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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 599

the position of the Hussites was enormously strengthened. The surrender of
the Vysehrad was followed, a few months later, by that of the Hradcany. Prague
had been able to hold out with the two great castles still in enemy hands,
so its defenses were now even stronger. The royalist party, realizing this,
and seeing Zizka and the Taborites still active, especially in southern and
western Bohemia, hardly dared to show itself. It was characteristic that
Cenek of Wartenberg, concerned for his rich possessions and no longer expect
ing the king to win out, turned back, for the second time, to the Hussites.31
He was not the only leading baron to do this, but it was perhaps of even
greater significance that Conrad of Vechta, the German-born archbishop of
Prague, who only recently had crowned Sigismund king of Bohemia, joined the
Hussite side and declared his adherence to the "Four Articles of Prague."
These articles were increasingly the unifying basic charter of the revolutionaries.
32 They demanded freedom of preaching, the offer ing of the chalice to laymen,
the restriction of the priesthood to its religious duties without any power
or wealth, and the proper punish ment of all public mortal sins. The Four
Articles were also solemnly confirmed by a great diet which was held at Caslav
in early June 1421 and which, through the strong representation of the estates
of Bohemia and Moravia, had all the characteristics of a national assem bly.33
This meeting deposed Sigismund, claiming that he had "never been accepted
as king," and that he was a "notorious despiser of the sacred truths proven
from the Scriptures" and "the deadly enemy of the honor and the people of
the Czech nation." The assembly also appointed a regency council of twenty
men representing the three estates, including especially the cities of Prague
and Tábor. 
The council was given only a limited time for operation since there was already
a strong hope that grand duke Alexander Vitold of Lithuania, a cousin of
king Vladislav II (Wladyslaw, in Polish) Jagiel lo of Poland, would accept
the crown of Bohemia, which was offered to him in repeated negotiations.
The seeming willingness of Vitold, not completely shared by Vladislav, was
largely a reaction to the fact that at the Reichstag of Breslau king Sigismund
had, in arbitrating between Poland-Lithuania and the order of Teutonic Knights
over the fate of the province of Samogitia, decided essentially in favor
of the Knights. For a rather long time Sigismund was considered an 
31. Ibid., p. 217, and Brezová, p.483. 
32. Heymann, Zizka, chapter 10 (pp. 148—163), and Bartos, Do ctyr artykulu
33. Heymann, "The National Assembly of Cáslav," Medievalia et humanistica,
VIII (1954), 32—55; also in Zilka, pp. 220—240; and cf. Seibt,
Hussitica, pp. 167—176. 

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