Krakow

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The trail of printing and publishing traditions

Krakow

  • A list of printing houses operating in Krakow

    in the 15th and 16th centuries.

     

    A list of printing houses operating in Krakow

    in the 15th and 16th centuries.

  • Kasper Straube

    Kasper Straube, working in Krakow between 1473 and 1477, when he left the city. The probable location of the printing house: a tenement house on the beginning of ul. Stradom, next to the Benedictine monastery.

    Kasper Straube

    Kasper Straube, working in Krakow between 1473 and 1477, when he left the city. The probable location of the printing house: a tenement house on the beginning of ul. Stradom, next to the Benedictine monastery.

    Krakow’s first printer. Quite a mysterious figure; he most likely belonged to the then large group of itinerant typographers. They often changed their place of residence, hence not much is known about him. We know that he came from Germany, more specifically from Bavaria, as his name was noted down in Krakow’s municipal books as Caspar de Bavaria in 1476. The content of these records, where Straube appears several times, was not too meritorious to him, if the truth be told. It concerns the repayment of debt and paying alimony to a certain Marta from Czarna Wieś. But this does not change the fact that he is a special figure to us today as the pioneer of the “black art” in Krakow.  He most likely worked for Krakow’s Benedictine monks from the monastery on Stradom, in the vicinity of which he lived and worked. Hence three of Straube’s well-known prints are theological works, namely: Opus restitutionum, usurarum et excommunicationum by Franciscus de Platea (1475), as well as Explanatio in Psalterium by Johannes de Turrecremata (famous Juan de Torquemada) and Opuscula by St. Augustine.

    Historically, the print of the largest significance is the oldest surviving print in Poland, Almanach Cracoviense ad annum 1474, a single page wall calendar in the in plano format. The calendar included astrological and medical content, namely a precise astronomical presentation of the phases of the moon as the basis for determining the right dates for bloodletting. Its author was probably Piotr Gaszowiec, an outstanding scholar from Krakow. Today we tend to look at such medical advice with horror, but at the time, and for several subsequent centuries, it was widely popular across Europe.

    The original copy can be found in the collection of the Jagiellonian Library.

  • Schweipolt Fiol

    Schweipolt Fiol operated in Krakow as a printer in the years 1490-1492. He lived here longer, however, as he officially became Krakow’s citizen in 1479; he left the city in 1499, and towards the end of his life, moved here again and lived in Krakow until his death in 1526.

    Schweipolt Fiol

    Schweipolt Fiol operated in Krakow as a printer in the years 1490-1492. He lived here longer, however, as he officially became Krakow’s citizen in 1479; he left the city in 1499, and towards the end of his life, moved here again and lived in Krakow until his death in 1526. Although as we can see, he operated as a typographer for a very short time, the works he published during that time include unique publications of great historical significance, discussed below. He came to Krakow as a representative of a unique profession, as he was a goldsmith embroiderer. He made sumptuous liturgical vestments for the Church, among others. This may be surprising today, but we need to remember that in the Middle Ages and for several subsequent centuries, embroidery was a guild job performed mainly by men, not women. When he came to Krakow, or maybe even earlier, he formed a partnership with Jan Turzo, a wealthy town councillor, financier, and above all mining entrepreneur, who leased a silver mine.

    Most likely working for him, he invented equipment for draining such mines in Olkusz, which was confirmed by a royal patent in 1489 as a technological achievement of the highest level. He returned to working in precious metal mining later in Silesia, after he temporarily left Krakow.

    As we can see, he was a very resourceful man. It can be added that he also ran an inn in Market Square, where his printing house operated in one of the tenement buildings near the Bielak passageway.

    It must have been his restless soul, searching for new challenges, but also an inspiration coming from Jan Turzo that led him to take up printing around 1490. And just as his occupations were often unusual, what came off his press was also innovative and pioneering. At the time, the Latin alphabet was used in the European printing industry and Fiol was the first printer to start publishing liturgical books for the Orthodox Church. They were printed using the Cyrillic alphabet, of course, in Old Church Slavonic.  They included: Czasosłowiec, Oktoich, Osmioblasnik, Triod postnaja, and Triod cwietnaja. They are breviaries, collections of songs, psalms, and Orthodox hymns.  He published them in the years 1490-1491. We do not know exactly whether it was because of his work for the Orthodox Church or some other suspicions of supporting people of different faiths, but Fiol was accused of heresy, imprisoned, and judged. Fortunately, thanks to the intercession of the above-mentioned Turzo and others, the episcopal court released him after a clearing oath. However, it banned him from printing anything else and ordered him to destroy all the books he had already printed, which unfortunately ended the activity of this outstanding personality in the editorial sphere.

  • Kasper Hochfeder

    Kasper Hochfeder, 1503-1505. He operated partly on his own, and partly in cooperation with Jan Haller, a publisher who brought him to Krakow. He worked at Haller’s publishing house on ul. Św. Anny as his typographer and independent printer. Researchers still have not conclusively established which publications are Hochfeder’s individual initiatives and which ones he only printed as Haller’s employee.

