University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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

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

Page 604

swear never to adhere to them again. Sigismund did not gain any thing by
this policy, since nothing was so aptto unite the Hussites as a renewed attack
upon the Four Articles. Moreover, the king spent almost four weeks in Moravia,
mainly in Brno and Jihiava, both Catholic and mostly German cities, before
he finally entered Bo hemia. His first goal, understandably, was Kutná
Hora. This city had previously joined the Hussites within the Prague league
of cities, but the German-Catholic majority of the city's population hoped
to be liberated by the king, who had managed to form strong contacts with
the leading Germans within the city. The royalist army, however, took another
twenty days to march from Jihlava to the region of Kutná Hora (a distance
of less than fifty miles), still expecting more reinforcements. En route,
the crusading army, especially the Hun garians, committed as much destruction,
killing, and raping among the Czech people as possible.47 
The events from late October to mid-December 1421, as Sigis mund's activities
became known throughout Bohemia, were bound to unite tl1e Hussites, as always
happened when their land and faith seemed in real danger. Just as they had
done at the time of the 1420 crusade, the Praguers asked for help from the
Taborites, and again Zizka responded promptly. The enthusiasm of his reception
in Prague established his position as commander-in-chief of all Hussite troops.
Again the old soldier anticipated the king's intentions, and marched with
his combined forces—the field armies of Taborites and Orebites and
the troops and militias of Prague and of the cities under its suzerainty—toward
Kutná Hora.48 When the royal army ap proached from the west on December
21 Zizka stationed his own troops outside the gates, and there was a prolonged
fight which does not seem to have had any important consequences. Zizka was
not aware that in the meantime the Kutnohorian Germans, in an under standing
with the royalists, had planned a massacre of all Hussite Czechs in the city,
after which they opened the gates to such royalist troops as had been able
to approach the city at nightfall. By this bloody maneuver, planned and directed
by Pipo Spano, the Czech army found itself suddenly surrounded. The situation
looked nearly hopeless, but Zizka managed, by using his guns as field artillery,49
 47. Brezovâ, pp. 531—532. 
 48. See, on the battle of Kutná Hora, in addition to the general
sources J. Durdik, Husitské vojenstvi (Prague, 1953), pp. 145—148,
and Heymann, "Kutná Hora—MaIesov, Dva problemy topografie Zizkovych
bitev [Two problems of the topography of Zizka's bat tles] ," Ceskoslovensky)
casopis historicky, no. 9 (1961), pp. 75—8 1. 
49. This is the first case of the use of field artillery which can be proved
from the sources. 
See Heymann, Zizka, ka, pp. 294—296, which cites the sources. 

Go up to Top of Page