The resident Robin Hood of Central Europe.
Janosik (Juraj Jánoík), in fact a historical character, was a Slovak outlaw living at the break of XVIIth and XVIIIth Centuries. Operating in the mountainous territory of modern-day Slovakia (then the kingdom of Hungary), as well as in adjacent parts of Poland and Moravia, his band developed a reputation for chivalry and fairness to the common folk. Finally tracked after a few years of living at large, he was sentenced to death, allegedly by having a hook thrust into his ribs and hanged by it until he expired. As time passed, his legend grew and was greatly popularized by the Romanticists and folklorists, and he became a legendary character not only in Slovakia, but also the Czech Republic and Poland. He became a symbol of freedom and fight against the oppression of the common folk by foreign overlords.
According to the legends, he and his merry company fought oppressive Austrian and Hungarian nobles and their minions, robbed those who made their fortunes at the cost of the local folk, and gave the loot to the poor. His demise came when he was spotted in an inn and, attempting to escape, slipped on peas thrown in his way by a treacherous old woman. It is also told that he was offered parole, but refused and jumped onto the hook on his own. Some versions of his story attribute to him various magical powers, such as great strength or invulnerability, granted by a magical belt or shirt.
Janosik has been the hero of many films and other media, most of them titled "Janosik" or variety thereof.
- Górski orzeł (The Mountain Eagle; 1958) Polish comic strip serialized in a youth magazine called Przygoda (Adventure).
- Janosik (1974) Polish sixissue series; not well received at the day of its premièrenote , but re-appreciated after years as a classic and considered a milestone for the Polish comic book scene. Collected in two volumes and reprinted in 2002.
- Janosik (1954) first Polish animation
- Highwayman Juroík (Zbojník Juroík; 1991) Slovak 28-episode animated TV series
- Jánoík (1921) first Slovak feature film. Based on this film UNESCO registers Slovakia as the tenth national cinema in the world that began to produce feature films.
- Jánoík (1935) Slovak and Czech film
- Janosik (1974) Compilation Movie for 1973 series mentioned below.
- Jánoík. The True Story (Jánoík. Pravdivá história/Janosik. Prawdziwa historia; 2009) a Slovak-Polish-Czech coproduction, striving to hit closer to the real story behind the legend.
- Janosik (1973) Polish 13-episode TV series. A Cult Classic memorable for its theme tune.
- Polish Goral (Highlander) folk group Trebunie-Tutki dedicated two albums to him.
- Janosik (1994) - a platform game released by Mirage, a Polish game company, for Amiga, Atari, and PC DOS.