The Cornerstones of Polish Culture and National Identity

Exploring Polish culture and national identity in the modern period, this study is focused on the dominant trends of Sarmatism and Messianism in Polish intellectual movements. The essay aims to present the development of these ideologies as well as their impact on politics, literature and the arts. The study explores the history and intellectual roots of these ideologies, starting from medieval times to the Renaissance and the early modern period and into modernity and including such diverse media as burial ceremonies and associated portraits, literature written in the 1830s and 1840s and twentieth century films. Finally, the essay highlights the effects of these ideologies on the development of Polish national consciousness.

Key words: modern national identity, Polish nineteenth century literature, Sarmatism, Messianism