Talk:Council of Constance

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Last paragrahp needs work, since it contains a) sentences which could suggest that Poland was part of Empire (and anyone here except for Mrs. user:H.J. agrees that it wasn't, right) b) it contains information which doesn't really belong to entry (it should be removed and put link instead).

In few days i will remove irrlevant information and correct incorrect infos: eg: regents of empire (!!!) (They never use that title!!!! and they were regents because of they authority as archibishops, not because anything else!)

Szopen -- I agree with you, and think it would be nice to see this article well-written and perhaps even mentioning why the council was called and its ecclesiatical repercussions. However, I think maybe you are too close to the subject to be objective. In 1414, Poland is generally considered to be part of the Empire (at least by westen historians. However, that does not mean that the relationship between Polish king and Emperor was what Fr. user:H.J. implies. It was much more like the relationship between the kings of France and England and the emperor. Still, maybe it's a good time to leave things, unless you can back up your changes with sources we all can read (i.e., ones not in Polish -- sorry!). That way, we can avoid yet another German-Polish edit war. ;-) JHK

I have only Polish books, since if i would buy any English ones, i would be in debts above my ears. I have no access to any English books or to German ones, but i believe that facts are the same no matter in what language they are stated (of course, with remembering of language subtleties like different meaning of words). Which means most sources other provide here i cannot read. Nor many other Poles unless they would will bought it for heavy money.

Well, my source here is Antoni Prochaska, first edition in 1898, reedited and published1996: (page 29 in second edition)

it happened July 13(1) on metting of the nation(2), which was presided by king Sigismund(3). ...king Sigismund... asked both sides if they recognize supremacy(4) of Roman state. While Teutons with many compliments expressed their will to follow verdict of Sigismund, Polish (5)...(envoy) ... expressed (in very polite form) sovereignity of (Polish) king and crown from Empire...

(1) i guess 1415, but Prochaska style is awafull so i am not sure (2) in Prochaska original: nacji, which in Polish could mean "nation" (second form of nacja: kogo czego nacji) or plural nations (nacje, again kogo czego nacji), and again from context it is hard to see what Prochaska had on thought (3) Roman Emperor, right. (4) Suzerenity, superiority, supremacy (zwierzchnia wladza) (5) i have no idea how rzecznik could be transalted into English. Speaker, spokesman, envoy, representative.

So, as i understand it, on the Council of Constantia Poles clearly stated that they do not consider themselves part of Empire and they consider themselves independent state. If i am right, and i believe i am, if they do not consider themselves part of EMpire, if they do not obey any order of Emperor, and they behave like not just merely independent but like sovereign state, then they were part of Empire in the same part as England or France. If it is generally believed that France and England were part of Empire, then, well, i withdraw, go under table and bark out what i wrote before. But this would mean that term Empire means merely all crhistian states of Empire which recognise moral authority of Emperor as a head of christianity. I respect rights of historians to have their opinion, but i believe that they can't imply any other meaning of belonging of Poland to Empire.

However, i am, yes, biased and non-objective here. That's why i don't consider myself able (in contrast to entries about Polish history) to write anything about that - especially that only monography i have i a book from 100 years ago (of course i have a lot about that Council in other books). I am however opposed to:

The primacy entitled them to rank as princes of the empire. From 1572 they held authority as regents of the empire during an interregnum.

because i don't know about using by them titles of princes of the empire, and they hold title of regentds of kingdom not empire, and not automatically because they were primaces, but because it was decided after many debates that they have biggest authority to be regents. That's why i want to erase these. Is also Concordate proper translation of nationes?

Note however that i do consider myself good enough to write about history of Poland, since i believe that many excellent books weren't ever translated into English, many findings and articles, and i feel that demanding only English books is like demanding of ignoring anything that any non-English writer wrote on the topic. I believe that Polish books are as reliable (and even better, sicne i have seen so many errors in books translated from English into Polish about our history) as English ones.


