Different languages, different nations, common humanistic tradition: meetings of cultures in seventeenth-century Gdańsk

Joanna Partyka

Abstract


School textbooks written by a Spanish erudite and pedagogue Juan Luis Vives were used in schools of Protestant denominations in Royal Prussia – in Gdańsk, Toruń, Elbląg, but also in other towns and cities of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth– for teaching Latin. Nicolaus Volckmar, of German descent, a Polish language teacher at the Academic Gymnasium in Gdańsk, utilized the structure and themes of Vives’ dialogues Exercitatio linguae latinae  (1538) for teaching the Polish language. In this manner, paradoxically, the “phrasebook” of the Spanish humanist, as well as its subsequent editions, still in the 18th century was used by Gdańsk schoolers of German origin to learn the language which they needed for everyday communication in the community of multi-cultural and multi-ethnic Gdańsk. The Vives-Volckmar phrasebook was undoubtedly used by Arnold von Holten, later a lifetime mayor of the city, sent on a diplomatic mission to Spain by the Hanseatic League.

Keywords


Juan Luis Vives; Nicolaus Volckmar; school textbooks; phrasebook; seventeenth-century Gdańsk; meetings of cultures

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