The followers of John Huss, so called from the fortified city of Tabor, erected on a mountain, in the circle of Bechin, in Bohemia, which had been consecrated by the field preaching of Huss. The gentle and pious mind of that martyr never could have anticipated, far less approved of, the terrible revenge which his Bohemian adherents took upon the emperor, the empire, and the clergy, in one of the most dreadful and bloody wars ever known. The Hussites commenced their vengeance by the destruction of the convents and churches, on which occasions many of the priests and monks were murdered. John Ziska, a Bohemian knight, formed a numerous, well-mounted, and disciplined army, which built Tabor, as above described, and rendered it an impregnable depot and place of defenceHe was called Ziska of the Cupbecause one great point for which the Hussites contended was the use of the cup by the laity in the sacrament. At his death, in 1424, the immense mass of people whom he had collected fell to pieces; but, under Procopius, who succeeded Ziska as general, the Hussites again rallied, and gained decisive victories over, the imperial armies in 1427 and 1431. After this, as all parties were desirous of coming to terms of peace, the Council of Basle interposed, and a compromise was made; but hostilities again broke out in 1434, when the Taborites gained a complete victory. Owing, however, to the treachery of Sigismund, whom they had aided in ascendine the throne, they were much weakened; and from this time they abstained from warfare, and maintained their disputes with the Catholics only in the deliberations of the Diet, and in theological controversial writings, by means of which their creed acquired a purity and completeness which made it similar, in many respects, to the Protestant confessions of the sixteenth century. Encroachments were gradually made on their religious freedom, and they continued to suffer until they gradually merged into the Bohemian Brethren, which see.
A theological Dictionary – London 1833
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