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Poland-msg - 3/23/15


Medieval Poland. References.


NOTE: See also the files: fd-Poland-msg, East-Eur-msg, Russia-msg, fd-Russia-msg, Rus-women-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: sbloch at adl15.adelphi.edu (Stephen Bloch)

Subject: Re: Documentation for Czechs in period?

Organization: Adelphi University, Garden City, NY

Date: Tue, 8 Nov 1994 05:02:33 GMT


Barbara Nostrand <nostrand at mathstat.yorku.ca> wrote:

>To find stuff about the Chechs, you should first remember that they lived

>in Bohemia and Moravia.  At one point, Prague was the capital of the Holy

>Roman Empire.  It may be difficult to find a lot of stuff in English, but

>there has to be tons of stuff out there in German and Chech.  Try writing

>to the history department at Karl University, Prague.


Depending on what you want, you might also talk to the Jewish Historical

Museum in Prague.  I spent a number of hours there when I visited

Prague, trying to track down ancestors.  The staff (all two of them)

were very helpful and friendly.  There were language problems: their

English was better than my Czech, but on several occasions we all had

to switch into German to communicate.


I recall wanting to photocopy a number of pages from one of their old

(German) reference books, but they didn't have a copier in the building

so they handed it to me, gave me directions to a copying shop half a

mile away, and hoped I would bring it back.


Prague has a number of medieval historical sites.  The Svaty Jiri

(St. George) chapel dates to the 13th century or so (I think some of the

stonework is several hundred years older than that), and the Staronovo

Sinagogo (Old New Synagogue) dates to the late 13th century as well

(its name comes from several hundred years during which it was the "New

Synagogue"). There's also the famous "old Jewish cemetery", which seems

to have been founded around 1400; it's hard to tell how old it really

is, because due to lack of real estate they buried people on top of one

another for 300 years.  Half an hour's train ride outside Prague is the

village of Karlstejn and its beautifully restored 14th-century (?)



Gee, I'm getting nostalgic... and off the subject... sniff...


                                                Stephen Bloch

                                          sbloch at boethius.adelphi.edu

                                       Math/CS Dept, Adelphi University



From: rorice at nickel.ucs.indiana.edu (rosalyn rice)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Help with Polish research?

Date: 25 May 1995 15:21:37 GMT

Organization: Indiana University, Bloomington


<jahb at Lehigh.EDU> wrote:

>Unfortunately, I'm not having a lot of luck finding good sources of

>information on:

>    Medieval Polish history

>    Medieval Polish clothing

>    Names


        I know a little bit about Polish heraldry. Basically, it wasn't

like the heraldry of other European countries. Each extended clan (composed

of many families, with many different surnames) would all use the same *herb*

or heraldic device. If you want to be authentic for your persona, find the

*herb* that would have been borne by members of your clan and use it. You

probably can't register it (most Polish heraldry is "runic" and hence

not blazonable under current SCA rules) but if you can't then neither

can anyone else.


        This is no way "usurpation" of arms, any more than wearing the badge

of Lancaster or York to show support for those factions would be.





Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: bq676 at torfree.net (Kristine E. Maitland)

Subject: Re: Polish garb - 1400 to 1600

Organization: Toronto Free-Net

Date: Thu, 24 Aug 1995 01:23:37 GMT


: My lord and I are currently attempting to create a Polish Nobleman's

: garb for an upcoming event. If any one out there has any suggestions

: for fabric, trim, patterns, etc., it would be most appreciated. I am

: also finding out that it is very difficult to find art books showing

: polish nobility. So, if you could, please, let me know of any titles

: of books or other resources that could point us in the right

: direction.

:                      yours in service,

:                      Katarzyna Plazewska


To Katarzyna Plazewska from Ines Carmen Maria de Freitas.



