New Research into the Battle of Grunwald/Tannenberg/Žalgiris: Attempt at an Overview
By Krzysztof Kwiatkowski
Roczniki Historyczne, Vol. 79 (2013)
Introduction: Over three years have elapsed since the six-hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald/Tannenberg/Žalgiris, celebrated with great fanfare (especially in Poland), which allows us to take a preliminary look at publications on the July battle of 1410. Certainly, this text is neither the first nor the last that attempts to make an overview of the literature on the phenomenon of Grunwald.
At present, so-called “Grunwald historiography” itself is worth subjecting to analysis, for the research, social, political and cultural context of various subjects related to the battle make it possible for us to regard Grunwald studies as a par excellence cultural phenomenon, with its own circumstances, dynamics, or even structure. This cultural “entanglement” of the science of history in the sphere of Grunwald studies is clearly evident in a great number of publications: on the battle itself, the war of 1409–1411, and – more broadly – on Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic Order relations, as well as the studies of collective memory which appeared on the occasion of the six-hundredth anniversary of the battle.
Among the significant number of various publications, popularising, didactic, museum-exhibition, pedagogical and methodological, occasional, artistic, literary, historiographic, cultural, cinematographic or journalistic, reprinted or based on sources – including many popular science texts – academic historical, source and archaeological works constitute only a part, by no means the largest, of the most recent literature written in the aftermath of the six-hundredth anniversary of the July battle of 1410. Although many of them discuss “Grunwald/Tannenberg/ Žalgiris” as a phenomenon of collective memory, the overall impression remains of the abundance and richness of all the “anniversary studies.”
Top Image: Battle of Grunwald. Engraving by Marcin Bielski, Kronika wszytkiego świata, 1554, 1564