Now you shoemakers of the new faith

Author unknown
Genre Parody, Poem
Original title Nuž vy ševci viery nové
Editor Voleková, Kateřina
Publisher oddělení vývoje jazyka Ústavu pro jazyk český AV ČR, v. v. i.
Place of publication Praha
Year of publication 2019
Repository Prague Castle Archive
TEI encoding Lehečka, Boris
View Edition

The song Nuž vy ševci viery nové (Now you shoemakers of the new faith) was composed in 1421. It survives in a sole exemplar on the front inside cover of the Library of the Metropolitan Chapter at St Vitus Cathedral, now housed within the Archives of the Prague Castle under the shelfmark E 43, written probably in the second quarter of the 15th century.

As the exemplar contains many corrections, erasures and mistakes, it was probably copied by an inexperienced scribe. It is a Catholic parody of the most famous medieval Czech Decalogue paraphrase Nuž, křesťané viery pravé (Now, You Christians of True Faith), a Hussite song from ca. 1415 written by Jan Čapek, a priest and one of the co-founders of Tábor (d. 1445?). This Hussite song survives, among other manuscripts, in the so-called Jistebnický kancionál (Jistebnice Hymn Book, Prague, Library of the National Museum, MS II C 7 [ca. 1420], pp. 51–52, fol. 32rv).

The first reference to the song was by Václav Flajšhans (Věstník České akademie císaře Františka Josefa pro vědy, slovesnost a umění 11, 1902, p. 308, note), who published it in an adjusted version (V. Flajšhans, “Desatero ševců z r. 1421” [The Decalogue of the Shoemakers from the Year 1421], Český lid 13 (1904), 469–70). A transcribed critical edition is included in Výbor z české literatury doby husitské, 1:295–97, with a critical apparatus on p. 337.

Following below is a more accurate edition by Kateřina Voleková that contains notes on the differences to the previous edition, emendations and scribal corrections. Due to the frequent occurrence of inappropriate iotation, Voleková left cases of appropriate iotation in short syllables (e.g. kuože – kwozye ms., cepy – cyepy ms.) without note. See also Adolf Patera, Některé málo známé památky veršované českého života náboženského a kulturního XV–XVI století [Some Little Known Versified Sources of Czech Religious and Cultural Life of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries], Sborník historického kroužku 14 (Prague, 1913), 63–64. For a recent analysis, see Lucie Doležalová, “Upon the posts and the doors of thy house”: The Ten Commandments in Late Medieval Bohemia, The Journal of Medieval Latin 18 (2018): 211–240.

Now you shoemakers of the new faith


Czech original and English translation
Czech Republic, PragueThe Archive of the Prague Castle Fonds of Metropolitan Chapter of the St. Vitus in Prague, E 43

MECZ [online], Now you shoemakers of the new faith, ed. unknown, trans. Překladatel, Franta. KREAS Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Retrieved 25.05.2020, from Citace bibtext

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