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Janosik, wood engraving by Władysław Skoczylas. Reads "The name of Janosik will never die".

Juraj Jánošík (first name also Juro or Jurko, Slovak pronunciation: [ˈjuraj ˈjaːnɔʃiːk]; Polish: Jerzy Janosik [ˈjɛʐɨ jaˈnɔɕik], Hungarian: György Jánosik; baptised January 25, 1688, died March 17, 1713) was a famous Slovak outlaw.

Jánošík has been the main character of many Slovak and Polish legends, novels, poems, and films. According to the legend, he robbed nobles and gave the loot to the poor. The legend were also known in neighboring Silesia, the Margraviate of Moravia and later spread to the Kingdom of Bohemia. The actual robber had little to do with the modern legend, whose content partly reflects the ubiquitous folk myths of a hero taking from the rich and giving to the poor. However, the legend was also shaped in important ways by the activists and writers in the 19th century when Jánošík became the key highwayman character in stories that spread in the north counties of the Kingdom of Hungary (present Slovakia) and among the local Gorals and Polish tourists in the Podhale region north of the Tatras (Tatra). The image of Jánošík as a symbol of resistance to oppression was reinforced when poems about him became part of the Slovak and Czech middle and high school literature curriculum, and then again with the numerous films that propagated his modern legend in the 20th century. During the anti-Nazi Slovak National Uprising, one of the partisan groups bore his name.



The page No. 39 of the protocol from the trial with Juraj Jánošík. It is archived under the title Fassio Janosikiana, anno 1713 die 16 mensis Martii. Jánošík is called here "agili Georgius Janošík Tyarchoviensis latronum et praedorum antesignatus" - cautious (or agile) Juro Jánošík from the Ťarchová, the chief of the thieves and outlaws.[1]

The actual future highwayman Juraj Jánošík was born shortly before his baptism on January 25, 1688. His parents were Martin Jánošík and Anna Čišníková from Terchová. His godparents were Jakub Merjad and Barbara Krištofíková. His first name, ("George" in English) has been a very common name all over Europe and his last name is still common around his birthplace.

Jánošík was born and most certainly grew up in the village of Terchová (Tyerhova) in the Habsburg monarchy's Kingdom of Hungary area, (present-day Žilina District in northwestern Slovakia). He fought with the Kuruc insurgents when he was fifteen. After the lost Battle of Trenčín, Jánošík was recruited by the Habsburg army.[2] In autumn, 1710, as a young prison guard in Bytča (Nagybiccse), he helped the imprisoned Tomáš Uhorčík escape.[3] They created a forest robber group and Jánošík became the leader at the age of 23, after Uhorčík left the group to settle in Klenovec.[4] The group was active mostly in northwestern Kingdom of Hungary (today's Slovakia), around the Váh (Vág) river between Važec (Vázsec) and Východná (Vichodna),[5] but the territory of their activity extended also to other parts of today's Slovakia, as well as to Poland and Moravia.[2] Most of their victims were rich merchants. Under Jánošík's leadership, the group was exceptionally chivalrous: They did not kill any of the robbed victims and even helped an accidentally injured priest.[5] They are also said to share their loot with the poor and this part of the legend may be based on the facts too.[5]

Jánošík was captured in the fall of 1712 and detained at the Mansion of Hrachov, but was released soon afterwards.[6] He was captured again in spring of 1713, in the Uhorčík's residence in Klenovec (Klenóc).[1][7] Uhorčík lived there under the false name Martin Mravec at that time. According to a widespread legend, he was caught in a pub run by Tomáš Uhorčík, after slipping on spilled peas, thrown in his way by a treacherous old lady. Jánošík was imprisoned and tried in Liptovský Svätý Mikuláš (Liptószentmiklós, present Liptovský Mikuláš).

His trial took place on March 16 and March 17, 1713 when he was sentenced to death. The date of his execution was not recorded, but it was customary to carry it out as soon as the trial was over. The manner of his execution, not in public awareness until the early 19th century, became part of his modern legend. A hook was pierced through his left side and he was left dangling on the gallows to die. This brutal way of execution was reserved for leaders of robber bands.[5] However, sources diverge about the way of his execution, and it is also possible, that Jánošík was hanged.[1] A legend says that he refused the grace offered in exchange for enlisting soldiers of his abilities with the words: "If you have baked me so you should also eat me!" and jumped on the hook.[8]

Other members of Jánošík's group

Jánošík in film

  • 1921 Jánošík – first Slovak feature film; financed by Slovak-American Tatra Film Co.; director: Jaroslav Jerry Siakeľ, Jánošík: Theodor Pištěk. (Based on this film UNESCO registers Slovakia as the tenth national cinema in the world that began to produce feature films).[9]
  • 1935 JánošíkSlovak and Czech film; director: Martin Frič, Jánošík: Paľo Bielik.
  • 1954 Janosik – first Polish animation; director: Włodzimierz Haupe and Halina Bielińska.
  • 1963 Jánošík I and IISlovak film; director: Paľo Bielik, Jánošík: František Kuchta.
  • 1974 JanosikPolish film; director: Jerzy Passendorfer, Janosik: Marek Perepeczko.
  • 1974 Janosik – Polish 13-episode TV series; director: Jerzy Passendorfer, Janosik: Marek Perepeczko.
  • 1976 Highwayman Jurko / Zbojník Jurko – Slovak animated film; director: Viktor Kubal.
  • 1991 Highwayman Jurošík / Zbojník Jurošík – Slovak 28-episode animated TV series; director: Jaroslav Baran.
  • 2009 Jánošík. The True Story / Jánošík. Pravdivá história / Janosik. Prawdziwa historia – Slovak-Polish-Czech coproduction; director: Agnieszka Holland and Katarzyna Adamik, Janosik: Václav Jiráček.

