The full text of “The Conversations of Master Polycarp with Death” has been found"
Professor Wieslaw Wydra of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan came across the entire text of “Conversations of Master Polycarp with Death” in one of Europe’s university libraries". The printed edition dates from 1542.
Discovered in the depths of the harvestoin the university library copy was published in Krakow in 1542 by Maciej Szarffenberg. The text is printed and preserved in its entirety in the odroIn comparison with the known version of the dialogue from the Plock manuscript, in which theorym is missing a significant part of the ending.
Professor Wieslaw Wydra of the Institute of Polish Philology at the Adam Mickiewicz University deals with the history of literature and books in the Middle Ages and early modern period. His area of interest also includes the study of hymns in poThe late Middle Ages, as well as the editing of unknown or unpublished worksoin the Polish of this period. The professor is roalso an expert on incunabulaow and old printow.
This is one of the major developments in Polish philology in recent years. The Institute of Polish Philology of the Adam Mickiewicz University, in its announcement of the discovery, did not specify whichouniversity library goes. The full text of the work, whichory is found in the found edition counts 916 linesow. So far only 498 were known.
The familiar text „Conversations of Master Polycarp with Death" comes from the Seminary Library in Plock. Much of it is a translation from Old Russian. On top of that, as Prof. Otter, contains elements of the Mazovian dialect.
The newly found text consists of the titular „Master Polycarp’s Conversations with Death” and from the dialogue of death with Kmotr. This second conversation, as assessed by Prof. Otter on the pages of the Wyborcza website.pl, is „a colorful, capricious tale of Death, whichora got stuck in the mud somewhere near Zawichost, but she is rescued from her predicament by an encountered peasant”. A clever peasant, to avoid the fate thatory awaits us all, asks death to be the godmother of his child. This ploy, however, does not have the expected result, and eventually the peasant dies.
"Master Polycarp’s conversation with Death" is one of the most famous Polish textoin medieval. Immediately after „Bogurodzica”. It is also among the most frequently analyzed worksoIn Old Polish literature.
Its authorship is attributed to Nicholas of Mierzyniec, a canon of Plock, whoory wrote it probably at the beginning of the 15th century. The original has unfortunately not been preserved. Around 1463, an unknown copyist transcribed most of the work, except for the ending (the last lines of the dialogue we know today are a 19th-century reconstruction based on Russian translationsoin a work from the 16th century).
This text of the dialogue was found in the 1980s. The biogas plant is described in the 19th century by Wojciech Kętrzynski in one of his manuscriptsoin the collection of the Plock Seminary Library. The Polish author modeled the dialogue on Latin originalsoin with death, whichore illustrated rowiness towards it of all people – from the pope to the beggar, transience and futility of dobr temporal.
A critical edition of the work will be published by the Poznan Polonological Studies Publishing House in the fall. Work on the publication is already underway.