Simonas Stanevicius
Simonas Stanevičius was a Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

n writer and an activist of the "Samogitian Revival", an early stage of the Lithuanian National Revival
Lithuanian National Revival
Lithuanian National Revival, alternatively Lithuanian National Awakening , was a period of the history of Lithuania in the 19th century at the time when a major part of Lithuanian inhabited areas belonged to the Russian Empire...



Born to a family of petty nobles, Stanevičius studied at a gymnasium in Kražiai
Kražiai is a town in Lithuania, located in the Kelmė district municipality, between Varniai and Raseiniai , on the Kražantė river. The old town of Kražiai is an archeological and urban monument....

 from 1817 to 1821. For a year he worked in Kražiai as a private teacher, before enrolling into the Art and Literature Department of Vilnius University
Vilnius University
Vilnius University is the oldest university in the Baltic states and one of the oldest in Eastern Europe. It is also the largest university in Lithuania....

. There he was influenced by democratic ideas of professors such as Joachim Lelewel
Joachim Lelewel
Joachim Lelewel was a Polish historian and politician, from a Polonized branch of a Prussian family.His grandparents were Heinrich Löllhöffel von Löwensprung and Constance Jauch , who later polonized her name to Lelewel.-Life:Born in Warsaw, Lelewel was educated at the Imperial University of...

 and Ignacy Onacewicz. Stanevičius joined a cultural movement to promote the Lithuanian language
Lithuanian language
Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...

. After graduation in 1826 he stayed in Vilnius, working as a private tutor and preparing his works for publication. In 1829, he published three of his works (a grammar book, collection of folk songs, and his fables). Stanevičius then moved to Raseiniai
Raseiniai is a city in Lithuania. It is located on the south eastern foothills of the Samogitians highland, some north from the Kaunas–Klaipėda highway.- Grand Duchy of Lithuania :...

 and lived in the Plater estate, managing their private library. During the Uprising of 1830
November Uprising
The November Uprising , Polish–Russian War 1830–31 also known as the Cadet Revolution, was an armed rebellion in the heartland of partitioned Poland against the Russian Empire. The uprising began on 29 November 1830 in Warsaw when the young Polish officers from the local Army of the Congress...

, Stanevičius traveled to Königsberg
Königsberg was the capital of East Prussia from the Late Middle Ages until 1945 as well as the northernmost and easternmost German city with 286,666 inhabitants . Due to the multicultural society in and around the city, there are several local names for it...

 where he met with Ludwig Rhesa
Ludwig Rhesa
thumb|Bust of Rheza at [[Vilnius University]]Ludwig Rhesa, also known as Martin Ludwig Rhesa, Ludwig Jedemin Rhesa, Liudvikas Rėza , was a consistorial councilor and a professor at the University of Königsberg in East Prussia.He was born as Ludwig Rheese in the village of Karwaiten on the Curonian...

 and collected materials for future publications. After death of his patron Jerzy Plater in 1836, Stanevičius moved to the estate of Jerzy's brother Kazimierz Plater in Stemplės. There Stanevičius continued to care for the 3,000-piece library until his death of tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 in 1848.


In 1829, inspired by Johann Gottfried Herder
Johann Gottfried Herder
Johann Gottfried von Herder was a German philosopher, theologian, poet, and literary critic. He is associated with the periods of Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang, and Weimar Classicism.-Biography:...

, Stanevičius published Dainos žemaičių (Songs of the Samogitians), a sample of 30 most artistic and valuable Samogitia
Samogitia is one of the five ethnographic regions of Lithuania. It is located in northwestern Lithuania. Its largest city is Šiauliai/Šiaulē. The region has a long and distinct cultural history, reflected in the existence of the Samogitian dialect...

n folk songs
Daina (Lithuania)
Daina is the traditional name of vocal folk music in the Baltic languages, and is preserved in Lithuania and Latvia. Lithuanian dainas are often noted not only for their mythological content, but also for relating historical events....

 from his 150-song collection. Four years later he published an addendum (Pažymės žemaitiškos gaidos) with melodies for these songs. He is best remembered for publication of Šešios pasakos (Six Fables), a book of six fable
A fable is a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized , and that illustrates a moral lesson , which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim.A fable differs from...

s and ode
Ode is a type of lyrical verse. A classic ode is structured in three major parts: the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode. Different forms such as the homostrophic ode and the irregular ode also exist...

 Žemaičių šlovė (The Samogitians' Glory) written by Stanevičius himself. Two fables borrowed plot from Aesop
Aesop was a Greek writer credited with a number of popular fables. Older spellings of his name have included Esop and Isope. Although his existence remains uncertain and no writings by him survive, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a...

 and other four mixed author's own ideas with Samogitian folklore. The most important fables are Aitvarai (a type of household spirit in the Lithuanian mythology
Lithuanian mythology
Lithuanian mythology is an example of Baltic mythology, developed by Lithuanians throughout the centuries.-History of scholarship:Surviving information about Baltic paganism in general is very sketchy and incomplete. As with most ancient Indo-European cultures Lithuanian mythology is an example of...

) and Arklys ir meška (The Horse and the Bear – symbols of the Aukštaitians
Aukštaitija is the name of one of five ethnographic regions of Lithuania. The name comes from the relatively high elevation of the region, particularly the eastern parts.-Geography:...

 and Samogitians respectively) as they depict worldview, values, and culture of everyday Samogitian peasants. Stanevičius lived in an era of rising Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

, but his works are more Realistic
Realism (arts)
Realism in the visual arts and literature refers to the general attempt to depict subjects "in accordance with secular, empirical rules", as they are considered to exist in third person objective reality, without embellishment or interpretation...

 due to his close contacts with peasantry. The ode, the first example of this genre in the Lithuanian language, celebrated growing interest in the Lithuanian language and history at Vilnius University.

Towards the end of his life Stanevičius took an academic interest in the Lithuanian language, history, and mythology. His unfinished manuscript on Lithuanian history was partially published only in 1893 and fully in 1967, but is significant as the first critical history of Lithuania and first scholarly analysis of the Lithuanian mythology. In contrast to Dionizas Poška or Simonas Daukantas
Simonas Daukantas
Simonas Daukantas or Szymon Dowkont was a Lithuanian writer, ethnographer and historian. One of the pioneers of the Lithuanian national revival, he is credited as an author of the first book on the history of Lithuania written in the Lithuanian language...

, who searched for glorious and idealized history, Stanevičius studied, validated, and cited his sources carefully, remaining truthful to the facts, and was not afraid to reject romantic legends
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

. He heavily criticized Teodor Narbutt
Teodor Narbutt
Teodor Narbutt was a Polish–Lithuanian writer, Romantic historian and military engineer...

 and Maciej Stryjkowski
Maciej Stryjkowski
Maciej Stryjkowski was a Polish-Lithuanian historian, writer and a poet, notable as the author of Chronicle of Poland, Lithuania, Samogitia and all of Ruthenia , amongst other aspects of this work considered the first printed book on the history of Lithuania.-Biography:Maciej Stryjkowski was...

 as inaccurate. Stanevičius debunked many of romantic legends, especially in the area of Lithuanian mythology, including the romantic notion of the ancient Romuva temple
Romuva (temple)
Romuva or Romowe was a pagan worship place in western part of Sambia, one of the regions of the pagan Prussia. In contemporary sources the temple was mentioned only once by Peter von Dusburg in 1326...

 and connections drawn between Roman gods and Lithuanian gods.

External links

Full text of Six Fables
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.