contributor.author: Ryszard Grzesik

title.none: Knoll and Schaer, eds. and transs., Gesta principium Polonorum (Ryszard Grzesik)

identifier.other: baj9928.0501.030 05.01.30

identifier.issn: 1096-746X

description.statementofresponsibility: Ryszard Grzesik, Institute for Slavistics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan, grzesik@man.poznan.pl

publisher.none: .

date.issued: 2005

identifier.citation: Knoll, Paul W., and Frank Schaer, eds. and transs. Gesta principium Polonorum. Series: Central European Medieval Texts, vol. 3. Budapest: CEU Press, 2003. Pp. lxv, 318. $55.00 963-9241-40-7. ISBN: .

type.none: Review

relation.ispartof: The Medieval Review

The Medieval Review 05.01.30

Knoll, Paul W., and Frank Schaer, eds. and transs. Gesta principium Polonorum. Series: Central European Medieval Texts, vol. 3. Budapest: CEU Press, 2003. Pp. lxv, 318. $55.00 963-9241-40-7. ISBN: .

Reviewed by:

Ryszard Grzesik
Institute for Slavistics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan
grzesik@man.poznan.pl

Nota bene:

The editors of TMR regret, that for technical reasons, we have not been able to use the Polish letters and accents in this review that would have been preferable.

The history of Central and Eastern Europe is not very well represented in the consciousness of inhabitants of the former Western block, and especially of the Anglo-Saxon world. The regions east of the Elbe are perceived more or less as a part of Russia, therefore the main attention was directed to Russian studies. Nevertheless, the states of Central Europe constituted, for one thousand years, the eastern flank of western civilisation, where the western (Latin) and eastern (Byzantine) culture mixed. The ignorance of the western audience to the history of the "Third Europe" or "Young Europe" was deepened by the lack of modern source editions. There were two series of editions, both from the 19th century, which published several narrative sources from the region: Monumenta Germaniae historica and Patrologia Latina. Both of them gave the original text with commentaries, which reflected the status causae et controversiae of the time of its publishing. The newer editions which were edited in each Central European country (I mean Poland, the former Czechoslovakia--i. e. Czech and Slovak Republics--Hungary and former Yugoslavia) were not widespread outside the region.

Therefore the idea of a new series of source-editions originated amongst the scholars and collaborators of the Medieval Department of the Central European University: to publish the most important medieval narrative sources from the region especially for the Anglo-Saxon reader. The Oxford Medieval Texts serve as an example. The series--Central European Medieval texts edited under the direction of Janos M. Bak, Urszula Borkowska OSU, Giles Constable, Gabor Klaniczay and Frank Schaer--will publish the most important regional narrative sources. These are bilingual editions where the Latin text (or Medieval vernacular-- in the case of Central Europe it will be Medieval German or Bohemian) was reconstructed based on the best edition. The English translation, in many cases the first translation into that language, is printed on the facing page. Each volume has a rich critical apparatus and commentaries, in which the facts, persons as well as some text-variants are explained (cf. General editor's preface, p. vii-viii). Each volume also has a preface, in which the source is presented.

Three volumes have been edited as of now. The first one was devoted to the Hungarian Chronicle written by Simon Keza (cf. my critical review in Polish in Roczniki Historyczne, vol. 65, 1999, p. 253-255); the second one to the Autobiography of the Emperor Charles IV and his Legend of St. Wenceslas. The reviewed volume is the third volume in the series (henceforth: GpP). In addition to the persons mentioned in the header, some Polish collaborators were active during the preparation of the edition: Wojciech Polak from Lublin, who prepared the first version of the Introduction and the commentaries; and Zbigniew Dalewski, who drafted the map and the genealogical table (see p. lxiv).

The book opens with a Preface written by Thomas N. Bisson, Professor of medieval history at Harvard University. He mentioned that the Chronicle written by an anonymous author of French origin is the oldest Polish chronicle. Although it was printed after the 16th century, the best critical edition was not published until the mid-20th century. It was the edition prepared by Karol Maleczynski and published in the second volume of the new series of Monumenta Poloniae Historica (Galli Anonymi Chronicae et Gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum, ed. Karol Maleczynski, in Monumenta Poloniae historica, nova series, vol. 2, Krakow 1952; henceforth Malecz.). This edition was reprinted in the reviewed book. Prof. Bisson writes with satisfaction that this "major text of the Middle Ages" (ix), which could be compared with Bede, Thietmar, William of Malmesbury or Orderic Vitalis, will be known to the wider English-speaking audience. "This is one of the great chronicles of medieval European history" (x).

After the list of abbreviations (xi-xv) and the List of Figures, Map and Genealogical Table (xvii) the editor's Introduction starts. First, the list of manuscripts and editions is described, based on the newest studies of this problem in the Polish literature (xx-xxiv). Afterwards the editors discussed the title, author, and date of composition of the narrative (xxiv-xxxiii). I had some doubts if the English title was chosen properly, because it caused some confusion with the Silesian chronicle from the end of the 14th century, the Chronica Principum Poloniae, which is based on the text of Gallus Anonymous. I accept, however, the explanation of the editors on p. xxiv n. 20. Regarding the anonymous author, the editors argue that he was a French monk of St.-Gilles in the second half of the 11th century. He was educated in France (maybe in the region of Tour) and/or in Flanders (maybe in Liege) and spent some time in the Hungarian monastery of Somogyvar, the filial monastery of St.-Gilles. He could have come to Poland at the turn of the 11th and 12th century or in the first years of the 12th century. He wrote his work in the years 1112/1113 -1117. We do not know his fate. He was probably connected with the Awdancy kin and came out from Poland after the fall of this family in 1117.

