Štilfrid

Author unknown
Genre Entertaining literature, prose
Keywords 14th century, chivalric literature, Old Czech
Title (in Czech) Štilfrid
Title (in English translation) Štilfrid
Editor Andrea Svobodová – Štěpán Šimek
Translator Walter Schamschula
Edited source Manuscript, Brno, Moravský zemský archiv, collection G 10, inv. no. 800 (formerly inv. no. 879), ff. 9r-13r
Introduction Walter Schamschula – Andrea Svobodová
TEI P5 XML Encoding Jan Čermák – Michal Mocňák – Ondřej Tichý
Summary of content Prosaic chivalric tale about Štilfrid, Bruncvík's father–together with the tale of Bruncík it formed a diptych, conceived as an allegorical celebration of the Luxembourg dynasty on the Czech throne.
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Introduction to the Text

The prose stories Štilfrid and Bruncvík from the second half of the 14th century are anticipations of popular literature (German Volksbuch), common in the period of Humanism. They are independent, though they relate to each other in that Bruncvík is Štilfriďs son. The theme is heroic; the heroes are ideal, virtuous, invincible and patriotic. There is some impact of supernatural forces in favour of the hero. The subject of Štilfrid seems based on various German tales in which there may be distant reflections of the Arthurian cycle (Tristan) and the Middle High German Siegfrid (Nibelunge) saga (Štilfrid and Žibřid). Nevertheless, the subject was “bohemicized” and turned into a strongly patriotic statement in which heraldry and symbolism of colors play an important part.

The constant repetitions of fighting scenes against the twelve knights, which are described in a very schematic, stereotyped way, must have had a strong appeal to the reading (and listening) public. Although the text is written in prose, there are some rhythmical passages. This has led to the assumption that Štilfrid is based upon an older, rhymed version.

Introduction to the Sources

The tale has survived in three manuscript copies, the first from the second half of the 15th century (Praha, Národní knihovna České republiky, XI B 4, ff. 197v-203r; available online), the second from 1487 (Náchod, Okresní muzeum, RKPS 153, pp. 188–203; not available online), and the third from the turn of the 15th and 16th century (Brno, Moravský zemský archiv, collection G 10, inv. no. 800, ff. 9r-13r; not available online).

About this Edition

The edition presents in full the text of the Brno manuscript. 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

Dvě kroniky o Štilfridovi a Bruncvíkovi, in: Výbor z literatury české 2, Karel Jaromír Erben (ed.), Praha 1868, cols. 39-54 [ms. XI B 4; standardized transcription].

Kronika o Štilfridovi, František Xaver Prusík (ed.), Krok 8, 1894, pp. 7-15, 41-49 [ms. RKPS 153; standardized transcription with an attempt to reconstruct the rhymed version].

Výbor z české literatury od počátků po dobu Husovu, Bohuslav Havránek a kol. (eds.), Praha 1957, pp. 554–561 [ms. G 10; standardized transcription].

Próza českého středověku, Jaroslav Kolár – Milada Nedvědová (eds.), Praha 1983, pp. 149-161 [ms. XI B 4; standardized transcription].

[povídka o Štilfrídovi], Alena M. Černá (ed.), Praha 2011 [ms. XI B 4; standardized transcription]. Available from: https://vokabular.ujc.cas.cz/edice/StilfU

Desatero kázanie božie/The Ten Commandments, 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. 221-242 [ms. G 10; standardized transcription].

Existing translations

Desatero kázanie božie/The Ten Commandments, 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. 221-242 [ms. G 10].

Further Reading

Schmaus, Alois: Zur Entstehungsgeschichte des alttschechischen ‘Štilfríd’, in: Wiener slavistisches Jahrbuch 3, 1953, pp. 28-36.

Kolár, Jaroslav: Bruncvík, in: Lexikon české literatury A-G, Praha 1985, pp. 311-312 [encyclopedic entry listing editions and literature up to 1985]. Available at: https://service.ucl.cas.cz/edicee/lexikon/lexikon/254-lexikon-ceske-literatury-osobnosti-dila-instituce-1-a-g

Edition


MECZ [online], Štilfrid, ed. unknown, trans. Walter Schamschula. KREAS Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Retrieved 07.12.2022, from https://mecz.kreas.ff.cuni.cz/publication/stilfrid/ Bibtex citation

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