Libertinism, in the sense of disregard for all religious matters by some intellectual groups, did not exist in Poland. In France, the theoretical background for libertinism was provided by the philosophical schools which were opposed to all existing confessions. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth did not know such schools in the 17th century, and, what is more important, no philosophical treatises dealt with libertinism at that time. It seems that one can rather speak of Polish libertines in the 17th century than about Polish libertinism, for the libertine individuals were not in contact with each other and manifested their views by their behaviour or in words, but never in writing. Libertinism was a strictly private affair of these persons, it was a way in which they tried to implement their goals in life. It was not before the Age of Enlightenment that libertinism began to find many supporters in Poland, so that from that time one can speak about the Polish version of this trend.
Janusz Tazbir, c/o Instytut Historii PAN, ul. Rynek Starego Miasta 29/31, 00-272 Warszawa, Poland
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