As we read in next passage of the Introduction (Genre, structure, form and style (xxxiii-xliv), the work of Gallus Anonymous represented the special genre of medieval historical writing, called gesta. Its purpose was to prove the legitimacy of the ruling dynasty and the prince Boleslaw III Wrymouth. The work concentrates on his person and mainly on his military deeds. Only the first book (of three) describes the former history of Poland from the point of view of the deeds of the dynasty, concentrating on the persons of two rulers with the name Boleslaw: Boleslaw I Chrobry [the Brave] and Boleslaw II Bountiful/Bold. The editors describe the erudition of the chronicler. He knew some ancient authors like Sallust Bellum Iugurthinum, as well as some chroniclers like Regino of Prum and Thietmar of Merseburg. The recent opinion seems to me, however, disputable. His knowledge could be based on excerpta and florilegia (xxxviii). His work was written in rhyme and rhythmic prose. I think that during the analysis the fundamental study of Feliks Pohorecki should have been mentioned, although it is in Polish, and the editors limited the number of references to Polish-language literature. It is a study: Rytmika prozy Galla Anonima, Roczniki Historyczne, vol. 5, 1929, p. 105-169; and 6, 1930, p. 12-75.

The next chapter of the Introduction describes the chronicler's sources (xlv-xlvii). Gallus Anonymous' work is based mainly on oral tradition. He had knowledge of Slavic languages (let me add that it was understandable after his very probable stay in West Hungary, which was inhabited, among others, by a Slavic population). He knew the annalistical notes at the Cracow chapter, and a now lost Liber de passione martiris. In n. 85 p. xlv we read that Joannes Fried suggested the knowledge of another Adalbert's Passion written perhaps by Bruno of Querfurt, but I think that it is confusion. There was only one lost "book of the passion of the martyr." There were several opinions that Bruno of Querfurt could be its author.

The next chapter of the Introduction entitled "The GpP as a Historical Source (xlvii-lii)" is a very good piece of information on the sources of the ancient history of Poland and the role of our chronicler. The conclusion sounds even banal for the Polish historian, that the work of Gallus Anonymous is "a source of fundamental importance for the early medieval history of Poland" (li), reflecting the self-perception of the Polish elite. It noted the genealogical dynastical tradition. There is a question of the historical worth of a chronicle. As the editors mention, the last archaeological excavations support the picture of early-medieval Poland, which we know thanks to Gallus Anonymous.

The next chapter of the Introduction analyzes the "Lordship, Land and the Course of History" of GpP (lii-lviii). It is a good study about the political ideology of an early medieval state. It was ruled by the dynasty, domini naturals. Its members were supported "from on high" (liv). However, there is no "mention of the ecclesiastical confirmation of any of the Polish kings" (ibid). It was not necessary to be a good ruler. He had to be a good defender of his land, good commander of his retinue, and a good administrator. Liberty was an important law term used by Gallus Anonymous. It meant the liberation from the paying of the tribute to foreign rulers. The editors define GpP as laus terrae and not, as other researchers used to do, as origo gentis. In my opinion we could name this chronicle origo dynastiae et patriae, because the word patria is one of the most liked words of Gallus. One must add that this word was not alien to the Polish elites of the 12th century; we find it a hundred years later in the Chronicle of Master Vincent Kadlubek, who developed the whole conception of the fatherland.

The last two chapters of the Introduction are devoted to "The Influence of the GpP) on the Polish history-writing" (lix-lxi), and to describing the "Editorial Principles" ( lxii-lxv). According to the general rules of the series the best edition was used. As I mentioned it is the edition of Karol Maleczynski, the basic edition for the Polish historians, which was, unfortunately, not very well known or used outside Poland. Only during the introduction of their own emendations did the editors note Maleczynski's variants and manuscript versions (in textual notes, indicated by letters). There were problems with translation of some Latin terms (as comes, miles, civitas). All of them are discussed in the footnotes. The problem was, also, with the titles of the chapters in manuscripts. The division into three books and chapters (31 in Book I; 50 in Book II; and 26 in Book III) was the work of the chronicler. However, the writers of the manuscripts may have composed some titles of the chapters. There are no titles of the greater part of the chapters in books 2 and 3 in the oldest manuscript, Zamoyski-Codex (second half of the 14th century--henceforth: Z). In this case the editors added their own proposals of the names.

Let us see how the editors realized these principles. I would like to analyze some aspects of the book.

