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Related to Taborites: Prokop the Great
, followers of John Huss. After the burning of Huss (1415) and Jerome of Prague (1416), the Hussites continued as a powerful group in Bohemia and Moravia. They drew up (1420) the Four Articles of Prague, demanding freedom of preaching, communion in both kinds (i.e.
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members of the revolutionary antifeudal wing of the Hussite revolutionary movement. The Taborite Community (hence the name Taborites) was made up of heterogeneous social elements: broad strata of the peasantry, the urban poor, the lower clergy, artisans, and a segment of the lower gentry.
Basic to Taborite thinking, especially in the first period of the movement, was the revolutionary antifeudal peasant and plebeian ideology, the basis of which was the chiliastic teaching about “god’s kingdom on earth,” a kingdom of universal equality and social justice. The Taborites rejected the sacraments of the church and the luxuriant Catholic cult, and some rejected all of the Christian sacred rites and ceremonies. The left wing of the movement was made up of the Pickarts, who were opposed by the moderate Taborites, favoring primarily the interests of the prosperous peasants and well-to-do townsmen. In 1421 the moderate Taborites cruelly dealt with the leaders of the Pickarts (Martin Houska, for example).
In spite of disagreements, the Taborites remained the major military force in rebellious Bohemia. They created a field army under the command of Jan Žižka and developed advanced military tactics that provided for maneuverability and the use of battle wagons and artillery. The Taborite army, led by Mikuláš z Husi, Žižka, and Prokop the Great, soundly defeated five crusades organized by the anti-Hussite reaction. Along with the “orphans,” as the troops who had served under Žižka’s direct command called themselves after his death, the Taborites made a series of marches outside Bohemia. The Taborites’ disagreements with the burgher and knight elements (the Calixtines, or Utraquists) led to an open war between them. In a number of battles in 1423 and 1424 the Calixtines were defeated. On May 30, 1434, however, the Taborite army suffered a defeat at the hands of the united forces of the Calixtines and the feudal Catholic camp in a battle at Lipany; individual Taborite detachments continued the fight until 1437, when their last fortress, Sion, fell.
REFERENCESSee references under HUSSITE REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT.
B. T. RUBTSOV