While I don't know much about the history of Poland, I have to agree with szopen in principle, that books written in Polish should be a valid source of Polish history, if not preferred since in many cases they may be primary source material. I know this is an English wikipedia, and I think the articles should be written in English, but I also think the project will be much poorer if sources in other languages are forbidden, especially where the other language is the "original" or is likely closer to the facts. --Wesley

I'm sorry -- did I just become incomprehensible overnight? I didn't say that the sources in Polish were invalid -- far from it. However, since the only people I know of (besides Piotr the linguist) who read Polish are those deeply embroiled in the German-Polish edit wars, I think an objective review that includes those secondary sources is impossible. For example, I absolutely trust szopen et al. on their veracity in citing Polish language sources -- but I don't know that those sources are not as lousy as the ones often cited by Fr. user:H.J.. If there are people out there who a) have some background in pre-modern history; b) read Polish; and 3) are unbiased, then they need to speak up. As it is, there are a bunch of people who read German and, more importantly for this case, Latin. There are also probably English translations of the decrees of the C of C. Since those are the most important documents for figuring out this thing, there really is no need to cite secondary sources in Polish. Does that make sense? JHK
Well, is it English-language encyclopedia, or Encyclopedia for English people?
Anyway, i understand (my God!) that someone can think that i am biased :). I, however, can't think about any Polish source which would be more scientific than written by professional historians from best Polish universities (i am not speaking for Prochaska, since he is long time dead, but anyway, his work was republished by UJ). I think also, that any professional historian working on central-eastern medieval Europe has to at least heard about Strzelczyk, Labuda, Lowmianski and others i use as sources for my information (or Zakrzewicz or Grodecki for that matter although they are dead for quite a long time).
And yes, what JHK had written does make sense, although i don't feel comfortable with that. Anyway, ok, i won't change that article and i will wait for someone unbiased (but i believe that it would be hard to find such a person). szopen

In a moment of clarity, it occurred to me to go from complaining about a bad article mostly plagiarized from the Catholic Encyclopedia and think about Constance.

This was a MAJOR council. It was held to deal with a couple of major events -- the Avignon Papacy and the resulting Schism, and the threat of the heresies of Wyclif and Hus. It was also hugely important for the conciliarists and the development of ideas of ecclesiastical authority. None of these were initially mentioned in the first draft.

I would be surprised, but then, the person who plagiarized out of context also thought that Piccolomini's most important job was as an imperial secretary and provincial backwater bishop. JHK

I would happy to see good article about Council of Constance. This was first time when Polish delegates participate in matters so important to christendom, so anything i have here is totally biased and one can have impression that without Poles Council would not have any sense. I have a lot about Falkenberg controversies, matters with Hus, union with orthodoxy and other things in which Poles were crucial, and almost nothing about everything else (Except for few sentences like: "It was held to deal with a couple of major events -- the Avignon Papacy and the resulting Schism, and the threat of the heresies of Wyclif and Hus. It was also hugely important for the conciliarists and the development of ideas of ecclesiastical authority.") Eager to see more. szopen


While I agree that Catholics have the right to call whoever they want "antipope" is it really fitting for an encyclopedia? To me (not a catholic) all three were Popes, and I to see "antipope" makes me feel like I'm reading a religious document. And as I recall, weren't all the Popes calling eachother the Antichrist? Perhaps we should call him Antichrist John XXIII. Citizen Premier 13:32, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

(I know this was from 2005, but still... I laughed at the ironic humor of this, but for no negative or sectarian reason, I hope.) Misty MH (talk) 19:41, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
I too (and not long ago) read something on Wikipedia (I think) where it stated that some who were backing multiple popes were calling others "antichrist". I don't recall what that was that I read. Nor do I recall all the histories I've read of the various churches, or Roman Catholic, to know whether there was a different multiple-pope claim situation where that was done. The article on Antipope does NOT (at the moment) mention the word "antichrist". Neither do List of popes, Avignon Papacy, Western Schism, East–West Schism, or Pope, though the latter mentions Protestant claims about such. I also didn't find reference to this in Antichrist or References to the Antichrist in ecclesiastical writings. I also checked my computer Hard Disk Drives, and found nothing related. So now I don't know where I read it. Misty MH (talk) 19:41, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