I Translation

I must stress that the first English translation is generally better than the Polish one done in the early 20s of the 20th century by Roman Grodecki and corrected by Marian Plezia (Anonim tzw. Gall, Kronika polska [Anonymous so-called Gallus, The Polish Chronicle], transl. R. Grodecki, ed. M. Plezia, 6th ed., (1989)--henceforth: Anonim tzw. Gall). The recent text served the Editors as a control of their English translation. Some doubtful fragments were noted in the footnotes, as e. g. two possibilities of understanding of the sentence "Primus igitur Polonorum dux Mescho per fidelem uxorem ad baptismi graciam pervenit" (--) (I 6, p. 30-31 and n. 3). We find an example of good translation on p. 71 (I 16), where a fragment of Job was quoted: "In luctum cythara, gaudium in merorem, organum in suspiria convertuntur." Roman Grodecki and Marian Plezia (Anonim tzw. Gall, p. 38) translated the last part of the sentence into Polish as "a glos instrumentow zmienil sie w westchnienie"[and the voice of instruments has changed in sigh]. We read in GpP: "-- and her [scil. of Poland] organ music to sighs." Also the first canonical Polish translation of the Bible, made at the end of the 16th century by Jakub Wujek SJ used in Job. 30,31 the word organy [organs]. I like, also, the translations of the poems, made by Dr. Barbara Reynolds, as on p. 87, which reflected the artistic character of the language of our chronicler. The translation of the Magnus' speech to the rebels is also better (II 4, p. 125)--here comp. also the article of Tomasz Jurek quoted on p. 124 in n. 2 of GpP, where the Polish translation was corrected. I think that the English-speaking reader got a good text, which corrects the "canonical" Polish translation in some passages, as e.g. in II 22 the sentence "Dicunt etiam quidam eum primum omnium invasisse, eumque primum propugnacula conscendisse" (p. 158), which was lost by the Polish translators. I like, also, the decision of the Editors to translate the word "molosi" as the Molossian hounds instead of the hunting-dogs, as R. Grodecki and M. Plezia did. Maybe it would be worth to explain that the Molossian hounds were exactly the hunting-dogs.

There are, nevertheless, some passages, where the Polish translation seems to be nearer to the text of the original than the English one. We find such example in I 28, the last two lines of p. 98: "Hunc, inquit, alumpnum in Polonia educavi, hunc regem in Vngaria collocavi." This sentence reads, according to the Translators: "'I was this person's guardian in Poland', he said, 'he raised him, I installed him as a king in Hungary.'" I think that the phrase "I raised him" does not exist in the Latin original. Therefore, I would propose rather to limit it to this sentence: "'I educated him, when he was in Poland in his youth,' he said, 'I installed him as a king in Hungary.'"

I think that the title of II 10: "Zeczech et Bolezlaus Morauiam vastaverunt" should be translated in simple past, and not in simple present, as it was (p. 135): "Sieciech and Boleslaw plunder[ed] Moravia." I have observed on p. 143 that the name of Boleslaw was lost in the next sentence after the footnote 2 (Latin: "-- ducem Wladislauum Bolezlauo puero mandavisse--"; English: "-- that Duke Wladyslaw sent word to the boy--").

Unfortunate seems the phrase "the two kings met" (Latin "insimul convenerunt") in the description of the meeting of Boleslaw III and Coloman (II 29, p. 173). Boleslaw was never a king and he was never called a king by the chronicler. Instead, the Translators should write: 'the two rulers met."

I have some doubts about the translation of the phrase "cum expeditis militibus," what in GpP sounds: "with his light-armed troops" (II 34, p. 181). According to Niemeyer's vocabulary "expeditus" means 'horse patrol-service.' This meaning was accepted by R. Grodecki and M. Plezia, who translated a phrase using the old-fashion word: "z komunikiem" ['with horse retinue'; Anonim tzw. Gall, p. 103]. According to the Latin-Polish Vocabulary for the Lawyers and Historians of Janusz Sondel (1997), p. 356 the word "expeditus" could mean also 'selected.' I would propose to understand this phrase alternatively as "with his mounted troops," or "with his best-selected troops."

The Translators had also some problems with the second sentence of II 38, as they noted on p. 188, n.6. The context of the sentence is clear. The imprisoned Archbishop managed to surrender his see, i.e. Gniezno, which was one of the central towns of Greater Poland, ruled by Zbigniew. The village of Spicymierz lay in the archbishopric manor (of Uniejow), so the situation was clear. Boleslaw III Wrymouth invaded the manor and imprisoned the head of the Polish Church. However, only after he heard that Gniezno, one of the centres of the Zbigniew's defence, had surrendered to his people, did he liberate the archbishop.

The end of this chapter (p. 190) originates one more interesting question for the understanding of the text. We read that after he won the civil war, "--Bolezlauus vero per Poloniam quocumque sibi placuit, ambulavit." The English text reads: "--and Boleslaw could now move about in Poland wherever he pleased." All the translators understand these words as Poland as a state. But Poland (Polonia) had two meanings at that time: wider, i.e. Poland as a whole and narrower, as Greater Poland (Polonia Maior), where the cradle of the Piast state existed. As we know, Greater Poland was a centre of Zbigniew's domain. So, it seems logical to understand the chronicler's words as concerning both the whole Poland and historically the most important part of this country. This duality was never observed by Grodecki and Plezia nor by the Editors of the reviewed book.

I am not sure if the phrase "sine lege, sine rege" in the description of the barbarian Pruthenians (II 42, p. 194-195) was translated properly as "without king and without religion." I would suggest a more literary translation: "without law and without king." I am also uncertain if the translation of the verb "ieiunare," 'to go hungry' is made in the best way. Maybe it would be better to use the verb: 'to fast' (240-241).

We read in III 13, p. 244-245 that the emperor threatened Boleslaw with invasion of Cracow ("--in sede cito Cracouiensi me poteris expectare"). The end of the sentence is translated as: "you can soon expect me in the city of Cracow." In my opinion, one can expect rather the words about the see or metropolis instead of those about the city. I doubt, also, if the phrase "ius civile" in the description of the Polish incursion in Bohemia (III, 22, p. 258-259) should be translated as '"politics." According to the vocabularies these are "the rules regulating the behaviour members of the society." Also on the next pages (260-261) in the description of the Polish army, the phrase "queque provincia" was translated as "each section." I would underline rather the territorial character of the organization of the army, which finds its continuation in the next centuries. So the better translation would be: "each territorial section."

