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The Deeds of Wiprecht


In the year of the Lord 1079. There was a battle between Henry [IV] and Rudolf in the place that is called Flarchheim, where in the initial clash, the Saxons turned their backs. There Vratislav, duke and king of Bohemia, gained possession of Rudolf’s royal lance; thereafter, with Emperor Henry's permission, at every festivity it always preceded in procession whatever the insignia were from the duchy of that people.1 And Wiprecht, who was always prominent in warlike events, was present at this battle.
In the year of the Lord 1080. King Vratislav of Bohemia, getting set to invade the Saxons, passed through the district of Nisen with Wiprecht as guide. The Czech made a sudden incursion from Wurzen to Leipzig and laid waste to everything. He received advice from Wiprecht that he ought to wait for his coming at [Hohen]wussen, until Wiprecht had ravaged the places around Belgern. As these things were happening, news of their invasion suddenly became known to everyone in the neighborhood. Immediately giving the call to arms, many thousands quickly joined together. They approached the Czechs, who were placed in an uneasy position. Struggling against the enemy with all his men, the Czech nearly lost the vanguard. But when Wiprecht came up, they turned the Saxons to flight and killed very many of them. Thus was the returning man's skill with a sword made plain to the Czechs. Meanwhile, the emperor returned from Italy and announced to the Czech his court at Regensburg. There, he gathered an army. The Bavarians, along with the Czechs and the rest of the peoples from Germany, crossed through the territory of the town of Weida and arrived at a fortification by the name of Mölsen near the Elster River. There, the Saxons with King Rudolf, elected three years before, met the emperor. The battle was engaged, and did not drag on long. The emperor’s army began to flee and was cut down everywhere from Mölsen all the way to the village of Weiderau. While the Saxons were pursuing them zealously, King Rudolf was gravely wounded in the right arm and carried off to Merseburg. He died three days later, with great penance for so much rebellion and slaughter committed on his account. He was honourably buried in that same place. With the emperor’s army scattered everywhere, each returned home, having abandoned the king. Vratislav and Wiprecht, who had been present at the same battle, led the emperor away with a few men through Bohemia. They had not yet learned of King Rudolf’s ruin.
At that time, Wiprecht received in benefice from Bishop Walram of Zeitz the district Bautzen, with 1,100 mansi adjacent to the same place. Provided with these and many other estates and benefices (which it would be tedious to enumerate one by one), he gained extraordinary praise among the nobles of this province for his strength and integrity. But because praise accompanies strength and envy praise, many of the princes pursued him with manifest hatred, for all power is impatient with a partner.
Hence, his rival, Margrave Ekbert of Brunswick, slowly consumed by envy, strove to attack his lands with a large army. He soon passed by the castle at Teuchern. Having heard this, Wiprecht ordered his men to grab their arms immediately and to attack that man, who was imagining nothing of the sort. The margrave, terrified by the unexpected attack, considered the safety of flight. But with his adversaries seriously pressing upon him in pursuit, the fight was engaged near the same castle. There, a certain miles, who was most dear to Ekbert, attacked Wiprecht with a lance. He thrust through Wiprecht’s shield and knocked out two of his teeth. Wiprecht immediately pierced him with his sword and, with due retaliation, divided his forehead down the middle. Then he turned the margrave’s whole multitude to flight. In the year of the Lord 1081. In the year of the Lord 1082. In the year of the Lord 1083. In the year of the Lord 1084. In the year of the Lord 1085. In the year of the Lord 1086. In the year of the Lord 1087. In the year of the Lord 1088. In the year of the Lord 1089. In the year of the Lord 1090. Margrave Ekbert, having enlarged his army, was again thinking about attacking Wiprecht's territories. But before he drew near to them, he died dishonourably in a certain mill.