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Boleslaus III (Czech: Boleslav III. Ryšavý) (died 1037), called the Red(-haired) or the Blind, was the duke of Bohemia from 999 until 1002 AD. He was the "worst of all men who ever sat on the Bohemian throne." The eldest son of Boleslav II the Pious, Boleslav III was a weak ruler in whose chaotic reign Bohemia became a pawn in the long war between the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II and Boleslaw the Brave, King of Poland. By 1002, a revolt organized by Vršovci grandees (along with Boleslav's son-in-law) forced Boleslav to flee to Germany where he was received by Henry I of Austria. At first Henry ordered his guest's arrest because of some old offence, but soon forgave him and promised support. Boleslaw's kinsman Vladivoj took the Czech throne, but he was a drunk and died during the year. After Vladivoj's death the nobles invited Jaromir and Oldrich from exile, the former took the duke's throne. On February 9, 1003, Boleslav the Red was restored to authority with armed support from of Boleslaw I the Brave of Poland. Boleslav's brothers Jaromir and Oldrich fled to Germany and placed themselves under the protection of Henry II. The duke soon undermined his own position by ordering a massacre of his leading nobles, the Vršovci, at Vyšehrad. According to Thietmar, Boleslav slashed his son-in-law to death with his own sword. The tragedy occurred during Lent. Nobles who survived secretly sent messengers to Boleslaw I the Brave of Poland and entreated him to save them. The Polish duke willingly agreed, and invited his Czech namesake to visit him at his castle (probably in Kraków). There, Boleslav III was trapped, blinded and imprisoned, probably dying in captivity some thirty years later. Boleslaw I the Brave of Poland, claiming the ducal throne for himself, invaded Bohemia in 1003 and took Prague without any serious opposition ruling as Boleslaus IV for a little over a year. Preceded by Boleslaus II Duke of Bohemia 999–1002 Succeeded by Vladivoj References Thietmar of Merseburg. Chronik. Neu übertragen und erläutet von W. Trillmich, B. 1957. Cosmas of Prague. Chronicle of Bohemians.