I do not understand, why the sentence on p. 270 (III 25), which was inspired by Sallust, is translated by the exact quotation from this author, cf. "sed aliud promptum in lingua forsan et aliud clausum in pectore tenebatur." In English, it is translated as "one thing concealed in the breast, and another ready on the tongue." The order of the sentence clauses is reversed, so the translation should read: "one thing ready on the tongue, and another concealed in the breast". We translate the work of Gallus Anonymus, and not of Sallust.

I have some remarks to the translation of the titles, which are inconsequent. In Latin, several titles started with the preposition "de." They were translated in several ways. The first three chapters (I 1-3) start with the preposition "of," e.g. I 1 "De duce Popelone dicto Chosisco" reads, "Of duke Popiel, called Chosciszko." However, in I 4 the Latin "de" has been left untranslated. The latter seems to be a better solution, as e.g. I 4 "De cecitate Meschonis filii Zemimizl ducis" = "The Blindness of Mieszko, Son of Duke Siemomysl." But I found a third way of starting the title of the chapter: with initial on in II 24 in the section of titles, added by the Editors, who followed the elder editions: "On the Plottings of Zbigniew," which reflected the Latin "Insidie Zbigniei incitantis hostes" (so without 'de'). I think that the titles of the chapters were not adjusted, therefore they do not represent one model of translation.

II Emendations

As the Editors wrote, in some cases the text of Malecz. should be corrected. These corrections were mentioned with the references to the textual footnotes, where Maleczynski's and the mss. versions were noted. Some of them were commented on in subject footnotes, as well. However, some of them seem to me doubtful. We find one of the examples of such emendation on p. 158 and n. a in the final clause of II 21. We read in Malecz.: "-- cepitque fama simul et etate iuvenis bone indolis adolere" (p. 89), where the final word occurs in all manuscripts. Nevertheless, the Editors change the final "adolere" into adolescere. I find this emendation especially unfortunate, because it destroyed the rhythm of the sentence. Gallus used mainly so-called cursus velox, which, according to Marian Plezia, composed 77% of the final clauses (cf. Marian Plezia, Nowe studia nad Gallem-Anonimem [New Studies on Gallus-Anonymus], in: Mente et litteris [About the Culture and Society of the Middle Ages], Poznan: UAM, 1984, p. 114). It is such rhythm, which is created by the collection of two words at the clause. The first of them (pre-ultimate in the sentence-period) was a word pronounced on the third syllable, the second (ultimate) the four-syllable word with the pre-ultimate syllable accented, as e.g. imitábile reserváre, siléncio contegúntur (examples from Anonim tzw. Gall, p. 176). Let us compare the rhythm of the clause in Malecz. with the emendation, which was proposed by the Editors: "índolis adolescére." The word "adolescere" has five syllables, which destroyed the rhythm cadence. But if we use the word "adolere," we acquire a typical example of cursus veloxIi: índolis adolére. It proves that the word "adolere" is lectio difficilior and the emendation of the Editors makes no sense. I understand, naturally, why they accepted such emendation: because, according to them, only the word "adolescere," 'to grow,' makes sense in this context. But, according to Janusz Sondel, the word 'adolere' with the basic meaning 'to burn sth' could mean, also, 'to grow,' so has the same meaning as "adolescere."

One can find some editorial emendations, which were not mentioned. This is the case of a sentence on p. 90 (I 23): "Et quia plurima pars diei preterierat, suosque properando fatigaverat, sequenti die se venturum ad prelium per legatos Bohemis intimavit; eosdem ibidem residere, nec se diucius fatigare, magnis precibus exoravit." The word eosdem is an emendation from "eosque" of mss. and Malecz., which seems to me unnecessary. Another change in comparison with Malecz., which was not marked in the text, one may find on p. 118 (II 2), where one could read "super fluvium Unda." This lection was accepted following the Codex of Sandivogius of Czechel (henceforth: S), which was not considered by the Editors, because it is the only simple transcription of Z. Other mss. and Maleczynski put the form Uuda, i.e. Wda here, so the name of the Polish river Wda, which is a left confluence of Vistula in East-Pomerania. The mss. form makes, therefore, more sense than the form accepted by the Editors without marking and any commentaries. Incidentally, on p. 119 n. 6 the Editors discuss some interpretations of this name (following Maleczynski's commentaries) and one of the names mentioning in this context is river Bda. I suppose that they thought about Brda, also a left confluence of Vistula, which flows through south-east territories of Pomerania. Here I found a funny testimony that the text of the commentaries was translated from Polish: "The river could be the Notec, the Drawa, or the Wda lub Brda [lub is 'or']. Another testimony for the primary Polish version of the footnotes is the usage of the Polish form of the Bohemian river Cidlina (Polish Cydlina, p. 256 n. 1) or the typographical error in the name of Bohemian prince Sobebor: Sobichor (p. 281 n. 4). In the recent case one made probably the correction with hand-writing, and the letters 'eb' of the Polish form of the name: Sobiebor were read as 'ch'

I really do not understand why the form of all manuscripts and Malecz.: numquam was chosen for numquid in the sentence: "Numquid [mss. Numquam] enim fama vel militia Romanorum vel Gallorum sic celeberrima per mundum haberetur, nisi scriptorum testimoniis memorie posterorum et imitationi servaretur" (212: Letter to the Book III). This sentence is translated: "For would the fame and martial exploits of the Romans or the Gauls ever have been so celebrated throughout the world if they were not preserved in the testimony of writers for posterity to remember and imitate?" (213), so in the form of a rhetorical question. I think that the form numquam 'never' is in the proper place. In this case the translation should read in such a way: "The fame and martial exploits of the Romans or the Gauls would never have been celebrated throughout the world if they were not preserved in the testimony of writers for posterity to remember and imitate."

