a1 University of Alberta, Calgary*
There are four men whom popular tradition, and the builders of Luther's monument in Worms, have grouped around the figure of the Wittenberg reformer as his greatest forerunners: Peter Waldo, Savonarola, Wyclyf and Hus. Luther himself considered only the last named as a man to whom he was indebted, and with whose teachings he could increasingly identify himself, at least after he wrote that famous letter to Spalatin in February 1520 in which he claimed, half-correctly, that he had always held the whole doctrine of Hus without having even been aware of it. But what, in the consciousness of present historiography, is the relation between the heritage of Hus, the whole vast movement called Hussitism, and the Lutheran reformation?
* This study is the first result, in a limited field, of research in Czech history in the Poděbradian Era (1438–1471) which the author was permitted to pursue for two years— 1956–1958—at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and for which he is greatly indebted to its Director and to its School of Historical Studies.