Procopius Rasus , or The Shaven, surnamed the Great, from his valour and military
Procopius Rasus, or The Shaven, surnamed the Great, from his valour and military exploits, was a Bohemian gentleman, who, after travelling into France, Italy, Spain, and the Holy Land, was shaven, and even ordained priest, as is said, against his will, from whence he had the above epithet added to his name. He afterwards quitted the ecclesiastical habit, and attached himself to Zisca, chief of the Hussites, who esteemed him highly, and placed a particular confidence in him. Procopius succeeding Zisca in 1424, committed great ravages in Moravia, Austria, Brandenburg, Silesia, and Saxony, and made himself master of several towns, and great part of Bohemia. He had an interview with Sigismond, but not obtaining any of his demands from that prince, he continued the war. Upon hearing that the council of Basil was summoned in 1431, he wrote a long circular letter in Latin, to all the states in his own name, and that of the Hussites, in the close of which he declared that he and his party were ready to fight in defence of the four following articles: that the public irregularities of the priests should be prevented secondly, that the clergy should return to the state of poverty, in which our Lord’s disciples lived; thirdly, that all who exercise the ministerial office, should be at liberty to preach in what manner, at what time, and on what subjects they chose; fourthly, that the Eucharist should be administered according to Christ’s institution, i. e. in both kinds. Procopius also wrote a letter to the emperor Sigismond, May 22, 1432, requesting him to be present with the Hussites at the council of Basil. He was there himself with his party in 1433 they defended the above-mentioned articles very warmly, but finding that their demands were not granted, withdrew, and continued their incursions and ravages. Procopius died of the wounds he received in a battle in 1434. The Letters before spoken of, and the proposal which he made in the name of the Taborites, may be found in the last volume of the large collection by Fathers Martenne and Durand. He must be distinguished from Procopius, surnamed the Little, head of part of the Hussite army, who accompanied Procopius the Great, and was killed in the same action in which the latter received his mortal wound.