    Kasper Hochfeder

    Kasper Hochfeder

    Kasper Hochfeder, 1503-1505. He operated partly on his own, and partly in cooperation with Jan Haller, a publisher who brought him to Krakow. He worked at Haller’s publishing house on ul. Św. Anny as his typographer and independent printer. Researchers still have not conclusively established which publications are Hochfeder’s individual initiatives and which ones he only printed as Haller’s employee. And at the time, this became a hotbed of a conflict between them, which ended in Hochfeder leaving Krakow around 1508. In the years 1503-1505, when he definitely operated as the owner of the printing house, he published 35 prints. They are works published for the Krakow Academy. At this time, new humanist intellectual trends appeared in the approach, and consequently, in university publications for the first time. So among his publications, we will find old scholastic Latin grammar or philosophy textbooks, but also Hesiod and Horace. Obviously in Latin, although on account of the context, also first printed words in Polish appear there. Hochfeder’s greatest work was published in Latin. It was the first missal published in print in Poland, Missale Vratislaviense dating back to 1505. The Wrocław Missal is a volume of very high editorial quality, illustrated with numerous woodcuts, some of which were brought by Hochfeder from Germany and some made in Krakow by local engravers. One of these engravings – Crucifixion – deserves special commendation, as it was created by one of the most outstanding artists of the time, Lucas Cranach the Elder, and at the same time, it is the first illustration of confirmed authorship in the Polish prints. A total of 63 wood engravings appear in this company’s publications.

    Kasper Hochfeder Kasper Hochfeder

  • Jan Haller

    Jan Haller, 1502-1525. An exceptional figure in the history of Polish editing. On the one hand, during these pioneering times even the most modest printer played a very significant role, increasing the number of various publications. On the other hand, however, Haller’s role is something absolutely unique.

    Jan Haller

    Jan Haller

    Jan Haller, 1502-1525. An exceptional figure in the history of Polish editing. On the one hand, during these pioneering times even the most modest printer played a very significant role, increasing the number of various publications. On the other hand, however, Haller’s role is something absolutely unique. He was the first genuine publisher operating with great panache, who already at that time established something that could be called a publishing concern operating in a comprehensive manner and on many levels. What is interesting, initially he was not even a printer, but an outwork employer who commissioned the print of books – which he traded in – at various European printing houses, as he was also a bibliopole, i.e. a large-scale bookseller. The scope of his activity was very broad. He commissioned the printing and imported or sold books in centres such as: Nuremberg, Venice, Leipzig, Lyon, Toruń, Wrocław, Przemyśl, and Płock. He operated intensely in Hungary. His connections with this country were very broad; Heller built his wealth by dealing in Hungarian goods, such as wine, copper, oxen, and tin.

    He came from Franconia and got to know Krakow in his youth, when he studied at the Krakow Academy since 1482. In 1491, he officially became a citizen of Krakow and married a dowered daughter of a merchant, Barbara Kunosch. He is unlikely to have ever printed anything personally, so where does such a high opinion of his achievements come from? From the very beginning, he cooperated with or employed the best typographers. He began with Hochfeder, who was followed by Wolfgang Lern and Florian Ungler. He was able to organise work perfectly and always sought the right and necessary qualifications. At the time when he still commissioned printing outside of Poland, he received (in 1494) the privilege to publish Missale Cracoviense (the Krakow Missal) from primate Fryderyk Jagiellończyk. This was the second printing privilege in Europe! His attention to the functionality of the entire undertaking can also be observed in the fact of purchasing his own paper mill in 1510. It was the paper mill in Czerwony Prądnik, the so-called Duchacy paper mill, the oldest one in Poland. Because at the time book binding belonged to a separate guild, he also concluded appropriate contracts with bookbinders who bound the volumes Haller published.

    If we add the above-mentioned bookselling activity to all that, we get the picture of a truly modern publishing house.

    From among about 240 titles, we will only list those most important for various reasons.  They include:

    - the first codification of the Polish law printed in Poland, known as Jan Łaski's Statute (1506), a monumental publication. It contains some absolutely unique wood engravings and it is there that the lyrics of Bogurodzica appear in print. The edition became a printing legend due to its significance and quality (the presentation of the Sejm, the figure of the king, coats of arms invaluable as a source)

    - among many breviaries published for various dioceses, the Krakow Breviary of 1507 was the first one to include a calendar with Polish names of the months in print

    - the historical work of Maciej of Miechów (Maciej Miechowita), Descriptio Sarmatiarum (1521), achieved international renown

    Heller cooperated with the Krakow Academy on a permanent basis; the names of the authors whose works he published include Jan Głogowczyk, Michał of Wrocław (Michael Falkener), Erasmus of Rotterdam, Jan Dantyszek, Andrzej Krzycki, and Stanisław Zaborowski (Ortografia and Gramatyka). He obviously printed university textbooks, Aristotle, Hesiod, Virgil, Cicero, and Horace, as well as Theophylact’s Epistolae in Nicolaus Copernicus’ translation.

    The best and most relevant opinion of this publisher, surely worth quoting, was expressed by John of Głogów on behalf of the Krakow Academy. Haller was called Virorum doctorum fautor excellentissimus – the most outstanding patron of scholars.

