Banderia Prutenorum

Banderia Prutenorum

Cracow (Poland) — 1448

From Germany and Poland, from Prussia and the Teutonic Order: the story of Tannenberg in 1410, the greatest battle of the Middle Ages

  1. An important historical source on the 1410 Battle of Grunwald, the largest battle of the Middle Ages

  2. 51 banners of the Teutonic Order, which were captured in battle by Polish forces, are depicted

  3. A document of the history of the realm of Prussia and the period predating modern Germany and Poland

Banderia Prutenorum

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Banderia Prutenorum

The Banderia Prutenorum is an illuminated manuscript that was made by the Polish intellectuals Jan Długosz and Stanisław Durink in the year 1448. It is probably the most important historical source on the 1410 Battle of Grunwald and documents one of the most important events in the history of Europe.

Banderia Prutenorum

In the year 1448, the Polish scholar Jan Długosz created an illuminated manuscript, which plays an important role in the national history of Poland. His Banderia Prutenorum is one of the most important contemporary sources for the Battle of Grunwald in the year 1410, and depicted the banners of the Teutonic Order captured there in what is also called the Battle of Tannenberg. The military action, in which the host of the Teutonic Order was decisively defeated by the host of the Kingdom of Poland-Lithuania, is considered today to be the largest battle of the Middle Ages. In the Banderia Prutenorum, 51 banners of the Teutonic Order are portrayed, which were captured in battle by Polish forces. The manuscript was made in order to forever preserve the memory of this historic victory for the citizens of the Polish nation.

The Battle of Grunwald

On July 15th, 1410, the Battle of Grunwald was fought in the Prussian lands of the Order not far from the localities of Tannenberg and Grünfeld. This battle was a highpoint of the military conflict between the Teutonic Order of the Kingdom of Poland-Lithuania, who fought over the premier position of power in central Europe for centuries. The decisive defeat of the armed forces of the Teutonic Order marked the beginning of the decline of the Order’s dominion in Prussia as well as the rise of Poland-Lithuania as a great European power. The confrontation is considered to be one of the greatest battles between medieval knightly hosts and has been part of the national legend of Poland and Lithuania since the 19th century. The Banderia Prutenorum is also important for the history of Germany. 180 years before the battle, the Knights Teuton conquered the territory of the Prussians, a Baltic tribe, which the geographical designation of Prussia stems from. In the Banderia Prutenorum, the knights themselves were identified as Prussians. The manuscript documents the history of the realm of Prussia and the period predating what we know as Germany.

A Historic Document

The unique manuscript of the Banderia Prutenorum originated from an excellent collaboration between the Polish intellectuals Jan Długosz and Stanisław Durink. The diplomat, geographer, and historian Długosz composed the text of the work, while the illuminator Durink took charge of the illustration for the historic manuscript. The manuscript originated in three working steps. In the first step, the true to original portrayals of the captured banners were drawn and furnished with commentaries, which indicated the great men who once owned them. In the second step, the author Długosz composed short descriptions of the illustrations, which is due to the historian’s incredibly exact research. In the third step, the manuscript was finalized, expanded, corrected, and finally received its name. The scholarly and historical work that underlies this work makes it required reading for the historically interested.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Blazons of the Prussians
Size / Format
188 pages / 30.3 × 19.5 cm
Origin
Poland
Date
1448
Style
Language
Illustrations
51 banners
Artist / School
Previous Owners
library of the University of Cracow
Library of the Cracow Chapter
Hans Frank
City of Malbork

Available facsimile editions:
Banderia Prutenorum – Biblioteka Jagiellońska (Cracow, Poland)
Orbis Pictus – Pelplin, 2009
Limited Edition: 299 copies
Detail Picture

Banderia Prutenorum

Flag of the Bishopric of Pomesania

In the Middle Ages, bishops also exercised temporal rule over many of the people in their diocese. As a result, these princes of the church were also responsible for military affairs and raised armies. The Prussian Bishopric of Pomesania had been subject to the Teutonic Order since the 1280’s and sent troops to the Battle of Gunwald in support of them, but to no avail. This banner is reminiscent of those carried by the legions of the Late Roman Empire, showing an eagle flanked by two crosiers.

Banderia Prutenorum
Single Page

Banderia Prutenorum

Flag of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order

The Battle of Grunwald was one of the largest most important in the history of medieval Europe and represents the highpoint of the power and influence of the Teutonic Order in the East Baltic. They were defeated by a collation of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1410, resulting in the death of most of the Teutonic knights on the field, including Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen.

51 banners belonging to the Teutonic Order were captured that day. Of all the trophies taken by the victorious Polish-Lithuanian alliance, the Grand Master’s banner was the most important symbolically. It is virtually identical to the standard of the Teutonic Order, except for the blue stripe at the top and the two points at the base.

Banderia Prutenorum
Facsimile Editions

#1 Banderia Prutenorum

Orbis Pictus – Pelplin, 2009
Banderia Prutenorum – Biblioteka Jagiellońska (Cracow, Poland)
Banderia Prutenorum – Biblioteka Jagiellońska (Cracow, Poland) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Orbis Pictus – Pelplin, 2009
Limited Edition: 299 copies
Binding: Hand dyed leather, blind tooling. Slipcase.
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Please ask for a quote!
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