We find such words on p. 250, III 16 in the last line: "--sed minus abentem procul dubio dubitavit". In mss. and Maleczynski's edition one finds instead of "abentem" the word "absentem." The form "abentem" could be a typographical error here. If it is conscious emendation, it should be marked, and although it makes no change of the meaning of the sentence, it seems it is not reliable.

III The way of the edition

The numerous quotations were marked in the footnotes, and with italics in the text, but not all of those, which were identified by Maleczynski. Unfortunately there was no concordance to the Maleczynski's edition. Such kind of concordance is not alien in this editorial series, cf. the first volume with the Deeds of the Hungarians by Simon of Kéza. The metrics of the verses are mentioned inconsistently, sometimes marked in the text and/or commented in the foot-notes, as on p. 113 n. 8 and the second sentence below, but in a greater number of cases they are not marked or commented on. We find an example on p. 126 (II 4) "Unde multum Wladislauus indignatus et Setheus ira nimis inflammatus." According to Feliks Pohorecki and Karol Maleczynski, it is trochaic octosyllable. I would tell, that it is pity, that the graphic side of Malecz. was not printed. It shows the language and the artistic side of the Chronicle very clearly. However, one must mention, that in great number of verses they were graphically divided from the text. I mention just splendid translations of Dr. Barbara Reynolds.

I prize a very correct Polish orthography very much. It is really a great rarity in the Western literature, where the diacritic signs are normally omitted or used without elementary knowledge of the rules. Maybe two typographical errors should be corrected: on p. 119 n. 5 the name Wiezyca should be written with a point over the 'z,' and on p. 270 n. 1 the name of the Bohemian town Zatec was printed incorrectly (it should be without c with upper diacritic sign) I would like to correct, as well, the form Peredslawa of the Rus' princess, which does not exist in Polish; the correct form is Przedslawa or in Russian Predslava (p. 40 n. 2).

We find a piece of information about Svatopluk of Moravia on p. 247 in n. 4. However, the more important information, which I expected in this place, was postponed. Exactly in this place the Codex Heilsbergensis [henceforth: H] has finished. It was a good opportunity to signal this fact and to print the end of the Chronicle according to this manuscript. The Editors did not mark it, although they wrote in the Introduction (p. xxi) that it finished exactly in this place. Moreover, they have forgotten that from III 16 Z and S are the only mss. which transmitted the text of the Chronicle. Therefore, in some textual notes the alleged text variants of H were presented, as p. 264 n. a, 270 n. a and b, 286 n. a and b.

IV Historical comments

The historical commentaries in the footnotes, prepared by the whole editorial team, are rather sparing, according to the rules of the whole series. I think that they inform in proper way about the most important facts from the Polish history, geography, and politics. I think that thanks to them even the laic in the Polish history could understand the work of Gallus Anonymus. However, some of them provoke to the research discussion, to some individual remarks or corrections, or to underline some observations of the Editor. Such discussion is, of course, normal in the case of such work. Let me discuss.

I think that on p. 21 n. 5 it should be added that the word cebri (Plural), in contemporary Polish cebry, singular ceber 'bucket' existed until nowadays.

I would like to stress that the usage of the phrase "habebat septem uxores" by Legenda maior St. Gerhardi has been not observed in the Polish literature yet (p. 29 n. 4).

There is a discussion about the meaning of the geographical name Selencia on p. 12 n. 6 and 32 n. 6. According to me it would be worthwhile to signal that one of the verses on Boleslaw Chrobry's (the Brave's) tomb, which stood until the end of the 18th century in the Cathedral in Poznan, told that Boleslaw ruled "regnum Slavorum Gothorum seu (or: sive) Polonorum." It is the same triple order of mentioning as in the case of Gallus' Selencia, Pomorania and Prussia. Slavi from the inscription could be the Western (Pomeranian and Polabian) Slavs, so Selencia really could denote the territories of the Polabians westwards of the Oder.

One finds a commentary to the chronicler's words that Otto III went on pilgrimage to the Gniezno metropoly (p. 34 n. 2). In fact the Authors are right that Gniezno was not the archbishopric yet, because it was that the emperor's visit in Gniezno was a good opportunity to create (or to proclaim) the metropolitan see there. But piece of information needs a correction. St. Adalbert really was not buried in the cathedral, but in a small chapel. Nevertheless this chapel (built probably for the relics of the saint) was soon-- after 2-3 years, i.e. during Otto's visit in Gniezno--proclaimed as a cathedral and afterward rebuilt (cf. Tomasz Sawicki, Gnesen (Gniezno), in: Europas Mitte um 1000. Handbuch zur Ausstellung, ed. by Alfried Wieczorek und Hans-Martin Hinz, Band 1, Stuttgart: Konrad Theiss Vlg., 2000, p. 473-474).

The Editors mentioned on pp. 56-57 in n. 4 that the description of the great account of gold in Boleslaw the Brave's time was a kind of ironical invention of the chronicler. One must add, however, that recently traces of the goldsmith's workshop were discovered during the most recent excavations led by Prof. Hanna Kocka-Krenz on the Ostrów Tumski (the Cathedral Island) in Poznan, in the early-Piast palatium.(cf. H. Kocka-Krenz, Dzieje Ostrowa Tumskiego w Poznaniu przed lokacja miasta [History of the Cathedral Island in Poznan before the Legal Foundation of the City], Kronika Miasta Poznania, ed. Wydawnictwo Miejskie, Poznan, 2003, No 1, p. 17-18).

