Czy duchowni kronikarze potraĮ li opisać „wielkie starcie”? Uwagi o bitwie, liczebności i stratach obu armii w świetle źródeł i nowszej historiograĮ i polskiej

Jerzy Rajman


The author of the article presents an in-depth analysis of nar rative sources about the battle, namely: “The chronicle of the conflict between Wladyslaw, King of Poland and the Teutonic
Knights” (“Kronika konfliktu Władysława króla polskiego z krzyżakami”), “Continuation” of the Teutonic chronicle of Johann von Posilge, a comprehensive description by Długosz in the
9th book of his Yearbooks (Roczniki) as well as the account of so-called Toruń Annalist. The author confronts this analysis with the findings published in the most impor tant works of
Polish historians, archaeologists and historical geographers. Particularly controversial is the issue of the armies’ strength. The author believes that the calculations presented in the more
recent literature, especially those per taining to the Teutonic army, are not reliable. He also indicates that the issue of the number of casualties in both armies should be re-discussed. The
author depicts the battle on the basis of narrative sources from which he tr ies to pick up the elements that could have come from the witnesses and participants of the battle and separate
them from the authors’ own combinations. “The chronicle of the conflict” does not provide any details concerning the strength of the Jagiellonian and Teutonic armies, shows some omissions
in recounting the episodes of the battle known from Długosz’s account and generally perceived as authentic. It does not provide any information on the fall of the gonfalone with the eagle
during the encounter of the Great Chorągiew of Cracow. No mention of the heroic behaviour of the Smolensk Chorągiew and of the abandonment of the battlefield by the mercenary Czech
Chorągiew (events accepted by the Polish historians) need to be enumerated among the most important omissions of “The chronicle.” The Teutonic “Continuation” and the account of the
Toruń Annalist are characterised by brevity consisting in using just a couple of sentences to describe a day-long battle. Długosz created his depiction of the battle of Grunwald when not
only the outcome of the Great War had already been known but also the effect of all other wars with the Teutonic Order, including the Thirteen Years’ War (1454–66). While the author of
“The chronicle” wanted to create the account mainly of the facts, Długosz wanted to describe the reasons as well. He blamed Vytautus and the Lithuanians as well as a couple of Cracovian
magnates for the withdrawal form the siege of Malbork. He could not, however, decide whom to blame for the course of the battle of Grunwald. The author of the article believes that Długosz gives the same account of the battle as “The chronicle of the conflict,” but he falsely described the stance of the Lithuanian army failing to mention an extremely important fact i.e. the return of the Lithuanian army to the battlefield. Initially, the Cracovian historian also falsely described the alleged passivity of the king towards the approaching Teutonic army, on the morning of the 15th of July. From the whole Długosz’s descr iption emerges an image of a king skilfully commanding his army.

Słowa kluczowe

późne średniowiecze, Grunwald, Zakon Krzyżacki

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