Jan Chryzostom Pasek
|Jan Chryzostom Pasek|
|Coat of arms||Doliwa|
|Died||August 1, 1701
Jan Chryzostom Pasek (about 1636–1701) was a Polish nobleman (szlachcic) and writer in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He is best remembered for his memoirs (Pamietniki), which are a valuable historical source about Baroque sarmatian culture and events in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Born in Węgrzynowice (now in Tomaszów Mazowiecki County) in 1636, into a minor szlachta family, he attended a Jesuit school. Pasek enlisted in the army at age 19 and for 11 years he was a soldier in a Polish military, where he fought in the campaigns under hetman Stefan Czarniecki against Sweden, in the Denmark campaign, took part in the war and negotiations with Moscow (where he was member of the diplomatic mission), fought the rokoszans of Lubomirski and Turks. In 1667 he married and retired to his estate in Małopolska (south Poland). Lawsuits that arose from his various excesses and conflicts with neighbours eventually resulted in his sentence to exile, but the sentence was never enforced.
Near the end of his life (likely around 1690-1695) Pasek wrote an autobiographical diary, a copy of which was found in 18th century and printed in 1821, making him posthumously famous. In his memoirs, he depicts in vivid language the everyday life of szlachcic, both during wartime and peace, with valuable batallistic scenes. He relates the tales of the 17th-century Swedish and Muscovite wars, the catastrophic last years of the reign of King John II Casimir (1648–68), the incompetent rule of King Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki (1669–73), and he concludes his narrative with the splendid reign of King Jan III Sobieski (1674–96). In the first part of the diary (1656–66), Pasek depicts the military life, showing soldiers primary motivations, like curiosity, desire of fame and loot, and disregard for deep religious messages. In describing peacetime life (1667–88), he sees nothing wrong with serfdom and peasant social class oppression. Representing late sarmatism culture, he views only szlachta social class as the only real representative of Poland. Pasek died on 1 August 1701 in Niedzieliszki village.
- Jan Chryzostom Pasek (1976). Memoirs of the Polish baroque: the writings of Jan Chryzostom Pasek, a squire of the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania. Berkeley : University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-02752-7.
- Jan Chryzostom Pasek; Maria Swiecicka-Ziemianek (1978). The memoirs of Jan Chryzostom z Gosławic Pasek. Kosciuszko Foundation, 1978. ISBN 0-917004-15-9.
- Denkwürdigkeiten des Johann Chrysostomus Passek, Graf Eduard Raczynski, deutsch von Dr. Gustav A. Stenzel,Verlag Josef Max, Breslau 1858
- Slavische Geschichtsschreiber Band VI - Die goldene Freiheit der Polen, Verlag Styria Graz Wien Köln 1967.
- Pasek's Otter at the Wilanów Palace Museum