Rej, Mikolaj

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rej, Mikołaj


Born Feb. 4, 1505; died sometime between Sept. 8 and Oct. 4, 1569. Polish Renaissance writer and public figure.

Rej’s most important early work is the Short Conversation Between a Squire, a Bailiff, and a Parson (1543). His Life of Joseph (1545) and The Merchant (1549) are noteworthy as the first Polish dramatic works. Rej also wrote a prose adaptation of the Psalms of David (1545), a collection of anti-Catholic sermons entitled Postilla (1557), and a didactic allegorical narrative poem called The Proper Image of an Honest Man’s Life (1558). His translation of the Book of Revelation (1565) reflects his Calvinist views. Rej’s talent as a satirist, humorist, portrayer of everyday life, and moralist is best revealed in the collection The Bestiary (1562). His last work, The Mirror (1568), expresses the author’s sociopolitical ideals. Rej’s work is imbued with Reformation and humanist ideas.


Razumovskaia, L. V. “Mikolai Rei.” In lstoriia pol’skoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow, 1968.
Windakiewicz, S. Mikołaj Rej z Nagłowic, 3rd ed. Lublin, 1922.
Studia nad Mikołajem Rejem. Gdańsk, 1971.
Szmydtowa, Z. O Erazmie i Reju. Warsaw, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.