    Jan Haller

  • Florian Ungler

    Florian Ungler, 1510-1536. The second permanent printing house in Krakow. We know several locations of the printing house: ul. Wiślna, the Bishop Erazm Ciołek Palace on ul. Kanonicza 17, ul. Szczepańska (currently the Grand Hotel).

    Florian Ungler

    Florian Ungler

    Florian Ungler, 1510-1536. The second permanent printing house in Krakow. We know several locations of the printing house: ul. Wiślna, the Bishop Erazm Ciołek Palace on ul. Kanonicza 17, ul. Szczepańska (currently the Grand Hotel). It published a total of 250 prints. Ungler’s activity has a special and crucial significance; he published the first print in Polish (Raj duszny by Biernat of Lublin – 1513), the first Polish orthography textbook (Zaborowski’s Ortographia polonica – 1514), an innovative mathematics textbook (Algorithmus linealis – 1514), and a music textbook (Monetarius’ Epitoma utrisque musices – 1515). He was also the pioneering editor of cartographic prints (the publication of Bernard Wapowski’s map of Poland in 1526, a work of special significance in global cartography) and such unique works as the first book on veterinary medicine (Sprawa a lekarstwa końskie – 1532). He was a person of merit when it comes to propagating the Polish language in works such as prayer books and the Gospel, the lives of philosophers, as well as the medical textbook by Stefan Falimirz, O ziołach i mocy ich (first edition in 1534), reissued many times. Astronomical, philosophical, historical, theological, and mathematical works, as well as calendars and missals came off his presses. Ungler’s publishing activity was intentionally meant to be addressed to the widest possible circle of readers, from the environment of the authorities of the time (royal, episcopal), through university circles, to texts for average popular readers. It needs to be emphasised, however, that having taken up the publication of Polish texts apart from Latin ones, he also edited works in Hungarian, German, Greek, and Hebrew.

    The truly important aspects of Ungler’s publishing activity included the use of a huge number of woodcut illustrations (he employed a total of around forty woodcutters), which obviously influenced the level and quality of his editions.

    Florian Ungler Florian Ungler Florian Ungler

  • The Szarffenberger family

    Marek – 1510-1543. Initially a bookseller and outwork employer, later a printer.

    Marek’s heirs – his widow and sons Mikołaj and Stanisław – until 1609.

    The Szarffenberger family

    The Szarffenberger family

    Marek – 1510-1543. Initially a bookseller and outwork employer, later a printer.

    Marek’s heirs – his widow and sons Mikołaj and Stanisław – until 1609.

    Maciej, Hieronim, and Hieronim’s widow. The printing house was located on ul. Św. Anny 6, and the following print shops were isolated from it:  Mikołaj’s (since 1565) on ul. Grodzka 3, at the “Pod Łabędziem” tenement house (The Swan House), and on ul. Grodzka 7.

    An unusual dynasty of Krakow’s printers of multiple merits and great achievements of several generations.

    Their activity in Krakow was initiated by Marek. As a bookseller and outwork employer, he inspired (since 1510) the publication of many works (around 60) of crucial significance – Erasmus of Rotterdam, Cicero, Seneca. In 1543, he established his own printing house, where works both in Latin, such as missals, and in Polish, e.g. Polskie wypisanie dwojej krainy świata by Maciej of Miechów (Maciej Miechowita), were printed. An extremely important component of his publishing activity was the ownership of a bookbinding workshop and two paper mills: one was the so-called “Żabi Młyn” (“Frog’s Mill”) in Prądnik Mały (currently Prądnik Biały) and the other was located on the Rudawa River in Balice.

    After Marek’s death in 1545, his work was continued by his widow Agnieszka and his two sons, Mikołaj and Stanisław, operating as “Marek Szarfenberger’s Heirs”. Their most famous editions include the publication of the Polish translation of the New Testament and the entire Bible, known as Biblia Leopolity (Leopolita's Bible), richly illustrated with wood engravings. They also published theological works, official forms and prints (such as Statuta Sejmu Warszawskiego), school textbooks, and herbals. The brothers’ achievements and their editorial activity were rewarded: they were raised to the nobility both by Emperor Maximilian and in Poland in the 1570s.

    Since 1564, the brothers carried out their publishing activity separately; Stanisław continued the work of their father’s printing house and bookstore, focusing mainly on the publication of belles-lettres, e.g. poetry by Klemens Janicjusz (Ianicius), his Żywoty królów polskich (Vitae regum Polonorum), Jan Kochanowski’s Pieśń o potopie, and many others, both in Polish and Latin. Also religious prints were published, often polemic. Stanisław was also an important publisher of textbooks for the Krakow Academy, such as Aristotle’s Rhetoric, dialectics, orthography and Latin grammar textbooks, and finally Bernard Wojewódka’s Algorytm to jest nauka liczby, a publication addressed to those dealing with practical calculations and conversions of numbers, measures, weights, and currencies, i.e. primarily merchants. Also such practical publications as farming guides (O pomnożeniu i rozkrzewieniu wszelakich pożytków...) and Wokabularz (1566), i.e. a Latin-Polish-Italian-German dictionary, were addressed to the popular reader.

