Testament wikariusza knyszyńskiego Andrzeja Neapolitanusa z 1594 roku
THE TESTAMENT OF THE KNYSZYN CURATE ANDRZEJ NEAPOLITANUS FROM 1594
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The article discusses the testament of the curate of the Catholic parish in Knyszyn in the Podlasie region, made in 1594 as an oral statement before appropriate municipal officials and later recorded in the town book. The description of the Latin source is supplemented with its translation to Polish. It is worth noting that the first item listed by the testator was his private collection of almost twenty books, comprising foreign prints from the late 15th c. and the first half of the 16th c., as well as newer Polish publications. Considering what is known from the literature on the status of clergy in other parts of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, his other movables and debts indicate that his financial standing was typical of lower clergy. The analysis of the relevant regulations of the Magdeburg Code and Canon Law confirms that his testament was valid. The origin of the testator could not be established. He might have been connected with the court of Chancellor Jan Zamoyski, in which an important position was held by Mikołaj Kislicki of Lviv, the parish priest in Knyszyn, and later the dean of the chapter of the collegiate church in Zamość. A book collection like the one described in the article could rather be expected to belong to a higher-status clergyman. The testament is an interesting evidence of prints being available in a little provincial town of the Commonwealth at the end of the 16th c. Appended to the article is an edition of the document analysed.
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