|Born||Adam Bernard Mickiewicz
24 December 1798
Zaosie, Russian Empire
|Died||26 November 1855
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
|Resting place||Wawel Cathedral, Kraków|
|Notable work(s)||Pan Tadeusz
|Spouse(s)||Celina Szymanowska (1834-55; six children; her death)|
Adam Bernard Mickiewicz ([mit͡sˈkʲɛvit͡ʂ] ( listen); 24 December 1798 – 26 November 1855) was a Polish national poet, dramatist, essayist, publicist, translator, and political activist. A principal figure of Polish Romanticism, he is counted as one of Poland's "Three Bards" ("Trzej Wieszcze") and is generally regarded as the greatest poet in all Polish literature. He is also considered one of the greatest Slavic and European poets and has been described as a "Slavic bard". A leading Romantic dramatist, he has been compared in Poland and Europe to Byron and Goethe.
He is known chiefly for the poetic drama Dziady (Forefathers' Eve) and the national epic poem Pan Tadeusz, the last great epic of Polish-Lithuanian noble culture. His other influential works include Konrad Wallenrod and Grażyna. All of these served as inspiration for uprisings against the three imperial powers that had partitioned Poland out of existence, and contributed to the concept of Poland as "the Christ of Nations."
Mickiewicz was active in the struggle to win independence for his home region, then part of the Russian Empire. After spending five years in internal exile in central Russia for his political activities, he left the Russian Empire in 1829 and, like many of his compatriots, lived out the rest of his life abroad. He settled first in Rome, then in Paris, where for a little over three years he lectured on Slavic literature at the Collège de France. He died, probably of cholera, at Istanbul in the Ottoman Empire, where he had gone to help organize Polish forces to fight Russia in the Crimean War. In 1890 his remains were repatriated (from France) to Wawel Cathedral in Kraków, Poland.
Early years 
Adam Mickiewicz was born 24 December 1798, either in Navahrudak itself[a] or at his paternal uncle's estate in Zaosie (now Zavosse) near Navahrudak (in Polish, Nowogródek) in what was then the Russian Empire and is now Belarus. The region was on the periphery of Lithuania proper and had been part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania until the Third Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1795). The area had earlier been inhabited by ethnic Lithuanians, but by the time of his birth it was largely Belarusian-populated. Its upper class, including Mickiewicz's family, were either Polish or Polonized. The poet's father, Mikołaj Mickiewicz, a lawyer, was a member of the Polish nobility (szlachta) and bore the hereditary Poraj coat-of-arms; Adam's mother was Barbara Mickiewicz, née Majewska. The boy was the second son in the family.
He spend his childhood in Navahrudak, taught first by his mother and private tutors. In 1807-15 he attended a Dominican school, which followed a curriculum that had been designed by the now-defunct Polish Commission for National Education, which had been the world's first ministry of education. He was a mediocre student, through active in games, theatricals, and the like.
In September 1815 Mickiewicz enrolled at the Imperial University of Vilnius (in Polish, Wilno), studying to be a teacher. After graduating, in 1819-23, under the terms of his government scholarship, he taught secondary school at Kaunas.
In 1818, in the Polish-language Tygodnik Wileński (Wilno Weekly), he published his first poem, "Zima miejska" ("City Winter"). The next few years would see a maturing of his style, from sentimentalism-neoclassicism to romanticism, first seen in his poetry anthologies published in Vilnius in 1822 and 1823; these anthologies included the poem "Grażyna" and the first-published parts (II and IV) of his major work, Dziady (Forefathers' Eve). By 1820 he had already finished another major romantic poem, "Oda do młodości" ("Ode to Youth"), but it was seen as too patriotic and revolutionary for publication and would not appear officially for many years.
About the summer of 1820 Mickiewicz met the love of his life, Maryla Wereszczakówna. They could not marry due to his family's poverty and relatively low social status. In addition, she was already affianced to Count Wawrzyniec Puttkamer, whom she would marry in 1821.
