The article is a fragment of a larger study, entitled Polish Project. Enlightenment in the First Republic of Poland (in preparation). Benedict Chmielowski’s New Athens is an extremely important text for the development of Polish culture in the eighteenth century, revealing the essence of the functioning of the “enlightened unenlightenment”. This term, which is more and more often used, is employed to denote the phenomena previously described as “enlightened Sarmatism”. New historical research makes it necessary to change the previous understanding of Sarmatism in a quite significant way, limiting the use of this concept when describing cultural phenomena of the eighteenth century. New Athens is a good example of the application of the method of cultural “enlightened unenlightenment”, and the article tries to bring closer the basic determinants of this method. This is important, especially since shortly after the publication of Chmielowski’s work, in 1769, Stanisław Konarski created the final theoretical form of the Polish Enlightenment, different from the unenlightenment, but also from European practices.