Pagans in the Early Modern Baltic
Pagans in the Early Modern Baltic
Sixteenth-Century Ethnographic Accounts of Baltic Paganism
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Table of Contents
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Preface and Acknowledgements
Editor’s Note
Translator’s Note
1. The Cosmography of Pope Pius II in an Elegant Description of Europe and Asia [Cosmographia Pii Papae in Asiae et Europae eleganti descriptione] (1458) by Enea Silvio Piccolomini (Pope Pius II) (extract)
2. Polish Histories [Historiae Polonicae] (1455–80) by Jan Dlugosz (extracts)
3. The Life and Manners of Cardinal Zbigniew [Vita et mores Sbignei cardinalis] (1480) by Filippo Buonaccorsi (extract)
4. Treatise on the Two Asian and European Sarmatias and on Those Things Contained in Them [Tractatus de duabus Sarmatiis Asiana et Europeana et de contentis in eis] (1517) by Maciej z Miechowa (extracts)
5. Two Books on the Antiquities of the Prussians [De Borussiae antiquitatibus libri duo] (1518) by Johannes Stüler (Erasmus Stella) (extracts)
6. Pastoral Preface from Simple Words of Catechism [Catechismusa prasty szadei] (1547) by Martynas Mazvydas
7. On the Customs of the Tatars, Lithuanians, and Muscovites [De moribus Tartarorum, Lituanorum et Moschorum] (ca. 1550) by Michalo the Lithuanian (extracts)
8. A Description of Sarmatian Europe [Sarmatiae Europeae descriptio] (1581) by Alessandro Guagnini (extracts)
9. Little Book on the Sacrifices and Idolatry of the Old Prussians, Livonians, and Other Neighbouring Peoples [Libellus de sacrificiis et idolatria veterum Borussorum, Livonum, aliarumque vicinarum gentium] (1553/1561) by Jan Malecki and Hieronim Malecki
10. On the Gods of the Samogitians, of the Other Sarmatians, and of the False Christians [De diis Samagitarum caeterorumque Sarmatarum, et falsorum Christianorum] (1582) by Jan Lasicki

Reviews and Features

"Scholarly but very readable [...]. A good edition and translation of texts never before obtainable in English which are the key sources for a little-known and significant episode in European history."
- Ronald Hutton, Professor of History, Bristol University

Francis Young (ed.)

Pagans in the Early Modern Baltic

Sixteenth-Century Ethnographic Accounts of Baltic Paganism

The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the last European polity to renounce paganism and accept the Christian faith, at the end of the fourteenth century. However, the conversion of the Baltic region continued into the early modern period and the ongoing pagan beliefs and practices of Lithuanians and Prussians excited the interest of early ethnographers. This volume brings together Jan Lasicki's On the Gods of the Samogitians, Jan Malecki’s Little Book on the Sacrifices and Idolatry of the Old Prussians, and other Latin texts on Baltic paganism, none of which have hitherto been translated into English. A critical introduction places these texts, which are of interest far beyond the field of Central European history, in the contexts of early modern ethnography, Baltic history, and Reformation religious polemic.
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Francis Young

Francis Young is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the author of fourteen books.