First Estonian translation of Henry's chronicle

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1881

The very first translation of the chronicle was done by a prominent leader of the Awakening Era, Jakob Hurt, who translated some parts of the chronicle. He published some narrations in his „Pilte isamaa sündinud asjust" ("Scenes from Times Gone By"), which were published in the appendix of Postimees newspaper in 1871, and printed as a separate book in 1879.

It is likely that around the same time an amateur historian, -archaeologist and -musician, Jaan Jung, got the idea to translate all of the chronicle. He was not very fluent in Latin, but with Hurt's encouragement, accepted the work. The translation was published in 1881-1884. No academic value or linguistic closeness to the original could be expected from the translation, but it allowed the Estonians to read one of the core texts of their history for the very first time.

Jung's translation has even more value because the next translation was not made until 1962, in Sweden, when Julius Mägiste published it as a "mass edition". It was published in Estonia in 2008; the first proper academic translation into Estonian was made in 1982.

Source: Henriku Liivimaa kroonika = Heinrici chronicon Livoniae. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1982.


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