In 1817, while a student, Mickiewicz together with Tomasz Zan and other friends had created a secret organization, the Philomaths. The group focused on self-education but had ties to a more radical, clearly pro-Polish-independence student group, the Filaret Association. An investigation of secret student organizations, by Nikolay Nikolayevich Novosiltsev, begun in early 1823, led to arrests of a number of student and ex-student activists, including Mickiewicz, who was taken into custody in late 1823 or early 1824. After investigation for his political activities, specifically his membership in the Philomaths, in 1824 Mickiewicz was banished to central Russia. He crossed the border into Russia about 11 November 1824, arriving in Saint Petersburg later that month. He would spend most of the next five years in Saint Petersburg or in Moscow, except for a notable 1825 excursion to Odessa in Crimea. That visit, from February to November 1825, inspired a notable collection of sonnets (some love sonnets, and a series known as "Sonety Krymskie", "The Crimean Sonnets"), published a year later.
In Saint Petersburg and Moscow, Mickiewicz found himself welcomed into the leading literary circles, where he became a great favorite for his agreeable manners and extraordinary talent for poetic improvisation. The year 1828 saw publication of his Konrad Wallenrod. Novosiltsev, who recognized its patriotic and subversive message, which had been missed by the Moscow censors, attempted to sabotage its publication and to damage Mickiewicz's reputation.
In Moscow, Mickiewicz met the Polish journalist and novelist Henryk Rzewuski and the Polish composer and piano virtuoso Maria Agata Szymanowska, whose daughter Celina Szymanowska Mickiewicz would later marry in Paris, France. He also befriended the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and Decembrist leaders such as Kondraty Ryleyev. It was thanks to his friendships with many influential individuals that he was eventually able to obtain a passport and permission to leave Russia for Western Europe.
European travels 
In 1829, after his five-year Russian exile, Mickiewicz received permission to go abroad. On 1 June that year, he arrived in Weimar. By 6 June he was in Berlin, where he attended lectures by the philosopher Hegel. In February 1830 he visited Prague, later returning to Weimar, where he received a cordial reception from the writer, scientist and politician Goethe.
He then continued on through Germany all the way to Italy, which he entered via the Alps' Splügen Pass. Accompanied by an old friend, the poet Antoni Edward Odyniec, he visited Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome. In August that same year (1830) he went to Geneva, where he met fellow Polish Bard Zygmunt Krasiński. During these travels he had a brief romance with Henrietta Ewa Ankwiczówna, but class differences again prevented his marrying his new love.
Finally about October 1830 he took up residence in Rome, which he declared "the most amiable of foreign cities." Soon after, he learned about the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising in Poland, but he would not leave Rome until the spring of 1831.
On 19 April 1831 Mickiewicz departed Rome, traveling to Geneva and Paris and later, on a false passport, to Germany, via Dresden and Leipzig arriving about 13 August in Poznań (in German, Posen) in German Poland. It is possible that during these travels he carried communications from the Italian Carbonari to the French underground, and delivered documents or money for the Polish insurgents from the Polish community in Paris, but reliable information on his activities at the time is scarce. Ultimately he never crossed into Russian Poland, where the Uprising was mainly happening; he stayed in German Poland (historically known to Poles as "Greater Poland"), well received at many estates of local Polish nobility. He had a brief liaison with Konstancja Łubieńska at her family estate.
Paris émigré 
In Paris, Mickiewicz became active in many Polish émigré groups and published articles in Pielgrzym Polski (The Polish Pilgrim). The fall of 1832 saw the publication, in Paris, of the third part of his Dziady (smuggled into partitioned Poland), as well as of Księgi narodu polskiego i pielgrzymstwa polskiego (The Books of the Polish People and of the Polish Pilgrimage), which Mickiewicz self-published. In 1834 he published another masterpiece, his epic poem Pan Tadeusz.
