FROM ITALY TO THE COMMONWEALTH
The article focuses on the factors which urged Italians to migrate to the Polish-Lithuanian state during the sixteenth-seventeenth century. The author indicates the coincidence of two phenomena: on the one hand, the economic crisis in Italy, conducive for decisions to emigrate and, on the other hand, the rapid civilisational development of Poland and Lithuania which offered representatives of highly skilled professional groups an opportunity for a relatively rapid career (architects, sculptors, painters and musicians but also university professors, bankers and merchants). Another relevant factor favouring emigration to Poland was the information about Poland and Lithuania increasingly available in Italy from the beginning of the sixteenth century. The reasons for this state of affairs included a rising production of printed literature, an influx of Polish students to Italian universities, an exchange of legations between the two countries, and the news, absent in sources, transmitted by the emigres to their families and acquaintances in Italy. While discussing literature on Polish themes the author established three periods of increased interest on the part of the Italians: the early sixteenth century (the appearance of translated works by Polish authors), the introduction in Poland of the free election of rulers, which provided Italian princes with a chance for competing for the throne of a prominent state, and the military catastrophe of the Commonwealth in the mid–seventeenth century.
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