Edmund Kizik Remuneration for Works Dedicated or Donated to the City Council of Gdańsk in the 17th century.

The present contribution is the result of preliminary inquiry into a dozen municipal accounting book volumes,20 without pretending to be an in-depth study of the phenomenon. First and foremost, my observations aim to determine the amount of remuneration paid to artists for panegyric dedications (i.e. proper rewards for the intellectuals of the time), as well as to capture the scale or possibly also the dynamics of this custom, which at the same time shall be seen as one of the strategies available to the 17th-century artists (and others) enabling them to obtain funds for their scientific or artistic activity. Indeed, the city councillors considered a dedication gesture to be a significant element of the representation of the city and made efforts to properly reward any work dedicated to Gdańsk. 

The dedications were written not only by the authors themselves, but also by publishers, translators and even printers. The records from Gdańsk provide us with some clues as far as certain regularities are concerned. Every year, authors of the Gdańsk calendars dedicated to the City Council – professors of mathematics of the Academic Gymnasium or city geometricians – could count on decent recompense. For example, Peter Krüger (1580-1639), teacher of Johannes Hevelius, was paid 20 thalers for a calendar for the year 160921 and 150 marks in 1635,22 while Laurentius Eichstadt (1596-1660) received 100 florins (150 marks)23 in 1645 and in 1655.24 Upon his death on December 18, 1660, the widow of the deceased was granted an honorarium (150 marks) “zum letzten mahl”;25 in 1658, another local author of calendars, Friedrich Büthner, was remunerated with 100 florins (150 marks)26 etc. As we can see, the nominal value did not change and upon conversion into Prussian accounting the money amounted to 150 marks; however, the actual value of the disbursements decreased, as with each subsequent emission, especially during times of war, the value of the money declined.27 Among those who were honoured, foreign calendar authors can be found too, as they dedicated their works to the Gdańsk councillors together with publishers, for example David Herlicius (1557–1636) of Stargard in Pomerania was paid 30 ducats (150 marks)28 pro dedicatione Calendarii anni 3529 in 1635, and Friedrich Möller, doctor of medicine residing in Old Stettin, was awarded 100 florins for a calendar published in Rostock in 164530 (150 marks),31 while calendar printer Andreas Hünefeldt had to content himself with a smaller amount (1642 r.).32 Not all authors put their names in the calendar dedications: in 1640, an unknown person was paid an equivalent of 30 florins (45 marks): “an den Autoren des Calenders, welcher seinen nahmen darin nicht exprimiret, fl. 30 gezahlet.”33 Dedications formed part of a marketing strategy, for example, for a calendar entitled Neuer und alter auch Römischer Schreib-Calender,34 printed in a publishing house in Rostock, Stephan Fuhrmann, a preacher from Lippstadt, received 67 marks and 1035 groschen from the Gdańsk councillors in 1640: However, it turns out that in the following years he also donated calendars with suitable dedications to the City Council of Elbląg (e.g. for the years 1644 and 1648)36 and King John Casimir (for 1650).37

Professors of the Academic Gymnasium also appear as authors of occasional speeches. In March 1654, the above-mentioned J. P. Titius received 50 thalers from the municipal treasury38 for a published oration “in memoriam incorporationis dieser Lande,” to commemorate the bicentenary of the incorporation of Prussia into the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland,39 and 30 thalers “pro dedicatione Tractatus de Excerpendo.”40 Many professors dedicated the results of their scientific research to the city authorities, like Peter Krüger, mentioned already as an author of calendars but better known as an astronomer. On 9 October 1635, he was granted 100 ducats (450 marks) – a truly significant amount41pro dedicatione libri Doctrina Astronomiae Sphaerica inscrbiret.42 Against the background of average prices in Gdańsk, this was the equivalent of at least 10 cows or three-year’s basic wages of an organist.43 Krüger’s work came out of Andreas Hünefeld’s publishing house in Gdańsk. Johann Nixdorff (1625-1697), a renowned local lawyer, was paid 20 thalers for a non-specified legal treatise dedicated to the Council “wegen sein Tractätlin de judiciis tribunalitiis” (28 May 1655).44 Remuneration lists often featured the name of Joachim Pastorius, honorary professor of the Academic Gymnasium: in 1652, he received 20 thalers for a treatise of unknown nature; in 1655, 270 marks for a certain oration;45 in 1660, a gift in gold and silver worth 94.5 marks for a “chant;”46 and in 1670 he received 5 ducats (calculated at 6 florins each), or 45 florins (67.5 marks),47 for an occasional lyric on the tribute paid by the Gdańsk citizens to King Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki (“carmen auf die solenitet dieses Tages”).48 There is no doubt that Pastorius sent his panegyric works to several recipients at a time, expecting a decent reward from each of them. 


