Od Ludwika Walezego do Henryka Walezego, czyli o pewnym fantazmacie dynastycznym

Kacper Gis


For centuries, the imagination has had a significant influence on the interpretation of reality. Yielding to fantasy was not always conscious and certain authors tried to follow the imagination on purpose. Reigning dynasties played an important role in the world of that time and thus they were likely to be illusively presented. The purpose of this article is to present one of the dynastic phantasms which was inserted into Sarmatiae Europeae descriptio, a chronicle of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, signed by an Italian Alexander Gwagnin (Alessandro Guagnini, 1538–1614). By assigning to the kings Louis I of Hungary and Henry III of France the same origin, author breached the historical evidence so as to obtain the illusive continuity of the power. That phantasm, however, had not stood the test of time and was changed, because of political reasons, shortly after publishing. Nonetheless, that text is an important evidence that even historians were not exempt from the temptation of embellishing the history by imagination.

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