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Jerome of Prague


Pre-Hussite; b. Prague, c. 1365; d. Constance, May 30, 1416. He studied at Prague, Paris, and then Oxford, where he copied John wyclif's theological treatises Dialogue and Trialogue, which he brought back to Prague (1401). On his return Jerome (Jeromyn) became a zealous propagator of Wyclif's doctrine in Prague, where he was on the university faculty. He was an active participant in the disputes at the University of Prague and played a special part in the Kutná Hora decree of 1409 (see hus, john). Through his traveling and eloquence he left his imprint on Paris, Heidelberg, Cologne, and Vienna; but the Wyclifite doctrine he propounded forced him to flee from city to city; e.g., in 1410 he had to flee the Inquisition in Vienna. Because of his renown and learning, King Ladislaus II jagieŁŁo of Poland employed him (1413) to organize the University of Cracow; but because of his dissemination of Wyclifite doctrine during his travels with Prince Vytautas, the Polish bishops turned against him. In April 1415 Jerome secretly went to the Council of constance in a vain attempt to defend his friend Hus. On the way home he himself was arrested and brought back before the Council. On Sept. 23, 1415, he signed a retraction of the condemned articles of Wyclif and hus. However, Michael de Causis and Stephen of Páleč declared his recantation ambiguous. On the last of his three appearances before the council (May 26, 1416) he withdrew his earlier retraction. He was proclaimed a relapsed heretic, and as such he was condemned and burned at the stake. Hussites venerate him as a reformer and martyr. He is remembered for his preaching more than for his writing (ed. Fontes rerum Austriacarum 6:112128).

Bibliography: l. heller, Hieronymus von Prag (Lübeck 1835). j. putny, Mistr Jeronym Pražský (Prague 1916). r. r. betts, "J. of P.," Univ. of Birmingham Historical Journal 1 (1947) 5191. p. bernard, "J. of P., Austria and the Hussites," Church History 27 (1958) 322. l. r. loomis, tr., The Council of Constance, ed. j. h. mundy and k. m. woody (New York 1961). p. de vooght, Catholicisme 6:706707.

[j. papin]

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