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roda, 31 sierpnia 2005
Paul Radziłowski

An unknown source for Jan Długosz’s Biblical genealogy of nations: Roderic Ximenez de Rada.[i]

         Jan Długosz’s sources for his monumental Annales have been subject to historical studies for quite some time, although in recent decades, significant new progress has been made.[ii] The Biblical genealogy of peoples that begins book one of Długosz’s great work was ignored by the fundamental late nineteenth century work on the subject by Alexander Semkowicz.  The framework for the scholarly study of this first part of Długosz’s great work was sketched only by Krystyna Pieradzka in a 1958 article, Genealogia biblijna i rodowód Słowian w pierwszej księdze ‘Annales’ Jana Długosza, and by Bożena Strzelecka in the notes to the new edition of the Annales, first published in 1961, but it has received little scholarly attention otherwise.[iii]

         Pieradzka noticed that much of the information on peoples and boundaries of their lands appears to be drawn from the Etymologies of Isidore of Seville.  The German scholar, Arno Borst, in his vast study of legends of the origin of languages and peoples in ancient, modern, and early modern sources, noticed a general Spanish character of this section of the work.[iv] In truth, the vast majority of the Biblical genealogy after the description of the tower of Babel including the whole listing of the descendants of Noah and the lands they occupied (from Noe siquidem generatio to Alani, Hunni, including all the material on the lost page inserted into the autograph, but not limited to it) is drawn almost word for word from the Historia de rebus Hispanie sive gothica of Roderic Ximeñez de Rada (1170–1247), Archbishop of Toledo.[v] It was this Spanish chronicler who compiled the information from Isidore (with the exception of the final bit on Messia), as well as from the geographical and other sources. Of his own hand Długosz added only the following: the Polish and Tartar names of the Don river, the brief digression  in the “Sarmatian Sea” and the Sarmatian/Poles, and the explicit numbering of the seven sons of Japhet. It is interesting to note that Długosz apparently saw no need to change his source’s account of the sons of Javan, thus slighting Dzierzwa’s theory of the ultimate descent of the Slavs from Iavan/”Ivan”.[vi]

         There is only one lengthy departure from de Rada’s text in the main body of the biblical genealogy.  As Arno Borst noticed, the exact pattern of the subdivision into 72 of the descendants of the various sons of Noah which occurs in this section (22 of Sem, 33 of Ham, and 17 of Japhet) is taken by Długosz from the chronicle of Simon of Kéza (or the Buda Chronicle based on it), although he replaces the term tribus (tribe) found in his source with lingua (tongue), thus stressing the linguistic rather than the “racial” significance of the division.[vii]  

         Długosz’s authorial hand is also found in the omission of a few details found in de Rada. These include a somewhat arbitrary simplification of the lists of islands found in the original (England is omitted from the northern list, and Patmos, Pontus [the Dardanelles] and Curphus [Corfu] from the southern one[viii]), as well as the omission of all references to sources (rather scrupulously noted by de Rada). Much of de Rada’s lengthy treatment of the Spaniards and Tubal is excised also, leaving only a tight abstract of the original exposition. Perhaps the most interesting omission is of certain members of the list of territories belonging to Germany according the Archbishop of Toledo: Carinthia and Austria, of which the former certainly (and probably the latter as well) Długosz would have regarded as originally Slavic  In a similar vein, he removes the Vandals from the list of peoples descended from Magog, no doubt because he intended to follow Dzierzwa in placing the Vandals in a different grouping, and besides, he was opposed to associating the Poles with the Scyths.[ix]

         Długosz also reorders the place of the descendants of Magog on the list, for they are discussed right after the Galatians in the original, and they are treated only at the very end of the discussion of the sons and grandsons of Japhet in Długosz’s version. Magog is numbered as the seventh son of Japhet, instead of the second, as in the initial listing, which follows the original ordering in the Book of Genesis and Isidore of Seville. Likewise Długosz calls Tubal the sixth son of Japhet, instead of the fifth (as explicitly noted in de Rada, as well as implicitly in Genesis and the early commentaries). As Pieradzka noticed (even without knowing his proximate source),  this lends an air of disorder or even carelessness to Długosz’s attempt at numbering them.[x]

         Długosz also draws from Ximeñez de Rada once outside the biblical genealogy.  Under the year 1330, he compares the misdeeds of the Visigothic King Roderick to those of Casimir the Great in Hungary.  The account of Roderick’s defeat by the Muslim amir, Musa, in this section coincides in particulars with that of the Spanish bishop. 

        It is likely that Długosz used other sources to universal history, which have yet to be discovered.  If a full study of these is one day completed, we may discover that Długosz’s activities as a tireless collector of historical sources were more far reaching than previously supposed.[xi]

 Comparison of the Biblical Genealogies of Ximeñez de Rada and Jan Długosz

 Note: Sections in italics represent passages and more important phrases either not taken over by Długosz (when they occur in the the text of Ximeñez de Rada), or passages added by him (when they occur in Długosz’s own text).  Section A is a passage Długosz seems to have modeled only loosely on Ximeñez de Rada, so in that case I have italicized nothing.


Ioannis Dlugossii annales seu cronicae incliti Regni Poloniae, vol. 1, I. Dąbrowski and V. Semkowicz–Zarembina, eds.  (Warsaw 1964), 66-68.

Roderici Ximenii de Rada historia de rebus Hispaniae sive historia gothica, Juan Fernández Valverde, ed., printed as volume 72 of Corpus Christianorum: Continuatio Mediaeualis. (Turnhout 1987), 9-14, 17.



(Historia de rebus, pp. 9-10) Noe itaque generatio in Caldea et Damasci Syria et Maiori Armenia siue Assiria in qua Niniue dicitur esse sita, incertis sedibus uagabatur, et cetere regiones Asie Africe et Europe uacue habitatoribus et cultoribus solitudine quiescebant, donec primordia nostre originis, superbia confundente unitatem simplicium linguarum, diuisio separauit.  Et quia loquele diuersitas conuictus, mores et animos uariauit unilingues, aliam et ceterarum linguarum alias sortite sunt regiones, et prout unius lingue professio exigebat, diuersos populos effecerunt, et ab inuicem segregati climata prouincias et patrias diuerserunt, et lingua alia alienationem a proximo suggerebat, et non tam discidio quam odio separati loca placida elegerunt in quibus sedes comodas locauerunt, et propriis terminis non contenti alienos inuadere presumpserunt et ex iniuriis mors et gladius prouenerunt et nomina sua in terris et cognationibus uocauerunt postea linguas ydiomatibus distinxerunt . . .


(Annales, p. 66) Noe siquidem generatio in Caldea et Damasci Siria et Maiori Armenia sive Assyria, in qua Ninue sita est, sedes suas atque habitacula posuerat; cetere regiones Assie, Africe atque Europe, nulla hominum frequentacione aut populacione culte, feris tantummodo et avibus pervie, vastam solitudinem retinebant, donec primordia nostre originis superbia confundente unitatem simplicium linguarum divisio separavit: ex qua et in moribus, convictibus, animis, gestibus, legibus, iudiciis, cerimoniis, ritibus diversitas varietasque secuta est; propter quam odiis magis quam linguis dissidentes ad querendas novas sedes populandasque novas terras discessere . . .



 (Historia de rebus, pp. 10-11)  Europa autem incipiens a Thanay fluuio ex una parte Tirreno, ex alia Septentrionali et Gaditano Occeano terminatur.  Thanaym uero hunc dico qui ex Ripheis montibus oriens adeo preceps ruit ut, cum uicina flumina Meothis et Bosforus gelu sepissime solidentur, solus ex confactuosis montibus euaporans numquam algore Scitico indurescit.  Hic Asie Europeque terminus famosus habetur.  Fretum autem Gaditanum in finibus Gallecie a Gadibus Herculis nomen habet; Occeanum Septentrionale quod uersus Septentrionem plurimas insulas in se tenet, scilicet,  Schanciam, Frisiam, Schociam, Angliam, et Hyberniam et alias minores.  Deinde onmes regiones citra Tirrenum cum insulis que Tirreni litore includuntur, scilicet, Maiorca, Minorca, Euica, Frumentaria, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicilia, Mitelene, Venecie, Creta, Pathmos, Pontum, Curpho, donec ad paludem Meothidam peruenitur; Constantinopolitana etiam ciuitas in Europa noscitur constituta: hos omnes terminos et usque Gadiram, que cum Pella includit Decapolim, filii Iaphet Gomer et Mogoc et Maday, Yauan, Tubal, et Mosoc et Tiras in linguis et cognationibus, ut dicit Ysidorus, possederunt.


(Annales, pp. 67-68)  A flumine autem Thanai, quem Poloni sua lingua Don vocant, Tarthari Edil, Europa sumens principium, hinc Tireno, inde Septentrionali et Gaditano Occeano terminatur.  Ex Ripheis autem montibus Thanys oriens, adeo precipiti fluvio ruit, ut cum vicina flumina, Meothis et Bosphorus frequenter solidentur in glacies, solus ex confractuosis montibus evaporans nunquam Scithico algore indurescat, Asie et Europe alteram partem concludes, alteram  initians, famosus limes.  Fretum Gaditanum in finibus Gallacie a Gadibus Herculeis nuncupacionem sumit.  Occeanus Septentrionalis, qui versus septemtrionem aliquando Sarmaticum nominatur Mare, quod in littoribus suis Sarmate sive Poloni regiones et urbes possideant (ex quibus sunt ille due magis insignes, Lubyk que Polonice Bulkowyecz vocitatur, et Gdanzk, a Polonis populate), plurimas insulas in se tenens scilicet Scansiam, Frisiam, Scotiam et Iberniam et alias minores regiones.  Citra Tirenum cum insulis, que Tirreni littore includuntur, videlicet Maiorica, Minorica, Euica, Frumentaria, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicilia, Mitiline, Veneciis, Creta, donec ad Meotim paludem pervenitur.  Bisanciam insuper, sive Constantinopolitana urbs in Europa sita est.  Hos itaque omnes terminos et usque ad Gadiram, que Pella includit Decapolim, septem filii Japhet, videlicet Gomer, Magog, Maday, Javan, Tubal, Mosog et Thiras, alias Thorias, in cognacionibus, linguis et familiis suis possederent.



(Historia de rebus, 11-12)  Porro filii Gomer Assenec, a quo Regini Calabrie, (Ysidorus: Aschanet, a quo Sarmate siue Sauromathe, quos Greci Reginos uocant) et ab hiis processerunt Calabri, Siculi, Apuli et Latini qui Latium habitarunt, et Raphat, a quo Paflagones (Paflagonia contigua Galacie), et sicut dicit Cornelius Nepos, Paflagones in Italiam transuecti mox Veneti sunt uocati, a quibus Veneti Ligures et Emilii processerunt; et Togorma, a quo Friges, qui terram suam Frigiam appellarunt.  Filii autem Yauam Yelisa, a quo Greci, qui Eolides dicuntur; Tharsis a quo Cilices, qui Ciliciam habitarunt, quorum metropolis Tharsus; Cethim a quo Cithii (Ysidorus: Ciprii et secundum hoc Ciprus filiis Iaphet, non Filiis Sem prouenit) quorum ciuitas Cithium dicitur; Dodanim a quo Rodii, quorum ciuitas Rodum dicitur.  De Gomer filio Iaphet Galathe, secundum Iosephum et Ysidorum, qui latine Gallogreci dicuntur;  olim enim Senones Galli quandam partem Grecie inuadentes, a Gallis et Grecis Galaciam quasi Gallogreciam appellarunt. . . . De Maday Medi, a quibus Media nomen sumpsit.  De Yauan Yones, qui et Greci, a quibus Yonium mare, ex quibus Greci qui Throiam et fines eius habitauerant processerunt; qua destructa duo fratres Priamus et Anthenor Venecias nauigio peruenerunt, ex quibus Anthenore mortuo et Padue tumulato Priamus cum comitibus Germaniam occupauit, et ab ipso et germano Anthenore Germania fuit dicta, que nunc a Theutos, qui est Mercurius, Theutonia nominatur, a Latinis autem Lemannia dicuntur a Lemanno fluuio.  De quo Luchanus: Deseruere cauo tentoria fixa Lemanno.  Que has continet regiones: Lothoringuiam seu Brabanciam, Westfaliam, Frisiam, Thuringuiam, Saxoniam, Sueuiam, Bayariam, Fraconiam, Carinthiam, Austriam; et inde Gallias infringentes a fractione patrie et eorum ferocitate Francia fuit dicta.  Et nauigio simili e Throia Brutus adueniens eam que nunc Anglia dicitur a suo nomine Britanniam nominauit, a qua etiam olim Siluaria, nunc citra mare Minor Britannia nominatur.  De Mosoc filio Iaphet Capadoces, quorum metropolis Mazacha, quam Tyberius Cesar a suo nomine Cesaream appellauit.  Thyras, a quo Thraces quasi Thyraces, ut dicit Ysidorus, et a nomine patris sui terram incolatus sui Thraciam uocauerunt.


(Annales, 67-68)  Porro tres filii Gomer: Primus Asenech, a quo Sarmathe seu Sauromathe, quos Greci Reginos vocant, ex quibus processerunt Calabri, Siculi, Apuli et Latini, qui Lacium habitant.  Secundus Raphat, a quo Phaflagones, Phaflagonia contigua Gallacie in Italiam transvecti, Eneti vocati sunt, a quibus Veneti, Ligures et Emilii processerunt.  Tercius Togorin, a quo Friges, qui terram suam Phrigiam appellarunt.  Quatuor filii Javan: quorum primus Elisza, a quo Greci, qui Eulides dicuntur.  Secundus Carsis, a quo Calices, qui Ciliciam habitarunt, quorum metropolis Tharsus.  Tercius Czethim, a quo Cethime Ciprii (et secundum hoc Ciprus filius Japhet, non filius Sem provenit) quorum civitas Citium dicitur.  Quartus Dedanim, a quo Rodii, quorum Rodus civitas dicitur.  De Gomer filio Japheth Gallate, qui Latine Gallogreci dicuntur: olim enim Senones Galli quandem partem Grecie invadentes, a Gallis et Grecis Galliciam appellarunt.  De Maday Medii, a quibus Media nomen sumpsit.  De Javan Jones qui et Greci, a quibus Jonium mare, ex quibus Greci, qui Throiam et fines eius habitaverant, processerunt.  Qua destructa Priamus et Antenor Venecias navigio pervenerunt: ex quibus Anthenore mortuo et Padue tumulato Priamus cum comitibus Germaniam occupavit, et ab ipso et germano Anthenore Germania fuit dicta, que nunc a Theutos (qui est Mercurius) Theutonia vocatur, a Latinis autem Lemania dicitur, a Lemano fluvio; que has continet regiones: Lotharingiam seu Brabanciam, Vistfaliam, Phrisiam, Thuringiam, Saxoniam, Sveuiam, Bavariam, Franconiam; et inde Gallias irrumpentes, a fraccione patrie et eorum ferocitate, Franca fuit dicta.  Simili quoque navigio ex Troia Brutus adveniens eam que nunc Anglia dicitur, a suo nomine Britaniam nominavit, a qua etiam olim Silvonia, nunc citra mare Minor Britannia nominatur.  De Mosog filio Japhet Capadoces, quorum metropolis Maszaca, quam Tiberius Cesar a suo nomine Cesaream appellavit.  Thiras, a quo Traces, quasi Tiraces et a nomine patris sui terram a se populatam Traciam vocaverunt.



(Historia de rebus, 13-14)  Quintus autem filius Iaphet fuit Tubal, a quo Yberes, qui et Hyspani, ut dicunt Ysidorus et Ieronimus, processerunt.  Filii autem Tubal diuersis prouinciis peragratis curiositate uigili Occidentis ultima pecierunt; qui in Hispaniam uenientes et Pirenei iuga primitis habitantes in populos excreuerunt, et primo Cetubeles sunt uocati quasi cetus Tubal; et atendentes stellam que ibi post solis occubitum occultatur, occasum eius uesperum, stellam Herperum et patriam a stelle nomine Hesperiam uocauerunt. . . .  Cetubales itaque in populos dilatati ad plana Hesperie descenderunt et iuxta fluuium qui nunc Hiberus dicitur, uillas et pagos et oppida construxerunt, et inibi remanentes, qui prius Cetubeles, ab Hibero fluuio corrupto uocabulo Celtiberes se uocarunt; unde et eadem prouincia Celtiberia appellatur, que Occeano et Tirreno et Hibero et Pireneis montibus terminatur.

(Historia de rebus, 17)  [Hercules] Hispan quodam nobili qui secum ab adolescencia fuerat conuersatus, ab eius nomine Hesperiam Hispaniam nominauit.

(Historia de rebus, 12)  De Magoc Scithe, qui et Massegetes appellantur, et Gothi secundum Ysidorum, Vandali , Sueui, Alani atque Hugni. 

(Annales, 68)  Sexstus filius Japhet Tubal, a quo Hiberes, qui et Hispani, processerunt, qui primo Cetubeles sunt vocati, quasi coetus Tubal; et attendentes stellam, que ibi post occubitum occultatur, occasum eius vesperum, stellam Hesperum et patriam a stelle nomine Hesperiam vocaverunt.  Pagis autem et vicis circa fluvium, qui nunc Hiberus dicitur, constructis, qui prius Cetubeles, ab Hibero tandem fluvio, corrupto vocabulo Celtiberos se vocaverunt et regionem a se possessam, que Occeano et Tireno, Hibero et Pireneis montibus terminatur, Celtiberiam appellarunt, que postea ab Hispan in ea dominante Hispania denominacionem accepit.  Septimus filius Japheth Magog, a quo Scithe, qui et Massagete appellantur, Gothi, Sweui, Alani, Hunni.


[i] This article is a revised version of part of my doctoral dissertation: Binding the New together with the Old: Fifteenth Century Writers on the Origins of the Polish State and People, University of Southern California, 2000 (Ann Arbor: UMI, 2001),  368-371, 669-672.

[ii] The list of studies on this subject have been admirably summarized in the notes to Sławomir Zonneberg’s Źródła wykorzystane przez Jana Długosza w Chorografii do opisu ziem państwa zakonu niemieckiego, “Studia Źrodłoznawcze” 38 (2000): 103-110, nn. 1-8.

[iii] Alexander Semkowicz, Krytyczny Rozbiór Dziejów Polskich Jana Długosza (do roku 1384) (Kraków: 1887); Krystyna Pieradzka, Genealogia biblijna i rodowód Słowian w pierwszej księdze ‘Annales’ Jana Długosza, „Nasza Przeszłość”,8 (1958): 83–116. Bożena Strzelecka’s commentary appears in the notes of the Polish translation of the Annales (Roczniki czyli Kroniki sławnego królestwa polskiego, trans. Stanisław Gawęda, et al. [Warsaw, 1961], 81–95), and in somewhat abbreviated form, in the notes to the appropriate section of the 1964 Latin edition of the Annales, vol. 1 Wanda Semkowicz-Zaremba, ed.  (Warsaw: 1964), 331–38.

[iv] Arno Borst, Der Turmbau von Babel, Geschichte der Meinungen über Ursprung und Vielfalt der Sprachen und Völker (Stuttgart, 1960) vol. 3, part 1, 1043.

[v] Roderici Ximenii de Rada, Historia de Rebus Hispanie sive Historia Gothica, Juan Fernandez Valverde, ed. Corpus Christianorum: Continuatio Mediaeualis, vol. 72 (Turnhout, 1988), 9–14, 17.

[vi] The Great Poland Chronicle’s equivalent to Dzierzwa’s Iavan, Janus, however, does seem to appear later in Długosz’s account of Polish origins in a somewhat different guise, as a descendant (nepos) of Japheth.  See Annales 1: 70.

[vii] Cf. Scriptores Rerum Hungaricarum, 1:143 (Simon of Kéza) and 243 (Buda Chronicle, the text of which is there represented under the siglum “S”). Cf. also Borst, 2:part 2, 917 on Simon, and Borst, 3:part 1, 1043, which contains his discussion of Długosz. Pieradzka fails to realize this, apparently because she did not have access to the Chronicle of Simon of Kéza and mistook the text of the (often very similar) Vienna Illustrated Chronicle with that of the Buda Chronicle (see Chronici hungarici compositio saeculi XIV. Scriptores Rerum Hungaricarum 1:217–237 and 243, where the text of the former appears under the siglum “V”; cf. Pieradzka, Genealogia, 90n25, 94–96).

[viii] The omission of "Patmos, Pontus, and Curphus" is, though, found in one manuscript tradition of De Rada's work (represented in Valverde's edition by the MS with the siglum "I").  This tradition also omits the words "quasi Gallogreciam" in the phrase "et Grecis . . . appellarunt," just as Długosz does.  Accordingly, it is quite possible that Długosz merely took over these two omissions from his exemplar.

[ix] Annales, 1: 68-69, 89.

[x] Cf. Pieradzka, Genealogia, 97, 101–102.

[xi] Cf. Annales, vol. 5, 152; Historia de Rebus, 100–105.

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