Pan Tadeusz, his longest poetic work, marked the end of his most productive literary period. Mickiewicz would create further notable works, such as Liryki lozańskie (Lausanne Lyrics, 1839–40) and Zdania i uwagi (Thoughts and Remarks, 1834–40), but neither would achieve the fame of his earlier works. His relative literary silence, beginning in the mid-1830s, has been variously interpreted: he may have lost his talent; he may have chosen to focus on teaching and on political writing and organizing.
On 22 July 1834, in Paris, he married Celina Szymanowska, daughter of composer and concert pianist Maria Agata Szymanowska. They would have six children (two daughters, Maria and Helena; and four sons, Władysław, Aleksander, Jan and Józef). Celina later became mentally ill, possibly with a major depressive disorder. In December 1838, marital problems caused Mickiewicz to attempt suicide. Celina would die on 5 March 1855.
Mickiewicz and his family lived in relative poverty, their major source of income being occasional publication of his work — not a very profitable endeavor. They received support from friends and patrons, but not enough to substantially change their situation. Despite spending most of his remaining years in France, Mickiewicz would never receive French citizenship, nor any support from the French government. By the late 1830s he was less active as a writer, and also less visible on the Polish émigré political scene.
In 1838 Mickiewicz became professor of Latin literature at the Lausanne Academy, in Switzerland. Despite his having no prior experience as a teacher, his lectures were well received. In 1840 he was appointed to the newly-established chair of Slavic languages and literatures at the Collège de France. Leaving Lausanne, he was made an honorary Lausanne Academy professor.
He would, however, hold the Collège de France post for little more than three years, his last lecture being delivered on 28 May 1844. His lectures were popular, drawing many listeners in addition to enrolled students, and receiving reviews in the press. Some would be remembered much later; his sixteenth lecture, on Slavic theater, "was to become a kind of gospel for Polish theater directors of the twentieth century."
But he became increasingly possessed by religious mysticism as he fell under the influence of the Polish philosopher Andrzej Towiański, whom he met in 1841. His lectures became a medley of religion and politics, punctuated by controversial attacks on the Catholic Church, and thus brought him under censure by the French government. The messianic element conflicted with Roman Catholic teachings, and some of his works were placed on the Church's list of prohibited books, though both Mickiewicz and Towiański regularly attended Catholic mass and encouraged their followers to do so.
In 1846 Mickiewicz severed his ties with Towiański, following the rise of revolutionary sentiment in Europe, manifested in events such as the Kraków Uprising of February 1846. Mickiewicz criticized Towiański's passivity and returned to the traditional Catholic Church.
In 1847 Mickiewicz befriended American journalist, critic and women's-rights advocate Margaret Fuller. In March 1848 he was part of a Polish delegation received in audience by Pope Pius IX, whom he asked to support the enslaved nations and the French Revolution of 1848.
Soon after, in April 1848, he organized a military unit, the Mickiewicz Legion, to support the insurgents, hoping to liberate the Polish and other Slavic lands. The unit never became large enough to be more than symbolic, and in the fall of 1848 Mickiewicz returned to Paris and became more active again on the political scene.
In the winter of 1848–49, Polish composer Frédéric Chopin, in the final months of his own life, visited his ailing compatriot and soothed the poet's nerves with his piano music. Over a dozen years earlier, Chopin had set two of Mickiewicz's poems to music (see Polish songs by Frédéric Chopin).
Final years 
In winter 1849 Mickiewicz founded a French-language newspaper, La Tribune des Peuples (The Peoples' Tribune), supported by a wealthy Polish émigré activist, Ksawery Branicki. Mickiewicz wrote over 70 articles for the Tribune during its short existence: it came out between 15 March and 10 November 1849, when it was shut down by the authorities. His articles supported democracy and socialism and many ideals of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era, though he held few illusions regarding the idealism of the House of Bonaparte. He supported the restoration of the French Empire in 1851. In April 1852 he lost his post at the Collège de France, which he had been allowed to keep (though without the right to lecture). On 31 October 1852 he was hired as a librarian at the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal. There he was visited by another Polish poet, Cyprian Norwid, who wrote of the meeting in his poem, "Czarne kwiaty" ("Black Blossoms"); and there Mickiewicz's wife Celina died.
