Nicolaus Hussovianus’ Carmen de bisonte im intertextuellen Schnittfeld antiker Reformatio-Sehnsüchte

Despite increased interest in non-classical Latin, even today little information about Neo-Latin literature from Eastern Central and Eastern Europe reaches the international scientific community. This concerns also Nicolaus Hussovianus’ “Poem on Bison” (publ. 1523) which is claimed by several ‘heirs’ of the Polish- Lithuanian Commonwealth simultaneously as part of their national literature and has become a key text of the Belarusian Renaissance. In addition to the overview of editions and research literature in Polish, Belarusian, Russian and others, the article embarks upon a traditional search for influences-and-references from an alternative methodological stance. Instead of just localizing (more or less plausible) quotes and allusions, it asks for the meaning and function which the references acquire in the new surroundings. Intertextual links to Virgil’s “Georgica” and “Bucolica”, which propagate the ideal of returning to a primordial way of life in a rural idyll, as well as Tacitus’ “Germania”, with its image of the ‘alien’ Germans implying the deficiencies of contemporary Romans, contribute important semantic layers to Hussovianus’ text. The intertextual links embody a reformist desire, which is closely related to the text’s pragmatic intentions. “Carmen de bisonte” is actually much more than just an “original and authentic” description of Belarusian (or Polish, or Lithuanian) beasts, woods and customs. Refs 57.

 Rutz. Nicolaus Hussovianus’ Carmen de bisonte im intertextuellen Schnittfeld antiker Reformatio-Sehnsüchte