A Survey of Polish Literature and Culture

By Manfred Kridl; Olga Scherer-Virski | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER III
THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY: HUMANISM AND REFORMATION

The sixteenth century is called the 'golden' age of Polish culture, for in that century the growth of Poland's political strength coincided with a lively progress in all fields of intellectual endeavor and a particular achievement in literature. The internal policy of the Jagiellonian dynasty was prompted by the idea of an increasingly close union between Poland and Lithuania, as a result of which the creation of a unified PolishLithuanian state was signed in the act of the Union of Lublin in 1569. The external policy strove to maintain the prestige that Poland had gained even during the preceding century, when the Jagiellonian monarchs sat on the Hungarian and Czech thrones. Poland was faced with great and difficult tasks both externally and internally: to consolidate a vast country, to raise the standard of living, to reconcile the interests of the people with those of the state, to assure the safety of the frontiers and remain vigilant in foreign policy. Poland in the sixteenth century was in no position to fulfill all these tasks with equal success, but it achieved many significant and durable results.

Zygmunt I ( 1506-48), who came to the throne after the short reign of his brother Aleksander ( 1501-06), was faced with difficult problems both in the East and the West. Muscovy had signed a treaty with the Emperor Maximilian I and occupied Smolefisk. Moreover, Maximilian supported the Teutonic Order against Poland, and the grand master of the Order refused to continue paying homage to the Polish king. The Congress of Vienna, in 1515, reached a temporary agreement according to which Albert of Brandenburg, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, was converted to Protestantism and thereafter paid his homage to the Polish king as a secular prince. The Order thus ceased to exist, but it gave rise to the Hohenzollern dynasty which later harrassed not only Poland but all of Western Europe. The relationship with Muscovy, however, remained unsolved, which gave rise to new military conflicts. Furthermore, the

-39-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Survey of Polish Literature and Culture
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 525

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?