The answer to your question hinges greatly on whether or not you can READ

Polish. The few sources that I could find (I happen to live in the

Polish/Ukrainian area of Toronto, ON, Canada) are not in translated into

english. I did find _Ubior narodowy w dawnej Rzeczypospolitej_ by Irena

Turnau [Warsaw: Instytut Historii Kultury Materialnej Polska Akademia

Nauk, 1991].  It's in Polish, however, the illustrations are quite clear

and it includes two photographs of a period costume PATTERN circa 17th

century. The book had a summary in English (see excerpt below):


"The First chapter is dedicated to the formation of the national costume

from the early sixteenth century to about 1640, but I do not deal with

its genesis from the Late Middle Ages.  The very beginning of the

sixteenth century brings about yet scarce written sources.  The late

medieval costumes were still worn while Italian and Spanish fashion was

spreading under the court influence.  The analysis of hundreds of nobles

and burghers clothing inventories, more and more numerous since the

second quarter of the sixteenth century, let's us assess that only a 2%

of the noblemen from Little Polans and 1% and 1% of noblemen from Great

Poland used to wear a foreign dress, while the Mazovia region is lacking

any mention of it.  Foreign influence was a little stronger in big towns,

particularly in the capital Cracow, commerical Lublin, but in small

centre various types of Polish attire either reign integrally or appear

in great prevalence.

        The sixteenth century was the period of formation of uniformed

types of men's attire, which was noticed by brighter satirists who,

unwilling to adopt quick changes in national fashion, promoted cheap

clothing made from local stock.  From the mid-sixteenth century, however,

there existed a pattern of national costume, not always perceptible for

the contemporary researchers...

        ...I have presented the main parts of the erly variant of the

national costume.  _Zupica_, a kind of caftan for horse-riding, was worn

already in the Late Middle Ages. _Hazuka_, also known early, was a kind

of coat with the cut similar to the medieval _houppelande_, and trimmed

with haberdashery. _Giermak_, a caftan based on Hungarian patterns and

buttoned at the whole length, was the most widespread caftan in the

sixteenth century. Shorter _kopieniak_, a kind of doublet, had the cut

more similar to West-European patterns.  Those costumes could be worn

alone, while zupan and _doloman_ ( a coat or jacket worn under another

caftan) often appeared together with _delia_ (Polish nobleman's fur-lined

coat) or _ferezja_ (smarter coater worn over another dress).  _Zupan_ was

worn also as outer garment, in particular by poorer owners.  Both zupan

and doloman had simple cut with right tail covering the left one. Any

differance between various zupan appears in the cut of the collars, in

the length or width of the whole dress.  Knee-reaching caftans were worn

as well.  Predominantly fur-lined delia belonged to the most widespread

overcoats with often changing length and width as well as the cut and

size of collar.  This dress was also worn by poor burghers... Ferezja,

worn as a representative dress even in the second half of the seventeenth

century, used to be more elegant.  Since the Middle Ages, _szuba_, a

fur-lined coat, was one of the most popular garments.  Trousers used to

reach the kneww or even the ankle and could have both ample and tight

cut. ...both noblemen and burgher had several or even a dozen of shirts,

and the reserve was replenished as the need arose.  Those goods made from

home linen, were rarely mentioned in the inventories of expensive

clothing..." pp202-203



[bq676 at freenet.toronto.on.ca]



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: bq676 at torfree.net (Kristine E. Maitland)

Subject: Re: Polish garb - 1400 to 1600

Organization: Toronto Free-Net

Date: Thu, 24 Aug 1995 02:28:17 GMT


To Katarzyna


[this is a continuation of Ines's previous post... sorry, I had to stop

because my time was running out.  Here's the last bit of it...]


