Jan Hus † 6 July1415 – 600 years of the Council of Constance

On the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the death of Jan Hus, we are presenting the work of this Prague theologian and church reformer. You will find more information in:

  • three introductory essays
  • essays and reviews
  • a special bibliography
  • retro-digitised special literature.

The main focus is on the significance of Hus, the Hussite movement and the Council of Constance and their effect on Czech, German and Russian historical perception.

The life, work and teachings of Hus and the Hussite movement have always been central and highly controversial themes of European historiography. As Karel Hruza emphasises in his introduction, they offered a wide projection surface for religious, national, political and cultural interpretations and thus satisfied the need for heroic role models or threatening enemy stereotypes.

In the Czech Republic in particular, Hus and the Hussite movement have been variously understood over time, as Jan Randák explains in his essay. The Czech national movement of the nineteenth century, the representatives of democratic Czechoslovakia in the interwar period and the Czechoslovak communists of the post-war period each developed their own interpretations in order to legitimise their policies.

From a similar perspective, Michail Bojcov looks at the change in the reception of Hus and the Hussites in Russian and Soviet historiography. The broad spectrum ranges from an idealised pan-Slavic concept to socialist class war.

Picture credits

Einführungsessay: „Dřevoryt z Husovy Postilly, otištěné v Praze roku 1563“ © via Wikimedia Commons, gemeinfrei | Hus im tschechischen historischen Bewusstsein: „Prague - Jan Hus statue“ © Petr Vilgus via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 | Hus im russischen und sowjetischen historischen Bewusstsein: „Frescoes on building in Husinec in 2011 (2)“ © Chmee2 (Petr Brož) via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 | Fachbibliografie zu Jan Hus (Collegium Carolinum): „Stížný list české a moravské šlechty kostnickému koncilu“ von N.N © via Wikimedia Commons, gemeinfrei | Digitalisierte Literatur: „Liber Chronicarum f 241v: Seite aus der Schedelschen Weltchronik (lateinische Ausgabe in Sao Paulo)“  von Hartmann Schedel © via Wikimedia Commons, gemeinfrei | Interessante Links: „Svatyjanhuba: Svatý Jan pod Skalou - Husův balvan“ © Matěj Baťha via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.5

Editorial office

The thematic dossier "Jan Hus † 6 July 1415 - 600 Years of the Council of Constance" is supervised by the Collegium Carolinum and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Researchers from all areas of Eastern and Southern European studies are invited to contact the editorial staff with suggestions, corrections and questions. 

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