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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 620

 620 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES 
tile defeats represented a divine punishment which would sooner or later,
with God's help, turn into victory. If, however, as the Hussites could hope,
future battles could be won in the countries of the enemy, the impression
upon their inhabitants would be infinitely greater. After so many years of
military success tile Hussite claim that God had been and remained on their
side could no longer be considered an empty boast. What was even more dangerous
in the eyes of the church and the German princes was that with Czech armies
marching almost at will through the countries surrounding Bohemia, the "heretical
poison" might infect some of the masses of the people in Germany and elsewhere.
All these considerations strengthened the determination, especially of the
more active broth erhoods, to mount a steady sequence of campaigns into the
neighbor ing lands. Tiley would, of course, not use the term "crusade" for
these enterprises. Instead they called them "spanilé jizdy" (some
thing like "beautiful, noble rides").94 In the eyes of the neighbors who
until recently had felt quite safe these rides were anything but beautiful.
The usual defeat of the Catholics, and especialiy the vast destruction wrought
by the Hussite armies, resulted in a bitter reaction on the part of the victims.
There was, of course, hatred for the "heretics," but also a considerable
degree of disappointment and of accusations against those who presumably
had the responsibility for providing protection.95 These attacks were directed
against many of tile rulers, from Sigismund down to the various temporal
and ecclesiastical princes. But the relationship between the king and the
princes was bad enough to lead to mutual accusations of secret coOperation
with the "heretics." Sigismund himself was, in 1427 and the spring of 1428,
engaged in a struggle with the Turks over northern Serbia. He seemed, for
a short time, to be successful in establishing a strong fortress near the
Danubian port city of Golu bats, where however in late May 1428 he suffered
one of his worst defeats, barely escaping with his life and forfeiting Hungary's
strong claim to suzerainty over Serbia.96 
In this situation the king seemed to have very nearly forgotten tile urgent
problems of Bohemia and the empire. It was by no means the Hussite movement
alone with which he would have to deal. Just when the Holy Roman empire was
for the first time exposed to dangerous Hussite attacks, the realm was also
the theater of a 
 94. The term is used as the heading of the relevant chapter of Bartos, Husitska
revoluce, II, 46—76, and of that of Macek, Prokop Veliky, pp. 65—122.
 95. See, for example, U.B., I, 551 ff., 581—582. 
96. Aschbach, Geschichte Kaiser Sigmunds, II, 269—279. 


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