One of the disputable questions of Polish early-medieval history is the name of Bazoarium, where the Hungarian king Peter Orseolo built, according to Gallus Anonymus, a splendid basilica. Several trials of identification were given, but any conception was generally accepted. The Editors signalled this problem on p. 77 in n. 3. They try to read Bazoarium as Budavár, but there was no castle before the end of the 12th century there. They know the article of Gerard Labuda, in which he showed Vác as a potential place, where the cathedral could be founded. They quote only the Hungarian version of this article, published in 1970 in Századok, missing the Polish original: G. Labuda, "Bazoar w Kronice Anonima Galla. Próba identyfikacji" [Bazoar in the Chronicle of Gallus Anonymus. Trial of Identification], Studia Historyczne, vol. 12, 1969, No 2, p. 161-170. But G. Labuda's identification is not convincing, as the Editors observed. They omitted that a greater part of scholars looked for Bazoarium in Pécs, where King Peter really founded the cathedral. Very convincing seems to be the opinion formulated by Mieczyslaw Bednarz in his polemic with Gerard Labuda (M. Bednarz, Sanctus Petrus de Bazoario w Kronice Anonima Galla [S. Petrus de Bazoario in the Chronicle of Gallus Anonymus], Studia Historyczne, vol. 14, 1971, No 3, p. 429-430). He observed that a saint-patron of the St. Peter cathedral in Pécs was not St. Peter the Apostle, as one thought and still thinks, but the Italian hermit from the late-10th century, Peter of Monte Caprario/Bazoario. I could add to the suggestion made on p. 94 n. 1 that the clerk in the story about a poor clerk could be the chronicler himself, that it could be a symbolical reference to his person.

Very interesting seems to be the mistake made by Anonymous that Odilo was an abbot of St. Gilles during Wladyslaw's Herman embassy to this monastery, while his ancestor, Benedict, was an abbot there (p. 107 n. 3). But paradoxically this mistake strengthens the hypothesis of the Provenceal origin of the chronicler, what M. Plezia (Anonim tzw. Gall, p. xx) observed. It was Odilo, the abbot of St. Gilles, who personally participated in the location of a new monastery in the Hungarian Somogyvár. Our chronicler knew him probably from the documents and from the monastic tradition, maybe he went with him to the new monastery (cf. Diplomata Hungariae antiquissima, vol. 1, ed. György Györffy, Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1992, No 88 p. 267 v. 31).

The third footnote on p. 116 seems to contain very important information about the presence of the Jews in Poland at the beginning of the 12th century. From the responses of Rabbis we know that the Jewish commercials travelled between Prague and Rus' through Cracow and Przemysl (which belonged to Halich Rus' at that time) and there were Jewish colonies such as in Przemysl. From the second half of the 12th century originated the denarius of Mieszko III the Old, where a Polish inscription was written with the Hebrew letters.

I protest localizing Drzycim in North Cuyavia, as on p. 117 n. 6. Drzycim lay rather on the border of Cuyavia and South-East Pomerania on the Vistula, so better definition would be: South Pomerania. It is not the only one geographical trap, which waits for the Editors. We read on p. 226 n. 1 the names of some strongholds on the Polish-Pomeranian border, which were occupied by the Poles. I think that they were transcribed without reflection from Malecz. p. 129 n. 5. It is very interesting, why Karol Maleczynski, only some years after the cruel Nazi occupation of Poland used the German names of the villages and towns, which all the time lay in the Polish ethnographic area. The task of modern editors is to localize the places and to check contemporary names. In this case, this task was postponed by the Editors of the GpP. Let me identify these strongholds. According to the Editors they are named: Vandsburg, Raciaz, Zieten, Wissek and Prochy. Vandsburg is Wiecbork, which lies in the district of Sepólno Krajenskie in the palatinate of Cuyavia-Pomerania; Raciaz lies in the district and county of Tuchola in the same palatinate; Zieten is the German name of Szczytno in district Czluchów of the (East) Pomeranian palatinate; Wissek it is German name of Wysoka, the county village in district Pila of the Great Polish palatinate, and finally Prochy lies in Zakrzewo county, in district Zlotów of the same palatinate. This region is called Krajna. The name informs us that it was a borderland many centuries ago, exactly in the time of Gallus' activity.

In the footnote 4 on p. 119 there are false dates of the Great Fast identified according to Maleczynski and Plezia. In fact it started not on 25th February, but on 26th February, and finished not on 6th April, but on 12th April (Easter Sunday was 13th April 1091), cf. T. Wierzbowski, Vademecum [Handbook for the Archival Studies], 2nd ed. prepared by K. Tyszkowski, B. Wlodarski, Lwow-Warszawa: 1926, reprint Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Artystyczne i Filmowe, 1982.

I have problems with accepting the opinion of the Editors that Agnes, Zbigniew's sister [in law] was abbess in Quedlinburg (p. 123 n. 6). The speech is about the 80s of the 11th century, when Agnes, Wladyslaw Herman's daughter from his second marriage, was not born yet. She was an abbess not in Quedlinburg, but in Gandersheim, and some ten years later.

The fragment of the text signalled on p. 126 n. 1 was corrupted just in the Middle Ages. I plan to discuss its textual history in more detail in the future (cf. also my monograph Polska Piastów [The Piast Poland and the Árpádian Hungary in the Common Opinion (Until 1320), Warszawa: SOW, 2003, p. 38). By the way, there is a typographical mistake in the footnote: instead of 1012/3, the date should be written 1092/3.