Mickiewicz welcomed the Crimean War, which he hoped would lead to a new European order including a restored independent Poland. His last composition was a Latin ode Ad Napolionem III Caesarem Augustum Ode in Bomersundum captum, in honor of Napoleon III, celebrating the British-French victory at the Battle of Bomarsund. Polish émigrés associated with the Hôtel Lambert persuaded him to became active again in politics. Soon after the outbreak of the Crimean War, he was given a diplomatic mission by the French government. He left Paris on 11 September 1865, arriving in Istanbul, in the Ottoman Empire, on 22 September. There, working with Michał Czajkowski (Sadyk Pasha), he began organizing Polish forces to be used under Ottoman command against Russia. With his friend Armand Levy, he also set about organizing a Jewish legion. He returned ill from a trip to a military camp to his apartment on Yenişehir Street in the Pera (now Beyoğlu) district of Istanbul and died on 26 November 1865. Though Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński and others have speculated that Mickiewicz might have been poisoned by political enemies, there is no proof of this, and he probably contracted cholera, which claimed other lives there at the time.
Mickiewicz's remains were transported to France, boarding ship on 31 December 1855, and were buried at Montmorency on 21 January 1861. In 1890 they were disinterred, moved to Poland, and on 4 July entombed in the crypts of Kraków's Wawel Cathedral, place of final repose for a number of persons important to Poland's political and cultural history.
Mickiewicz's childhood environment exerted a major influence on his literary work. His early years were shaped by immersion in Belarusian folklore and by vivid memories, which he later reworked in his poems, of the ruins of Navahrudak Castle and of the triumphant entry and disastrous retreat of Polish and Napoleonic troops during Napoleon's 1812 invasion of Russia. The year 1812 also marked his father's death. Later, the poet's personality and subsequent works were greatly influenced by his four years of living and studying in Vilnius.
His first poems, such as the 1818 "Zima miejska" ("City Winter") and the 1819 "Kartofla" ("Potato"), were classical in style, influenced by Voltaire. His poetry anthologies published in 1822 (including the opening poem "Romantyczność", "Romanticism") and 1823 mark the start of romanticism in Poland. Mickiewicz's influence popularized the use of folklore, folk literary forms, and historism in Polish romantic literature. His exile to Moscow exposed him to a cosmopolitan environment, more international than provincial Vilnius and Kaunas in Lithuania. This period saw a further evolution in his writing style, with Sonety (Sonnets, 1826) and Konrad Wallenrod (1828), both published in Russia. The Sonety, mainly comprising his Sonety krymkie (Crimean Sonnets), highlight the poet's ability and desire to write, and his longing for his homeland.
One of his major works, Dziady (Forefathers' Eve), comprises several parts written over an extended period of time. It began with publication of parts II and IV in 1823. Miłosz remarks that it was "Mickiewicz's major theatrical achievement", a work which Mickiewicz saw as ongoing and to be continued in further parts. Its title refers to the pagan ancestor commemoration that had been practiced by Slavic and Baltic peoples on All Souls' Day. The year 1832 saw the publication of part III: much superior to the earlier parts, a "laboratory of innovative genres, styles and forms". Part III was largely written over a few days; the "Great Improvisation" section, a "masterpiece of Polish poetry", is said to have been created during a single inspired night. A long descriptive poem, "Ustęp" (Digression), accompanying part III and written sometime before it, sums up Mickiewicz's experiences in, and views on, Russia, portrays it as a huge prison, pities the oppressed Russian people, and wonders about their future. Miłosz describes it as a "summation of Polish attitudes towards Russia in the nineteenth century" and notes that it inspired responses from Pushkin ("The Bronze Horseman") and Joseph Conrad (Under Western Eyes). The drama was first staged by Stanisław Wyspiański in 1901, becoming, in Miłosz's words, "a kind of national sacred play, occasionally forbidden by censorship because of its emotional impact upon the audience." The Polish government's 1968 closing down of a production of the play sparked the 1968 Polish political crisis.
