Taborites

The most radical branch of the Hussite movement. Centered in S Bohemia where Hus had spent much of his exile between 1412 and 1414, the Taborites nevertheless did not really reflect his teachings. They were fundamentalists in the tradition of John Wycliffe and wished to confine doctrine to what was explicitly stated in the Bible. They rejected transubstantiation, purgatory, saints, relics, and the distinction between priests and laity. They were also militant millenarians who believed in an imminent second coming of Christ preceded by a period of turmoil. In addition, they represented the lower economic classes and were concerned about social and economic reforms. The movement became a mass movement in July 1419 when 40,000 people are said to have gathered on a hill to which the biblical name of Tabor was given. Under the brilliant military leadership of John Zizka they defeated the imperial crusades directed against them and were able to maintain a degree of unity with the more moderate party, the Calixtines.* This unity collapsed after Zizka died in 1424, and the Calixtines came to an agreement with Rome in 1433. The following year they combined with Catholic nobles to defeat the Taborites at the Battle of Lipany where their new leader, Procopius, was killed and the Taborite movement destroyed.