[tied] Re: Odin as a Trojan Prince

From: tgpedersen@...
Message: 8718
Date: 2001-08-24

> [Piotr:] >> -- our Proto-Polish ancestors defeated Alexander the
Great and repelled the Roman imperial armies on more than one
occasion. It's a pity the Greek and Roman historians managed to cover
it all up.
> [Torsten:] This is the second time I hear of these early Polish
historians, but I never got the names. It's like you Poles are
ashamed of them? And by what name would the Romans know the ancestors
of the Poles?
> [Piotr:] Ashamed? God forbid. They are real celebrities. The oldest
Polish chronicler was an anonymous Benedictine monk known as "the
Gaul", who wrote three volumes covering the history of Poland up to
1113 (he lived at that time). It remains an important source of
information on the early history of Poland (not quite unbiassed,
though, as Boleslaw III, a very nasty-tempered ruler, was his
sponsor) but when he wrote about the period before the rule of
Mieszko I, his vivid imagination got the better of him. The next
important work, written 1205-1207, _Magistri Vincenti chronica
Polonorum_, is richly allegorical, contains many Graeco-Roman motifs
and has a clear political and moral agenda. Again, it essential
reading for anyone interested in the history and culture of 12th-
century Poland, but the preliterate history of the country given
there is imaginary. The two authors mentioned so far created between
them the Polish origins myth, which later writers accepted and
elaborated on. Lovers of fantasy should read Marcin Bielski's
_Chronicles of All the World_ (1551), containing _The Polish
Chronicle_ (published separately in 1597). If you want tales of
Alexander and Roman emperors, Bielski is the one to consult. Maciej
of Miechów's extremely influential _Tractatus de Duabus Sarmatiis,
Asiana et Europiana_ (1517) gave rise to the "Sarmatian myth",
according to which Polish noble families derived from Sarmatian
The latter idea is obviously preposterous, since had it been true
there would have been a lot of Indo-Iranian loanwords in Polish and
indeed Slavic - eg. "bog".