Jan Hus and the Hussite Wars

Jan Hus and the Hussite Wars

At the beginning of the XV century. The struggle of the Czech people against German domination and the Catholic Church was led by Jan Hus. He was born into a peasant family in the town of Gusintsy in the south of the Czech Republic. After graduating from Prague University, he received a master’s degree and began teaching theology there. Later he became dean of the faculty, twice served as rector of the university. It was the first rector – a Czech by nationality.

While preaching in the Bethlehem chapel, Jan Hus criticized the insatiability and greed of the higher clergy, called for the church to be deprived of property and subordinated to secular power, condemned Simonia and the sale of indulgences, and opposed German domination. In his opinion, the Holy Writ should be the sole authority in matters of faith and Christian rites, and not the orders of the popes and the decrees of the church councils. In addition, the preacher demanded that the worship and teaching be conducted in Czech. . For this he compiled a grammar and spelling of the Czech language.

The pope accused Ian Hus of heresy and demanded to punish him. The Czech preacher was summoned to the church cathedral in the city of Constanta. Here he was offered a choice: to renounce his views or die. But a deep faith in their rightness and human dignity did not allow Hus to give up his convictions. Then the council issued him a death sentence, and on July 6, 1415, he was burned as a heretic.


execution of Jan Hus became a signal for the deployment of a broad movement of his supporters – the Hussites. In July 1419 in Prague rebelled petty bourgeoises, and, in essence, the power of the king was liquidated. This event was the beginning of the Hussite wars.

In the Hussite movement, two currents were formed: the Chashniki and the Taborites. Chashniki mostly wealthy philistines and nobles – wanted to establish a single day of the clergy and laity rite of sacrament bread and wine. Such a complete rite of the Catholic Church was provided only for priests, the laity communicated only with bread. The cup was the symbol of the cupholders – a vessel for church wine. In addition, they demanded the holding of divine services in Czech.

XV century. Italian scholar, secretary of the papal curia Poggio Bracciolini on the condemnation of Jan Hus at the church cathedral in the city of Constanta

The chairman of the council suggested that Huss should renounce this; But that Cech, rising up, exclaimed: “I’m not going to retreat from my teaching and faith…”

So Sigismund persistently and severely suggested to Cech to renounce his teaching… Then Gus said this: “I can not renounce any position written or told by me…”

Everyone was so excited that they broke the tables and threw themselves at them with debris. Under this noise the emperor left. Could have gone and Gus, if he wanted. He, however, returned to his prison. When there was no one in the temple, Gus’s opponents rushed after him. They ordered to sound the alarm and guard the city gates so that he could not escape from the city. However, after entering the prison, Gus was found, who was kneeling and praying sincerely. The watchman did not even close the prison door, surprised by the nobility of Hus’s soul.

The Taborites were more determined. The name of this wing comes from the location of their fortified settlement – on Mount Tabor. They did not deny the demands of the chashniki, but they wanted radical political and ecclesiastical changes. Taborites advocated a state without a king, for universal equality and the abolition of peasant obligations. Taborites included impoverished knights and priests, peasants and townspeople.

In several battles the Hussites completely defeated the army of feudal Catholics. The main force of the Hussites was the army of the Taborites, led by the knight Jan Zizka. He skillfully led the infantry in the offensive and defense. Taborites invented a reinforcement of wagons. The Zaporozhye Cossacks built the same fortifications. In breaking up the camp, the Taborites fastened the wagons with chains, and boards were placed between them. Such fortifications and use of light cannons contributed to military success.

The pope and the emperor went to the trick: they satisfied the requirements of the chashniki, they stopped the fight. In 1434, the Chashniki, together with the German army, opposed the Taborites and defeated them in the Battle of Lipan. The Hussite wars as a whole ceased, although some of the surviving Taborites continued to fight, and their strengthening, Tabor, lasted until 1452.

At the end of the XV century. The Czech state became a model of religious tolerance among the Christian states of Europe: here the Catholic and independent Hussite church got along together. As a result of the Hussite wars, German domination was over and opportunities for the development of the Czech language and culture were created.

The rector is the head of the university.

Dean is the head of the faculty.

Indulgence – the papal charter on the “remission of sins” for an appropriate fee.

Jan Hus and the Hussite Wars