Konrad Wallenrod (1828) is a narrative poem describing the battles of the Christian order of Teutonic Knights with the pagan people of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In it, under a thin veil, Mickiewicz represented the sanguinary passages of arms and burning hatred which had characterized the long feuds of the Russians and Poles. The poem, with the story based around conspiracy and treason against a foreign invader, was also an analysis of the moral dilemmas faced by Polish insurgents, who would soon launch the November Uprising. While controversial to the older generation, it was seen as a motivating call for action by the youngsters, and praised as such by one of the uprising leaders, poet Ludwik Nabielak. Miłosz describes this work as "the most committed politically of all Mickiewczi's poems." The objects of the poem, though obvious to many, escaped the Russian censors, and the poem was allowed to be published, complete with the telling motto, adapted from Machiavelli: "Dovete adunque sapere come sono duo generazioni da combattere — bisogna essere volpe e leone." ("Ye shall know that there are two ways of fighting — you must be a fox and a lion.")  On a literary level, the poem was also notable for both bringing back some traditional, folk elements, and for stylistic innovations.
Beside Konrad Wallenrod, noteworthy in similar context is his longer, earlier poem from the 1823, Grażyna, describing the exploits of a Lithuanian chieftainess against the Teutonic Knights. Miłosz wrote that Grażyna "combines a metalic beat of lines and syntactical rigor with a plot and motifs dear to the Romantics". It was said by Christien Ostrowski to have inspired Emilia Plater, a military heroine of the November 1830 Uprising who died in Lithuania. A similar, motivating message is found in his Oda do młodości.
The Sonety Krymskie (The Crimean Sonnets) of 1825–1826 as well as poems he would later write in Rome and Lausanne, as Miłosz notes have "been justly ranked among the highest achievements of Polish lyricism." His 1830 travels in Italy likely inspired him to consider religious matters, and resulted in some of his best religiously-themed works, such as Arcymistrz and Do Marceliny Łempickiej. At that time he was an authority for the young insurgents, who expected him to participate in the fighting (poet Maurycy Gosławski wrote a dedicated poem urging him to do so). Yet it is likely that Mickiewicz was no longer as idealistic and supportive of the military action as few years ago, and his new works, such as Do matki Polski (1830), while still patriotic, begun to also focus on reflections about the tragedy of resistance. His meetings with refugees and escaping insurgents around 1831 resulted in works such as Reduta Ordona, Nocleg and Śmierć pułkownika. Wyka notes that it is an irony of fate that some of the most important literary works about the Uprising were written by Mickiewicz, who has never taken part in a military fight, nor even seen a battlefield.
His Księgi narodu polskiego i pielgrzymstwa polskiego (Books of the Polish Nation and Polish Pilgrimage) of the 1832 begin with a historical-philosophical discussion of the history of humankind, in which Mickiewicz argues that that history is the history of unrealized freedom that awaits many oppressed nations in the future. It is followed by a longer "moral catechism" aiming to inspire the Polish emigrees. The book put forwards a messianic metaphor of Poland as the Christ of Europe. Described by Wyka as a propagandist piece, it was relatively simple, using Biblical metaphores and such to reach less demanding readers. This work became popular through contemporaries, not only Poles, but translated to other languages, throughout a number of other nations, primarily those lacking their own sovereign states. Księgi played a significant role in framing the image of Mickiewicz among many as not that of a poet and writer, but ideologist of freedom.
