Abstracts for Arche 4/2009
The April issue is about Polack, the most ancient city of Belarus, and its cultural tradition which has influenced the entire modern Belarusian culture. Polack was mentioned for the first time in 862. The Norse sagas called the town Palteskia or Palteskiuborg.
The issue opens with Polack based writer Ales Arkus’ preface entitled “A list of Polack obscurities”. The popular Belarusian writer Uladzimier Arlou presents his Polack inspired lyrics “So I want”. Essayist Alaksandar Sinkievic in his “The age of Trajan of our distinctiveness” tells of prehistoric Belarusian plots related to the principality of Polack and its elite interaction with some Scandinavian actors. Archaeologist Siarhiej Tarasau discloses in his “Polack’s key to the gates of Europe” some lesser known aspects of early Polack history, using as a starting point the findings of the archaeological excavations. Historian Vasil Varonin watches in his “Polack inhabitants: the forgotten memory of the sea” the developments of the Polack land after it joined the Lithuanian state in 1307. His counterpart Andrej Januskievic explains in his “Riddles of Ivan IV’s terrible drive at the Polacks” the reasons why the Muscovites took Polack in 1563 during the Livonian war.
The issue also publishes for the first time the “Materials of the Vitebsk expedition”, originally written by Jurka Vicbic in 1939, and which first and foremost describes the then state of Polack architectural monuments.
Archaeologist Michas Charniauski, in his “Non-Slavonic cultures of Northern Belarus” establishes the origin of the tribes which inhabited the region prior to the Slavic expansion in the second half of the first millennium.
The Polish historian Dariusz Kupisz reconstructs in his monograph “Polack 1579” the main stages of king Stephen Báthory’s campaign to return the lost regions of the Great Duchy of Lithuania (GDL), starting with Polack in 1579. Another Polish scholar, Konrad Bobiatynski shows in “The activity of Vasiliy Sheremetyev’s army in the terrain of the Polack principality during the war between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Moscow in 1654-1655”, how the Polack land was lost by the GDL in the second time in history due to the incompetence and lack of military talent of its defenders as well as pro-Muscovite sentiments of its inhabitants. Essayist Siarhiej Sydlouski in his “The cards, dances and other amusements of Polack students” describes everyday life at the Polack Jesuits Academy at the Beginning of the nineteenth century. The literature critic Viktar Zybul, in “I won’t return to Polack. The Ales Dudar letters”, highlights basic trends and actors of the Polack literature environment in the 1920s. The Carl Peters letters reflect the ordinary German soldiers impressions from marching through Polack in 1941 during the German invasion of USSR. The civic activist Michas Bautovic in his “20 years of democratic movement in Polatsk” pays tribute to the most prominent people engaged in pro-democratic activism in the city.
The literature section of the issue contains works by Piatro Vasiucenka, Vinces Mudrou and Jan Kochanowski. Junela Salnikava reviews Vinces Mudrou. Mikola Chaustovic writes about the Russian translation of Jan Barszczewski’s masterpiece Noblemen Zawalnia, or Belarus in Fantastic Stories published originally in Polish in 1844.
The issue ends with the information about the ongoing trial aiming to declare ARCHE issue 7-8/2008 extremist and liable for destruction.