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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Bernhard Wapowski (1530s)

Nikolas Zharkikh

I have noted, that after the story of "a campaign of Vytautas the Don" Wapowski told about Tamerlan and the Battle of the Vorskla. Tamerlan himself does not belong to our subject, but we have to look at him to get an idea of the chronicler methods of work and the limits of his competence.

Text: Wapowski B. Dzieje Korony Polskiej i Wielkiego Księstwa Litewskiego od roku 1380 do 1535 / Malinowski M. Tł. – Wilno: T. Glücksberg, 1847 .

Wapowski, recycling novel Dlugosz, enrich it with new details and even a new section – bragging Vytautas after the defeat. All of this – his own imagination, interesting for the historian of literature. they did not have any source weight.

We also see the author’s familiarity with the ancient Greek writers, which was manifested in his ethnic and geographical terms. We see his more prone to hyperbole. We see also his skill in building the overall context for the campaign against Vorskla, although this context is completely fantastic.

Particular interest have Wapowski’s look to battle, as the collision of Europe and Asia, in which the crossing of the Don is a semiotic event that should have not only tactical but also some general implications. But it all – for the historian of literature topics.

Full text of section – in the Ukrainian version.