Pieśni o św. Hiobie — tradycje i trwanie

Joanna Danielska


The medieval Song about Saint Job has survived until the present day in the handwritten record from the 16th century and in printed versions: Pieśni postne starożytne (c. 1607) and Pieśni katolickie nowo reformowane (1st edition published in 1638). Thanks to a reference in Peregrynacja dziadowska (1614) it is known that the composition prevailed in the repertoire of traveling singers and became an element of the folk culture, where it has remained till today. In a slightly diff erent form, it is still performed during a country ceremony which precedes a burial. The contemporary version of the Song about Saint Job is longer from the Old Polish texts and despite certain differences, there are also numerous similarities (e.g. present within particular stanzas or the construction of the plot, which refers mostly to the prologue and the epilogue of the Book of Job), which indicate an affi nity with the unknown Old Polish version, which was preserved only in its Lithuanian translation published by Martynas Mažvydas in Giesmės krikščioniškos (1563).
Th is article attempts to compare and contrast the new and old versions of the text in an eff ort to locate its both convergent and dissimilar fragments in various traditions which infl uenced the two preserved compositions: the Eastern version (apocryphal and Islamic) and the Western version (Christian tradition of the Church Fathers and the medieval reading of the ancient Roman literature). It also aims to interpret some vague fragments of old texts through a juxtaposition with the medieval English Th e Life of Job and with iconographic material.

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