Pan Tadeusz, another of his masterpieces, published in 1834, is an epos that draws a picture of Grand Duchy of Lithuania on the eve of Napoleon's 1812 expedition to Russia. The work is written entirely in thirteen-syllables couplets. Originally intended as apolitical idyll, it became, as Miłosz writes, "something unique in world literature, and the problem of how to classify it has remained the crux of a constant quarrel among scholars.", and has been called the "last epos in world literature". This work was not highly regarded by contemporaries, nor by Mickiewicz himself, but in time won accolades as "the highest achievement in all Polish literature."
His occasional poems he wrote in his final decades, has been described as "exquisite, gnomic, extremely short and concise"; his Liryki lozańskie (Lausanne Poems, 1839–1840), are, in Miłosz words, "untranslatable masterpieces of metaphysical mediation. In Polish literature they are examples of that pure poetry that verges on silence." 
In the 1830s (as early as 1830 and as late as of 1837) he worked on a futurologist or science fiction work, (History of the Future). In it, he predicted inventions similar to radio and television, and interplanetary communication through balloons. This work, in French language, was never finished, and partially destroyed by the author. Other French language works of Mickiewicz include dramas Les Confederes de Bar and Jacques Jasiński, ous les deux Polognes. They would not achieve much recognition, and were not published till 1866.
A prime representative of the Polish Romantic period, Mickiewicz is counted as one of that country's Three Bards(the other two being Zygmunt Krasiński and Juliusz Słowacki) and the greatest poet in all Polish literature. Mickiewicz has long been regarded as the national poet of Poland, and a deeply revered figure in Lithuania. He is also considered one of the greatest Slavic and European poets. He has been described as a "Slavic bard". He was a leading Romantic dramatist and has been compared in Poland and in Europe to Byron and Goethe.
Mickiewicz significance extends beyond literature to the wider spheres of culture and politics; Wyka notes that he was a "singer and epic teller of Polish nation, and a pilgrim for the freedom of nations." His remembrance was such that a number of scholars have used the term "cult of Mickiewicz", in which he is seen as a "national prophet." On hearing of the death of Mickiewicz, Krasiński wrote of him: "For the men of my generation he was both honey and milk, both gall and spiritual blood: we all come from him. He had carried us away on the surging billow of his inspiration and cast us into the world." Edward Henry Lewinski Corwin has described Mickiewicz's works as Promethean, as "reaching more Polish hearts" than the other Bards of Poland, and affirming George Brandes' assessment of Mickiewicz's works as "healthier" than those of Byron, Shakespeare, Homer, and Goethe. Koropeckyi notes that he has been "informed the foundation of [many] party and ideology" in Poland since the 19th century to this day, "down to the rappers in Poland's postsocialist bloks, who can somehow still declare that "if Mickiewicz was alive today, he'd be a good rapper."" While Mickiewicz popularity in Poland endured two centuries, he is less known abroad, although particularly in the 19th century he gained significant international fame among the "people that dared resist the brutal might of reactionary empires."
He has been written about or had works dedicated to him by many, in Poland (by Asnyk, Gałczyński, Iwaszkiewicz, Jastrun, Kasprowicz, Lechoń, Konopnicka, Teofil Lenartowicz, Norwid, Przyboś, Różewicz, Słonimski, Słowacki, Staff, Tetmajer, Tuwim, Ujejski, Wierzyński, Zaleski and others) and abroad (by Bryusov, Goethe, Pushkin, Uhland, Vrchlický and others). He has been a character in a number of fictional works, including a large body of dramatized biographies of his life (for example in 1900 Legion by Stanisław Wyspiański). He has also been a subject of numerous paintings, by painters such as Eugène Delacroix, Józef Oleszkiewicz, Aleksander Orłowski, Wojciech Stattler and Walenty Wańkowicz. Monuments and other tributes to him (such as streets and schools named after him) abound throughout both Poland and Lithuania, and former territories of the Commonwealth, namely in Ukraine and Belarus. He has also been sculpted into a number of busts and statues by sculptors such as Antoine Bourdelle, David d'Angers, Antoni Kurzawa, Władysław Oleszczyński, Zbigniew Pronaszko, Teodor Rygier, Wacław Szymanowski and Jakub Tatarkiewicz. In 1898, the 100th anniversary of his birth, a towering statue by the sculptor Cyprian Godebski was erected in Warsaw. It is inscribed on the base, "To the Poet from the Nation. In 1865, on the 100th anniversary of his, University of Poznań adopted him as its official patron.
