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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
- cautious (or agile) Juro Jánošík from the
Ťarchová, the chief of the thieves and outlaws.
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.
In autumn, 1710, as a young prison guard in Bytča (Nagybiccse), he helped the imprisoned
Tomáš Uhorčík escape. 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. The
group was active mostly in northwestern Kingdom of
Hungary (today's Slovakia), around the Váh (Vág) river between Važec (Vázsec) and Východná (Vichodna),
but the territory of their activity extended also to other parts of
today's Slovakia, as well as to Poland and Moravia.
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
They are also said to share their loot with the poor and this part
of the legend may be based on the facts too.
Jánošík was captured in the fall of 1712 and detained at the
Mansion of Hrachov, but was released soon afterwards. He was
captured again in spring of 1713, in the Uhorčík's residence in Klenovec (Klenóc). 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
However, sources diverge about the way of his execution, and it is
also possible, that Jánošík was hanged.
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.
members of Jánošík's group
- Vrabel and Hunčiak (aka Huncaga) (so-called Turiak) from Staškov (Sztaskó)
- Jakub Chliastkov from Oščadnica (Ócsad)
- Ondráš from Dlhá nad Kysucou (Dlhavölgy)
- Ondrej Kindis from Dlhé Pole (Dlhepole)
- Plavčík from Dunajov
- Pavol Bernatík from Nová Bystrica (Újbeszterce)
- Kovalský and Bagaj from Raková (Trencsénrákó)
- Kovalíček, Holubek and Valíček from Moravia
- Gavora, Satora and Oresiak from Poland
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).
- 1935 Jánošík – Slovak and Czech film; director:
Martin Frič, Jánošík: Paľo Bielik.
- 1954 Janosik – first Polish animation; director: Włodzimierz Haupe
and Halina Bielińska.
- 1963 Jánošík I and II – Slovak
film; director: Paľo Bielik, Jánošík: František Kuchta.
- 1974 Janosik – Polish film; director: Jerzy
Passendorfer, Janosik: Marek Perepeczko.
- 1974 Janosik – Polish 13-episode TV
series; director: Jerzy Passendorfer, Janosik: Marek
- 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.
- 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
- 1829 Slovak lower nobleman in German – Johann
Csaplovics, "Robbers." Gemälde von Ungern.
- 1845 Slovak lower nobleman – Štefan
Marko Daxner, "Jánošík's Treasure." Orol
- 1846 Slovak – Ján Botto, "Jánošík's Song." Holubica,
Zábavník Levočskích Slovákou.
- 1846 Slovak – Samo Chalupka, "Jánošík's Contemplation."
- 1862 Ján Botto, "The Death of Jánošík. A Romance."
Lipa. — A key poem in Slovak literature and culture.
- 1867 Slovak lower nobleman – Jonáš 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
- 1884 Polish – August Wrześniowski, "A Story About Janosik."
Pamięci Towarzystwa Tatrzańskiego.
- 1884 Czech – Alois Jirásek, "About Jánošík." Staré
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 1980 Slovak – Ladislav Ťažký, Jánošík's Tear.
- 1984 Polish – Andrzej Kijowski, About A Good Commander and
- 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
- Polish folk music
group Trebunie-Tutki issued two albums:
- 1992: Żywot Janicka Zbójnika ("Life of Janosik the
- 1993: Ballada o śmierci Janosika ("Ballad on the Death
- Kočiš, Jozef (1986). Neznámy
- contains also list of published literature, German, French,
Russian and Hungarian resumé.
- Melicherčík, Andrej (1963).
Juraj Jánošík, hrdina protifeudálného odboja slovenského