Wenceslaus (also Wenceslas; Czech: Václav IV.; German: Wenzel, nicknamed der Faule ("the Idle")) was, by inheritance, King of Bohemia (as Wenceslaus IV) from 1363 and by election, German King (formally King of the Romans) from 1376. He was the third Bohemian and fourth German monarch of the Luxembourg dynasty. Wenceslaus was deposed in 1400 as King of the Romans, but continued to rule as Bohemian king until his death.
Wenceslaus was born in the Imperial city of Nuremberg, the son of Emperor Charles IV by his third wife Anna von Schweidnitz, a scion of the Silesian Piasts, and baptized at St. Sebaldus Church. He was raised by the Prague Archbishops Arnošt of Pardubice and Jan Očko z Vlašimi. His father had the two-year-old crowned King of Bohemia in 1363 and in 1373 also obtained for him the Electoral Margraviate of Brandenburg. When in 1376 Charles IV asserted Wenceslaus' election as King of the Romans by the prince-electors, two of seven votes, those of Brandenburg and Bohemia, were held by the emperor and his son themselves.
On Charles' death in 1378, Wenceslaus inherited the Crown of Bohemia and as Emperor-elect assumed the government of the Holy Roman Empire. In the cathedral of Monza there is preserved a series of reliefs depicting the coronations of the kings of Italy with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. The seventh of these depicts Wenceslaus being crowned in the presence of six electors, he himself being the seventh. The depiction is probably not accurate and was likely made solely to reinforce the claims of the cathedral on the custody of the Iron Crown.
Wenceslaus died in 1419 of a heart attack during a hunt in the woods surrounding his castle Nový Hrad at Kunratice (today a part of Prague), leaving the country in a deep political crisis. His death was followed by almost two decades of conflict called the Hussite Wars, which were centred on greater calls for religious reform by Jan Hus and spurred by popular outrage provoked from his martyrdom.
|Reigned as||In Country||From||To||Coins Issued|
|Margrave-elector Wenzel, King of Bohemia as Wenceslaus IV||Brandenburg, Margraviate of||2 October 1373||29 November 1378|
|Václav IV. (King Wenceslaus IV)||Bohemia||29 November 1378||16 August 1419|
|Duke Wenceslas II, King of Bohemia as Wenceslaus IV||Luxemburg, Duchy of||7 December 1383||1388|