A number of museums in Europe are dedicated to him. Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature is located in Warsaw, Poland. His old house in Navahrudak, Belarus, is a museum (Adam Mickiewicz Museum, Navahrudak). So is the house where he lived and died in Constantinople (Adam Mickiewicz Museum, Istanbul). Musée Adam Mickiewicz exists in Paris.
A large number of scholarly and popular literature has been written about Mickiewicz, through vast majority of it is available only in Polish, where works dedicated to him, according to Koropeckyi, author of a 2008 English biography of Mickiewicz, "could fill a good shelf or two". Koropeckyi noted that apart from some specialized literature, only five book-length biographies of Mickiewicz life has been published in English so far. He also notes that although many of Mickiewicz works have been republished numerous times, no language has a "definite critical edition of his works."
Adam Mickiewicz, whose works were written in the Polish language, is generally known as a Polish poet. He is described by some authors as "Polish-Lithuanian" or as Belarusian-Polish. The Cambridge History of Russia describes him as Polish but sees his ethnic origins as "Lithuanian-Belarusian (and perhaps Jewish)." According to the Belarusian historian Rybczonek, Mickiewicz's mother had Tatar roots.
Some sources assert that Mickiewicz's mother was descended from a converted Frankist Jewish family. Other sources view this as improbable.> Polish historian Kazimierz Wyka, in his biographic entry in the Polski Słownik Biograficzny in 1975 noted that this assertion, based on the fact that the name of his mother, Majewska, was popular among Frankist Jews, has not been proven. Instead, Wyka notes that she was a daughter of a petty noble family using the Starykoń coat of arms living in a Czombrów.
Lithuanian scholar of literature Juozapas Girdzijauskas noted that Mickiewicz family was descended from an old Lithuanian noble family (Rimvydas) with origins predating the Christianization of the country. The Lithuanian nobility at the time of Mickiewicz, was heavily Polonized and spoke Polish. Mickiewicz had been brought up in the culture of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a multi-cultural state that had encompassed most of what today are the separate countries of Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine. For Mickiewicz, a separation of that multicultural state into individual entities due to trends such as Lithuanian separatism was undesirable if not outright unthinkable. According to Romanucci-Ross, while Mickiewicz called himself a "Lithuanian", at the time the idea of a separate "Lithuanian identity", apart from that of "Polish" did not exist. Mixture of those multicultural aspects can be seen in his works; his most famous poem, Pan Tadeusz, begins with the (Polish language) invocation, "O Lithuania, my fatherland, thou art like good health ..." (Litwo! Ojczyzno moja! ty jesteś jak zdrowie ..."), an invocation that translated into Lithuanian eventually became a part of Lithuanian anthem. It is generally accepted that Mickiewicz, referring to Lithuania, meant a historical region than a linguistic and cultural entity, and he often used the term "Lithuanian" to refer to the Slavic inhabitants of the Grand Duchy.