There is a piece of information about Sieciechów on p. 130 n. 1, which states that Sieciechów was a seat of palatine Sieciech and later was a monastic foundation. However, the origins of the monastery do not reach to the end of the 11th century, but rather to the end of the first quarter of the 12th century. Its founder was named Sieciech, but probably was not the palatine of Wladyslaw Herman, but his younger relative.

I think that the information on p. 145 n. 4 needs a commentary. We read that Gallus' text (II 16) about the general assembly is the only mention of such an institution in Poland. The Editors postponed the text of St. Adalbert's legend "Tempore illo" (chapter 12) which says that the Pomeranians did not agree to convert to Christianity and rebelled against the Pomeranian prince. Although these words describe the Pomeranian relationship, they show the institution really existing in the Polish influence zone (region of Gdansk). The above mentioned prince of Pomerania descended from the local aristocracy, who in fact could be a representative of the Polish rulers, could initiate the Pomeranian (Gdansk?) dynasty. Its member could be the prince Swietobor, who was mentioned in II 29, p. 170 and n. 3.

Some footnotes concern the Pomeranian questions. On p. 158 n. 1 it was written that the name Bialogard sounds in Polish Bialogród. Theoretically from the point of view of the language development it is right, but the official and the only name, which I know is Bialogard. On p. 167 n. 5 Kolobrzeg was described as the centre of Eastern Pomerania. It is strange for me, because it was Kolobrzeg, which was since the 20s of the 12th century a part of West-Pomeranian realm. Gdansk (German: Danzig) played all the time the role of the centre of East-Pomerania. Maybe it would be better to note that Kolobrzeg was one of the most important cities of Western Pomerania. There is a false identification of the dux of Pomerania with Gniewomir on p. 200 n. 2. Gniewomir was, according to the opinion of majority of scholars, the captain of the defence of Czarnków.

I found a typographical error on p. 172 n. 2: the Hungarian king Coloman the Bookman was a king until 1114, and not 1111. The name of Kamieniec on p. 248 and in the Index was also printed with an error as Kamienec. As to note 2 on p. 186 about the identification of a stronghold Lapis (II 36) Bielowski was wrong. It was Kamieniec Zabkowicki, cf. A. Wedzki, Kamieniec [Lexicon of the Slavic Antiquities; henceforth SSS], vol. 8, p. 346.

Very interesting seems the stressing that Gallus used the Czech version of the name of the Elbe (Labe) instead of the Polish Laba or Latin Albis (p. 258 n. 1). But the Polish name does not occur in the sources of Polish origin, and probably did not exist. According to G. Labuda, SSS, vol. 3, p. 108 it is neologism, created from the Czech name only in the 19th century. This name represents the Czech and not Polish language features; theoretically the Polish form should sound *lobja (as in Sorbian). I think therefore that we might not expect the usage of the name in Gallus' work.

The Editors' remark that Maleczynski "speculates" about the possibility of Boleslaw's abdication (p. 275 n. 2) touches one of the important facts from the Polish history. I think there were no speculations of the researcher, but the whole reality. Boleslaw's rule was threatened after the Zbigniew'a blinding. It is not excluded that Boleslaw escaped to Hungary looking for help. I see here very clearly analogies between Boleslaw III Wrymouth and his uncle, Boleslaw II Bountiful (Bold), who also had to escape to Hungary after murdering St. Stanislas. Both rulers searched for help; maybe both tried to consent with the rebels by act of pilgrimage and humility. In my opinion, the description of the Boleslaw's II boastfulness in Hungary (I 28) so contrasting with Boleslaw's III behaviour stressed the humility of Boleslaw III during his Hungarian pilgrimage. It seems that both fragments were therefore the conscious composition (based naturally on real facts) of the chronicler.

We find false references to the quoted source on p. 282 n. 2. In fact, the quotation is not from Annales Cracovienses Priores, but from the Annals of the Cracow Chapel (the bibliographical references given in the text are proper). Annales Cracovienses Priores (MPH n. s., vol. 5, p. 14) differs with the orthography of the name of Naklo: instead of Nakel is Nachel.

V Bibliographical references

The last remark opens the question of the bibliography. I think that in some footnotes some articles should be mentioned, although they were written in Polish (mainly with a summary in a foreign language). If one deals with the problem of the devout wife converting her husband (p. 30 n. 1), one has to mention that recently Dr. Martin Homza from the University in Bratislava researched this topic. See Martin Homza, [Mulieres suadentes. Persuading Women. Studies from the History of the Holiness of the Ruling Women in the Central and Eastern Europe in the 10th-13th Century], Bratislava: 2002, with Conclusions in English; idem, The Role of Saint Ludmila, Doubravka, Saint Olga and Adelaide in the Conversions of their Countries (the Problem of Mulieres Suadentes, Persuading Women), in Early Christianity in Central and East Europe, ed. Przemyslaw Urbanczyk, Warszawa: Semper, 1997, p. 187-202.

To the literature about the fate of St. Adalbert's relics given to Otto III (p. 37 n. 5) one should add the article of Teresa Dunin-Wasowicz, ["Traces of St. Adalbert's Cult in the West Europe Around the Year 1000"], in Tropami [The Life of St. Adalbert], ed. Zofia Kurnatowska, Poznan: PTPN, 1999, p. 221-234.

