Jan Hus - Heretic or Patriot?

'Truth will conquer' - the Czech historian Frantisek Smahel traces the life and work of his 15th-century compatriot Jan Hus - whose uncompromising criticism of medieval Catholicism stirred national pride and acted as a forerunner of the Reformation.

Even in the fifteenth century, in a case concerning a university professor and preacher, it was not usual to involve, successively, the leading lawyers and theologians, three archbishops, the judicial courts of two popes, and, last but not least, two kings (both bearers of the Holy Roman Crown). The singularity of this case extended beyond this fact. The Czech reformer Master John Hus, who was the person in question, was one of the first people to receive a personal invitation to attend the Council of Constance. Hus went voluntarily in order to defend his honour but he paid for his courage with his life. In premonition of his own end, he once wrote that 'He who dies, wins'. Until his last moment, he did not cease to believe in his biblical motto Veritas vincit, even though, at that time, truth was not prevailing against power.

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