Selected works 
- Oda do młodości (Ode to Youth), 1820
- Ballady i romanse (Ballads and Romances), 1822
- Grażyna, 1823
- Sonety krymskie (The Crimean Sonnets), 1826
- Konrad Wallenrod, 1828
- Księgi narodu polskiego i pielgrzymstwa polskiego (Books of the Polish Nation and Polish Pilgrimage), 1832
- Pan Tadeusz, 1834
- Liryki lozańskie (Lausanne Poems), 1839–1840
- Dziady, in four parts, published from 1822 up to after the author's death
- L'histoire d'avenir (History of the Future), unpublished
See also 
- Drabble, Margaret, ed. (1985). The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 646. ISBN 0-19-866130-4.
- britannica.com. "Adam Mickiewicz". Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- S. Treugutt: Mickiewicz – domowy i daleki. in: A. Mickiewicz: Dzieła I. Warszawa 1998, p. 7
- E. Zarych: Posłowie. in: A. Mickiewicz: Ballady i romanse. Kraków 2001, p. 76
- Roman Koropeckyj (29 September 2010). "Adam Mickiewicz as a Polish National Icon". In Marcel Cornis-Pope; John Neubauer. History of the Literary Cultures of East-Eastern Europe. John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 39–. ISBN 978-90-272-3458-2. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- Krystyna Pomorska; Henryk Baran (1992). Jakobsonian poetics and Slavic narrative: from Pushkin to Solzhenitsyn. Duke University Press. pp. 239–. ISBN 978-0-8223-1233-8. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- Andrzej Wójcik; Marek Englender (1980). Budowniczowie gwiazd. Krajowa Agencja Wydawn. pp. 19–10. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Zofia Mitosek (1999). Adam Mickiewicz w oczach Francuzów. Wydawn. Nauk. PWN. p. 12. ISBN 978-83-01-12639-1. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- T. Macios: Posłowie. in: A. Mickiewicz: Dziady. Kraków 2004, p 239–140
- Venclova, Tomas. "Native Realm Revisited: Mickiewicz's Lithuania and Mickiewicz in Lithuania". Lituanus Volume 53, No 3 - Fall 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-24. "This semantic confusion was amplified by the fact that the Nowogródek region, although inhabited mainly by Belarusian speakers, was for several centuries considered part and parcel of Lithuania Propria—Lithuania in the narrow sense; as different from the 'Ruthenian' regions of the Grand Duchy."
- Yad Vashem Studies. Wallstein Verlag. 2007. p. 38. ISSN 00843296. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Czesław Miłosz (1983). The History of Polish Literature. University of California Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-520-04477-7. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- Vytautas Kubilius (1998). Adomas Mickevičius: poetas ir Lietuva. Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla. p. 49. ISBN 9986-39-082-6.
- Roman Robert Koropeckyj (2008). Adam Mickiewicz: The Life of a Romantic. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-4471-5. Retrieved 24 March 2013. Unknown parameter
- Kazimierz Wyka, "Mickiewicz, Adam Bernard", Polski Słownik Biograficzny, vol. XX, 1975, p. 694.
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- Magdalena Opalski; Baṛtal, Israel (1992). Poles and Jews: A Failed Brotherhood. UPNE. pp. 119–21. ISBN 978-0-87451-602-9. Retrieved 17 March 2013. "the Frankist background of the poet's mother"
- Wiktor Weintraub (1954). The poetry of Adam Mickiewicz. Mouton. p. 11. Retrieved 17 March 2013. "Her (Barbara Mickiewicz) maiden name was Majewska. In old Lithuania, every baptised Jew became ennobled, and there were Majewskis of Jewish origin. That must have been the reason for the rumours, repeated by some of the poet's contemporaries, that Mickiewicz's mother was a Jewess by origin. However, genealogical research makes such an assumption rather improbable"
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- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Adam Mickiewicz". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Further reading 
- Jadwiga Maurer (1996). "Z matki obcej--": szkice o powiązaniach Mickiewicza ze światem Żydów (Of a Foreign Mother ... Sketches about Adam Mickiewicz's Ties to the Jewish World). Fabuss. ISBN 978-83-902649-1-2. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
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