Classic Lithuanian Literature Anthology

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Martynas Mažvydas

The Appeal of The Small Book Itself Unto Lithuanians and Samogitians

The Appeal...

    In the year 1547 M. Mažvydas had compiled and published the first printed Lithuanian book - the Catechismus ("The Simple Words of Catechismus"), that was the beginning of literature and print in Lithuanian.
    The book consists of: the dedication in Latin "To the Great Duchy of Lithuania", two prefaces: in Latin (in prose), and in Lithuanian (in verse), an ABC book; the catechism, and the book of songs. The rhymed preface in Lithuanian, "The Appeal of The Small Book Itself Unto Lithuanians and Samogitians", is the first authentic verse in Lithuanian. The initial letters of its lines from 3 to 19 downwards form the name of the author, Martinus Masvidius, thus confirming his authorship.
    The preface the views and aims of the author, namely, to educate and people and spread culture, to fight the remains of heathen beliefs, and to consolidate the Protestant religion. The style of the preface is notably rhetorical; it is the most prominent example of syntactical-intonational prosody in Lithuanian literature.