    He printed both in Latin and in Polish (in the ratio of 36 to 25) and made efforts for the Polish language spelling and orthography to be standardised. We also need to remember about his large-scale bookselling activity aimed at reaching the reader intentionally and in the broadest scope possible. This is best expressed by his own statement that he “brought useful books from darkness to light for people”. According to the posthumous inventory, the bookstore operating next to the publishing house on ul. Św. Anny had a collection of 245 bound volumes and 3,304 in so-called sexterns, without binding.

    Szarffenbergerowie Szarffenbergerowie Szarffenbergerowie Szarffenbergerowie Szarffenbergerowie

  • Mikołaj Szarfenberger

    Mikołaj Szarfenberger, the second brother, ran the print shop on ul. Grodzka 3, next to the Swan House since the moment of the division. It should be stressed that Mikołaj was a particular propagator of using the Polish language, as he put it himself, “in order for the poor to be able to read and learn in their own language”.

    Mikołaj Szarfenberger

    Mikołaj Szarfenberger, the second brother, ran the print shop on ul. Grodzka 3, next to the Swan House since the moment of the division. It should be stressed that Mikołaj was a particular propagator of using the Polish language, as he put it himself, “in order for the poor to be able to read and learn in their own language”. The thematic range of his publishing house was enormously rich, it included a great number of prints for the court and the king, for which he obviously obtained a relevant privilege (e.g. J. Herburt’s Statuta i przywileje koronne, Konstytucje sejmowe), theological and religious works, from prayer books (Hortulus, Modlitwy nabożne wszem białłymgłowam należące), through Kromer’s Katechizm trójjęzyczny, to Powieść rzeczy istej o założeniu klasztoru na Łysej Górze. The latter is also an example of a popular belles-lettres edition; this category also included Historia o Poncjanie, Historie rzymskie, Historia o cesarzu Ottonie, and epic poems.  Prints connected with political and military events, such as Nowiny z Inflant and Poseł moskiewski krwawy from the period of the wars against Moscow, and historical works (e.g. Jan Kmita’s Żywoty królów polskich), also played an important role. We definitely need to mention a very highly regarded edition, i.e. Marcin Siennik’s Herbarz, to jest ziół opisanie (1568). Mikołaj’s 181 prints, published primarily in Polish (121), also include Latin and German texts.

  • Maciej Szarfenberger

    Maciej Szarfenberger (1526-1547). Brought to Krakow by his relative, Marek, he ran the print shop on ul. Szpitalna. He was yet another representative of the family of printers who rendered great services to the Polish culture. Just like the others, he published works on various subjects.

    Maciej Szarfenberger

    Maciej Szarfenberger (1526-1547). Brought to Krakow by his relative, Marek, he ran the print shop on ul. Szpitalna. He was yet another representative of the family of printers who rendered great services to the Polish culture. Just like the others, he published works on various subjects. They included many works of contemporary humanists (Frycz-Modrzewski, Stanisław Orzechowski), as well as rhetoric and grammar textbooks, but also unique titles, such as the first Polish cookbook – Paweł Seweryn’s Kuchmistrzostwo (around 1540). He became famous as a monopolist, as based on an exclusivity privilege, he published very popular Krakow calendars. Emphasising his merits as a Polish-language editor (Legenda o Św. Aleksym – 1529, Mikołaj Rej’s Krótka rozprawa między panem, wójtem a plebanem – 1543), we should mention the fact that he also printed the first Hebrew primer, as well as excellent handbooks and works in Greek, of which language he was a great propagator: they included textbooks and works by: Aristotle, Thucydides, and others. The effect of his work was the publication of 329 prints in many languages.

  • Hieronim Wietor

    Hieronim Wietor (Hieronymus Vietor). He came to Krakow as early as 1497 and studied at the Krakow Academy. He later settled in Vienna, where he acquired printing skills.  He returned to Krakow in 1516, and he ran an outstanding independent printing house on ul. Gołębia 20 between 1519 and 1546/7.

    Hieronim Wietor

    Hieronim Wietor

    Hieronim Wietor (Hieronymus Vietor). He came to Krakow as early as 1497 and studied at the Krakow Academy. He later settled in Vienna, where he acquired printing skills.  He returned to Krakow in 1516, and he ran an outstanding independent printing house on ul. Gołębia 20 between 1519 and 1546/7.

    He was very closely connected with the publishing activity for the royal court and received the title of typhographus regius. He is an eminent example of a Renaissance publisher, he printed contemporary humanist classics, i.e. many works by Erasmus of Rotterdam, Latin texts (Livy, Horace, Cicero), Greek, and also Hungarian texts.

