The First Lithuanian Book
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MAZVYDAS, MARTYNAS. Catechismusa prasty Szadei, Makslas skaitima raschta yr giesmes del kriksczianistes bei del berneliu iaunu nauiey sugulditas... – Königsberg: Hans Weinreich Publishing House, 1547. – 79 pp.

     Garso įrašas  "Broliai seserys! Imkit mane ir skaitykit..." (Brothers and Sisters! Take me and read me...) - you can listen to the first lines from the Foreword of the First Lithuanian Book.

  About Martynas Mažvydas. The first Lithuanian book, prepared by Martynas Mazvydas, Lutheran priest and rector of Ragaine Historical and Cultural Context of Catechism Appearance arish. This is the first primer, catechism, book of hymns in Lithuanian. The foreword "Knigieles paczias byla ..." is the first original verse in the Lithuanian language.

It is assumed that the number of copies printed was approximately between 200 and 300. Only two copies are extant and they are preserved at the Vilnius and Torun (Poland) University libraries. Some photocopies of "Cathecismusa..." were published in Lithuania.

The name of Mazvydas was not forgoten. The 400th anniversary of the issue of the book was marked in occupied Lithuania and by the community of Lithuanian émigrés abroad in 1947.  In 1976 the park of sculptures established in Klaipėda  bears his name,  the mountain peak (4560 m.) in the Tien Shan mountains has the  name of   Martynas Mazvydas. Lithuanian mountaineers were the first to get there in  1979. Mažvydiana in the World

Nowadays the motif of M. Mazvydas is often used in works of literature, music and art. Streets of Lithuanian towns are named after him, monuments erected  to him. One of them  is the monument to Martynas Mazvydas in Klaipeda unveiled in 1997.

In 1997 the 450th anniversary of the first Lithuanian book publishing was celebrated widely in Lithuania and in the World. There were many conferences, exhibitions, special publications issued, the jubilee coin and the 450th anniversary medal were minted at the Mint of Lithuania.


This page is just a small introduction.

In a Guided Tour you will see all connected pages, find more texts, pictures and music recordings related to the first Lithuanian book and its 450th anniversary.

If you have more time, welcome to the web site YEAR OF LITHUANIAN BOOK. It contains pictures of pages from M. Mažvydas book and presents its historical background and cultural context of it appearance. It provides you with the opportunity to listen to M. Mažvydas' hymns and get acquainted with old and modern maps as well as the place names in East Prussia or Lithuania Minor. Here you will find items devoted to 450th jubilee - pictures and descriptions of a medal, a coin, and postage stamp, see exhibitions of   bookplates, and drawings by schoolchildren, discover  a bibliography and chronicle of anniversary.

A source containing the most extensive  information on the subject is THE YEAR OF THE LITHUANIAN BOOK- LIETUVIŠKOS KNYGOS METAI - JAHR DES LITHAUISCHEN BUCHES [CD-ROM, Lithuanian, English, German]. Vilnius: Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, 1998. - ISBN 9986-680-09-3.

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