On p. 54 n. 2 one of the basic problems of the Polish medieval historiography was described: the existence of two archbishoprics in Poland during the rule of Boleslaw Chrobry. The Editors concentrate on the theses of Karolina Lanckoronska that there was a Cyrillo-Methodian see in Poland. However, there was another explanation of this problem. The last one, the most convincing, was made by Wincenty Swoboda in his article: "Druga metropolia w Polsce czasów Chrobrego." ["The Second Metropole in Poland in Boleslaw Chrobry's Time. Reality or Gallus Anonymus' Invention?"], Roczniki Historyczne (ed. PTPN, Poznan), vol. 63, 1997, p. 7-15. He shows in this study that probably the territory of Poland contained a part of Mainzer archbishopric, when Moravia was included in Poland.

There are some errors in the names of the authors: on p. 55 n. 3, there is an error in the name of Jan Wikarjak and on p. 83 n. 2 as well as on p. 85 n. 3, we find the false Christian name of Prof. Bieniak: it should be Janusz, not Jan.

In the translation of the article of Gerard Labuda (p. 92 n. 2), the Polish word "zatargi" was translated as 'battles,' while it means rather 'conflicts.' There is false bibliographical description of this article, because in the case of Zapiski Historyczne one must quote not only the yearbook, but also the number. Each number has its own pagination, and the yearly pagination is on the internal margin, so the quoted pages are 453-470 or 33-50 of No 3.

On p. 96-97 n. 3 the Analecta Cracoviensia, vol. 11, 1979 should be quoted. It published the materials of the conference organised on the 900th anniversary of the conflict between the bishop St. Stanislas and the king Boleslaw II. To p. 100 n. 2, I would suggest adding the article of J. Banaszkiewicz, "Czarna i biala legenda Boleslawa" [Black and White Legend of Boleslaw the Bold], Kwartalnik Historyczny, vol. 88, 1981, No. 2, p. 353-390. The Editors postponed an extensive biography of Sieciech written by Janusz Kurtyka, in Polski slownik biograficzny [Polish Biographical Lexicon], vol. 36, Warszawa-Kraków 1995-1996, p. 495-509.

I am afraid that the bibliographical references in the List of Abbreviations (p. xii-xv) and in the Selected Bibliography (p. 289-307) are the weakest part of the whole edition. Some titles are written in a wrong way. SSS consists of 8 volumes, and not 7; the last one was edited in the years 1991-1996. The old series of the Monumenta Poloniae historica was printed between 1864 and 1893, and not 1970. I do not understand the consequent decision of the editors to put the contemporary name of Lviv instead of the Polish name Lwów, which occurs on the title page. According to the Polish rules of bibliographical quotations one must quote the edition place in the language-form from the title page, so Lwów, although contemporary official name is Lviv, and for example Breslau or Danzig, although now the official names are Wroclaw and Gdansk.

The references to Bielowski's editions in the MPH vol. 1 are erroneous; on p. 34 n. 2, we have Passio S. Adalberti martiris, in MPH 1, ed. August Bielowski (Cracow: Nakladem Wlasnym, 1864), p. 156 (proper is the title, editor, year of edition and page), while in the Bibliography on p. 292 we read with amazement: Passio S. Adalberti martiris. Ed. August Bielowski, MPH 4:206-21. Cracow: Nakladem Wlasnym, 1864. Here two editions were mixed: this of the so-called Passion of Tegernsee and the edition of the Legend known from its incipit as Tempore illo. The full description of this edition according to the presented model is De sancto Adalberto episcopo, ed. Wojciech Ketrzynski, MPH 4:206-21, Lwów (or Lviv): Nakladem Wlasnym AU, 1884. By the way, the term nakladem wlasnym means 'from own finances.' so it is not the name of the publisher. Here should be quoted Akademia Umiejetnosci (AU, the Academy of Sciences and Faculties) as a publisher. The bibliographical description of Bielowski's edition of Gallus contains, however, proper place of edition.

On the map in the internal part of the front-cover we find the improper Bohemian orthography of the Bohemian river Ohre (the Polish version Ohrza is the basic one on this map). The genealogical table on the internal back-cover creates the last element of the critical apparatus. I found here one more funny example that it is a translation from Polish. As the first wife of Boleslaw I Chrobry [the Brave] Rygdaga, daughter of the margrave of Meissen was mentioned. It is true that his first wife originated from Meissen and was a daughter of the margrave, whose name was Rygdag. We do not know her name. How could this error originate? The Polish description used the genitive form of the name of Rygdag: Rygdaga (maybe: "NN., corka margrabiego misnienskiego Rygdaga." i.e. NN., daughter of the Markgrave of Meissen, Rygdag). During the translation somebody thought that the Polish genitive form with öa ending is the proper ending of the German name.

VI Conclusions

Especially the historians know that the perfect work does not exist. Each product of human activity will contain some errors or misunderstandings. This is the case of our edition. But the errors which I mentioned above do not disqualify it. The first English translation was an opportunity to show some problems with translation, with understanding, with interpretation. The reader received a really good edition, which is a serious element of historical research of Central-European medieval history. I must stress once more, that the greater part of the text was translated better than the Polish translation. Also, it is a contribution to the discussion about the text itself-- the greater part of corrections or emendations of the Editors is to be accepted. The reviewed edition must be discussed not only by the Anglo-Saxon historians, but by researchers from the region as well. My critical notes were a test of such discussion. I think that it must be a satisfaction for the authors or editors when their works give a context for new reflection on the problem, to which they devoted their edition. So I would recommend this edition to the historians of the Middle Ages and for those non-historians, who are interested in the old literacy, to recognise the beauty of one of the best medieval European chronicles.