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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
(1975)

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


Page 593

Ch. XVII THE CRUSADES AGAINST THE HUSSITES 593 
hostility. While he hoped to split the Czech Utraquists, his harshness tended
in fact to unite them. 
 At first he seemed to be doing well, concluding a compact with Cenek of
Wartenberg, whose control of the Hradcany, the main castle largely dominating
the left bank of the Vltava (Moldau) river, gave the king a potentially strong
position in relation to the city. For a time it seemed that not only Cenek
but also other leading barons, including lord Ulrich of Rosenberg, who had
formerly been Cenek's ward and was to play a most important role later, could
enjoy access to the chalice as well as the benevolent understanding of the
king. This tolerance seemingly prevailed also at the December (1419) diet
of the Bohemian estates at Brno. 13 To this assembly the city of Prague sent
representatives, who asked forgiveness for earlier acts of resistance and
promised to do homage, but requested the right to defend publicly their understanding
of the faith, especially the chal ice for the laity. Sigismund's answer was
harsh. He demanded, before anything else, the complete removal of all recent
structures for military defense. On their embassy's return, the majority
of the people of Prague felt that they had no choice but to obey the king.
If he had immediately gone on to Prague, even with his relatively modest
army, he would have had a chance of gaining an easy and perhaps decisive
victory. 
 Sigismund, however, against the advice of the Czech Catholic nobles, decided
that he would not go to Prague until he had held the Reichstag in Breslau
and could afterward approach the Bohemian capital with a truly large and
powerful army. It was a fateful decision, but one which he made rather too
early. While in Bmo he had seemed to be willing, especially in his discussions
with the nobility, to consider the issue of the chalice as an open question.
Immediately upon his arrival in Breslau his whole attitude changed. 14 In
a substantial correspondence with some of the Ger man cities in Bohemia and
Lusatia during February and March the king urged preparation for war against
the "heretics."15 Finally, on March 17, 1420, the papal legate, Ferdinand,
bishop of Lucena, read from the pulpit the text of the bull Omnium plasmatoris
domini, 16 which solemnly proclaimed a crusade with the task of exterminating
all "Wyclifites, Hussites, other heretics, and those favoring, accept 
13. Heymann, Zizka, pp. 105—107. 
14. For the main events at the Breslau Reichstag, see RTA, vol. VII. 
 15. Pa1acky, Urkundliche Beitrage zur Geschichte der Hussitenkriege, I,
15 ff. and later (cited as U.B.). 
16. U.B., I, 17—18. 


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