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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 598

reserves for the payment of the German and Hungarian mercenaries had already
been exhausted, and his earlier expectation of getting money or precious
metals from the hoped-for conquest of Prague was soon completely disappointed.
To deal with the danger of open rebellion among the soldiers he recklessly
confiscated all the precious metals and jewelry to be found in the cathedral
of St. Vitus and in other churches on the Hradcany,29 which barely sufficed
to pay his debts. By the end of July the German princes returned to their
lands, and Sigismund himself raised the siege and went, with his now limited
army of about 16,000 men, to Kutná Hora. His only signifi cant military
enterprise in the following weeks was a strong attempt to relieve the Vysehrad
castle, to which the Praguers had laid siege in September, since in royal
hands it could still have military as well as, perhaps, political influence.
However, the king, as usual, was late in his movements, waiting for troops
expected from royalist nobles of Moravia. On November 1 a battle took place
between Sigismund's army and a Hussite army30 led by lord Hynek Krusina of
Lichten burg, the military leader of a growing brotherhood in eastern Bo
hemia called Orebites (after Mount Horeb), whose structure was rather similar
to that of Tábor. Krusina had been asked to take over the leadership
of the Prague forces when the Taborites under Zizka had left for the south
in late August; Tábor sent only a small contingent to help in this
struggle near Prague. The battle was won by the Hussites, with even heavier
royalist losses than at the battle on the Vitkov, especially among the Moravian
Meanwhile the Taborites had made considerable gains in southern and western
Bohemia, and had weakened especially the position of Ulrich of Rosenberg,
Sigismund's strongest ally in Bohemia, who was forced to conclude an armistice
on terms dictated by Zizka. At the beginning of 1421 the king made another
attempt to regain a broader basis in Bohemia, especially in the west where
he received some German support. However, when the combined armies of Tábor
and Prague approached, he did not dare risk another battle. He moved eastward,
making a wide detour through northern Bohemia, and in March he left Bohemia
and Moravia altogether. For some time minor fights occurred, skirmishes between
Hussites and Catholic Bohemians and invasions from neighboring territories,
including Silesia and Lu satia, both dependencies of the Bohemian crown.
On the whole, however, with Sigismund out of the country and even the offshoots
of the first great crusade withering in utter failure, 
29. Brezová, p. 396. 
30. Heymann, Zizka, pp. 175—180, with a source bibliography in note
22 on p. 178. 

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