Satires on craftsmen and aldermen

Author unknown
Genre Epic, Poem
Keywords 14th century, Hradec Manuscript, Old Czech, verse satire
Title (in Czech) Satiry o řemeslnících a konšelích
Title (in English translation) Satires on craftsmen and aldermen
Editor Andrea Svobodová – Štěpán Šimek
Translator Walter Schamschula
Edited source Praha, Národní knihovna České republiky, XXIII G 92, ff. 132r-134v
Introduction Walter Schamschula – Andrea Svobodová
TEI P5 XML Encoding Matěj Čermák – Michal Mocňák – Ondřej Tichý
Summary of content Old Czech collection of seven versified moral stories about shoemakers, cobblers, maltsters, glaziers, blacksmiths, butchers and bakers.
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Introduction to the Text

Satiry o řemeslnících a konšelích, a collection of satires on craftsmen and aldermen, may have served as part of a mystery play on Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection. Herein it may have formed the initial dialogue between the devils and God (cf. the Book of Job) on the souls of the condemned and the saved (Schamschula 1983). The text may have been separated from the drama as an independent unit and still been used as an instructional device. Like Easter Plays in general (cf. The Quackdoctor), so the satires on craftsmen have acquired realistic and satirical details. One should, however, be cautious in trying to use them as an example of a sort of emancipation of literature from religious dominance or even as a document of an intrusion of middle class values into literature. The dominant ethical message is still Christian here. The target society, the audience, however, like in the drama, is the urban middle class.

The collection consists of the following parts: ‘on Shoemakers’, ‘on Disloyal Aldermen’, ‘on Evil Blacksmiths’, ‘on the Maltsters’, ‘on the Barbers’, ‘the Butcher’, and ‘the Baker’. In most cases, the unknown author exemplifies evil behavior specific to every profession, cheating, usury, etc., as non-Christian.

Introduction to the Source

There is only one preserved copy of the collection in the Hradec Manuscript (Praha, Národní knihovna České republiky, XXIII G 92, ff. 125r-130r; available online).

About this Edition

The edition brings together two short excerpts: O sladovníciech (‘Concerning the maltsters’), and O zlých kovářích (‘Concerning evil blacksmiths’). The given transcription was made according to the manuscript, taking into account the edition of Walter Schamschula (cf. Schamschula 1991, see Existing editions below).

The present translation has been taken, with the permission of Walter Schamschula, from the text of his edition. No textual changes have been made to the text, and only obvious typographical errors have been removed (cf. Schamschula 1991, see Existing editions below). The introductory information, based on Schamschula´s edition, has been supplemented from new contributions on the topic.

Existing Editions

Starobylá skládanie: Památka XIII. a XIV. věku. Díl 2., Václav Hanka (ed.), Praha 1818, pp.  117–144 [standardized transcription].

Satiry o řemeslnících, in: Výbor z literatury české 1, Pavel Josef Šafařík (ed.), Praha 1845, cols. 211-228 [standardized transcription].

Hradecký rukopis, Adolf Patera (ed.), Praha 1881, pp. 382-401 [semi-diplomatic transcription, standardized transcription].

Staročeské satiry z Hradeckého rukopisu, Jan Vilikovský (ed.), Praha 1942, pp. 9-12 [standardized transcription].

Výbor z české literatury od počátků po dobu Husovu, Bohuslav Havránek a kol. (eds.), Praha 1957, pp. 316-332 [standardized transcription].

Staročeské satiry Hradeckého rukopisu a Smilovy školy, Josef Hrabák (ed.), Praha 1962, pp. 98-101 [standardized transcription].

Hradecký rukopis: sborník českých veršovaných skladeb z 2. poloviny 14. století, Bohuslav Havránek (ed.), Praha 1969 [facsimile].

Satiry o řemeslnících a konšelích/Satires on craftsmen and aldermen, in: An Anthology of Czech Literature. 1st Period: from the Beginnings until 1410, Walter Schamschula (ed.), Frankfurt am Main – Bern – New York – Paris 1991, pp. 148-154 [excerpts: O sladovníciech (‘Concerning the maltsters’), and O zlých kovářích (‘Concerning evil blacksmiths’); standardized transcription].

Existing translations

Satiry o řemeslnících a konšelích/Satires on craftsmen and aldermen, in: An Anthology of Czech Literature. 1st Period: from the Beginnings until 1410, Walter Schamschula (ed.), Frankfurt am Main – Bern – New York – Paris 1991, pp. 148-154.

Further Reading

Grosse, Sven: Zur Standekritik in den geistlichen Spielen des Mittelalters, Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie 85, 1967, pp. 63-79.

Schamschula, Walter: Zur Genese der alttschechischen Standesatire der Königgrätzer Handschrift, in: Studia Slavica in honorem viri doctissimi Olexa Horbatsch, Munich 1983, pp. 129-141.

Lehár, Jan: Rukopis hradecký, in: Lexikon české literatury P-Ř, Praha 2000, pp. 1327-1329 [encyclopedic entry listing editions and literature up to 2000]. Available at: https://service.ucl.cas.cz/edicee/lexikon/lexikon/256-lexikon-ceske-literatury-osobnosti-dila-instituce-3-ii-p-r

Satires on craftsmen and aldermen

Edition


MECZ [online], Satires on craftsmen and aldermen, ed. unknown, trans. Walter Schamschula. KREAS Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Retrieved 07.12.2022, from https://mecz.kreas.ff.cuni.cz/publication/satires-on-craftsmen-and-aldermen/ Bibtex citation

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