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«Poesis Artificiosa»

Between Theory and Practice


Edited By Agnieszka Borysowska and Barbara Milewska-Wazbinska

Poesis artificiosa was known in the literary heritage of ancient Greeks and Romans, and in the Far and Middle East. Its tradition was preserved in the Middle Ages and practiced later. Poesis artificiosa gained an unprecedented popularity in the Baroque – a period most inclined towards all manner of special effects. The aim of this book is to present problems related to the Neo-Latin pattern poetry created from the 15th to the 18th century in Central Europe, mainly in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, German Pomerania, and Silesia. In the initial chapters, the authors discuss the practical application of pattern poetry in religious works, in compositions intended for the commemoration of the departed, and in poems featuring panegyric content. The remaining chapters refer to its theoretical aspects.


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The Judas the Traitor Epigrammatic Cycle. Introduction into Jacob Masen’s Theory of the Argutia Sources. Jarosław Nowaszczuk


The Judas the Traitor Epigrammatic Cycle Introduction into Jacob Masen’s Theory of the Argutia Sources Jarosław Nowaszczuk University of Szczecin The search for effective ways of forming the argutia is one of the signifi- cant literary problems of the end of Renaissance, and most of all, the times of Baroque. In general, scientists agreed that the skill of capturing thoughts in a unique way, causing surprise by uncommon presentation of the subject, is an inborn gift, or a talent.1 They did not question, however, that there was also a certain method which allowed achieving good re- sults. The German Jesuit, Jacob Masen, one of the prominent scientists of his epoch, presented his own view on this matter by elaborating on the above provided statements in a new formula.2 To this issue in the field of epigrammatic creativity he devoted his work Ars nova argutiarum.3 He is generally known as the author of a comprehensive treatise in the field of poetics, entitled Palaestra eloquentiae ligatae and a poem entitled Sarcotis. The latter work was to a certain extent used by John Milton. The writer was even blamed that his Paradise Lost was a plagiarism.4 Masen himself was a versatile artist and his output was quite impressive. He put much effort into getting a deeper understanding of the issue of argutia. He even called himself “a master of the art of argutia” (magister in arte acuta).5 1 See: Bohuslai Balbini Verisimilia humaniorum disciplinarum seu Iudicium privatum de omni litterarum (quas...

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