The Under and Tuglas Literature Centre published an annotated edition of the poems Sub velis poeticis. Lateinische Gedichte. It is the first volume of works by David Hilchen that brings together his texts, such as poetry, epigrams and satire. The publication was compiled, translated and edited by Kristi Viiding and Martin Klöker.


David Hilchen (1561-1610) is one of the few internationally recognised Livonians from the early modern period. Despite his former fame as a politician and lawyer (Livonian Land Bill 1599, Riga Chancellery 1598, Riga School Order 1594, etc.), as the founder of the first printing house and academic gymnasium in Livonia, etc. there are a lot of mixed opinions of him. He was once called the son of a muse (Heliconius) and then the son of hell (Höllenkind), who had used his humanities to destroy the freedoms and living conditions of his countrymen until he had to be exiled to Poland after being sentenced to death in Riga (1601).


Hilchen’s more than 40 poems in Latin have been compiled from his manuscripts. The poems can be found throughout Eastern and Central Europe, mostly in Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Germany. The edition, the German translation and personal and literary commentary are preceded by a critical critique of David Hilchen’s biography and the role of poetry in his life, as well as a thorough analysis of the verses and forms of Hilchen’s poems. This was assisted by Maria-Kristiina Lotman, Associate Professor at the University of Tartu.


It can be found in the third volume of the series Baltische literarische Kultur (Baltic Literary Culture). The book is supported by the Estonian Research Agency (PUT1030, 2016–2019), DAAD (2020), NAWA ULAM (2021).