Polish literature

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Polish literature is the literary tradition of Poland. Most Polish literature has been written in the Polish language, though other languages, used in Poland over the centuries, have also contributed to Polish literary traditions, including Yiddish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, German and Esperanto. Until the early 18th century, a major language of Polish literature was Latin, widely popular across all of Western and Central Europe at the time.[1]

Contents

Middle Ages

Almost nothing remains of Polish literature prior to the country's Christianization in 966. Poland's pagan inhabitants certainly possessed an oral literature, but Christian writers did not deem it worthy of mention and so it has perished.

It is customary to include within the Polish literary tradition, works that have dealt with Poland, even if not written by ethnic Poles. This is the case with Gallus Anonymus, the first historian to have described Poland in his work composed in sophisticated Latin and entitled Cronicae et gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum (Deeds of the Princes of the Poles). Gallus was a foreign monk who accompanied King Bolesław III Wrymouth in his return from Hungary to Poland. The important tradition of Polish historiography in the Latin language was continued by Wincenty Kadłubek, a thirteenth century Bishop of Kraków, as well as Jan Długosz, a Polish priest and secretary to Bishop Zbigniew Oleśnicki.

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