The Story of Bohemia

The Story of Bohemia  (1895) 
by Frances Gregor
John Hus before the Council of Constance

JOHN HUS BEFORE THE COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE.—See Page 169.

Frontispiece

THE STORY OF BOHEMIA

BY

FRANCES GREGOR

CINCINNATI: CRANSTON & CURTS
NEW YORK: HUNT & EATON
1895

Copyright

BY CRANSTON & CURTS

1895

Story of Bohemia, headpiece.jpg

PREFACE.

The purpose of this little volume is to supply a long-felt want among the Bohemian people; to provide the English-reading public with a concise and trustworthy account of the chief events in Bohemian history. As there is no other work of the kind in the English language, it seems that this one will be gratefully accepted.

The book makes no pretensions to originality. The statements, as far as possible, were taken almost verbatim from Tomek and Palacký, and, in many instances, their quotations were also made use of. The Bohemian people have a great number of histories of their nation, large and small, written in popular style, and also those excelling in profound scholarship; but all these modern works have their sources in Tomek and Palacký, which are the grand repositories of historical information of the Bohemian nation.

In this work references are not given, partly because there would be so many that the pages would fairly bristle with them; but mostly because the book is intended for the ordinary student, whose time is too limited to make a thorough study of this little corner of the world’s history. More thorough scholars would go to the larger works, which are published in German, as well as in the Čech tongue.

In regard to names, some deviation has been made from the spelling generally adopted by historians. As the Bohemians are supposed to know best how to spell their own Slavonic names, the original spelling has been, in many cases, retained, in preference to that given by foreigners. Thus, Hus is spelled with one s; Sigismund, Sigmund; Vincenslaus, Václav; Procopius, Prokop; but, in inmost cases, the name has been translated into an equivalent English one. Some readers might object that too much space has been allotted to the Hussite wars. The events in this period of Bohemian history give us a deeper insight into the character of the common people than could be obtained in any other way. During the other periods, the interest seems to circle about the royal family and the nobility, the people being left entirely out of sight; but during the long struggle, known as the Hussite wars, we learn to know the people, their strength of character, their patriotism, and, indeed, all those other virtues that have enabled them to preserve their individuality and their language in the face of the most frightful disasters and persecutions. This important period shows that Bohemia was behind no nation upon the earth in having its due proportion of men “strong in great things.”

The book is sent forth with the hope that its pages may remove many a prejudice and misunderstanding, and so contribute its mite to bring about the feeling of the brotherhood of all men.

