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Balthasar Hübmaier

domains. He was not ignorant of the fact that Moravia was, just then, the chief hotbed of heresy in Europe, and so soon as he could make his authority felt in the province he began to demand the co-operation of the nobles to suppress heresy and punish heretics. A general edict, bearing date August 28, 1527, required instant and strict enforcement of the decree of the Diet of Worms, and directed that special pains be taken by magistrates and governors to bring to punishment those who were practising rebaptism and denied the venerable sacrament of the altar.[1] Special edicts relating to affairs in Moravia were issued later, but this was the one under which the arrest and prosecution of Hübmaier occurred.

The terms of the edict make it plain that, among all the heretics, the Anabaptists were singled out for especial severity. The writings that Hübmaier had been so industriously composing and circulating were now read far beyond the bounds of Moravia, and the hereditary domains of Ferdinand were beginning to feel the result of the evangelical agita-

  1. Loserth, p. 171, from the State archives. Cf. Beck, Geschichts-Bücher, p. 60, n. i.