    His connections with innovative intellectual currents can be seen clearly in the selection of the authors he published, as they included: Jan Dantyszek, Andrzej Frycz-Modrzewski, Stanisław Hozjusz, Marcin Kromer, Andrzej Krzycki, and Mikołaj Rej. He also stood out among other publishers printing in Polish by very emphatically stressing the need to publish translations from other languages. He was the organiser of the intellectual life of the Krakow Academy bachelors, initiator of the translations of numerous works, editor of academic and scientific, philosophical, and historical, as well as more popular, religious literature of the time, and the first dramas. He was very determined in his efforts for the popularisation of the Polish language in print, which he emphasised as follows: “As I have come to these parts, to Poland years ago, wanting to show my appreciation and do something for the benefit of the Poles, I decided to publish the Polish language and Polish books under my imprint”. The best-known examples of that include: Rozmowy, które miał król Salomon z Marchołtem grubym a sprośnym, as well as Raj duszny (1521), Żywot Pana Jezu Krysta, Księgi Salomonowe, and Historia o szczęściu (1522). So it was no coincidence that he published Polish textbooks, also for foreigners, such as Polskie książeczki wielmi potrzebne ku uczeniu się polskiego, przy tym i po niemiecku wyłożone (1539) and Wokabularz rozmaitych i potrzebnych sentencji, which was reissued until the 17th century (15 editions).

    Among the 613 titles printed in Wietor’s workshops, we will also find official texts (such as Statuty Zygmunta I and many other legal books) and university textbooks on theology, medicine, philosophy, and history. We should also stress his merits connected with the introduction of Polish fonts, such as ą and ę to the typographical range, along with new, Renaissance typefaces, such as Manutius’ roman and italic types, which really improved the aesthetic quality and legibility of the printed texts. The very broad range of woodcut illustrations used by the publishing house should also be mentioned. The level and scope of his work unquestionably place him among the absolute top of Krakow’s publishers in the 16th century.

    Hieronim Wietor

  • Łazarz Andrysowicz

    Łazarz Andrysowicz operated as a printer in Krakow since 1548, initially as a journeyman for Barbara, Wietor’s widow, and between 1549 and 1577, after marrying her, carried out his own publishing activity. He was a colourful and ambivalent figure. His private and family life abounded in scandals, shocking his contemporaries. However, this does not change the fact that he was surely one of the most outstanding printers in 16th-century Krakow.

    Łazarz Andrysowicz

    Łazarz Andrysowicz

    Łazarz Andrysowicz operated as a printer in Krakow since 1548, initially as a journeyman for Barbara, Wietor’s widow, and between 1549 and 1577, after marrying her, carried out his own publishing activity. He was a colourful and ambivalent figure. His private and family life abounded in scandals, shocking his contemporaries. However, this does not change the fact that he was surely one of the most outstanding printers in 16th-century Krakow. His prints were famous for their high quality and excellent illustrations, woodcut of course. It is obvious that he sought to publish profitable titles. On the one hand, he was quite a ruthless manager, to put it in contemporary terms, fighting for profit. On the other hand, however, he also printed important, often pioneering works. The thematic range included calendars and astrological predictions, texts by many outstanding Renaissance authors, such as: Stanisław Orzechowski’s political publications – all 14 of them, Jan Kochanowski’s O śmierci Jana Tarnowskiego (1561) and Zgoda (1564), works by Stanisław Hozjusz and J.D. Solikowski, the first edition of Frycz-Modrzewski’s O poprawie Rzeczypospolitej – unfinished due to censors’ intervention. Legal publications were of great significance, e.g. Stanisław Herburt’s Statuta Regni Poloniae (1563 and 1567), and the famous city rights textbooks by Bartłomiej Groicki, reissued nearly until the end of the First Polish Republic, namely Artykuły prawa magdeburskiego (1st edition in 1558) and their continuation, e.g. Porządek sądów miejskich and Postępek w sądziech około karania na gardle (1559), a total of 5 legal works of fundamental importance, reissued more than 20 times. Among unique titles, the following publications have to be mentioned: Geometria, to jest miernicka nauka by Stanisław Grzepski (the first Polish book on geology, 1566) and Olbrycht Strumieński’s O sprawie, sypaniu, wymierzaniu i sypaniu stawów (1573), pioneering on a European scale. He was also known as an excellent editor of musical publications, among which the publication of the works of Wacław of Szamotuły (1553), the most brilliant Polish composer of the time, deserves to be mentioned. Oficyna Łazarzowa also published medical textbooks and the famous treatise of Hetman Jan Tarnowski, Consilium rationis bellicae, i.e. a modern textbook on the art of war.  269 very diverse titles published by Łazarz Andrysowicz, including 130 in Polish, present his merits to our culture, recognised also by his contemporaries, for instance in the form of royal privileges.

    Łazarz Andrysowicz Łazarz Andrysowicz

  • The Siebeneicher family

    Marcin, Mateusz, Jakub. In Krakow since 1515.

    Another multigenerational family of Krakow’s publishers and printers, incorporated in the family structures of the Szarfenbergers through marriages.

    The Siebeneicher family

    The Siebeneicher family

    Marcin, Mateusz, Jakub. In Krakow since 1515.

    Another multigenerational family of Krakow’s publishers and printers, incorporated in the family structures of the Szarfenbergers through marriages.

    Marcin (1515-1543) was rather an outwork employer. He rendered considerable services as a bookseller and a publisher of books in Hungarian.

    Mateusz (1557-1582), Marcin’s son, married Anna, daughter of Marek Szarfenberger, and inherited his publishing house, which he effectively developed.

    He was a printer, bookseller, and owned a paper mill called “Żabi Młyn” (“Frog’s Mill”). Throughout the years of his work, he published 193 titles, including 104 in Polish.

