Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz

Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz
Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz

Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz (Skoki, near Brześć, February 6, 1758 – May 21, 1841, Paris) was a Polish poet, playwright and statesman. He was a leading advocate for the Constitution of May 3, 1791.



Niemcewicz, by Barwicki.
Rawicz, Niemcewicz's family coat-of-arms

Niemcewicz, scion of a moderately well-to-do Polish noble family, graduated from the Warsaw Corps of Cadets.

He subsequently served as aide to Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski and visited France, England and Italy.

During the Great Sejm of 1788–92, Niemcewicz was a deputy and an active member of the Patriotic Party that pushed through the historic Constitution of May 3, 1791. He subsequently was a founder of the Zgromadzenie Przyjaciół Konstytucji Rządowej (Assembly of Friends of the Government Constitution), formed to help support and implement that progressive document.

After the victory of the Targowica Confederation in 1792 and the consequent overthrow of the May 3 Constitution, Niemcewicz, along with other Patriotic Party members, emigrated to Germany.

During the Kościuszko Uprising (1795), Niemcewicz served as aide to Tadeusz Kościuszko. Both were captured by the Russians at the Battle of Maciejowice (1794) and imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress at St. Petersburg. In 1795 they were released by Tsar Paul I of Russia and made their way together to the United States, where Niemcewicz married. He was disconsolate when Kościuszko subsequently decamped for Europe without giving him any notice.[1]

After the Congress of Vienna, Niemcewicz was secretary of state and president of the constitutional committee in Poland.

On 11 May 1830 he unveiled a new landmark before the Staszic Palace, the seat of the Society of Friends of Science in Warsaw — a monument to Nicolaus Copernicus sculpted by Bertel Thorvaldsen.

During the failed November Uprising of 1830–31, Niemcewicz was a member of the insurrectionary Polish government. When the Russians suppressed the uprising, Niemcewicz was again forced into exile. He died in 1841 in Paris.


Krasiński Palace in Warsaw's Ursynów district—from 1822, Niemcewicz's residence

As a writer, Niemcewicz tried many styles of composition. His political comedy, The Return of the Deputy (1790), enjoyed great acclaim. His novel, John of Tenczyn (1825), written in the style of Sir Walter Scott, gives a vigorous picture of old Poland.

He also wrote a History of the Reign of Sigismund III (3 volumes, 1819) and a collection of memoirs for ancient Polish history (6 volumes, 1822-23).

But he is now best remembered for his Historical Songs of the Poles (Warsaw, 1816), a series of lyrical compositions whose main heroes hark back to the Golden Age of Sigismund I and to the reigns of Stefan Batory and Jan III Sobieski.

Niemcewicz's 1817 pamphlet Rok 3333 czyli sen niesłychany (The Year 3333, or an Incredible Dream), first published posthumously in 1858, describes a Poland transformed into a sinister Judeo-Polonia. The pamphlet has been described as "the first Polish work to develop on a large scale the concept of an organized Jewish conspiracy directly threatening the existing social structure."[2]

His collected works were published in 12 volumes at Leipzig in 1838-40.


  • Władysław pod Warną (Władysław at Varna, 1788)
  • Kazimierz Wielki (Kazimierz the Great, 1792)
  • Powrót posła (The Return of the Deputy, 1791)
  • Na hersztów targowieckich (The Targowica Chiefs)
  • Podróże historyczne po ziemiach polskich (Historic Travels over the Polish Lands)
  • Śpiewy historyczne (Historic Songs)
  • Dzieje panowania Zygmunta III (A History of the Reign of Zygmunt III)

See also


  1. ^ Niemcewicz, Under Your Vine and Fig Tree.
  2. ^ Magdalena Opalski, Israel Bartal, Poles and Jews: A Failed Brotherhood, University Press of New England, 1992.


  • Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, Under Your Vine and Fig Tree, Mechie J. Budka, editor.
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz — (* 16. Februar 1757 auf dem Landgut Skoki in der Nähe von Brest Litowsk; † 21. Mai 1841 in Paris) war ein polnischer Gelehrter, Dichter und Staatsmann. Seine Bildung erhielt in der Kadettenanstalt in Warschau, 1777 war er Adjutant des Fürsten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz — Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz. Julian Niemcewicz de Rawa (16 de febrero de 1757 21 de mayo de 1841) fue un estudioso, poeta, patriota y estadista polaco. Su Escudo de Armas fue Rawa. Nació en Skoki cerca de Brest …   Wikipedia Español

  • Niemcewicz, Julian Ursyn — ▪ Polish writer born February 6, 1757 or 1758, Skoki, Poland died May 21, 1841, Paris, France  Polish playwright, poet, novelist, and translator whose writings, inspired by patriotism and concern for social and governmental reform, reflect the… …   Universalium

  • Niemcewicz — (spr. njemzéwitsch), Julian Ursyn, poln. Gelehrter, Dichter und Staatsmann, geb. 1758 auf dem Landgut Skoki in Litauen, gest. 21. April 1841 in Paris, erhielt seine Bildung in der Kadettenanstalt zu Warschau, ward 1777 Adjutant des Fürsten… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Niemcewicz —   [njɛm tsɛvitʃ], Julian Ursyn, polnischer Schriftsteller und Publizist, * Skoki (bei Brest Litowsk) 16. 2. 1758, ✝ Paris 21. 5. 1841; nahm an den Aufständen 1794 und 1830/31 teil und lebte seit 1833 in Paris. Sein Werk, das sowohl dem… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Niemcewicz — biographical name Julian Ursyn 1758 1841 Polish patriot & writer …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Julien-Ursin Niemcewicz — Julien Ursin Niemcewicz. Julien Ursin Niemcewicz, en polonais Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, (1757 1841) est un écrivain et patriote polonais. Biographie Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz est né le 6 février 1757 à Skoki …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Немцевич, Юлиан — Юлиан Урсын Немцевич Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz …   Википедия

  • Koniecpolski Palais — Die Artikel Königstrakt, Warschauer Königsschloss, Sigismundssäule, Schloss Ujazdowski und Łazienki Park überschneiden sich thematisch. Hilf mit, die Artikel besser voneinander abzugrenzen oder zu vereinigen. Beteilige dich dazu an der Diskussion …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kopernikus-Denkmal — Die Artikel Königstrakt, Warschauer Königsschloss, Sigismundssäule, Schloss Ujazdowski und Łazienki Park überschneiden sich thematisch. Hilf mit, die Artikel besser voneinander abzugrenzen oder zu vereinigen. Beteilige dich dazu an der Diskussion …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.