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Book of Henryków

The oldest known Old Polish sentence, highlighted in red
Book of Henryków memorial in Brukalice

The Book of Henryków (Polish: Księga henrykowska, Latin: Liber fundationis claustri Sancte Marie Virginis in Heinrichau) is a Latin chronicle of the Cistercian abbey in Henryków in Lower Silesia. Originally created as a registry of belongings looted during the Mongol raids of 1241, with time it was extended to include the history of the monastery. It is notable as the earliest document to include a sentence written entirely in what can be interpreted as an Old Polish language[1][2] Currently the book is on exhibition in the Archdiocesan Museum in Wrocław. October 9, 2015 Book of Henryków entered in the list of UNESCO "Memory of the World".

The first part of the 100-page-long book is devoted to the early history of the abbey, from its foundation by Henry the Bearded in 1227 until 1259. The second part includes the later history until 1310. In the record for 1270 a settler from the nearby village is reported to say to his wife "Day, ut ia pobrusa, a ti poziwai", which could be roughly translated as "Let me, I shall grind, and you take a rest".

The circumstances under which this sentence was written closely reflected the cultural and literary conditions in Poland in the first centuries of its national existence. It appeared in a Latin chronicle, written by a German abbot. The man who reportedly uttered the sentence almost one hundred years earlier was Bogwal, a Czech (Bogwalus Boemus), a local settler and subject of Bolesław the Tall, as he felt compassion for his local wife, who "very often stood grinding by the quern-stone". The local village, Brukalice, came to be named after him.


  • The Old Polish sentence 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

The Old Polish sentence

"Bogwali uxor stabat, ad molam molendo. Cui vir suus idem Bogwalus, compassus dixit: Sine, ut ego etiam molam. Hoc est in polonico: Day, ut ia pobrusa, a ti poziwai." - Book of Henryków (Liber fundationis claustri Sancte Marie Virginis in Henrichow) 1270[3]

The medieval recorder of this phrase, the Cistercian monk Peter of the Henryków monastery, noted that "Hoc est in polonico" ("This is in Polish").[4][5][6]

See also


  1. ^ Allen Kent, Harold Lancour, Jay E. Daily, Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, CRC Press, 1978, pg. 3, [1]
  2. ^ Barbara i Adam Podgórscy: Słownik gwar śląskich. Katowice: Wydawnictwo KOS, 2008, page 12. ISBN 978-83-60528-54-9.
  3. ^ Book of HenrykówDigital version
  4. ^ in latinBook of HenrykówDigital version
  5. ^ Barbara i Adam Podgórscy: Słownik gwar śląskich. Katowice: Wydawnictwo KOS, 2008, ISBN 978-83-60528-54-9
  6. ^ Bogdan Walczak: Zarys dziejów języka polskiego. Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, 1999, ISBN 83-229-1867-4
  • Elżbieta Olinkiewicz; Katarzyna Radzymińska; Halina Styś (1999). Słownik Encyklopedyczny - Język polski (in Polski). Europa.  
  • (English) (Polish) Michał Jacek Mikoś (1999). "Middle Ages: Literary background". Polish Literature from the Middle Ages to the End of the Eighteenth Century. A Bilingual Anthology. Warsaw: Constans. p. 683.  

External links

  • Book of HenrykówDigitalised
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