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14. - 15. století

Sigismund of Luxemburg

Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, nicknamed the Red Fox
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He was the youngest son of Emperor Charles IV and became King of Bohemia and of Hungary, as well as Roman Empire.
He was called the “Red Fox” and he was very much alike his father when it came to his ruling faculties.
He was crowned King of Hungary in 1387 and identified himself strongly with the local environment. As King of Hungary he was in direct contact with the strengthening expansion of the Ottoman Empire and had thus quite a different approach to the whole situation than the rather inert rulers of other European States. Sigismund always speculated globally and had the highest of ambitions.
An agreement with his brother and the consent of the prince electors led him to becoming Roman King in 1414, through which he greatly expanded his dominance. He interfered in the administration of his not so capable brother and he strengthened his position as a ruler within the Holy Roman Empire. He advocated the superiority of temporal power over spiritual power, he endeavored to provide effective help to Byzantium by organizing crusades against the Turks and he intervened in

the conflicts between England and France, or in the policies of the Order of the Teutonic Knights.
In 1415 he played an important part within the Council of Constance, his unfortunate participation in the burning of Jan Hus is however exaggerated by the chroniclers. The truth is that his relationship with Jan Hus was quite consistent and that no act of treason was perpetrated.
After the death of Wenceslas and the outbreak of the Hussite Wars he set his mind on obtaining the Bohemian Crown. His defeat on Vitkov in 1420 removed however any realistic chance for him to rule over the Czech Lands until the 1430’s. After the fratricidal clash at Lipan between the Hussite radicals and the moderates, the path to the Czech throne was finally open for Sigismund. In 1436, the Emperor (he was already crowned) Sigismund was received as King of Bohemia, but he didn’t get to enjoy his title for too long. He died of cancer a year later.
He belonged to the very strong Renaissance rulers, but the full realization of his capacities was hindered by the escalation of the Hussite Revolution.


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