Jonas Basanavičius Folklore Library, Vol. 14
Jonas Basanavičius. Collected Works: Articles and Studies, book 1.
Vilnius: Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, 2003
The last two volumes of the Jonas Basanavičius Folklore Library present his studies on folklore and the mythical images. Articles and studies published in this fourteenth volume allow the readers to gain better understanding of the situation that was forming in Lithuanian folkloristics in the end of the 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th century. In general, the tendency of addressing cultural and historical problems in relation to folklore is among the most prominent characteristics of folklore research developed by Basanavičius. Besides, his attempts at solving the riddles of Lithuanian national origins and development also become increasingly visible. These attempts eventually formed the so-called Thracian-Phrygian theory, which was also based on the data from other scholarly disciplines, like ethnography, linguistics, and archeology.
Already in the first article, entitled “The Journey of Lakes and Rivers towards Lithuania” (1885) Basanavičius addressed an interesting problem, posed by Lithuanian place legends describing the travelling lakes. In his other early works, while examining folklore images and details, Basanavičius attempted to ground his assumption that Lithuanian and Thracian ancestors had once formed the same nation. Subsequently he used written sources as well: chronicles, historical works, and international data. Even in his articles written after quite a long period of time, Basanavičius went on discussing the close relationship that had allegedly existed between the ancient Lithuanians and Greece, the Balkan Peninsula or the Asia Minor. Thus, in his study “Details of Thracian and Lithuanian Mythology” (1921) Basanavičius presented parallels between Lithuanian mythic images and the antique or other ancient deities and mythic characters. On the other hand, such studies by Basanavičius like “What Lithuanian Songs Know about Geography and Ethnology of Lithuania and Other Peoples” (1923), “Vilnius in Lithuanian Songs” (1925) and “From the Ancient Lithuanian Mythology” (1926) display clear orientation towards Lithuanian culture and philology, being exclusively based on Lithuanian materials.
The fourteenth volume of Jonas Basanavičius Folklore Library was compiled, its foreword and commentaries written by Leonardas Sauka. Editors of the volume are Kostas Aleksynas and Leonardas Sauka. The language editor was Vitas Agurkis.