Recent posts

  • Dutch prophets of reason (interest) of state
    Different historical periods have different ranges of acceptable political brutality and different forms of hypocrisy. In this posting we will concern ourselves with two Dutch thinkers active at the edge of the 16th and 17th centuries — Lipsius and Grotius — and their adventures in writing on the amoral interest of power, at the age […]
  • Ukraine, imagination and hard filters
    Today, I want to write about imagining places from afar – or at least, as an outsider. We’ll look at an American author with his essay of Ukrainian-themed pandemic wisdom, an angry Polish commenter taking (lots of) issue and some of the earliest history of Ukrainian national consciousness. The main observation is that historical and […]
  • Modrevius, the political personalist
    For the Jagiellon era, and the Sigismundus Augustus’s reign specifically, Modrevius (Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski) is the Polish thinker that people tend to think of. Sadly, this brings with it lots of expectations. Modrzewski is forced to represent everything what is thought to be of worth in the intellectual atmosphere of Poland’s Golden Age and to […]
  • Why Sarmatian and Anglophone Republicans Disliked Each Other?
    Thus one could expect that there would be some visible, mutual acknowledgment of both Anglosaxon and “Sarmatian” (Polish-Lithuanian) republican thought. Instead, the countries mostly ignored each other and regarded each other’s liberty as more of a joke than a real thing.
  • The Player (Fredro #1)
    We will begin by sharing some social tactics from our today’s author: Sometimes, neglect talking to your friend somewhat, by letters or in person; let him fear that he can be forgotten or insulted by you. But shortly thereafter you should receive him with friendliness, so he will not get used to living without you. […]
  • The Karwicki’s Reckoning and a New Method of Elections (Karwicki #1)
    Stanisław Dunin Karwicki (ca. 1640-1724, read like kahrveetzky) is interesting for a number of reasons. First, he’s more of a regular guy, so to say, not holding any major local or central office for most of his life. Yet, he was elected an envoy from Sandomierz voivodship twelve times (1668, 1669, two times in 1674, […]
  • The Political Landscape in 1598 (Peyton #2)
    The length of this posting turned out to be a little gross. It includes a cursory description of religious composition, social structure and political system of the Republic of Both Nations. Once again our guide is John Peyton, an English spy and author of Relation of the State of Polonia and the Provinces United with […]
  • A Guide to Poland, by a Teenage Agent (Peyton #1)
    The author of our first piece is a spy, and a rather good one; he did his job so good we don’t know who he was. He sneaked into the country around 1598, filled 224 pages worth of intelligence, and left, never to be heard of. His relation, written in English, stayed in manuscript for […]
  • The Why
    If you ever were into discussion forums, you may’ve seen one of these massive monster threads. They can run for hundreds of pages. Few sane persons, at least having obligations in their lives, would try to read such a thread in its entirety. Yet the aim of this blog is something similar. Even worse. I […]