2005 | 112 | 3 | 69-89
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Was Gallus Anonymous Monachus Littorensis?

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While embarking upon yet another attempt at identifying Gallus Anonymous the author initiated his reflections by analysing Gallus' description of Slavdom. Indubitably, the depiction of southern Slavdom was edited from a Venetian viewpoint. This characteristic fact, frequently underlined by historians, is indicated not only by the mention of Venice but primarily by the order in which all lands were listed, starting with Epir, and followed by Dalmatia, Croatia, and Istria up to Venice herself, i. e. located along a communication route from Epir to Venice. Having indicated another Venetian motif in the 'Polish Chronicle' (Peter Orseolo of Venice) the author recalled that the Venetian origin of the Anonymous had been supported by Tadeusz Wojciechowski (1904) and Danuta Borawska (1965). The second of these researchers drew attention to a minor example of Venetian historiography: 'The History of the Translation of St. Nicholas the Great', noting that it was written, similarly as Gallus' 'Chronicle', with the application of the dyphthongal rhyme as well as a wide gamut of cursus forms. The latter were examined by Marian Plezia (1984) who arrived at the conclusion that the affiliation of both works cannot be explained by any other way than the presence of both authors in the same stylistic school. By following the path paved by the above mentioned scholars the author of the article compared in both works the authors' proclamations, the ways of changing the plot, the rhetorical constructions enabling a return to earlier narration, the personification of the native land, the epithets of the prime protagonists, the attachment of a special role to young people, the emphasis placed in the forewords on the role played by the present day (hodie), the inclination to render the plot more dynamic by resorting to short sentences with the subject alii, and the expression of all emotions by mentioning tears and lament, as well as several score lesser similarities. Finally, the author noted that both works applied an identical rhetorical construction and at the crucial point in the text - the same prayer, not cited elsewhere. There is no reason, therefore, to doubt that Gallus Anonymous was 'Monachus Littorensis'.
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  • T. Jasinski, Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza, Instytut Historii, ul. sw. Marcin 78, 61-809 Poznan, Poland
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