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Abstract

Sir Philip Sidney was one of the most important figures in Elizabethan England. An outstanding poet, courtier, diplomat and knight, he has been a subject of research for many generations of scholars. Some authors state that Sidney received a proposal to become a candidate for the Polish elective throne but refused because the Queen did not agree. This story can be traced back to a short biography of him written by Robert Naunton in ca. 1630, but the ultimate source was the elegy on the death of Sidney written by Robert Dowe. Addressed to an anonymous “Polish friend”, it proposed Sidney could have become a great king, had he not been killed in battle. It was clearly a poetic metaphor rather than a statement of fact. Nevertheless, a number of scholars still believe that Sidney was approached with the proposal by Olbracht Łaski when he visited London and was received with unprecedented splendour by Elizabeth I. Even though the reasons for Łaski’s visit are still unclear, there are many arguments against such a hypothesis. Nevertheless, Sidney was greatly interested in the Polish political system (as can be gleaned from his correspondence) and eventually visited Cracow in 1574, at the invitation of Marcin Leśniowolski. The last part of the paper is an attempt at identifying the house in which Sidney stayed and it is argued that it must have been the same house in which John Dee later intended to stay (probably on Sidney’s advice), but changed his mind. The house belonged to one Pernus, whose first name was not recorded by Dee. A detailed analysis of several members of that patrician family shows that it must have been Paweł Pernus, who studied at Heidelberg and later held high civic offices in Cracow. He owned several houses, but it seems that the most probable identification of the one in which Sidney stayed is the house at Floriańska 11, which was also occasionally visited by Edward Kelley during his and John Dee’s later stay in Cracow.
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Abstract

The discovery of a seventeenth-century duplicate copy of two letters (one written by Cardinal Zbigniew Oleśnicki to John of Capistrano on 15.04.1452, and the latter’s reply to the Cardinal and King Casimir Jagiellonian) on sheet 191 of the manuscript marked Chigi Q II 51 kept in the Vatican Apostolic Library, made it possible to determine the previously unknown provenance of the manuscript marked 1399 I from the Princes Czartoryski Library. As a result of an analysis of the content and the layout of the duplicate copy, it was established that the text from sheet 191 was copied directly from the manuscript kept in the Princes Czartoryski Library. The Chigi manuscript contains information on the source of the duplicate: a manuscript kept in St. Anne’s Franciscan friars monastery in Warsaw. Therefore, the monastery should be recognised as the place in which the Princes Czartoryski Library manuscript marked 1399 I was kept in the 17th century. It ended up there in the second half of the 15th century, soon after the monastery was founded, and was most probably kept there as long as until the beginning of the 19th century, when it was purchased by Tadeusz Czacki.
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Abstract

The article presents selected aspects of the life of Cecylia Działyńska against the background of her times, with a focus on the historical and cultural context as well as the specific local conditions, which had a considerable impact on her beliefs and attitude. The analysed source made it possible to reconstruct Cecylia’s convictions concerning her understanding of the nation, patriotism, attitude to the emancipation of women, social roles, faith and the Catholic church, which basically did not differ from the model convictions and behaviours in the public domain which were mandatory in the circles of women from the more enlightened spheres in the Prussian Partition. It was not so with the fulfilment of Cecylia’s ideals. Her deep religiousness, inclination to mysticism, unwillingness to marry, as well as an incurable, chronic disease, all left their mark on her life, preventing Cecylia from adopting the traditional role of a wife and a mother preserving the Polish customs and traditions, and maintaining faithfulness to the national and Catholic values in a family. Despite serious differences between the developing women’s movement in the Prussian Partition, and its equivalent in the Austrian and Russian Partitions, the views and the activity of women in the province of Posen, including Cecylia Działyńska (their rich charitable and educational activity as well as the significant development of female congregations in the second half of the 19th century), should be considered a more traditional, conservative model of the process of the emancipation of women on the Polish soil.
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Abstract

The article concerns the dating of a medallion from the collections of the Kórnik Library. The medallion is interesting both in view of its author (David d’Argers was one of the most eminent French sculptors), and the person portrayed by it (Klaudyna Potocka née Działyńska was among the most famous Polish women of the Romanticism). Castings of the medallion are kept in several Polish museums. In all of their catalogues, the castings are dated to 1831. However, both the biographic data and Potocka’s correspondence clearly indicate that they should be dated to 1834, which is the focus of what I have attempted to demonstrate.
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Abstract

In 1981, the Kórnik library acquired some exceptionally valuable manuscript materials of the Mycielski family living at Wydawy near Poniec, Greater Poland. They included more than 130 letters written by Helena Mycielska to her old friend Maria Harsdorf née Gniewosz. Helena (1857–1937), daughter of Józef and Maria née Turno, came from a family which stamped their virtue in difficult periods of Polish history. Her ancestors and relatives participated in national uprisings, were patriotic and social activists, scholars, and artists. Helena herself was interested in literature and art. She authored small works and reviews. She was also interested in the past of her family living in Wydawy and meticulously collected materials on their history. In about 1886, during a drawing course in Krakow, she met Maria Gniewosz, with whom she soon made friends, although Maria was 12 years younger than herself. The beautiful friendship of the two gentry women survived until Maria’s death in 1910. Helena Mycielska’s letters very interestingly document the life of the Polish landed gentry at the turn of the 20th century on the lands remaining under the rule of foreign powers for several dozen years. In the first part of the presented letters, the reader may become acquainted with Helena’s daily problems, dreams, and interests, as well as the issues which were important for her mother, her siblings, and her numerous relatives and acquaintances. She devoted a lot of space to house-related issues, in particular the duties which, as the eldest daughter, she was obliged to carry out, including the keeping of books of accounts, the keeping in order of all the bills, the managing of the home finances and the caring for the garden. She wrote about the numerous guests visiting her hospitable home at Wydawy. She gave many accounts of her participation in numerous family events such as christenings, weddings, and funerals. She mentioned her trips to Ignacy Paderewski’s concerts in Poznan and Wrocław. She devoted a lot of space in her correspondence to the books she read. She also confided to Maria on her own writing. She very carefully followed her friend’s developments as the author of reviews and small literary works, and gave her some good advice concerning the manner of writing. She often mentioned religious issues, in particular the retreats in which she participated, and she gave interesting accounts of the teaching of rural children, paying attention to the talents many of them displayed.
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Abstract

