Popiel (Chosciak Popiel) Pawel (1837-1910), a professor of Roman law at the Warsaw Main School, a translator of the ancient literature, a columnist. