Classic Lithuanian Literature Anthology

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Mikalojus Husovianas
(Nicolaus Hussovianus)
(circa 1475-1480 - 1533)

Variant forms of name: Hussoviensis, Hussovianus, Ussovius, Hussowski

    Mikalojus Husovianas is a poet and humanist whose works are directly linked with Lithuania who wrote in Latin. Little is known about his origins and life. M. Husovianas was a citizen and a patriot of the multinational Grand Duchy of Lithuania. From the poem "The Song of the Bison" it is possible to derive that the poet was born in Grand Duchy of Lithuania because there are verses where the author refers to Lithuania as his native country and motherland.
    It is believed that M. Husovianas arrived to Vilnius about the year 1492. In Vilnius he was under the wardship of the Canon of Vilnius Cathedral and Secretary of the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Erasmus Vittelius (Ciolek). In his company M. Husovianas lived in Rome in the years 1518-1522 where he made the acquaintance of Pope Leon X, who was a benefactor of humanist poets and their creations. Desiring to acquaint the Pope with the bison hunt he wrote his greatest work - "The Song of the Bison, Its Stature, Ferocity and Hunt" (De statura feritate ac venatione bisontis carmen). The poem was published in Krakow in the year 1523.
    In the year 1524 the poet narrated another poem "The New and Marvelous Victory over the Turcs in the Month of June" (Nova et miranda victoria de Turcis mense lulo). The third of the more significant works of Husovianas, "The Song of the Life and Deeds of Saint Hyacinthus" (De vita et gestis divi Hyacinthi carmen), was published in the year 1525.
    Besides these works the poet created smaller pieces of poetry known as "Carmina Minora" (Minor Songs). Eleven such poems are known.