    Thanks to his prints, he considerably broadened and enriched the editorial market of the time. Naturally, which cannot be surprising, he published a number of various textbooks – on law, rhetoric, Latin, orthography, religion. One of his absolutely unique titles was the first Polish pedagogic work, Erazm Gliczner's Książka o wychowaniu dziatek. As a participant of Counter-Reformation ideological disputes typical of the period, he printed both many small, often one-page religious texts and monumental works in terms of editing, such as Rev. Jakub Wujek’s Postyla większa, about 1,500 pages long, published in a huge edition of 1,000 copies (1573-75), which was very rare at the time.

    Another unusual achievement was the earlier (1564) publication of Marcin Bielski’s Kronika Świata. It was an extended new edition of his famous work, enriched with numerous wood engravings.

    Siebeneicherowie Siebeneicherowie

  • Maciej Wirzbięta

    Maciej Wirzbięta, in Krakow in the years 1557-1605. A Protestant, Calvinistic publishing house. It most likely operated on ul. Sławkowska 7, where the Grand Hotel is now located.

    Maciej Wirzbięta

    Maciej Wirzbięta

    Maciej Wirzbięta, in Krakow in the years 1557-1605. A Protestant, Calvinistic publishing house. It most likely operated on ul. Sławkowska 7, where the Grand Hotel is now located.

    This great typographer is known above all as a publisher and a friend of one of the fathers of our literature, i.e. Mikołaj Rej. He began his activity as an independent printer by publishing this author’s Postylla (1577). This work already shows his typical attention to proper editorial quality, both by selecting an aesthetic, legible typeface and by using a large number (83) of high-quality woodcuts.

    He reissued this work many times, in different variants. His cooperation with Rej did not end there of course; Wirzbięta also published his Wizerunek własny żywota człowieka poczciwego, Źwierciadło, Źwierzyniec, and Figliki. The fact that not only Protestant authors, but also other outstanding writers not connected with this ideological camp published their works at his company also testifies to the level and quality of his work. Thanks to that, the group of eminent writers and monumental publications in the history of Polish literature include: Jan Kochanowski (Czego chcesz od nas Panie – 1562; Szachy – 1654), Łukasz Górnicki (Dworzanin polski – 1566) or the monumental edition of Alessandro Guagnini’s (Maciej Stryjkowski’s) Sarmatiae Europeae descriptio (A Description of Sarmatian Europe, 1578).

    Religious and theological Protestant prints constituted a large part of his editions (psalters, hymnals, polemic writings, catechisms), but he also published other texts, including popular predictions, guides, novels (Andrzej Dębowski’s classical tales, e.g. Sąd o zbroję Achillową), translations of classical literature (Agrippa’s Declamation on the Nobility and Preeminence of the Female Sex), Batory’s royal universals (this ruler granted Wirzbięta the title of »the printer of His Royal Highness«). The first Polish grammar textbook by Piotr Sartorius-Stojeński Polonica grammatices institution and his own, very popular Gospodarstwo dla młodych a nowotnych gospodarzów have to be mentioned as particularly significant. He often worked in difficult conditions. Religious conflicts of the time were treated extremely seriously, however thanks to various efforts, royal privileges, patronage of eminent figures, sometimes printing books without specifying the place of publication, he was able to operate as one of the best printers of the 16th-century Krakow in spite of the growing difficulties. His company published a total of about 180 titles. The situation got worse in the 17th century, when most of his works were included on the list of prohibited books.

    Maciej Wirzbięta Maciej Wirzbięta

  • Aleksy Rodecki

    Aleksy Rodecki, operating in Krakow from 1574 until the end of the 16th century. A Protestant, Arian printing house. It was located behind Mikołajska Gate, according to sources – between e Mikołajska and Nowa Gates, near ul. Sienna.

    Aleksy Rodecki

    Aleksy Rodecki, operating in Krakow from 1574 until the end of the 16th century. A Protestant, Arian printing house. It was located behind Mikołajska Gate, according to sources – between e Mikołajska and Nowa Gates, near ul. Sienna.

    He was the printer whose fate was probably the most influenced by religious conflicts. A Franciscan in his youth, later connected with the Arian circles, he fell victim to repression from the established, prevailing religion and was persecuted in internal Protestant doctrinal disputes. It was no accident then that already his first print (J. Schoman’s Arian catechism, Cathesesis et confession fidei), as well as many others, were published under a pseudonym of Alexander Turobinius or Theophilus Adamides. A typical thing to do in such situations, widely used for many centuries, is the use of a fake address.  Rodecki used Cologne, Basel, Toruń, Cluj, and others as places of publication. This did not help entirely, however. Twice, in 1578 and 1584, he was assaulted and his print shop was vandalised. He was also imprisoned, but fortunately, King Stefan Batory’s tolerant decision resulted in his release. It was then that he focused on publishing works on more neutral topics and even, which is surprising, printed for the Jesuit Order and the Orthodox Church, although also the works of Fausto Sozzini, Protestant theologian and publicist. He also produced editions of unique historical and literary value, among them – since 1595 – editions of Sebastian Klonowic’s poetry (Flis, Worek Judaszów, Victoria deorum) and Rodecki’s greatest editorial achievement, i.e. the works of Stanisław Sarnicki: Descriptio veteris et novae Poloniae and Annales. The above-mentioned complications and problems made him move his business out of Krakow in the last years of his activity. In the late 16th century, he renewed relations with the Arian circle and permanently moved to Raków, “the capital of the Polish Brethren”, where ailing and blind, he made over the printing house to his son-in-law Sebastian Sternacki. A total of 81 titles in four languages came off his presses and his life seems to be an exceptionally spectacular example of how the content of the books printed by a publisher could influence his fate.

