A Digressive Biography Cover Image

Biografia dygresyjna
A Digressive Biography

On a Certain Canon of Warmia and Research Methods

Author(s): Dorota Gregorowicz
Subject(s): Cultural history, Local History / Microhistory, Social history, 17th Century
Published by: Towarzystwo Naukowe w Toruniu
Keywords: emigration; Italy; royal court; Warmia; cathedral chapter; canons; source editing; biography; methodology

Summary/Abstract: In 2019, Wojciech Tygielski published a new book, the fruit of in-depth research on the relations between early modern Poland-Lithuania and Italy, and on the Italian settlement within the borders of the Commonwealth. The purpose of this discussion article is to present the biography of Giovanni Battista Jacobelli as an original narrative resulting from an unconventional methodological approach, and more broadly, as a significant example of contemporary biographical writing. Particular attention is paid to the numerous digressions that appear in the narrative, here considered a deliberate methodological procedure aimed at filling the gaps created by the relatively poor primary sources which constitute the basis of the research. Moreover, the relevance of the reviewed study from the point of view of the present day is raised, as the reviewed book prompts making comparisons between historical reality and modern-day experiences, and reflecting on the permanence of certain social phenomena. The discussion article also contains comments on the extensive source edition contained in the appendix to the reviewed book. The article challenges the author’s approach to presenting the early modern Italian correspondence to the reader, and to the degree of required modernisation.

  • Issue Year: 86/2021
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 137-152
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Polish