Jan Kochanowski

Jan Kochanowski Jan Kochanowski (; 1530 – 22 August 1584) was a Polish Renaissance poet who wrote in Latin and Polish and established poetic patterns that would become integral to Polish literary language. He has been called the greatest Polish poet before Adam Mickiewicz (the latter, a leading Romantic writer) and one of the most influential Slavic poets prior to the 19th century.

In his youth Kochanowski traveled to Italy, where he studied at the University of Padua, and to France. In 1559 he returned to Poland, where he made the acquaintance of political and religious notables including Jan Tarnowski, Piotr Myszkowski (whom he briefly served as courtier), and members of the influential Radziwiłł family.

From about 1563, Kochanowski served as secretary to King Sigismund II Augustus. He accompanied the King to several noteworthy events, including the (held in Lublin), which enacted the Union of Lublin, formally establishing the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1564 he was made provost of Poznań Cathedral. By the mid-1570s he had largely retired to his estate at Czarnolas. He died suddenly in 1584, while staying in Lublin.

All his life, Kochanowski was a prolific writer. Works of his that are pillars of the include the 1580 (''Laments''), a series of nineteen threnodies (elegies) on the death of his daughter Urszula; the 1578 tragedy (''The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys''), inspired by Homer; and Kochanowski's (''Epigrams''), a collection of 294 short poems written during the 1560s and 1570s, published in three volumes in 1584. One of his major stylistic contributions was the adaptation and popularization of Polish-language verse forms. Provided by Wikipedia
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