20 The following volumes of the SAG were particularly useful: 300, 12/28 (1600/1601); 49 (1619); 67 (1633/1635), 71 (1637/1638); 72 (1638/1639); 74 (1640/1641), 76 (1642/1643), 81 (1645/1646), 87 (1651/1652), 92 (1655/1656), 93 (1657/1658), 94 (1658/1659), 108 (1668/1669), 109 (1669/1670), 110 (1670/1671). Materials from the last decade of the 16th century also constituted a valuable source. Ledgers from the 18th century have been conserved without major gaps too.

21 Krüger published calendars from 1609–1639, compare K. Kubik, „Kalendarze gdańskie w XVI-XVII wieku” [„Calendars from 16th–17th Century Gdańsk”], Rocznik Gdański, 32, 1972, p. 141 et seq.

22 SAG 300, 12/67, p. 249.

23 SAG 300, 12/81, p. 58.

24 SAG 300, 12/92, p. 57.

25 SAG 300, 12/97, p. 53.

26 SAG 300, 12/94, p. 54.

27 The value of one florin (1.5 mark = 30 gr), accounting money measured in ore, fell in the first half of the 17th century from 19.86 g of silver in 1601 to 8.1 g in 1630 and stayed at this level until 1663, when it declined again to 8.01 g of silver, according to J. Pelc, Ceny w Gdańsku w XVI i XVII wieku [Prices in Gdańsk in the 16th–17th Century], Lwów, 1937, tab. 1, pp. 2-6.

28 SAG 300, 12/67, p. 249. 

29 D. Herlicius, New und Alt Schreib-Calender auffs Jahr Christi 1635, Danzig, 1634, copy of the Gdańsk Library of the Polish Academy of Sciences, shelf mark 24172 8o et seq. Zu Ehren und insonders günstigen Wolgefallen gestellet: Denen Edlen, Hochachtbaren, Hochweisen, Fürsichtigen, Hoch- und Wollgelarten Herren Herren Burgermeistern unnd Rath der Königlichen hochberümbten Stadt Dantzigk, meinen hochgünstigen, vielgeehrten lieben Herren und mächtigen Patronis. Durch D. Davidem Herlicium, Medicum zu Stargard in Pommern, Ibid., f. 2r. The calendar was accompanied by forecasts prepared by the eminent mathematician entitled Prognosticon astrologicum, oder Grosse Pracitca auff das Jahr... 1635, Dantzig, 1634. The calendars by Herlicius came out in Gdańsk as of 1626, see P. Paluchowski, “Kompozycja graficzna kart tytułowych gdańskich kalendarzy XVI-XVII wiek” [“Graphic Layout of the Title Pages of Gdańsk Calendars in the 16th–17th Centuries”], Rocznik Biblioteki Narodowej, 44, 2013, pp. 91-112.

30 I had access to a calendar for 1646: Newer und Alter Schreib-Calender, Rostock, 1645, GL PAS, shelf mark 24193, 8o et seq. (1646). The dedication can be found on the verso of the title page.

31 SAG 300, 300.12/81, p. 59. 

32 SAG 300, 12/76, p. 60.

33 SAG 300, 12/74, p. 58.

34 Copy in the GL PAS, shelf mark 24190 8o et seq. (1640).

35 SAG 300, 12/74, p. 59.

36 Prints: Rostock 1643, Lüneburg 1647; copy in the GL PAS, shelf mark 24190 8o et seq. (1644, 1648). 

37 Print: Lüneburg 1649, GL PAS, shelf mark 24190••8o et seq. (1650).

38 J. P. Titius, Oratio secularias de Prussia liberata a Crucifeorum tyrannide, Gedanie, 1654; see E. Kotarski, Gdańska poezja… [Poetry of Gdańsk…]

39 SAG 300, R/Mm, 1, p. 485 (excerpts from the proceedings of the Gdańsk municipal departments).

40 I was not able to establish the title, probably connected with the Peace of Oliwa of 1660, see SAG 300, 12/97, p. 53.

41 P. Krüger, Doctrina astronomiae sphaerica…, Dantisci, 1635, copy in the GL PAS, Ta 1506, 8o, dedication, Ibidem, f. 2r- 3v. In 1619, Krüger also received 50 marks in remuneration from the Council for his work on comets, see SAG 300, 12/ 49, p. 23.

42 SAG 300, 12/67, p. 250.

43 J. Pelc, Ceny w Gdańsku w XVI-XVII wieku [Prices in Gdańsk in the 16th–17th Century], Lwów, 1937, pp. 143, 154.

44 SAG 300, 12/92, p. 55. SAG 300, R/Mm, 1, p. 486.

45 SAG 300, 12/ 92, p. 56.

46 SAG 300, 12/97, p. 53. 

47 SAG 300, 12/110, p. 67

48 J. Pastorius, Plausus castalius…, Gedani 1670, see E. Kotarski, Gdańska poezja okolicznościowa XVII wieku [Occasional Poetry of Gdańsk in the 17th Century], Gdańsk, 1993, pp. 102, 330.