God’s Warriors from the Czech Kingdom – the Terror of Central and Eastern Europe in the First Half of the 15th Century
Papajík, David (History Department, Palacký University in Olomouc)
International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Vol. 2 No. 4 [Special Issue – February 2012]
This study is aimed at presenting an interesting phenomenon of Medieval European history, the Hussites, who occupied the attention of Central and Eastern Europe for a significant period of time in the first half of the fifteenth century and who could not be defeated by a number of crusader campaigns. This was the first time, and for a major period of time, the last instance when Czech history had become a subject of interest for a major part of Europe.
One should begin by clarifying several basic concepts. Undoubtedly, not every inhabitant of the Czech Kingdom viewed themselves as God’s warrior and not even all of those who lifted arms against foreign enemies considered themselves in these terms. Nevertheless, it can be argued that the majority of these warriors perceived themselves in the position of people fighting for the rights of God with an interest in establishing the order of God on earth. These included the most renowned commander of the time in Czech history, Jan Ţiţka of Trocnov, originally a minor nobleman, who viewed himself as the extended arm of God, as a man chosen by God to enforce divine law on earth. The fact that Ţiţka rode on a white horse can also be interpreted in light of the text of the Book of Revelation where the victorious army of Jesus Christ (God’s warriors) arrives on white horses. Ţiţka thus portrayed himself in the position of a knight of the Apocalypse, God’s knight leading an army of God’s warriors.