Jan Tarnowski

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Jan Amor Tarnowski
Jan Amor Tarnowski.PNG

POL COA Tarnowski hrabia.svg
Coat of arms Leliwa
Born 1488
Tarnów, Poland
Died 16 May 1561 (aged 7273)
Wiewiórka, Poland
Noble family House of Tarnowski
Spouse(s) Barbara Tęczyńska
Zofia Szydłowiecka


with Barbara Tęczyńska
Jan Aleksander Tarnowski
Jan Amor Tarnowski
with Zofia Szydłowiecka
Zofia Tarnowska
Jan Krzysztof Tarnowski
Father Jan Amor Junior Tarnowski
Mother Barbara of Rożnów

Jan Amor Tarnowski (Latin: Joannes Tarnovius; 1488 16 May 1561 [1] ) was a Polish nobleman, knight, military commander, military theoretician, and statesman of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. He was Grand Crown Hetman from 1527, and was the founder of the city of Tarnopol, where he built the Ternopil Castle and the Ternopil Pond.

Poles people from Poland

The Poles, commonly referred to as the Polish people, are a nation and West Slavic ethnic group native to Poland in Central Europe who share a common ancestry, culture, history, and are native speakers of the Polish language. The population of self-declared Poles in Poland is estimated at 37,394,000 out of an overall population of 38,538,000, of whom 36,522,000 declared Polish alone.

<i>Szlachta</i> legally privileged noble class in the Kingdom of Poland, and in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

The szlachta was a legally privileged noble class in the Kingdom of Poland, and in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. After the Union of Lublin in 1569, the Grand Duchy and its neighbouring Kingdom became a single state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Knight An award of an honorary title for past or future service with its roots in chivalry in the Middle Ages

A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church, especially in a military capacity.



Tarnowski was born in 1488, the son of Jan Amor Junior Tarnowski, castellan of Kraków, and his second wife Barbara of Rożnów, granddaughter of the knight Zawisza the Black. He was a scion of an important family clan started in the mid-14th century by Spycimir Leliwita, castellan of Kraków. Tarnowski had five half-siblings from his father's first marriage: Jan Amor the Elder, Jan Aleksander (d. 1497), Katarzyna, Zofia and Elżbieta. [2] He had also five half-sisters from his mother's first marriage. [3] He spent his earliest years in Rożnowo and Stare Sioło. He was originally intended to become a priest; but after his father's death in 1500, his mentor Maciej Drzewiecki convinced Barbara of Rożnowo to abandon this plan. In 1501, Tarnowski was sent to the king's court; but on 17 June 1501, king John I Albert died and he returned to Rożnowo, to his mother's domain. [4]

Rożnów, Lesser Poland Voivodeship Village in Lesser Poland, Poland

Rożnów is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Gródek nad Dunajcem, within Nowy Sącz County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, in southern Poland. It lies approximately 17 kilometres (11 mi) north of Nowy Sącz and 64 km (40 mi) south-east of the regional capital Kraków.

Zawisza Czarny Polish diplomat and Knight

Zawisza Czarny, Sulima coat of arms, was a Polish knight and nobleman who served as a commander and diplomat under Polish king Władysław II Jagiełło and Hungarian-Bohemian king Sigismund of Luxembourg. During his life, he was regarded as a model of knightly virtues and was renowned for winning multiple tournaments. His nickname is due to his black hair and his custom-made, black armor, which is kept at the Jasna Góra Monastery.

John I Albert King of Poland

John I Albert was King of Poland (1492–1501) and Duke of Głogów (1491–1498).

Bust of Tarnowski on the Krasinski Palace in Ursynow. POL Warsaw Palac Ursynow7.jpg
Bust of Tarnowski on the Krasiński Palace in Ursynów.

In 1508, Tarnowski fought against Muscovy in the battle of Orsza; in 1509, against Moldavia in the battle of Chocim, and upon the Dniester as a commander of his own chorągiew (banner/company). [5] In 1512, he was involved in the battle of Łopuszna, in which the Tatars were defeated by the Polish forces. [6]

Dniester River in Eastern Europe

The Dniester River is a river in Eastern Europe. It runs first through Ukraine and then through Moldova, finally discharging into the Black Sea on Ukrainian territory again.


Chorągiew was the basic administrative unit of the Polish cavalry from the 14th century. An alternative name until the 17th century was Rota.

The Tatars are a Turkic-speaking people living mainly in Russia and other Post-Soviet countries. The name Tatar first appears in written form on the Kul Tigin monument as 𐱃𐱃𐰺 (Ta-tar). Historically, the term Tatars was applied to anyone originating from the vast Northern and Central Asian landmass then known as the Tartary, which was dominated by various mostly Turco-Mongol semi-nomadic empires and kingdoms. More recently, however, the term refers more narrowly to people who speak one of the Turkic languages.

He made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and in 1518 became a knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. He travelled extensively across Europe, and was knighted by king Manuel I of Portugal for his services against the Moors in Africa.

Holy Land Term used by Jews, Christians, and Muslims to describe the Land of Israel and Palestine

The Holy Land is an area roughly located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea that also includes the Eastern Bank of the Jordan River. Traditionally, it is synonymous both with the biblical Land of Israel and with the region of Palestine. The term "Holy Land" usually refers to a territory roughly corresponding to the modern State of Israel, the Palestinian territories, western Jordan, and parts of southern Lebanon and of southwestern Syria. Jews, Christians, and Muslims all regard it as holy.

