Procopius the Great

Procopius the Great,

Czech Prokop Holý, d. 1434, Czech Hussite leader. A priest, he joined the Hussite movement (see HussitesHussites
, 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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) and distinguished himself as a captain under John ZizkaZizka, John
, Czech Jan Žižka , d. 1424, Bohemian military leader and head of the Hussite forces during the anti-Hussite crusades of Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund.
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 in the Hussite WarsHussite Wars,
series of conflicts in the 15th cent., caused by the rise of the Hussites in Bohemia and Moravia. It was a religious struggle between Hussites and the Roman Catholic Church, a national struggle between Czechs and Germans, and a social struggle between the landed
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. He succeeded Zizka as head of the radical Hussites or Taborites after Zizka's death (1424) and commanded in the great Hussite victory (1426) against the Saxon forces of the anti-Hussite Crusade at Usti-nad-Labem. In the subsequent four years Procopius led Hussite forces to victory in Hungary, Silesia, Saxony, and Thuringia and commanded the Czech forces against a new crusade launched by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund in 1431. The crushing defeat that he inflicted (Aug., 1431) on the crusaders at Domazlice led to peace negotiations (1432) at Eger (Cheb) between the Hussites and representatives of the Council of Basel (see Basel, Council ofBasel, Council of,
1431–49, first part of the 17th ecumenical council in the Roman Catholic Church. It is generally considered to have been ecumenical until it fell into heresy in 1437; after that it is regarded as an anticouncil.
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). Procopius, however, continued to campaign in Lusatia, Silesia, and Brandenburg even after Hussite delegates had arrived (1433) at Basel to negotiate a religious compromise. He rejected the Compactata, arrived at by the council, which reconciled the Utraquists, the moderate wing of the Hussites, with the Roman Catholic Church. The Utraquists and Catholics of Bohemia then united against the Taborites, whom they crushed (1434) at Lipany; Procopius died in the battle. As a general, Procopius was a worthy successor of Zizka. His ally Procopius the Little, Czech Prokupek, d. 1434, was a leader of the Orphans (formerly the "Union," led by Zizka), a less radical group close to the Taborites. He commanded at the unsuccessful siege (1432–34) of Pilsen, a Catholic stronghold, and he too perished in the battle of Lipany.
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