  • Andrzej Piotrkowczyk the Elder

    Andrzej Piotrkowczyk the Elder, in Krakow between 1574 and 1620. Founder of yet another multigenerational  dynasty of Krakow’s printers (until 1674). The print shop was located on ul. Stolarska.

    Andrzej Piotrkowczyk the Elder

    Andrzej Piotrkowczyk the Elder, in Krakow between 1574 and 1620. Founder of yet another multigenerational  dynasty of Krakow’s printers (until 1674). The print shop was located on ul. Stolarska.

    Initially an itinerant bookseller, and since 1576 also a printer. Through his publications, he was very involved in the religious disputes of his time, clearly sympathising with the Counter-Reformation. He began his editorial activity with Orthodoxa confession de Uno Deo (1577), which was an instruction manual on how to combat heresy. His subsequent prints, which still have a fundamental significance in the history of the Catholic Church in Poland today, are of a similar meaning. They include Piotr Skarga's works, Żywoty świętych (Lives of the Saints, 1585), reissued many times and still popular today – a series of publications of his sermons (sermons for Sundays and holidays of the entire year, camp sermons, casual sermons, and many more). Piotrkowczyk also published the translations and original works of Rev. Jakub Wujek, who was also a symbolic figure of great merit both to the Catholic Church and to the development of the Polish language (Postylle katolickie, Bible. The New Testament). This unique publishing profile prevailed in the printing house throughout the entire period of its operation, including polemic, preacher’s, and theological prints, catechisms (Summariusz nauki chrześcijańskiej, reissued and translated many times), church documents. This was the primary, but not the only subject matter of his editions. Also the monumental Gniazdo cnoty by Bartosz Paprocki, i.e. an armorial featuring 3,500 (!) heraldic woodcut illustrations, definitely deserves a mention as an extremely important work of the time. He also edited very important official texts, such as Sejm Constitutions, privileges, statutes, and universals. For the needs and to a certain extent in praise of the King, he also printed various panegyrics, and very popular coverage of important events, such as wars and battles, as well as occasional poetry related to events such as weddings and funerals of well-known personalities. He did not shun belles-lettres, that is e.g. poetry by Kochanowski (8 titles, 17 editions), Klonowic, and Szymonowic. In cooperation with the circles of the Krakow Academy, he also published academic books on various fields, often pioneering works. Medical titles such as Nauka położnic ratowania i leczenia by Andrzej Glaber (1589) and Nauka o morowym powietrzu by P. Umiastowski (1591), as well as legal, grammatical, and dialectical books, and treatises of Jan Brożek, well-known mathematician and astronomer should also be mentioned. His unique prints, worthy of mentioning on account of their high quality, include Krzysztof Dorohostajski’s Hippica, to jest o koniach księgi, illustrated with copperplates. Andrzej Piotrkowczyk’s printing house published 427 titles, usually richly illustrated and of a high quality. The only thing that cast a shadow over the effect of his work, often reminded by the next generations, was him printing the infamous Index ductorum et librorum prohibitorum in Polonia editorum, i.e. the list of prohibited books in 1603.

  • Jan Januszowski

    Son of Łazarz Andrysowicz, he took over his father’s printing house in 1577. It operated until 1613 as “Drukarnia Łazarzowa” on ul. Gołębia 20.

    Jan Januszowski

    Son of Łazarz Andrysowicz, he took over his father’s printing house in 1577. It operated until 1613 as “Drukarnia Łazarzowa” on ul. Gołębia 20.

    It is no coincidence that many centuries later, in the 19th century, Joachim Lelewel commented on the activity of this printing house, saying: “At the time, no other printing house could rival the Łazarz company, both in terms of the beauty and the number of works printed. It may vie in great glory with the leading European typographers of the time, both when it comes to the beauty of the typeface and paper quality and utmost correctness and scholarly views, to which more excellent printing houses were no strangers then”.

