31 August 2011

Wordless Wednesday: A Collection of Kings and Lech I

My Babcia brought this on one of her trips to America to visit us when she was younger.  It is a collection of the Kings of Poland.

I always loved looking through it but was always told I wasn't allowed to touch it. 

The price was 450 zloty.  Because I am not sure exactly what year this was from, I cannot tell you how much that cost in US Dollars at the time.

This is a description page of the collection of cards.  There is a list of the kings up until Stanislaw Poniatowski.

And here is the card of the first King of Poland, Lech I.

The text below his picture reads:  "Lech I. Family name of Slowianczyk (sort of like a Dynasty), first King of Poland, The city of Gniezno from a nest of an eagle that he found he created [the city]; Lived around the Year 550.  Christian Era._"  Poland was not at that time Christian, however, the years mentioned are from the Christian calendar.

Here is a link to a beautifully written version of the legend of Lech and Gziezno.

And here is another about the Legend of the Polish Eagle.  The red fields they talk about I have seen for myself and they are a beautiful color.

This video is a favorite of mine.  In the very beginning, you see an eagle flying and then a man stab his spear into the ground and a town grows from nowhere.  That is Lech and Gziezno.  The video is worth watching all the way through.

Na razie...


Artur said...

Oh boy, very nice and interesting post, but it needs much clarification.
First of all Lech is a mythical character, not actual historical ruler.
The description itself literary says: "Images of LEGENDARY and historical rulers of Poland by unknown Polish painter from second half of XVIII century."

The first historical ruler of Poland was Mieszko I (who took baptism in year 966) and first actual official king of Poland was his son Bolesław the Bold.
This unknown XVIII cen. painter was clearly not an expert historian, because he renamed Mieszko as Mieczysław and missed Bolesław somewhere :) There are other funny things in this list, but I fear it might be to long and boring to explain everything.

About the text below Lech's portrait. It's in archaic polish so it might be confusing, but I thing that phrase "rodem Słowianczyk" actually means something like "Slav by origin" or "Of Slavic origin".

So this book is not very good source of information about beginnings of Poland, but very interesting source about how Polish people in XVIII century (which is pretty long ago by itself) viewed their past.

BTW I love Your blog!

Polish Mama on the Prairie said...

Hi, Artur, thanks for stopping by.

I thought the phrase "rodem Slowianczyk" meant "originally from Slavs" or something like that. My father told me it was old Polish as well and we were discussing that it could mean in a sense of "Slavic tribal origin" or something like that. Which could also make sense, since tribes were in a way a family.

Loved your input. Yes, Lech I is the legendary founder of Poland. One can't help but to share such an awesome legend. Thanks for sharing your information!