Jan Kochanowski

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Jan Kochanowski
BirthplaceSycyna, Kingdom of Poland
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kochanowski, Jan


Born 1530, in Sycyna, near Radom; died Aug. 22, 1584, in Lublin. Polish poet.

The son of a member of the middle gentry, Kochanowski enrolled at the University of Kraków in 1544 and later studied at the Universities of Königsberg and Padua. Most of his early works of the 1550’s (elegies, epigrams) are in Latin, the language in which he also wrote some later works. Kochanowski’s mature writings were influential in strengthening patriotic citizenship and in establishing the vernacular as the language of poetry (Harmony, published 1564; The Satyr, c. 1564; The Banner, 1569). His Trifles (books 1-3, published 1584) is a collection of short poems, generally witty (sometimes frivolous), on moral and philosophical subjects. The Trifles reflect the poet’s observations on life, especially during his service at court (he was a royal secretary). Kochanowski’s Songs (books 1-2, published 1586), written after 1570 when he withdrew to his estate, Czarnolas, are distinguished by depth of feeling, limpid lyricism, poetic portrayal of rural life and family joys, and philosophical reflection. His translation of the Psalms of David (1578) had a profound influence on the development of Polish poetry and the literary language. In his tragedy The Dismissal of the Grecian Envoys (1578), Kochanowski comments on the major political issues of his day, using classical dramatic devices and subjects. The death of his daughter was the occasion for the writing of his Threno-dies, a cycle of poems conveying the depths of human grief and agonized reflections on man’s fate and the laws of existence. The most important figure in Polish Renaissance literature, Kochanowski greatly stimulated the development of Polish poetry.


Dzieta polskie, 4th ed. Warsaw, 1960.
Izbr. proizv. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960. (In Russian translation.)
Lirika. Moscow, 1970. (In Russian translation.)


Razumovskaia, L. V., and B. F. Stakheev. “Ian Kokhanovskii.” In Istoriia pol’skoi titeratury, vol. 1. Moscow, 1968.
Rytel, J. Jan Kochanowski. Warsaw, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Consent to conduct the study was obtained from the local Ethical Review Board at the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, Poland.
(1) Jan Kochanowski University, Institute of Biology, Department of Botany, Swietokrzyska St.
(2) Jan Kochanowski University, The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Kielce, Poland
(3.) Department of Microbiological and Nanobiomedical Engineering, Medical University of Bialystok, Poland; The Faculty of Human Sciences of the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, Poland
From the Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland (Drs Lasota, Felisiak-Golabek, Inaguma, Wang, and Miettinen); the Departments of Molecular Diagnostics (Dr Kowalik, Ms Pieciak, and Mr Zieba), Surgical Pathology (Dr Kopczynski), and Clinical Oncology (Dr Gozdz), Holycross Cancer Center, Kielce, Poland; the Department of Pathology, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, Nagakute, Japan (Dr Inaguma); the Department of Pathomorphology, Medical University of Gdansk, Poland (Drs Peksa and Biernat); the Department of Pathomorphology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland (Dr Okon); ZDUNOMED/ Histopathology, Szczecin, Poland (Dr Waloszczyk); and Faculty of Health Sciences, The Jan Kochanowski University, Kielce, Poland (Dr Gozdz).
Moved by the Spirit begins with Jan Kochanowski's lamenting ("Tren XVII") the death of his young daughter.
Jerzy Jaskiernia, Professor, Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce (Poland)
(3.) Jan Kochanowski, Laments, translated by Stanislaw Barariczak and Seamus Heaney, The Noonday Press, 1996.
(1) Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, Faculty of Health Sciences, AL.IX Wiekow Kielc 19, 25-317 Kielce, Poland