Let’s see how powerful the internet is.

Internet challenge question: find me an English translation of the Henrician Articles. (The translation itself need not be on the internet, although that would be nice — anything accessible with my world-bestriding interlibrary loan powers will do.) You will be racing against the small army of Stanford librarians that I am, even as you read this, stirring and recruiting into this surprisingly difficult task.

Also, do any readers speak Polish?


8 Responses to “Let’s see how powerful the internet is.”

  1. Steve M. Says:


    [Horrified expression.]

    … I, uh, I looked for five minutes on Google and, uh, wasn’t able to find the answer. I’m scared. Is this what life was like in 1995? I need someone to hug me.

  2. Paul Gowder Says:

    I think in 1995 there was also the everpresent danger of velociraptor attacks. But, you know, basically, yeah.

    (Gah, I might just end up bloody hiring a Polish speaker to translate the damn thing for me. Hmm… although, 16th century Polish? Probably not enough like modern Polish to make that easy either.)

  3. Jens Fiederer Says:

    You can always run the text from Polish Wikisource through a translator – it will seem like gibberish, but might give you a flavor, like the preamble:

    We, advices of (councils of) states (conditions) have have come , gentry and knightly-hood of polish kingdom, nations polish so, as lithuanian, nevertheless, with (from) Rusi. Prus, ?mudzi, mazovia, Inflant. Also from all other province and for this polish republic lands (earth) necessary , it mainly the present (hereby) letter , or diploma, we stipulate, in order to they have have come our prince and you were peel (choose; peeled) give by we freshly obliged privilege , or letter, expressed articles by which (who) lower implicating certain our right and prerogatives, they have been recognized (regard) and approved , but it to manner following (step)

  4. Robert S. Porter Says:

    I know absolutely nothing about this topic, nor do I speak Polish, but Polish Democratic Thought from the Renaissance to the Great Emigration by Mieczys?aw B. Biskupski and James S. Pula claims to have the English and Latin translation of the Henrician Articles. This book is available in the stacks at Stanford.

    Of course I can’t actually see the book so I have no idea if it’s the correct “Henrician Articles” or something else. Nevertheless, good luck.

  5. Paul Gowder Says:

    Thank you! If this has it, you’re a miracle worker who has beaten me, a Stanford reference librarian, the Hoover Institution Library’s Eastern Europe specialist, and the main Stanford library Slavic specialist, the final one of whom didn’t even bother to reply to my e-mail yet.

    (Out of curiosity, how did you turn up the reference?)

  6. Paul Gowder Says:

    (Oh, how interesting, attempting to divine the search that found that book revealed to me that the Stanford library catalogue has a publisher-provided summary in the listing… which allows the book to be discovered on a simple search on the word “Henrician.” How bizarre and embarrassing that it didn’t occur to me or any of the librarians to try that.)

  7. Robert S. Porter Says:

    Yeah, I merely searched for “Henrician Articles”, though I started at the University of Toronto, because that’s what I do. That book came up so I then double checked the book on Google Books and the index claims to have it. http://books.google.com/books?id=KFCHAAAAMAAJ&q=Henrician+Articles&dq=Henrician+Articles&ei=0oD4SbD4J4fmkATSh_UG&pgis=1 Then I checked the Stanford cataloge and voila.

    And you’re very welcome. I hope it turns out to be what you were looking for.

  8. Paul Gowder Says:

    It turned out to be a very good lead — it doesn’t have quite the document I want, but has another document, from even earlier, shedding light on the question I was curious about… of course, I now realize I need a still earlier document…

    (Note to self: I have the Nihil novi, need the Neminem captivabimus acts of 1430 and of 1433.)

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