POV and accuracy problems[edit]

There is a POV and accuracy problem with the repeated claims that early sessions of the Council are considered invalid. That they are invalid is only one point of view, a POV which was more popular a hundred years ago than it is today. That the Catholic Church teaches that they are invalid is just plain wrong, for there is no such Church teaching. The best one can say is that the old Catholic Encyclopedia claims that those sessions are invalid.

Any comments before I start editing? -- Cat Whisperer 01:15, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Do source this change you detect in Catholic teaching. Catholic teachings are not "popular" in the sense you seem to suggest: they are orthodox or they are not. The validity or not of the council's sessions in retrospect should not affect any of the facts as they took place. --Wetman 05:28, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Here are some references for this:

-- Cat Whisperer 04:15, 19 June 2007 (UTC)


Restored deleted information by anon and added references.--Molobo (talk) 13:55, 18 May 2009 (UTC)


This article needs a lot of cleanup, as it does not give the full background of Avignon and Pisa clearly, and is almost just a big hodgepodge of blue links. It is also almost unreadable, IMO. I'll have a go soon. Jubilee♫clipman 02:09, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Size of the meeting[edit]

While the infobox gives the attendance at the Council as 600, it would seem that this is only the number of principal participants. Toby Lester's The Fourth Part of the World (London: Profile Books, 2009) says (p.167):

"Estimates of the size of the Council of Constance vary dramatically, but all sources agree that it was huge. Between 40,000 and 150,000 people are thought to have converged on the city for the event, which dragged on for more than three years. Some seven hundred high-ranking Church officials from all over Europe and Byzantium attended the council, among them one pope, three patriarchs, twenty-nine cardinals, and an extended assortment of important archbishops, bishops, and abbots. Accompanying them came a sprawling retinue of close to eighteen thousand personal assistants, secretaries, copyists, scholars, legal advisers, servants, and others. The archbishop of Mainz alone arrived with an escort of five hundred people. Almost every city and feudal state in Europe was represented at the council, either by its ruler or by a high-level delegation. Eighteen dukes and archdukes, eighty-three counts, seventy-one barons, and 1,500 knights turned up for the event, and they, too, brought thousands along with them. Europe's major universities and schools sent representatives, and poets, artisans, laborers, and merchants all poured into the city to serve the needs of the gathering – as did Florentine bankers' Cosimo de' Medici himself set up shop in Constance. The town had to absorb more than just people, or [sic] course. By one estimate, some thirty thousand horses had to be fed and stabled during the council."

Which does raise the question of how on earth the city managed to house and feed this multitude for several years. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable could add a section on the physical Council, rather than just on its deliberations? -- Arwel Parry (talk) 13:00, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

That's amazing. And great question(s). :) Misty MH (talk) 18:12, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Misspelling and CAPS of "and"[edit]

The top second paragraph had the word "and" as "ANDDDDDD." It is now corrected. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:39, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic conflict - Council's conclusions?[edit]

In the section "Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic conflict", it shows that the Council of Constance was involved in discussing the conflict, but what the the Council's conclusions were seems vague to me. It says it didn't make any "political decisions" (which statement may be overstated), and says a "Cardinal... published an independent opinion that attempted to somewhat balance both Polish and Teutonic positions" but I don't see it saying more than this. If the Council was involved in discussing the "Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic conflict", what were the Council's conclusions and statements about it? Someone who knows about this, please add that, because it almost seemed like a story that had no clear end to it, other than that the Polish and Teutonic continued to fight for another hundred years. Thanks! Misty MH (talk) 18:08, 15 August 2013 (UTC)