Slownik starozytnosci slowianskich, p. 228


Popiel 1. In sources papiel, papel or papyl. Nasal consonant indicated by a form Pumpil; rectify 'o' to 'ą' in form Popel, which is a derivative of 'a'.

Literature: E. Kucharski, Chossistco//Chloscisko; Pumpil//Papel, J.P., 12 1927, s. 161-71, i odpowiedz J. Losia, tamze, s. 171-3. [Stanislaw Urbanczyk]

2. Popiel, legendary ruler from Gniezno (see), mentioned in the Gall Anonymous Chronicle (lib. I, cap. 1). At his two sons' hair cutting ordinance he gave a feast to which many officials and friends were invited. They did not admitted, however, two strangers. The strangers were turned away from the castle and finally they were lodged at the servant's home named Piast, whose son, Siemowit (see) had at the same time his hair cutting ordinance. Both pilgrims miraculously multiplied Piast's food and beverages; finally Popiel himself came to the Piast's home. When Siemowit grew up he became the ruler and Popiel's clan lost its power. Popiel himself, banned from the country, found a shelter on the island of the lake (Goplo - sp), where harassed by mice, died eaten by them.
Kadlubek (a chronicler - sp) improved Gall's tale writing about two Popiels called by him Pompiliuses (see), of which first died being a respected ruler and the second, his son, died eaten by mice.
Finally, the author of the Wielkopolska Chronicle (see) localized death of Popiel in kruszwica (see), and after him similarly wrote Dlugosz (a chronicler - sp) in 15th cent.
In Gall's relation there were a numerous fairy threads, such as a tale on mice, known in fairy tales of many cultures, for instance in Rhine Land. A tale on two pilgrims closely resembles a story of two sloavic saints, Constantine and Methody (see), and also a legend about bishof Auxerre and st. German.
Numerous in historiography instances of tying together informations on Popiel with political events from the past are but unfounded hypothesis. It is probable, however, that remembrance of getting power by Piast dynasty at the cost of other ruling family from Gniezno in Gall's Chronicle reflects real events. It could have happened in the mid-9th century. See also prince dynasty in Poland, Piast, Pompilius, Siemowit.

Literature: K. Potkanski, Podanie o Popielu i Piascie (1900), reedycja w tegoz Lechici, Polanie, Polska, W-wa 1965, s. 414-38; H. Lowmianski, Dynastia Piastow we wczesnym sredniowieczu, Poczatki panstwa Polskiego, Poznan, t. 1, 1962, s. 112 i n.; K. Slaski, Watki historyczne w podaniach o poczatkach Polski, Poznan 1968- we wszystkich tych pracach dalsza literatura.
[Antoni Gasiorowski]

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