the author.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.
Page.
From the Earliest Times to the Introduction of Christianity,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
13
Characteristics of the Slavs—Samo, about 600 A. D.— Krok and His Daughters—The Maidens’ War—Bohemia and Charlemagne.
CHAPTER II.
From the Introduction of Christianitz to the Reign of Ottokar II,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
20
Beginning of Christianity in Bohemia—Swatopluk and Borivoi—St. Ludmila— St. Václav—The Murder of Václav—Boleslav I— St. Vojtech, or Adelbert— Boleslav II— Boleslav III— St. Prokop—Bretislav—Spytihnév— Vratislav I—Bretislav II—Borivoi—Massacre of the Wirsovs—Vladislav I—Sobeslav I— Vladislav II—Frederick and Sobeslav II—Premysl Ottokar I—King Václav I—The Invasion of the Tartars—State Institutions.
CHAPTER III.
From Premysl Ottokar II to the Reign of Charles IV,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
85
Premysl Ottokar II— His Military Career—War with Bavaria—With Hungary—Wedding of Kunigunda and Bela—Ottokar’s Divorce—His Fall—Otto of Brandenburg—Regency of Zavis of Falkenstein—His Death—King Václav II—Made King of Poland—The Bohemian State under the Premsyls—Rudolph of Austria and Henry of Carinthia—King John of Luxemburg—Václav III—Queen Elizabeth’s Death—Prince Charles..
CHAPTER IV.
From Charles IV to the Hussite Wars,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
125
Charles IV — Archbishop of Prague—Journey to Rome—The University—Bohemian Language—Reform in Law—The Golden Bull—The Growth of Clerical Power—The Prince Václav—Death of Charles IV—His Personal Appearance—Agriculture—War—Chivalry—Dress—Social Condition and Civilization in Bohemia in the Fourteenth Century—Dometic life—Religion—Schools—Art and Architecture— The Bohemian Reformation—The Forerunners of Hus—Conrad Waldhausen—Millič of Kremsier—Thomas Stitný—Master Matthias of Janov—Master John Protiva—King Václav IV—The Great Schism—Massacre of the Jews—John of Nepomuk—Revolt of the Nobles—Václav loses the Imperial Crown—John Hus—The German Exodus from the University—Indulgences—Jerome of Prague.
CHAPTER V.
From the Hussite Wars to the Reign of Sigmund,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
173
The Hussite Wars—The Beginning of the Taborites—Queen Sophia and Čenek of Wartenberg—Cruelties of the Miners of Kuttenberg—Crusade against Bohemia—The Beginning of War—The Battle of Vitkov—Cruelties of the War—War Continued—The Millennium—The Adamites—The Taborites—The Diet at Caslau—War Continued—The Second Crusade against Bohemia—The Battle of Zatetz—The Embassy to Poland—Sigmund’s Campaign in the South—The Polish Alliance—Žižka’s Attitude towards Sigmund Corvinus—The Siege of Carlstein—Internal Troubles—Žižka takes the Offensive—Return of Sigmund Corvinus to Prague—Last Days of Žižka—Biographical Sketch—War Continued—The Event at Radkov—Sigmund’s Alliances—War Continued—Battle of Aussig—Fall of Sigmund Corvinus—The Battle of Tachov—The Corvinus Conspiracy—The Siege of Kolin—Negotiations for Peace—Result of the Hussite Success—The Council of Basil—Preparations for the Crusade—The Great Day at Domalitz—The Council of Basil—Proceedings of the Council—The Prague Diet—The Noblemen’s League—Battle of Lipan—Negotiations with the Council of Basil.
CHAPTER VI.
From Sigmund to Ferdinand I, or the Establishment of the Hapsburg Dynasty,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
291
The Reign of Sigmund—Sigmund and the Taborites—The Reign of Albert—The Interregnum—The Religious Power of the Taborites Broken—George Podébrad—Capture of Prague by George Podébrad—The Monk Capistran—Embassy to Constantinople—King Ladislav—George Podébrad elected King of Bohemia—King George and Pius I—Insurrection against Emperor Frederick—The Age of George Podébrad—Some Distinguished Men of the Age—John Rokycan—Peter Čelcičky—Brother Gregory—Customs and Morals of the People—Extracts from the Writings of Čelcičky—Vladislav II—Feudalism—Socage—Law of Decease—Rebellion—King Louis—Rise of Lutheranism in Bohemia.
CHAPTER VII.
From the Establishment of the Hapsburg Dynasty to the Reign of Matthias,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
358
Ferdinand I—His Reign—The Religious Question—The Small Side, Prague, burned—States in Opposition to Ferdinand—Struggle between Ferdinand and the States—The Bloody Diet—Maximilian the Heir of the Bohemian Crown—Maximilian’s Accession—Rudolph II—Matthias against Rudolph—The Diet of 1609—The Letter of Majesty—Rudolph’s Plots—Troubles begin—Matthias Emperor.
CHAPTER VIII.
From Matthias to the Close of the Thirty Years’ War,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
386
Matthias—Condition of the Peasants—The Reign of Matthias—Diet of 1615—Ferdinand the Successor of Matthias—Trouble about building Churches—The People robbed—The Regents thrown out of the Window—Rudolph Insane—The Anti-reformation—Directors elected—War begins Ferdinand II—Becomes Emperor—Help from the South—From Spain, Italy, Bavaria and Poland—Protestant League—Frederick’s Unhappy Reign—War continued—Varying Fortunes—Battle of White Mountain—Maximilian appointed Viceroy—Punishment of Bohemia—Compulsory Conversions—Protestant Pastors expelled—General Exile—John Amos Komensky—Reconstruction in the Government—Wallenstein—His Death—Ferdinand III—The War continued—Close of the War—Condition of the Country—Education and Literature depressed.
CHAPTER IX.
From Leopold to Modern Times,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
435
Leopold accedes to the Throne—Joseph I his Successor—Maria Theresa—The Seven Years’ War—Joseph II succeeds his Father as Emperor—Changes introduced by Maria Theresa and Joseph II—Further Reforms in Education—Joseph’s Plans of Centralization—The Socage Patent and Uprising of the Peasants—Torture abolished—Joseph II as a Reformer in Government—The Toleration Patent—Innovations—Dissatisfaction with Joseph’s Government—Leopold II—Francis I—Ferdinand I—Material and Intellectual Progress—Literary Renaissance—Various Authors—Revolution of 1848—Results—Slavonic Congress—Reactionary Movements—Prince Windischgratz—Francis Joseph—Charles Havliček—Repressive Policy of the Government—Present Condition.

ILLUSTRATIONS.

page.
John Hus before the Council of Constance,
Charles IV Founding the University of Prague,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
128
John Hus,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
157
Death of John Žižka,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
242
Return of the Bohemian Exiles,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
360
Rudolph II, King and Emperor,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
374
John Amos Komensky,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
420
John Kollár, Author of “Slava’s Daughter,”
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
463
Francis L. Čelakovsky,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
464
Francis Palacký, Author of “History of Bohemia,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
465
Ferdinand V, the Good,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
467
Charles Havliček
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
485


This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.