Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
XVII: The Crusades Against the Hussites, pp. 586-646 ff. PDF (24.0 MB)
Ch. XVII THE CRUSADES AGAINST THE HUSSITES 643 by Cesarini. 162 It could hardly be expected that mutual understand ing would be easy. Repeatedly it looked as if the negotiations would fail. The demand for a general truce was refused by Prokop the Great—still the dominant personality among the Czech leaders—since this would eliminate the only strong pressure which could be exerted upon the council. In almost all issues he was supported by the leading figure among the Utraquist clergy, John Rokycana. Both also tried to gain a concession which the council refused to grant: the rule that in all parts of Bohemia and Moravia communion under both kinds should be obligatory. For the Czechs it would mean the prevention of regional struggles within the realm. But in the eyes of the members of the council it would have meant forcing the princi ples of Utraquism upon those cities that had maintained the ortho dox Catholic ritual, such as Pilsen, and on the surrounding royalist castles whose owners were considered as the "Landfrieden" of Pilsen. Apart from one of the most impressive "beautiful rides"—the suc cessful march of the "Orphan" army, supporting its Polish ally in a war against the Teutonic Knights and getting as far as the West Prussian Baltic coast 163 —the armies of the brotherhoods hoped to enforce religious unity in Bohemia by besieging and conquering Pilsen. Since the Hussite demand could not be accepted by the council, the more determined Hussites decided to impose this change by military means. The enterprise against Pilsen, first limited to the Taborite field army under Prokop the Great, later also strengthened by "Orphans," proved a failure. 164 An attempt to seize provisions in neighboring Bavaria resulted in serious losses, and as the great priest-general was held responsible, some of his soldiers—many of them no longer devoted fighters for God—exploded in a mutiny and even kept Prokop under arrest for a short time, after which he left the army and settled in the New Town of Prague. This led to a considerable weakening of the military strength of the Taborites. In military terms this loss of power by the brotherhoods and their cities turned out to be the beginning of the end. In 1424 Zizka had defeated an army consisting of many nobles and of citizens of the Old Town of Prague. For ten years the fairly radical Taborite brotherhood, the somewhat 162. The history of the Hussite Czechs at Basel is well presented by Tomek, Dejepis Prahy, IV, 541—587, 689—713; by Bartos, Husitská revoluce, II, 120—162, 187—196; and in English by the concise but lively and excellent treatment of E. F. Jacob under the title "The Bohemians at the Council of Basel, 1433," in R. W. Seton-Watson's collection of articles called Prague Essays on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the Caroline University of Prague (Oxford, 1949). 163. Macek, Husite na Baltu a ye Velkopolsku (Prague, 1952). 164. Macek, Prokop Veliky, pp. 176 ff.
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