Adam Stanislaw Naruszewicz


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Naruszewicz, Adam Stanisław

 

Born Oct. 20, 1733, in Pinshchizna, in present-day Byelorussian SSR; died July 6, 1796, in Janów-Podlaski. Polish poet, historian, and figure in the Polish Enlightenment. Jesuit.

The son of an impoverished nobleman, Naruszewicz entered the service of King Stanislaw August Poniatowski at the end of the 1760’s. He was appointed bishop of Smolensk in 1788 and of Lutsk in 1790. During the Four-year Sejm (1788–92), he supported the royal party and the constitution of 1791 but soon thereafter retired from political life. Naruszewicz was the author of the History of the Polish People and other historical works, and he gathered an extremely valuable collection of historical sources. In his Memorial, sent to the king in 1775, he advocated a rationalistic interpretation of history as a secular discipline with a cognitive, moral, and political function. He favored limited reforms under a strong monarchy.

Naruszewicz wrote lyric poetry, fables, and satires. His satires “The Poor Man of Letters,” “The Masquerade,” and “Corrupt Age” denounce the customs and morals of his time and the ignorance of the gentry. He translated Horace, Anacreon, Tacitus, and other writers and edited the magazine Zabawy przy-jemne i pozyteczne (Pleasant and Useful Amusements).

WORKS

Historya narodu polskiego, vols. 1–10. Lipsk, 1836–37.
Satyry. Wroclaw, 1962.
Liryki wybrane. Warsaw, 1964.

REFERENCE

Aleksandrowicz, A. Twórczość satyryczna A. Naruszewicza. Wroclaw, 1964.