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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Polish chronicles
about the Battle of the Vorskla River in 1399

Nikolas Zharkikh

Since Polish warriors had took part in the campaign against Vorskla in 1399, one would expect that in the Polish annals there are some reports of this battle.


1. Only shorthand Miechowski annals can serves as historical sources for the campaign. Record made in a short time after the campaign. This record had no influence on the further historiography.

2. Story by Dlugosz should be regarded as a historical novel, in which a slight grain of real facts entwined by thick layers of author’s speculations and outright fabrications. Dlugosz showed his complete incompetence in the region’s geography, in determining the parties to the conflict, and even in the list of Poles – participants of the campaign. All the bright details of this story, relevant to the fiction book, should not be used in factual research.

3. All of the following (16 cent.) Polish historiography of our subject directly or indirectly derives from Dlugosz and inherits all of its fundamental flaws. These products do not contain any new documentary material. They only recompile Dlugosz’s story, adding to it their own reasoning and imagination. Their factual weight is still less than the weight Dlugosz.

4. Among these works attracted the attention interesting and valuable fiction works – the novel B. Wapowski and the poem M. Stryjkowski. They are of great importance for the history of literature, but they can not be considered as sources of facts about the campaign.

5. Since the mid-16th century, the Polish historiography begin to penetrate the individual fragments of the Great-Russian story (Sofia 1st chronicles older recension) – through the mediation of the chronicles Grand Duchy of Lithuania. These borrowings have not changed stories scheme, which has been determined by Dlugosz, and served only to further details.

Kyiv, February 23 – March 9, 2017