Jan D?ugosz by Walery Eljasz, 1889
|Born||1 December 1415|
|Died||19 May 1480 (aged 64)|
|Latin: Annales seu cronici incliti regni Poloniae|
Jan D?ugosz (Polish pronunciation: ['jan 'dwu]; 1 December 1415 – 19 May 1480), also known in Latin as Johannes Longinus, was a Polish priest, chronicler, diplomat, soldier, and secretary to Bishop Zbigniew Ole?nicki of Kraków. He is considered Poland's first historian.
Jan D?ugosz is best known for his Annales seu cronici incliti regni Poloniae (Annals or Chronicles of the Famous Kingdom of Poland) in 12 volumes and in Latin language, covering events in southeastern Europe, but also in Western Europe, from 965 to 1480, the year he died. D?ugosz combined features of Medieval chronicles with elements of humanistic historiography. For writing the history of the Kingdom of Poland, D?ugosz also used Ruthenian (Russian) chronicles including those that did not survive to our times (among which there could have been used the Kiev collection of chronicles of the 11th century in the Przemysl's edition around 1100 and the Przemysl episcopal collections of 1225-40).
His work was first printed in 1701-1703. It was originally printed at the Jan Szeliga printing house in Dobromyl financed by Jan Szcz?sny Herburt. Whenever Jan D?ugosz bothers to mention himself in the book, he writes of himself in the third person. He belonged to the Wieniawa coat-of-arms.
D?ugosz was a canon at Kraków, educated at the University of Krakow. He was sent by King Casimir IV Jagiellon of Poland on diplomatic missions to the Papal and Imperial courts, and was involved in the King's negotiations with the Teutonic Knights during the Thirteen Years' War (1454-66) and at the peace negotiations.
In 1434, D?ugosz's uncle, the first pastor at K?obuck, appointed him to take over his position as canon of St. Martin church there. The town was in the Opole territory of Silesia, but had recently been conquered by W?adys?aw II Jagieo. D?ugosz stayed until 1452 and while there, founded the canonical monastery.
In 1450, D?ugosz was sent by Queen Sophia of Halshany and King Casimir to conduct peace negotiations between John Hunyadi and the Bohemian noble Jan Jiskra of Brandýs, and after six days' of talks convinced them to sign a truce.
In 1455 in Kraków, a fire spread which destroyed much of the city and the castle, but which spared D?ugosz's house.
In 1461 a Polish delegation which included D?ugosz met with emissaries of George of Podebrady in Bytom, Silesia. After six days of talks, they concluded an alliance between the two factions. In 1466 D?ugosz was sent to the legate of Wroc?aw, in order to attempt to obtain assurance that the legate was not biased in favor of the Teutonic Knights. He was successful, and was in 1467 entrusted with tutoring the king's son.
D?ugosz declined the offer of the Archbishopric of Prague, but shortly before his death was nominated Archbishop of Lwów. This nomination was only confirmed by Pope Sixtus IV on 2 June 1480, two weeks after his death.