"[...expensive clothing]. Caps, bordered or different height of the

crown, were usually made from woollen cloth, felt or silk, bordered or

lined with fur.  metal belts, sometimes sown on coloured leather, used to

predominate, but bqands or net belts were also worn.  Boots had no heels,

the front of the top part often covering the knee, lower shoes being more


        Women used to have a considerable number of undergarments;

embroidered chemises served as blouses.  The most widespread type of

dress was _letnik_ (frock),   the name being used to describe various

kinds of one-part dress with or without sleeves, often made from woollen

fabrics and worn all year round.  Women used to wear coifs of different

shape, and still fur caps over them, while married women covered their

head, neck and sometimes chin with a linen _podwika_ (long, white

kercheif). Foreign dresses did not play an important role in the

inventories of noble- and townswomen, and various types of nation dress

were prevailing."  

        from _Ubior marodowy w dawnej Rzeczypospolitej_ by Irena Turnau

        (Warsaw: Instytut Historii Kultury Materialnej Polskei Akademii

        Nauk, 1991) pp 202-3  


I hope that this is of help.  If you cannot get a hold of the book, send

me a self addressed brown envelope and a few bucks (to cover the postage)

and I'll photocopy the plates for you (most of the them are in black and

white anyway).  Remember to write the name of book and the author 'cause

I might forget.


In service to the furthering of knowledge,


Ines Carmen Maria de Freitas            | Kristine E. Maitland

Barony of Septentria                      | 503-65 High Park Avenue

Kingdom of the Middle                     | Toronto, ON M6P 2R7 Canada



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: bq676 at torfree.net (Kristine E. Maitland)

Subject: Re: Polish Personae

Organization: Toronto Free-Net

Date: Tue, 23 Jul 1996 03:50:35 GMT


Stefan li Rous stated (re: Polish persona):

: I know this file is small. I'd love to have more information to put in

: here since eastern Europe seems to be growing in popularity in the SCA

: recently. Unfortunately, most of the documentation may not have been

: translated into English yet.


       As someone who has worked in a library with a strong Polish

collection for almost six years, let me make a note about Polish


       True, I can't read Polish but with a little bit of work you can

glean some things.  For example, coffeetable books in Polish are probably

the easiest to come by -- what with the current Pope being Polish and

all. They usually are full of churches and church objects, followed by

armour, swords and other nifties.  Period clothing is harder to track

down pre - 16th century.  Anyway, Polish publications tend to state what

century the item came from in Roman numerals (XVI = 16th century).

       Don't be discouraged if the book is in polish --check the back as

there sometimes is a short summary in English.  If there's anything

anybody needs re: Eastern European documentation, let me know.  Living in

Toronto ( a very multicultural city, home to three universities and

umpteen libraries --one of which I work for), means that I have access to

some neat stuff.  


still can't speak a word of the language (after 26 years of exposure)

Ines Carmen Maria de Freitas

bq676 at torfree.net


(I'll mail photocopies in exchange for U.S. postage stamps -- I need them

for SASE as I am a writer as well)



From: hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu (Heather Rose Jones)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Polish Costume Translation

Date: 20 Jan 1997 06:06:30 GMT

Organization: University of California, Berkeley


I've come across a Polish book on medieval costume that has some photos

and schematics taken from some extant garments I've never run across

before. I'm interested in finding someone who can translate the sections

of the text related to these items (no more than 10 pages total) for a

mutually agreeable reimbursement.


The book is "Ubio/r dworski w Polsce w dobie pierwszych Jagiellowno/w" by

Krystyna Turska (Wroclaw: Polska Akademia Nauk, 1987 ISBN 83-04-02623-6)

just in case anyone is interested. The U.C. Berkeley library has a copy,

and it looks like it would be quite useful for anyone researching Polish

costume, especially of the 14-15th century ... as long as you can read



Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn

hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu



From: BHoll <bholl at cs.trinity.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Some assistance?

Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 23:23:48 -0500

Organization: Trinity University


I have missed the original post, but if you are interested in Russia and

Central/Eastern Europe, then go to the Slavic Interest Group web page:




There is a great bibliography there and other good stuff.


If you cannot get to that web page, then write to me at


MHoll at aol.com


and I'll be happy to help.


The most current and accurate name-book of Russian names can be found at

the SCA web site at




in the Heraldry section.


Again, if you need more help, feel free to write to me (do not e-mail

via this post).


Predslava Vydrina

Bjornsborg, Ansteorra



From: Malachi <malachi at zipworld.com.au>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: 14th century Poland information?

Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 03:16:43 +1000


bluekat at erols.com wrote:

> I recently reread Leo Frankowski's books, set 9 years before the

> Mongol's invaded Poland.  I was wondering if anyone knew any good

> sources on the period?  Frankowski piqued my interest.


Slavic interest group is at



It's great!


Also, James Minchener's Book 'Poland' covers the era very well and in

great depth. I unreservedly recommend it.


Need any more help, write me.





Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 19:56:44 EDT

From: Jgoldsp at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Period Polish Cooking and Books.../helpful info...


<< I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for Books on Period Polish

Cooking....or even better some recipes...

I'm very anxious to compare my "old family recipes" to see just how

changed they became over the years.. >>


Ok here goes first i do not say I know all there is to know about poland or

its foods

The area that constitutes modern poland is small compared to the kingdom in

the gothic period and into the renascence period it basicly contained modern

Poland Lithuania {after the marriage of the last piast heiress to the grand

duke of] most of belarussia and the western ukraine. The foods there of were

divided into 5 classes according to my source[Zbigniew Kuchowicz "old polish

customs of the 17th-18th cent.] These later merged into your typical three

styles of cusine peasantry,burghers,and nobility. Now for the nation itself

yes it was over run or invaded many times over its long history but it did not

disappear as a nation untill 1796 after the american revolution [third

partiction between Russia,Prussia and Austria} for polish cooking and a brief

history and some period sourec material get a hold of Old Polish Traditions in

the kitchen and at table by Maria lemnis and Henryk Vitry in english good luck





From: SNSpies at aol.com

Date: Wed, 9 Dec 1998 14:46:42 EST

To: harleypig at Juno.com, highland-foorde at cybergoyle.ml.org,

        atlantia at atlantia.sca.org

Subject: Re: 11th and 12th century


<< I'm new to the S.C.A. and looking for more info.

  on 11th and 12th century Hungarian/Polish (clothing ,food ,armor.....). >>


Siklodi, Csilla, ed.  "Between East and West:  Everyday Life in the Hungarian

Conquest Period ("Uber die Grenze Zwischen Ost und West:  Ungarn im 9-11.

Jahrhundert").  Budapest: "Kepiro" Verlag, 1996.  ISBN 963 04 6677 5

Nancy (Ingvild)



Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 11:27:12 -0500 (EST)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at tulgey.browser.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Polish honorifics?


On Thu, 18 Feb 1999, K. Stowe wrote:

> >('Pan' is a Polish honorific, like m'lord. They use it when they are being

> >polite.)

> Sir Landolf Witkowski in Artemisia uses it as the Polish equivalent of

> address for a knight -- he is called "Pan Landolf."


*giggle* that's where it gets confusing, see? Theoretically, there are no

'ranks' of Polish nobility. Either you're noble or you're not. Money,

land, power, etc. engender terms of flattery; certain jobs, such as

voivode or castellan, have job titles. But Pan and Pani are the proper

forms of address for any noble person. Nobility is inherited-- and doesn't

depend on status; just because you are in reduced circumstances and work

for a living (as long as it isn't in _trade_) doesn't affect your

nobility. Every noble man was a knight. *grin*


The July 1994 Table of Alternative Titles for Non-English personas


Gives 'Rycerz' for Knight but also Pan for Sir.


In modern Poland, Pan and Pani are the equivalent of Mr. and Ms/Miss/Mrs.


Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Shire of Eisental; HERMS Cyclonus), mka Jennifer Heise

jenne at tulgey.browser.net



Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 15:50:49 -0500 (EST)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at tulgey.browser.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Polish honorifics?


On Fri, 19 Feb 1999, Kenneth J Mayer wrote:

> On Fri, 19 Feb 1999 10:50:36 -0600 "Moore, Ed" <Ed.Moore at okdhs.org>

> writes:

> > Nobility is inherited-- and doesn't

> >depend on status; just because you are in reduced circumstances and

> >for a living (as long as it isn't in _trade_) doesn't affect your

> >nobility. Every noble man was a knight. *grin*


> Actually, in the middle ages, a knight was *not* a nobleman, but more

> middle-class if anything ...


