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Benedykt Joachim Chmielowski (1700–1763) was a Polish priest born presumably in Łuck.
Chmielowski was born in the Volhynia, province of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, in 1700. He had been studying in Jesuits schools since 1715 in Lviv before he was accepted to the Seminary in Lviv in 1722. After that, as a young priest, he was a preceptor to Dymitr Jabłonowski from the powerful Jablonowski family. Thanks to them he get soon the clergy house in Firlejów (called Липівка nowadays) near Rohatyn in 1725. Before 1743 he had became a prelate to Lviv's arcibishop Mikołaj Gerard Wyżycki. During the 50's of 18th century he had became a parson in Podkamień (modern West Ukraine) and the dean (Christianity) in Rohatyn. Since 1761 he was also Kiev's canon. He lived almost all his life in the Firlejów and devoted himself to the encyclopedic work. He died in Firlejów in 1763.
He is famous as the author of the first Polish-language encyclopedia called Nowe Ateny published in Lviv in the years: 1745-1746 and 1754-1756 in four volumes finally. Chmielowski is also the author of the popular prayer Bieg roku całego (1728), printed in the 18th and 19th centuries. He also compiled and published a roll of arms (Zbiór krótki herbów polskich, oraz wsławionych cnotą i naukami Polaków, 1763) and authored a religious novel (Ucieczka przez świętych do Boga, 1730).
According to Wojciech Paszyński, many previous findings about biography of the priest have to be revised. Most of all - birthplace and the coat of arms. Actually we don't have evidence strong enough for supporting claims of birth in Łuck. We have only information about Roman Catholic Diocese of Lutsk in general, but not about single city Lutsk (Łuck) as a place of birth. It is also a misunderstanding assigning to Chmielowski Nałęcz coat of arms, because he rather had been using Jastrzębiec coat of arms.
- Wojciech Paszyński, Ksiądz Benedykt Chmielowski – życie i dzieło Diogenesa firlejowskiego [Father Benedict Chmielowski – the life and work of Firlejow's Diogenes], „Nasza Przeszłość” 2015/2, t. 124, pp. 105–136.
- Wojciech Paszyński, Czarna legenda „Nowych Aten” Benedykta Chmielowskiego i próby jej przezwyciężenia [Tarnished Reputation of ‘New Athens’ (first Polish encyclopedia) by Benedykt Chmielowki and Attempts of Restoring It], „Zeszyty Naukowe Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego. Prace Historyczne” 2014/1(141), pp. 37–59.
- Maria Wichowa (1999) Ksiądz Benedykt Chmielowski jako uczony barokowy (Napis, Seria V/1999, s. 45).
- Bibliografia Literatury Polskiej - Nowy Korbut, t. 2 Piśmiennictwo Staropolskie, Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, Warszawa 1964, pp. 80–81.
- Polski Słownik Biograficzny, t. 3, Kraków 1937, pp. 341–342.
- Nowe Ateny (Polish)
- Text (Polish)
- Scanned text (Polish)
- New Athens by Reverend Benedykt Chmielowski – its Black Legend and a Possible Line of Defence (Polish) (English)
- Wojciech Paszyński, Ksiądz Benedykt Chmielowski – życie i dzieło Diogenesa firlejowskiego, „Nasza Przeszłość” 2015/2, t. 124, pp. 113-114.
- Wojciech Paszyński, Ksiądz Benedykt Chmielowski – życie i dzieło Diogenesa firlejowskiego, „Nasza Przeszłość” 2015/2, t. 124, pp. 112-113.