Croatian "Psary" versus Dalmatian "Pharos" in the legendary beginnings of Poland
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This article aims at presenting the historiographic, cultural and linguistic context of one of the themes of the myth of Prince Lech’s arrival from Croatia (who is deemed to be the founder of Polish statehood). Ioannes Dlugossius, the father of Polish historiography, placed the beginnings of Lech’s journey in the castle of Psary. However, after numerous reprints of the popular catalogue of Polish rulers’ biographies by Clemens Ianicius (Vitae Regum Polonorum, 1563), the chronicle entry “Psaros” was replaced with a more humanistic “Pharos.” Modern editors of Ianiciuss’ writings propped the new spelling with sophisticated commentaries and introduced in into the literature. As a result, two forms are currently used in the scientific literature: the historians use Psary, while linguists use Pharos. In my article, I am defending J. A. Kmita, a 16th century translator of Ianicius’ works, who was accused of mistranslating Pharos into Psary. The explanation of the origins of this long-running misunderstanding is the second subject of my article. Additionally, I am bringing back the Croatian context of the myth of Lech and making an (unsuccessful) attempt at locating Psary in Dalmatia.
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