Um. I don't know what it was like in other countries, but in Poland in the

middle ages, it appears that those who were knights were in fact members

of the szlachta (the nobility). By definition, one who was a member of the

szlachta had the rights and privileges of a knight. This despite the fact

that a good portion of the szlachta were 'grey hares', landless nobles who

lived in the cities and found employment with the great magnates, and many

were tenant farmers or small landholders.


One of those rights and privileges was to vote as to who would be king

(usually a confirmation vote, but there were times...)


Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Shire of Eisental; HERMS Cyclonus), mka Jennifer Heise

jenne at tulgey.browser.net



Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 16:54:17 -0500 (EST)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at tulgey.browser.net>

To: Slavic Interest Group <sig at room17.com>,

       SCA Arts list <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Medieval Polish Music-- Web site


If you can get get to a web browser and have a way to play MIDI files, you

want to check out:



This includes MIDI files of medieval and Renaissance music from Poland,

along with biographies in English of composers.


Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Shire of Eisental; HERMS Cyclonus), mka Jennifer Heise

jenne at tulgey.browser.net



Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2010 23:10:20 -0400

From: Sam Wallace <guillaumedep at gmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] 15th Century Travelogues


I found this set of travelogues while digging through Google Books. They

are of a pair of Italians who ventured to Persia, Poland, Russia and

other regions. There is some interesting mention of cuisine and culinary

customs, but not as many details as might be desired. It is worth

digging around in them as these areas did not produce many culinary

works until well after 1600.


Travels to Tana and Persia






Date: Wed, 03 Apr 2013 11:19:11 +1300

From: tamara at suncrow.com

Subject: Re: [Lochac] Polish costume any period

To: "Shambles (Lochac)" <lochac at sca.org.au>


On 2013-04-02 20:18, Robyn Ramsden wrote:

<<< I've got a new person interested in Polish costume but I've got no

experience with it at all.


Particularly looking for women's costume. >>>


Asfridhr posted these on the Slavic Interest Group list a while back,

in response to a poster with similar interests:


14th century:

Frescoes from the monastery of St. Jacob, L&#261;d, Wielkopolska (14th




16th century:

Women from Gdansk/Danzig



Sarmatian Baroque: Men's and Women's Noble Dress in the

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1550-1600, by Zygmunt Nadratowski



And these notes on Polish dress:




Janina Kami&#324;ska and Adam Nahlik "?tudes sur l'industrie textile du

haut Moyen ?ge en Pologne" Archaeologia Polona 3:1960 89-119




Martyna Milewska "A method of recording late medieval footwear finds"

Archaeologia Polona 19:1980 115-136



And another poster on another thread was in the process of building

this (urk!):







Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2013 14:16:34 +1100

From: Rebecca Lucas <rebe.lucas at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] Polish costume any period

To: "lochac at lochac.sca.org" <lochac at lochac.sca.org>



Asfridhr posted these on the Slavic Interest Group list a while back,

in response to a poster with similar interests:



Hooray! I'm useful!


While in the 16th century, the men seemed to be leaning towards that

'classic' Polish look of caftans and high boots, fashionable women really

do look more German-esque. This shouldn't be too surprising, as the German

Ostsiedlung had been happening for quite some time, and Krakow in

particular was a Hanseatic town with German and Polish populations.


Anyway, my all-time favourite manuscript wasn't mentioned, the Behem Codex:


(including the full stop at the end of the URL, sorry it's black and white)

where women are wearing gown-things (like


and (


where it might be that gown style people call a D?rer dress or a




Other stuff that might be of interest:


12th century figure from P?ock:



Dorota Pop?awska 1998. "The Representation of Music Instruments in Stone

Sculpture In Lower Silesia Until the Beginning of the 16th Century" _Polish

Music Journal_ Vol. 1, No. 2. Winter 1998. ISSN 1521 - 6039




(mostly images of men playing instruments)


I'm sure I'll hit the 'send' button and then remember where I saw more

photos of sculptures...


~ffride (was Asfridhr, just to be confusing.)


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org