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Book versus Power

Studies in the Relations between Politics and Culture in Polish History

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Edited By Jacek Soszyński and Agnieszka Chamera-Nowak

This volume considers the various interactions between the culture of the book and politics in Polish history. Each of the fourteen authors deals with a different topic, chronologically starting with the beginnings of the early Piast monarchy in the 10 th century up to contemporary times: for instance, E. Potkowski discusses the political ambitions of Duke Mieszko I and his descendants with regard to the introduction of early writing and reading in Poland; A. Kamler analyses the attitude of the Jagiellonian dynasty in the 1500s towards books and education; and D. Jarosz traces the changing approach of the communists towards book production and the promotion of readership in their attempts to persuade Polish society to accept their ideology.
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Historiography as an Instrument of Politics in the 18th Century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

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Jarosław Kurkowski

Historiography as an Instrument of Politics in the 18th Century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Thesauri absconditi nulla est utilitas

Printed matter containing historical and legal sources are an easily distinguishable, if numerically small, group within the book production of the eighteenth-century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Their total number equalled only to about half of an average annual output of titles from that century—that is, less than 0,5% of the prints that appeared during the years 1701–1800. Even, if one considers only the publications relative to learning and education, the statistical significance of these prints still seems hardly impressive, and, as we survey the century in chronological order, it turns out that during the reign of King Stanisław August Poniatowski (1764–1795) the percentage of historical books was gradually diminishing. However, with respect to the theme to be discussed, statistics are of little use, and an effort to attain higher precision here seems pointless. First of all, considering titles alone would be misleading. In at least some of the cases, we are dealing with multivolume editions such as: Codex diplomaticus Regni Poloniae et Magni Ducatus Lithuaniae (Vols. 1, 4, 5) by Maciej Dogiel; Leges, statuta, constitutiones, privilegia Regni Poloniae, Magni Ducatus Lithuaniae, omnique provinciarum annexarum a Comitiis Vislicae anno 1347 celebratis usque ad ultima Regni Comitia1 (Vols. 1–8) published by the Piarists; Traktaty między mocarstwami europejskimi od r. 1648 zaszłe, podług lat porządku z przyłączoną potrzebnej...

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