8. Fighting All Over Europe
During his reign, John of Bohemia fought against Hungary, Austria, England, and the Russians, campaigned in the Tyrol and northern Italy, and expanded his domain by acquiring Silesia, parts of Lusatia, and most of Lombardy. He lost his eyesight from ophthalmia in 1336 while crusading against the pagan Lithuanians. Any popularity he might have gained at home was offset, however, by heavy taxation to pay for his lavish expenses.
John had strong ties to France, and having been raised and educated in Paris, was virtually French in his outlook and sympathies. He even sent his own son to be educated in Paris, rather than in his own Bohemian capital of Prague. When King Philip VI of France asked for his help against England’s Edward III, John, despite his blindness, came to the French monarch’s aid. French and Bohemian kings met him in Paris in August, 1346, and marched off together in pursuit of the English king.