Maria Zamoyska (1860–1937) wrote her „Wspomnienia o zamku i tradycjach rodowych hr. Działyńskich i Zamoyskich” [Memories of the Castle and Traditions of the Count Działyński and Zamoyski Families] in about 1929, following the death of her mother, Jadwiga, née Działyńska (1831–1923), and her brother, Władysław Zamoyski (1853–1924), who co-founded the „Zakłady Kórnickie” Foundation. The memories include a description of the furnishings of several rooms in the Kórnik castle, which Maria Zamoyska showed to her guests, and the related traditions and legends. They were put down to paper out of the author’s need to mark the merits and the sacrifices suffered by members of the Zamoyski family for the benefit of the Polish nation. The memories include many popular pieces of information and anecdotes concerning the castle and its inhabitants, which are still told to the audience today by the castle guides. They were also one of the sources which helped in the arrangement of the museum after the refurbishment in 1959.
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Abstract

Anna Potocka, née Działyńska, was an eminent, recognised social activist, as well as the author of a journal marked by its high informative value, short books with advice for mothers bringing up children, and handbooks concerning herbalism. Her rich correspondence was partly destroyed and is currently scattered (the article specifies the places in which it is kept). The letter, which I purchased accidently, concerns some financial affairs of the Potocki marriage to do with the use of the forests in the area of Rymanów and shows the socio-economic relations rather typical for Galicia at that time.
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Abstract

The article is divided into two parts. The first one presents the course, the causes, and the direct consequences of the civil war of 840–843, which divided Louis the Pious’s sons: Lothair I, Louis “the German”, and Charles the Bald. Special attention is focused on the most important event of the war – the Battle of Fontenoy. In the second part of the article, the author discusses the structures within which the events took place, including the rules of succession. The author presents the disruption of two tendencies: the principle of the equal division of the country between all the sons of the deceased king, and the idea of the unity of the empire. Aspects of this issue include the successive Christianisation of state life, so that the state and the Church were almost entirely overlapping, which was the main cause of the increased significance of the idea of the unity of the empire. Another reason for this was the development of an imperial aristocracy – aristocratic families possessing manors, important positions, and interests in various parts of the Carolingian Empire. However, the idea of unity was lost as a direct consequence of the Battle of Fontenoy.
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Abstract

Only a handful of specialists know that the exceptionally valuable collections of the Kórnik Library of the Polish Academy of Sciences include a Carolingian manuscript dating to the second half of the 9th century. The founder of the Kórnik Library, Count Tytus Działyński (1796–1861), most probably obtained it by purchase or as a gift from the branch of the Radziwiłł family living in the Greater Poland region. The historical object was produced in a monastery scriptorium in Gaul, and contains a work devoted to the rule of St. Benedict authored by Smaragdus (d. about 830), abbot of Saint-Mihiel Abbey near Verdun. On the first sheet of the manuscript, an unknown copyist placed a 15-stanza poem devoted to the battle which took place near Fontenoy, Burgundy, on 25 June 841. The work is written in a trochaic decapentasyllable by a man of whom we do not know much apart from his name, Angilbertus, and the fact that he fought in the ranks of Emperor Lothair. Karl Strecker (1861–1945), the most distinguished expert on Carolingian poetry, believed that, in terms of expression, the poem was the grandest piece of poetry of the Carolingian Renaissance. Unfortunately, the Carolingian poetical masterpiece has survived to our own times in a form which is questionable in many respects. Since the 18th century until today, the most eminent Latinists have made the poem a subject of their studies. The text has been published many times, and scholars undertook numerous attempts at a reconstruction of the original text in their separate studies. Although these works deserve the highest respect, the same cannot be said about the subsequent editions of the poem. The later the edition, the more errors it contains. In our opinion, the sheer number of errors in these editions prevents any critical analysis of the text of this unique poem. In this situation, I decided that it was necessary to prepare a new edition and simultaneously attempt a reconstruction of the original text. I read the text of all the three copies on the basis of: 1. the original manuscript kept in the Kórnik Library (K); 2. a photocopy of the Parisian copy (P), and 3. a photocopy of the copy from Sankt Gallen (S). In the case of the copies from Paris and Sankt Gallen, I had their photocopies recorded on a CD added to the Corpus rhythmorum musicum saec. IV–IX1 edition; I also used highquality photocopies of the two copies published on the Internet by the National Library in Paris, and included in the Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland (e-codices). Each of the copies was issued separately and compared to the other copies on pp. 36–39, whereas the attempted reconstruction was published on pp. 78–80. The reconstruction of the text was preceded by a palaeographic and grammatical analysis, as well as an analysis of the rhythm of the individual stanzas .
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