    This is a well-deserved opinion, justified by the achievements and the level of this printing house. Januszowski himself was a well-educated man; he studied at the Krakow Academy and in Padua, he was a refined man familiar with the contemporary elites, among others at the court of Emperor Maximilian, and after his return to Poland, he was the secretary of King Stefan Batory. After the death of his father Łazarz Andrysowicz in 1577, he took over his printing house. He enjoyed support not only of the King, but also many enlightened representatives of the elites, such as Chancellor Jan Zamojski, the Firlej family, and Hetman Jan Tarnowski. After Stefan Batory’s death, he printed for the court of King Sigismund III Vasa, which brought him ennoblement in 1588 (he received the Kłośnik coat of arms), and in 1590, he was granted an absolutely unique privilege and title, namely of the “Royal and Church Archtypographer” as the only printer in our history. These distinctions were not a coincidence, but a confirmation of his exceptionally high skills and the quality of his work. 406 titles came off his presses, often beautifully illustrated, not only with woodcuts, but also with the use of the copperplate engraving technique, which was innovative at the time. He also introduced new typefaces, such as the Plantina roman type, and others enhancing the text’s legibility and aesthetic qualities. His greatest and most lasting achievements include the development of the native Polish typeface, which he called “simple Polish” and “italic Polish”. In 1594, Nowy karakter polski y ortographia polska... came out, in which he standardised the rules of Polish spelling on the basis of his own projects, as well as those of Łukasz Górnicki and above all Jan Kochanowski. The presence of master Jan of Czarnolas among the co-authors is not accidental; they were friends, Januszowski published many volumes of his poetry, and in accordance with the poet’s will, he inherited his copyright. There were 6 collective editions of Kochanowski’s works alone and as many as 15 of the popular Psałterz Dawidów.

    The extremely broad thematic range of Januszowski’s publications makes it impossible to list even a reasonable number of them, so let us make do with just the most representative ones: the Bible in Rev. Jakub Wujek’s translation (1599), scientific and academic publications on medicine (by Wojciech Oczko), law (Stanisław Sarnicki and Januszowski himself), theology, history (Jan Głuchowski’s Ikones książąt i królów polskich), and picaresque literature – comedies: Wyprawa plebańska (1590), Albertus z wojny (1596), and Szołtys z klechą (1598). Also fragments of the famous work by Mikołaj Krzysztof “the Orphan” Radziwiłł, Peregrynacja abo pielgrzymowanie do Ziemi Świętej. In order to fully appreciate his merits, we have to mention the fact that the patronage and support of well-known figures were usually honorary and symbolic. Januszowski himself talked rather bitterly about his loneliness in the efforts for achieving the highest possible quality of his publications: “How difficult it is to gain that support in Poland I do not wish to talk about, the facts speak for themselves and I have experienced it”.

  • Stanisław Siennik and Maciej Garwolczyk

    The former, of whom we know very little, established the printing house around 1543; Marek Szarfenberger’s associate. After his death in 1577, his widow Dorota married Maciej Garwolczyk, who ran the printing house until the moment he left for Lviv around 1590. The print shop was located on ul. Bracka.

    Stanisław Siennik and Maciej Garwolczyk

    The former, of whom we know very little, established the printing house around 1543; Marek Szarfenberger’s associate. After his death in 1577, his widow Dorota married Maciej Garwolczyk, who ran the printing house until the moment he left for Lviv around 1590. The print shop was located on ul. Bracka.

    Among Stanisław Siennik's editorial achievements only two prints survive. One of them is a religious text dating back to 1577, and the other a popular musical treatise, Quaestiones musicae by Johann Spangenberg (1577).

    After his death, the printing house was inherited by his widow Dorota’s new husband, Maciej Garwolczyk. He published 15 titles, of which the most significant ones deserve to be listed here. The first one is the Polish translation of a Spanish political work by Fadrique Furió Ceriol, King, and his Senator. Others include several panegyrics typical of the period, such as Triumph satyrów leśnych (in honour of Stefan Batory), Epitalamius Serenissimi Sigismundi III, Poloniarum Regis (on the occasion of Sigismund III’s wedding), and Repotia Zamosciana (in honour of Jan Zamojski). Other titles worthy of attention include Powinności dobrego towarzystwa by Jan Gruszczyński (1581), a medical treatise Przeciw morowemu powietrzu by Malcher Piotrkowita (1579), and a grammar textbook Methodicae grammaticae libri quator by Jan Ursinus (1592). Garwalczyk’s most important publication is Bartosz Paprocki’s Herby rycerstwa polskiego with a large number of complex woodcut illustrations.

    Although we certainly cannot count him among the most outstanding publishers, he deserves to be remembered even in his more modest scope of activity, as he did indeed enrich the output of Krakow’s publishing market of the 16th century.

  • Wojciech Kobyliński

    In Krakow from around 1588 until 1615. The printing house was located in the so-called Cezaryn House on ul. Szpitalna.

    Wojciech Kobyliński

    In Krakow from around 1588 until 1615. The printing house was located in the so-called Cezaryn House on ul. Szpitalna.

    Krakow’s last printing house established in the 16th century. Kobyliński was not a first-class typographer, the quality of his publications is surely not impressive, but he deserves a mention, even if on account of his general contribution and some unique prints. Among the 60 titles he printed, popular calendars and predictions constitute a large part. He also published religious works, devotional literature, and prayer books. The most popular ones include: O żywocie błogosławionego Jacinkta by Seweryn Lubomlczyk (1595), which was translated into Latin and Italian, and Stanisław Radimensis’ prayer book Fasciculus litaniarum, also of many editions. But what is unique and particularly worth highlighting are the editions of dramas, which were very rare at the time. For it was here that: Komedia o Lizydzie (1579) and Tragedia o Ulissesie (1603) by Adam Paxillus and Historyja o chwalebnym Zmartwychwstaniu Pańskim by Mikołaj of Wilkowiecko were printed.