Jánošík in literature

  • 1785 Slovak – Anon., "An Excellent Sermon by a Certain Preacher in the Days of the Chief Highwayman Jánošík." Staré nowiny liternjho uměnj, May 1785.
  • 1809 Slovak – Bohuslav Tablic, "Jánošík, the Highwayman of Liptov County." Slowensstj Werssowcy. Collecta revirescunt. Swazek druhý.
  • 1814 Slovak – Pavol Jozef Šafárik, "Celebrating Slavic Lads." Tatranská Můza s ljrau Slowanskau.
  • 1829 Slovak lower nobleman in German – Johann Csaplovics, "Robbers." Gemälde von Ungern.
  • 1845 Slovak lower noblemanŠtefan Marko Daxner, "Jánošík's Treasure." Orol Tatránski.
  • 1846 Slovak – Ján Botto, "Jánošík's Song." Holubica, Zábavník Levočskích Slovákou.
  • 1846 Slovak – Samo Chalupka, "Jánošík's Contemplation." Orol Tatránski.
  • 1862 Ján Botto, "The Death of Jánošík. A Romance." Lipa. — A key poem in Slovak literature and culture.
  • 1867 Slovak lower noblemanJonáš Záborský, Jánošík's Dinner. A Play in Four Acts With an Historical Background. A supplement to the journal Sokol.
  • 1875 Hungarian – "Jánosik and a Snitch." Nyitramegyei Szemle.
  • 1884 Polish – August Wrześniowski, "A Story About Janosik." Pamięci Towarzystwa Tatrzańskiego.
  • 1884 Czech – Alois Jirásek, "About Jánošík." Staré pověsti české.
  • 1893 American in Slovak – Dobrý Slovák, Jánošík, the Lad of Freedom: A Legend of Times Gone By.
  • 1894 American in Slovak – Gustáv Maršall-Petrovský, Jánošík, Captain of Mountain Lads – His Tumultuous Life and Horrific Death. A Novel. — A source of the screeenplay for the 1921 Slovak film Jánošík.
  • 1900 American – George J. Krajsa, Janosik.
  • 1905 Polish – Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer, "The Legend of Janosik's Death." Poezje.
  • 1910 Czech – Jiří Mahen, Jánošík. — A play, a source of the screeenplay for the 1921 Slovak film Jánošík.
  • 1933 Slovak – Ján Hrušovský, "Jánošík." Slovenská politika. — Narrative newspaper strips published later as a novel.
  • 1937 Polish – Stanisław Ryszard Dobrowolski, Janosik of Terchová.
  • 1943 Slovak – Mária Rázusová-Martáková, Jánošík: A Rhymed Play in Five Acts.
  • 1947 Polish – Stanisław Nedza-Kubiniec, Janosik: A Poem About the Highwayman who Wanted to Make the World Equal.
  • 1955 Slovak – Mária Rázusová-Martáková, Tales about Jánošík.
  • 1958 Polish – Jalu Kurek, Janosik...
  • 1964 German – Käthe Altwallstädt, "Janosik and the Students." Die blaue Rose: Märchen aus Polen.
  • 1969 Polish – Katarzyna Gaertner, music, and Ernest Bryll, lyrics, Painted on Glass. — A musical whose Bratislava production had the longest run in the history of Slovak theater.
  • 1970 Slovak – Stanislav Štepka, Jááánošííík. — A spoof and the Slovak play with the longest run.
  • 1972 Polish – Tadeusz Kwiatkowski, Janosik. — A graphic novel.
  • 1972 Serbian in Slovak – Štefan Gráf, Jur Jánošiak. — Parallel publication in Serbia (Yugoslavia) and Slovakia (Czechoslovakia).
  • 1976 Polish – Viera Gašparíková and Teresa Komorowska, Highwaymen's Bounty. Polish and Slovak Tales from the Tatras.
  • 1979 Slovak – Ľubomír Feldek, Jánošík According to Vivaldi. — A spoof play.
  • 1980 Slovak – Margita Figuli, A Ballad of Jur Jánošík.
  • 1980 Slovak – Ladislav Ťažký, Jánošík's Tear.
  • 1984 Polish – Andrzej Kijowski, About A Good Commander and Ironcald Champion.
  • 1985 American – John H. Hausner, "Jánošík, We Remember!" And Other Poems.
  • 1993 Ukrainian in Polish – Василь Iванович Сави, Яносик, польська народна казка. — A picture book.
  • 1994 Slovak – Anton Marec, Jánošík, Jánošík... (33 Legends About the Famous Highwayman Commander.)
  • 2007 Polish – Sebastian Miernicki, Pan Samochodzik i Janosik.

In music

  • Polish folk music group Trebunie-Tutki issued two albums:
    • 1992: Żywot Janicka Zbójnika ("Life of Janosik the Robber")
    • 1993: Ballada o śmierci Janosika ("Ballad on the Death of Janosik")



  • Kočiš, Jozef (1986). Neznámy Jánošík. Martin: Vydavatel´stvo Osveta.   (Slovak) - contains also list of published literature, German, French, Russian and Hungarian resumé.
  • Melicherčík, Andrej (1963). Juraj Jánošík, hrdina protifeudálného odboja slovenského l´udu. Martin.   (Slovak)

External links


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