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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 601

Ch. XVII THE CRUSADES AGAINST THE HUSSITES 601 
before the battle on the VItkov, he was involved in an attempt to discuss
the Four Articles with some of the leading masters of the University, especially
the very nearly orthodox John Pribram, with the purpose of convincing the
more moderate Utraquist theologians that they ought to return to the orthodox
faith.37 It may be that this action, even though it ended in complete deadlock,
annoyed the pope, and it seems that he also held his legate at least partially
responsible for the whole pitiful failure of the first crusade. He decided
to replace bishop Ferdinand as legate to the empire with a man of more diplomatic
experience and a higher clerical rank, cardinal Branda of Castiglione.38
The fact that, after the failure of the 1420 crusade, another campaign was
started at a relatively early date was due largely to the energy of Branda,
and to the considerable influence he managed to gain, especially upon the
German prince-electors. Sigismund had to appear eager for renewed action,
if for no other reason than to prove that the rumor of his secret understanding
with the heretics was wrong, as in fact it was. At the end of November 1420
the king sent out letters to princes and cities suggesting the holding of
a Reichstag, which after many difficulties met in April 1421 at Nuremberg,
but in Sigismund's absence and with little success. The initiative slipped,
with the strong support of the legate, ever more clearly into the hands of
the Rhenish electors—the three archbishops of Mainz, Trier, and Cologne,
and the palsgrave Louis of Wittelsbach—who on April 23 concluded a
union directed against the Hussites and promising support for the king in
his actions,39 subject, however, to a prior understanding based on the consensus
of the four electors. A subse quent meeting of the electors at Wesel in May
tried, with rather limited success, to gain promises of military support
from the impe rial cities, a procedure which was repeated with greater results
at Mainz in June. Finally, in July, the planning that had begun at the previous
meetings was set down in detail at a conference at Boppard on the Rhine.
By this time a powerful alliance had been created which could put considerable
pressure on Sigismund. While the king did not take part personally in any
of the negotiations, he sent to Mainz and Boppard, as his special representative
with far-reaching powers, his chancellor George, bishop of Passau. The bishop
ex pressed to the electors the full agreement of the king, as well as his
37. See, on this, Pekar, Zizka, III, 69—72, and Heymann, Zizka, pp.
157—163. 
38. See, on him, Pastor, Geschichte der Papste, I, 283 ff., and Bartos, Husitskd
revoluce, I, 148. 
39. RTA, VIII, 28 ff. 


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