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Vol 21 No 10 Oct/Nov 2016

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The Trial of Jan Hus: Medieval Heresy and Criminal Procedure


ISBN13: 9780199988082
Published: June 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £53.00



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Six hundred years ago, the Czech priest Jan Hus (1371-1415) traveled out of Bohemia, never to return. After a five-year legal ordeal that took place in Prague, in the papal curia, and finally in southern Germany, the case of Jan Hus was heard by one of the largest and most magnificent church gatherings in medieval history: the Council of Constance.

Hus was burned alive as a stubborn and disobedient heretic before a huge audience. His trial sparked intense reactions and opinions ranging from satisfaction to condemnations of judicial murder. Thomas A. Fudge offers the first English-language examination of the indictment, relevant canon law, and questions of procedural legality concerning Jan Hus and the Holy See.

In the modern world, there is instinctive sympathy for a man burned alive for his convictions, and it is presumed that any court sanctioning such action must have been irregular. Was Hus guilty of heresy? Were his doctrinal convictions contrary to established ideas espoused by the Latin Church? Was his trial legal? Despite its historical significance and the strong reactions it provoked, the trial of Jan Hus has never before been the subject of a thorough legal analysis or assessed against prevailing canonical legislation and procedural law in the later Middle Ages.

The Trial of Jan Hus shows how this popular and successful priest became a criminal suspect and a convicted felon, and why he was publicly executed, providing critical insight into what may be characterized as the most significant heresy trial of the Middle Ages.

Subjects:
Legal History, Trials
Contents:
LIST OF MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS
ABBREVIATIONS
CANON LAW REFERENCES AND CITATIONS
INTRODUCTION
1. JAN HUS IN HISTORY, HERESY AND COURT
2. INVENTING MEDIEVAL HERESY
3. LAW, PROCEDURE AND PRACTICE IN MEDIEVAL HERESY TRIALS
4. BEGINNINGS OF THE HUS TRIAL FROM PRAGUE TO THE PAPAL CURIA
5. AN EXTRAORDINARY MOTION TO AN APPELLATE COURT
6. THE ORDO PROCEDENDI AS A POLITICAL DOCUMENT
7. LEGAL PROCESS AT THE COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE
8. ASSESSING THE ACCUSATIONS AND CRIMINAL CHARGES
CLOSING ARGUMENTS
APPENDIX DRAMATIS PERSONAE IN THE TRIAL OF JAN HUS
GLOSSARY OF LEGAL TERMS
REFERENCES TO CANON LAW
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX