Polish literature

From Academic Kids

Polish literature is the literary tradition of Poland. The majority of Polish literature was written in the Polish language, though other languages used in Poland throughout the ages (including Latin, Yiddish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and German) also add up to the Polish literary traditions.



Middle Ages

The earliest monuments of the Polish literature date back to Middle Ages. Inspired by the Christian traditions recently imported from other parts of Europe, local anonymous copists prepared copies of - mostly religious - books that were popular in Western Europe at that time. Around 11th century local scriptoria were founded and the first books on Polish lands were created. Among the most notable examples of early Polish books are the Latin Missal of bishop Ciołek and the Graduał Olbrachta.

In early 1470's first printing houses are opened in Kraków and Wrocław. Twenty years later the first cyrillic printing house was founded in Kraków by the Orthodox church hierarchs.

Among the most notable works of literature of the epoch are:

There are also several short texts in Polish, mostly under heavy influence of contemporary Western literature. Among such texts is the Bogurodzica, a short song praising Virgin Mary which was used as a Polish anthem and Rozmowa mistrza Polikarpa ze śmiercią.


With the advent of renaissance, the Polish language was finally accepted as equal to Latin. Polish culture and art flourished under Jagiellonian rule and many foreign poets and writers settle in Poland, bringing new literary trends with them. Among such writers were Kallimach (Filip Buonaccorsi) and Konrad Celtis. Many other Polish writers study either abroad or in the Academy of Kraków, which became a melting pot of new ideas and trends. In 1488 the Nadwiślańskie Bractwo Literackie, the first club of writers in the world, was created in Kraków.

Among the last Polish writers to use Latin as the main means of expression was Klemens Janicki (Ianicius), who became one of the most notable Latin poets of his times and was laureled by the pope. Others like Mikołaj Rej and Jan Kochanowski laid foundations for creation of Polish literary language and modern Polish grammar.

Among the most notable Polish writers and poets active in 16th century were:

List of names

Writers and novelists

Main article: List of Polish language authors

Writers in chronological order of birth:


Main article: List of Polish language poets


See also

de:Polnische Literatur eo:Pollingva Literaturo es:Literatura polaca fr:Littérature polonaise nl:Poolse schrijvers pl:Literatura polska


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