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Reform and the Lower Consistory in Prague, 1437–1497

Reform and the Lower Consistory in Prague, 1437–1497

By Thomas A. Fudge

Bohemian Reformation and Religious Practice, Vol.2 (1996)

Introduction: Not until 9 September 1437 did the spirit of radical Hussitism depart from the forefront of public affairs in Bohemia. On that date Jan Roháè of Dubá and the garrison of Sión Castle were hanged by King Sigismund on a three-story gallows in Prague. It was the end to a gallant struggle against the Roman Church and the Empire; a struggle which had spanned more than two decades. Subsequent to the fall of Sión, Hussite religion lost the power to exist successfully alongside the Roman Church without concession and negotiation. The contours of Bohemian Reformation began to change. It is not possible to sustain the argument that the Podìbradian age was an integral continuation of revolutionary Hussitism. By the end of the 1430s the Hussite movement was in no danger of falling into oblivion. But the course of history had dictated a very different path to the one followed from the time of Jan Hus’ death (1415) to the crushing of the Hussite “warriors of God”. The glory of Tábor had faded, but the spirit of reform continued unabated. The revolutionary period of Hussite religion had begun in 1409 and essentially ended in 1437 at Sión. The Podìbradian-Jagellonian period constitutes the second stage in Hussite history and lasted until 29 August 1526 when the Bohemian King Louis Jagiellon fell in the Ottoman victory at Mohács.

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