|Coat of Arms|
|Parents||Piotr Kochanowski; Anna, née Białaczowska.|
|Consorts||Dorota, née Podlodowska.|
|Children||Urszula, Hanna, Ewa, Poliksena, Halszka, Krystyna, Jan (posthumous)|
|Date of Birth||1530|
|Place of Birth||Sycyna|
|Date of Death||August 22 1584|
|Place of Death||Lublin|
Jan Kochanowski (1530 - August 22 1584) was a Polish Renaissance poet who established poetic patterns that would become integral to Polish literary language He is commonly regarded as the greatest Polish poet as well as the greatest Slavic poet prior to the 19th century.
In 1559 Kochanowski returned to Poland for good, a humanist and Renaissance poet. He spent the next fifteen years close to the court of King Sigismund II of Poland, serving for a time as royal secretary. In 1574, following the decampment of Poland's recently elected King Henry of Valois (whose candidacy to the Polish throne Kochanowski had supported), Kochanowski settled on a family estate at Czarnolas ("Blackwood") to lead the life of a country squire. In 1575 he married Dorota Podlodowska, with whom he had seven children.
Kochanowski is sometimes referred to in Polish as "Jan of Czarnolas" ("John of Blackwood"). It was there that he wrote his most memorable works, including The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys and the Laments.
His masterpieces include Treny (Threnodies, 1580, translated into English in 1995 by Stanisław Barańczak and Seamus Heaney as Laments)—a series of nineteen elegies upon the death of his beloved two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Urszula; and Odprawa posłów greckich (The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys, 1578; recently translated into English by Indiana University's Bill Johnston), a blank-verse tragedy that recounted an incident leading up to the Trojan War. It was the first tragedy written in Polish, and its theme of the responsibilities of statesmanship continues to resonate to this day. This play was performed during the wedding of Jan Zamoyski to Krystyna Radziwiłł at Ujazdów Castle in Warsaw on January 12, 1578.