Order of the Holy Sepulchre Roman Catholic order of knighthood under the protection of the Holy See

The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, also called Order of the Holy Sepulchre or Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, is a Roman Catholic order of knighthood under the protection of the Holy See. The Pope is sovereign of the Order. Founded as Milites Sancti Sepulcri attached to the Augustinian Canons Regular of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, recognised in 1113 by Papal bull of Pope Paschal II and of Pope Calistus II in 1122. It traces its roots to circa 1099 under the Frankish Duke Godfrey of Bouillon, Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri, "Defender of the Holy Sepulchre", one of the leaders of the First Crusade and first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. It is an internationally recognised order of knighthood.

Jerusalem City in the Middle East

Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

Tarnowski was the owner of Tarnów, Wiewiórka, Rożnów, Przeworsk, and Stare Sioło. In 1522, he became castellan of Wojnicz; in 1527, voivode of the Ruthenian Voivodeship; in 1535, voivode of the Kraków Voivodeship. In 1536, he became castellan of Kraków and starost of Sandomierz, Stryj, Żydaczów, Dolina, Sandecz, Chmielnów, Lubaczów and Horodło.

Tarnów Place in Lesser Poland, Poland

Tarnów (Polish pronunciation: [ˈtarnuf]; is a city in southeastern Poland with 115,341 inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of 269,000 inhabitants. The city is situated in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship since 1999. From 1975 to 1998, it was the capital of the Tarnów Voivodeship. It is a major rail junction, located on the strategic east–west connection from Lviv to Kraków, and two additional lines, one of which links the city with the Slovak border. Tarnów is known for its traditional Polish architecture, which was strongly influenced by foreign cultures and foreigners that once lived in the area, most notably Jews, Germans and Austrians. The entire Old Town, featuring 16th century tenements, houses and defensive walls, has been fully preserved. Tarnów is also the warmest city of Poland, with the highest long-term mean annual temperature in the whole country.

Przeworsk Market Town in Subcarpathian, Poland

Przeworsk, is a town in south-eastern Poland with 15,675 inhabitants, as of 2 June 2009. Since 1999 it has been in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship, and is the capital of Przeworsk County. The ancient Przeworsk culture was named after the town.

Wojnicz Place in Lesser Poland, Poland

Wojnicz is an ancient historic town in Tarnów County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship. In the early medieval period of the Polish state, it became one of the most important centres in the province of Lesser Poland, as part of the system of Dunajec river castles. It became the seat of a Castellan and prospered from the 13th-century to the first half of the 17th-century, being on an international trade route bordering Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. It had town and market rights, its church was raised to collegiate status with links to the Jagiellonian University in Kraków 64km away.

Tarnowski's parade burgonet morion helmet. Burgonet of Polish Grand Crown Hetman Jan Tarnowski.PNG
Tarnowski's parade burgonet morion helmet.
Hetman Tarnowski Jan Amor Tarnowski (1488-1561).jpg
Hetman Tarnowski

In 1521, he participated in the Ottoman-Habsburg wars. He was among the first Hetmans of the Polish Army after its great reforms. He led the Polish Army to many victories, among them the battles of Obertyn against the Moldavians in 1531, and of Starodub against the Muscovites in 1535 during the Muscovite wars. [7]

Battle of Obertyn battle

The Battle of Obertyn was fought between Moldavian Voivode Petru Rareş and Polish forces under hetman Jan Tarnowski, in the town of Obertyn, south of the Dniester River, now in Ukraine. The battle ended with a Polish victory and the reconquest of Pokutia.

Moldavia principality in Southeast Europe between 1330–1859 (nowadays historical and geographical region in Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine)

Moldavia is a historical region and former principality in Central and Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester River. An initially independent and later autonomous state, it existed from the 14th century to 1859, when it united with Wallachia as the basis of the modern Romanian state; at various times, Moldavia included the regions of Bessarabia, all of Bukovina and Hertza. The region of Pokuttya was also part of it for a period of time.

Starodub Town in Bryansk Oblast, Russia

Starodub is a town in Bryansk Oblast, Russia, located on the Babinets River, 169 kilometers (105 mi) southwest of Bryansk. Population: 19,010 (2010 Census); 18,643 (2002 Census); 18,906 (1989 Census); 16,000 (1975).

Tarnowski developed, among other things, horse artillery, field hospitals financed by the government, headquarters services, and field sappers. Throughout his entire service as a hetman, he preached a doctrine of flexibility. [7]

Poet Jan Kochanowski wrote a poem O śmierci Jana Tarnowskiego (On the death of Jan Tarnowski). He is also one of the characters depicted in Jan Matejko's painting Prussian Homage .


In about 1511, Tarnowski married Barbara Tęczyńska, daughter of Mikołaj Tęczyński, voivode of the Ruthenian Voivodeship. She was the niece of his first mother's husband. [6] After her death, Tarnowski married Zofia Szydłowiecka in 1530. He had four children, among them Zofia Tarnowska and Jan Krzysztof Tarnowski.

Important Works


  1. Słowo o Hetmanie Janie Tarnowskim
  2. Podhorodecki, Leszek (1994). Sławni hetmani Rzeczypospolitej. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo MADA. p. 17. ISBN   83-86170-06-9.
  3. Dworzaczek, Włodzimierz (1985). Hetman Jan Tarnowski. Z dziejów możnowładztwa małopolskiego. Warszawa: Instytut Wydawniczy PAX. p. 17. ISBN   83-211-0584-X.
  4. Podhorodecki, Leszek (1994). Sławni hetmani Rzeczypospolitej. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo MADA. p. 18. ISBN   83-86170-06-9.
  5. Podhorodecki, Leszek (1994). Sławni hetmani Rzeczypospolitej. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo MADA. pp. 20–21. ISBN   83-86170-06-9.
  6. 1 2 Podhorodecki, Leszek (1994). Sławni hetmani Rzeczypospolitej. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo MADA. p. 21. ISBN   83-86170-06-9.
  7. 1 2 Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Tarnowski, Jan". Encyclopædia Britannica . 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

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