was inhibited and the foundations were destroyed and there followed a period (1431-1561) during which the archbishopric was in charge of administrators elected by the chapter. Emperor Ferdinand introduced the Jesuits to replace the orders whose foundations had been destroyed or taken, and for the privilege of naming the archbishop undertook the restoration of the despoiled archbishopric. With the " compacts " of the Council of Basel (1434) granting the use of the cup in the communion, a privilege not conceded until 1564 by Pope Pius IV., the return and ordination of the Utraquists (see HUSS
, II., §§ 4-7) were provided, on the conditions later of accepting the articles of Trent; and thus under the legate of the council, Philibert (1433-39), who performed the episcopal functions, and his successors, and, with the restoration of Ferdinand I., under Archbishop Antonio Brus (1561-80), Martin Medek (1581-90), and Zbynek (1592-1606), progress was made in the rehabilitation of the archbishopric, the reestablishment of a Roman Catholic clergy, and the return of the orders, so that by 1603 the laws of Trent were publicly proclaimed at a provincial synod and Zbynek resumed the rank of a prince of the realm. Ferdinand ordered a restoration of Roman Catholicism under penalty of confiscation of land property and by military coercion, the result of which was that Protestantism was stamped out. Adalbert now reorganized the archdiocese and established the bishopric of Leitmeritz in 1655 and of Koniggrii,tz in 1664. In 1777 Olmiitz was made an archbishopric, in 1785 the new bishopric of Budweis was withdrawn and the bishoprics of Leitmeritz and Koniggriitz were enlarged, so that the archbishopric of Prague was reduced to one-third of its former extent. At present the ecclesiastical province is composed of the archdiocese of Prague and the suffragan bishoprics of Leitmeritz, Koniggrfitz, and Budweis. Leitonlischl became extinct after 1474.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Sources are:
Regesta . . . Bohemia; et Moravia, ed. K. J. Erben and J. Emler, 5 parts, Prague,1855-92;
G. Dobner, Monumenta historica Boemia, 6 vols., Prague, 1764-85;
Seriptores rerum Bohemicarum, ed. F. M. Pelsal, J. Dobrowsky, and F. Palacky, 3 vols., Prague, 1783-1829;
Fontes rerum Bohemicarum, 5 vols., Prague, 1873-82. Consult: C. A. Pescheck, Geschichte der Gegenrejformation in Bömen, 2 vols., Dresden, 1844;
W. W. Tomsk, Geschichte der Stadt Prag, Prague, 1856;
C. Eckhardt, Geschichte der deutschen evangelischen Gerneinde in Prag, Prague, 1891;
J. Neuwirth, Prag, Leipsic, 1901;
F. Liitsow, The Story of Prague, London, 1902;
S. Binder, Die Hegemonie der Prager im Husitenkriege, Prague, 1903; HL, x. 280-303.