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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

XVII: The Crusades Against the Hussites,   pp. 586-646 ff. PDF (24.0 MB)

Page 592

August 1419, in close cooperation with Cenek, summoned a diet in Prague.
With the agreement of all three estates (lords, gentry, and royal cities),
the diet had formulated certain demands to which they insisted Sigismund
accede before he would be accepted as king of Bohemia.11 Among these demands
was that for the freedom within the kingdom of communion under both kinds
(sub utraque specie, hence the term "Utraquists" for its proponents). Moreover,
the king must agree to intercede with the pope for the freedom of Hussite
worship, and urge him to desist from any further denunciation of the Czech
nation as heretical. Finally, he was required to promise to help toward reforms
in the church, particularly regarding simony, and to disregard all papal
bulls against Bohemia until a final accommodation between Sigismund and the
Bohemian estates had been achieved. The king was also asked to avoid giving
any offices to people (mostly Germans) who had been exiled under king Wenceslas,
nor should foreigners, especially Germans, be given any administrative offices
in the cities of Bohemia wherever Czechs were available. Sigismund never
directly answered these demands. 
During the months from August to December 1419 the leadership in Prague had
undergone some weakening, primarily because John Zizka, formerly the captain
of king Wenceslas's palace guard but soon the most active and most successful
military leader of the revolutionary wing in Prague, had left the city. He
had been in conflict with the city authorities ever since the latter had
returned the great Vysehrad castle, earlier occupied by Zizka's troups, to
the royalists. For some time Zizka had occupied the city of Pilsen, but lie
had eventually been forced to evacuate this important western center as well.
Early in 1420 he established himself in the newly built fortress-town of
Hradistè, thenceforth called Tábor. This new revolu tionary
center in the south of the country was, for a long time, to play a nearly
decisive role in the Hussite movement. 12 
For Sigismund the existence of a radical wing seemed, in a way, to be a considerable
advantage. Its hostility not only to him as king but also to the whole institution
of the Catholic church would strengthen the support that he could expect
from Rome. But he was not satisfied with struggling against radicalism. He
was determined also to destroy those less radical deviations which might
make his situation difficult. And in executing this policy he immediately
aroused great 
 11. Archiv cesky, III, 206—208; also Bartos, op. cit., pp. 72 ff.,
and Heymann, John Zizka and the Hussite Revolution, pp. 70 ff. (cited as
 12. Heymann, Zizka, pp. 87—88,94 ff.; Kaminsky, Revolution, pp. 334
ff.; and especially Macek, Tábor v husitském revolucnim hnuti,
in both volumes. 

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