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Month: March 2021

The Polish School of Oriental Languages in 18th century Istanbul

The Polish School of Oriental Languages in 18th century Istanbul

For centuries, the history of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Ottoman Empire has been intertwined. The border between the two countries was uneasy, and the stake of competition was control over the lands lying in the Black Sea basin. The Tatar invasions kept the Polish king awake, while the Sultan had a similar problem with the Zaporozhian Cossack excursions. However, in times of peace, trade and cultural exchange flourished. Nevertheless, it was hard to find competent translators…

The legacy of the old friendship. Hungarian loan words in the Polish language

The legacy of the old friendship. Hungarian loan words in the Polish language

The Polish-Hungarian friendship is still present in the collective psyches of both nations. Although, contrary to popular opinion, relations between the countries were sometimes tense (it is enough to mention the politics of Gábor Bethlen or Imre Thököly), the state border between the two kingdoms was exceptionally peaceful. This was reflected in the mutual penetration of cultures.

Bear Academy in the Lithuanian wilderness

Bear Academy in the Lithuanian wilderness

The town of Smorgonie, although small, was a picturesque place. Located on the left bank of the Wilia River, Smorgonie was one of the points on an important trade route connecting Królewiec, Vilnius, and Moscow. The town was located at the junction of two worlds: Lithuanian (and thus Catholic) and Ruthenian (Orthodox). In the 17th century, another element was added to this colorful mosaic: the bear training school.