Wujek, Jakub (1541–1597)

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Roman-Catholic priest, theologian, and polemicist. He was born 1541 in Wągrowiec. Since 1558, he studied at the Krakow Academy and in Vienna where he got a master’s degree in philosophy. In 1565, he joined the Jesuit Order and started his theological studies in Rome. Back home, he received in 1568 his ordination at Pułtusk where he was active as a preacher and a rhetoric professor.

In 1571, the Rev. Jakub Wujek arrived in Poznań, acting between 1573 and 1578 as the local Jesuit College’s rector.

He was subsequently ordered – in 1584, when in Kalisz – to translate the Bible into Polish. He then settled in Krakow in 1592 to devote himself entirely to his already-commenced translation. 1593 saw publication in Krakow of Wujek’s translation of the New Testament, with a commentary; in 1594, he had his translation of the Psalter published.

Having returned to Poznań in 1594, he continued his translation work. As an author, he ranked among the most excellent stylists of his time. The completed translation of the Bible authored by the Rev. J. Wujek was published only two years after its author died.

The Wujek translation testifies to a marvellous development of the Polish Renaissance prose. Jakub Wujek died in Krakow in 1597 and was buried at the local St. Barbara’s church.

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