Volume 8/2016/2

Piotr Goltz
Who, where and why? Foundation Myths and Dynastic Tradition of the Piasts and the Přemyslides in Chronicles of Gallus Anonymus and Cosmas of Prague

Much has been written about each of the medieval chronicles by academics from various fields of studies. If anything should be added, it seems that possibilities lie in a comparative study of the medieval texts. There are several reasons to justify such an approach to the chronicles by Anonymus called Gallus and Cosmas of Prague. Both narratives were written in a similar time period, in neighbouring countries, becoming evidence for the conscious forming of a dynastic vision of the past, as well as milestones in passing from the oral to the written form of collecting, selecting and passing on of tradition. Also similar is the scope of the authors’ interests, as well as the literary genre and courtly and chivalric character of their works. Firstly, the founding myths will be deconstructed in a search for three fundamental elements that determine the shape of the community: the main character, the place and the causing force. Secondly, a comparison of both bodies of lore will follow.

Key words: Gallus Anonymus; Cosmas of Prague; myth; dynastic tradition

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