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Ondřej Vodička

Štěpán of Staňkov and the Case of the Treasure of the Chapter of All Saints at Prague Castle during the Hussite Wars

Master of the Liberal Arts Štěpán of Staňkov, chancellor of Queen Sophia of Bavaria and canon of several chapters and dean of the chapter of All Saints at Prague Castle, left Prague after the outbreak of the Hussite revolution and settled in Upper Lusatia in Budyšín (Bautzen), where apparently he remained until his death (before 1431). He also evacuated the chapter’s treasure from Hussitecontrolled Hradčany and had it guarded in the Cistercian Monastery Altzelle not far from Dresden. However, in 1426 the gradual decline of financial means for living in exile forced him to pledge the monastery’s valuables. For unknown reasons, a court case flared up between the two subjects regarding the state of the pawned items, which was soon transferred to Rome. Thanks to the survival of the interrogation protocol drawn up for the hearing of the case before Cardinal Julián Cesarini on 28 October 1427, we know roughly the composition of the chapter treasure in question. At that time it consisted of a silver head with the remains of St. Agnes, a silver gilt arm of St Ludmila, a silver gilt arm of St. George, several monstrances, two heavy silver paintings with remains, a silver gilt censer, and eleven silver gilt pectoral crosses which were approximately one inch long. A number of items however suffered damage of some sort, most probably connected with their second shift to the town of Grimm near Leipzig. It is however impossible to say on the basis of surviving sources whether it involved unwanted damage (loss, theft, damage) or was forced (payment of expenses for transport). The sources also remain silent concerning the wording of the final judgment, as well as the fate of the items after Štěpán’s death and the renewal of order in the Bohemian Lands.

Ondřej Vodička:

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