Book of Henryków


The Book of Henryków (Polish: Księga henrykowska, Latin: Liber fundationis claustri Sanctae Mariae Virginis in Heinrichau) is a Latin chronicle of the Cistercian abbey in Henryków in Lower Silesia. Originally created as a registry of belongings looted during the Mongol raids of 1241, with time it was extended to include the history of the monastery. It is notable as the earliest document to include a sentence written entirely in what can be interpreted as an Old Polish language. Currently the book is on exhibition in the Archdiocesan Museum in Wrocław. On October 9, 2015 the Book of Henryków was entered in the list of UNESCO's "Memory of the World". The first part of the 100-page-long book is devoted to the early history of the abbey, from its foundation by Henry the Bearded in 1227 until 1259. The second part includes the later history until 1310. In the record for 1270 a settler from the nearby village is reported to have said to his wife "Day, ut ia pobrusa, a ti poziwai", which could be roughly translated as "Let me, I shall grind, and you take a rest". The circumstances under which this sentence was written closely reflected the cultural and literary conditions in Poland in the first centuries of its national existence. It appeared in a Latin chronicle, written by a German abbot. The man who reportedly uttered the sentence almost one hundred years earlier was Bogwal, a Czech (Bogwalus Boemus), a local settler and subject of Bolesław the Tall, as he felt compassion for his local wife, who "very often stood grinding by the quern-stone". The local village, Brukalice, came to be named after him.
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original title: Liber fundationis claustri Sancte Marie
language: Latin
genre: chronicle


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