Jan Długosz, (Latin names: Joannes, Ioannes, Johannes Longinus or Dlugossius) was a chronicler, priest and diplomat. He lived in the 15th century and worked as secretary to the Bishop of Kraków, Zbigniew Oleśnicki, and tutor to the sons of King Casimir IV Jagiellon.
Jan Długosz was born to a noble family belonging to the Wieniawa coat-of-arms. After graduating from the University of Kraków, he became secretary to Bishop Zbigniew Oleśnicki. In 1436 he became a canon at Kraków. In 1449, he started his diplomatic career at the court of King Casimir IV Jagiellon and was subsequently sent on diplomatic missions to European courts and the Papal State to negotiate with the Teutonic Knights during the Thirteen Years’ War, as well as concluding an alliance with Silesian ruler George of Podebrady. He was nominated for the post of Archbishop of Lviv but died two weeks before it was confirmed by the Pope.
Jan Długosz is regarded as the father of Polish historiography. His most important work - Annales seu cronici incliti regni Poloniae (known as The Annals of Jan Długosz) remains to date a trustworthy chronicle of historic events which took place in Eastern Europe from the 9th century until 1480 (when Długosz died), as well as a unique source of information concerning the hydrography and geography of the present day lands of Poland. Długosz devoted a vast part of his work to the religions and beliefs of the previous inhabitants of Poland but the results of his research has been questioned since the beginning of the 20th century.
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