Sarmatism: a cultural formation of the Baroque era

Sarmatism is the ideology and lifestyle of the Polish nobility, which most clearly marked themselves in culture and art in the 17th century. He is a "child" of Poland's social and political system: noble democracy. What do you need to know about it?

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1. Sarmatism: how did it influence Polish culture?

Sarmatism is an extremely interesting ideology. It was a response to the need of noble Poles who were looking for their roots. It was known that they had to be strong and reaching into the distant past, because this ennobled the community (it was a typical procedure for nations that were looking for their identity).

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They were found in the nomadic and pastoral tribes of Iranian origin who traveled from the Volgo to the West. The Sarmatians, because that was their name, were to conquer many lands and fight the Roman Empire. It was after them that Polish representatives of noble families inherited courage, determination and love of freedom. This legend persisted in our country for a long time. Unfortunately, it has not led to anything good ...

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2. Sarmatian culture

Interesting is the Sarmatian culture (also known as the Sarmatian Baroque). The nobility considered themselves an exceptional, privileged class. She preached religious devotion and adherence to tradition. It closed itself from cultural contacts with other nations, e.g. European fashion was rejected. A true nobleman was a Catholic, a traditionalist, always ready to defend the values ​​he proclaimed.

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The Sarmatians wore a characteristic outfit. Its essential element was a robe belt. The nobleman also carried a karabela, a kind of sword, which symbolized courage and constant readiness to defend his homeland. The outfit was often complemented by a feather cap.

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Features of Sarmatism:

  • love of freedom
  • simplicity and austerity
  • chivalry
  • homeliness
  • republicanism
  • the cult of nobility
  • often references to antiquity
  • courage
  • respect for the motherland
  • closing oneself to "otherness", "strangeness"
  • involvement in politics
  • attachment to the external attributes of faith

Over time, Sarmatism began to be viewed negatively. It was among the nobility that those responsible for inhibiting the development of the Commonwealth were sought. The Sarmatians were plunging into self-love. Xenophobic tendencies were also spreading.

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3. Literary works with the theme of Sarmatism

  • Wacław Potocki "The Khotyn War"
  • the poetry of Daniel Naborowski (a baroque eulogist of the noble nation)
  • Jan Chryzostom "Diaries" strap (the most important document of Sarmatian culture)
  • Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz "The Return of the Envoy"
  • Franciszek Zabłocki "Sarmatism"
  • Aleksander Fredro "Revenge"
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