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Jan Hus, Czech Religious Reformer
Middle Temple Library
Photograph - Photograph
Jan Hus (c.1369-1415), Czech priest and reformer. Hus was born at Husinec in Bohemia. In 1394 Anne of Bohemia, widow of King Richard II of England, returned to Bohemia and brought with her the teachings of John Wycliffe. Hus embraced these ideas and tried to reform the church in Bohemia. As a reformer Hus became embroiled in disputes with the Catholic Church, dividing the population between loyalty to the state and to Pope Alexander V. Supported by the government, Hus preached condemnation of indulgences (payments to the church for divine forgiveness) and other excesses. He was arrested at the Council of Constance, was tried, found guilty of heresy and was burnt at the stake. Hus was a major influence on Protestantism and the anniversary of his death is a public holiday in the Czech Republic. This engraving is from Beze's Les vrais portraits des hommes illustres printed at Geneva 1581.
May 14th, 2013
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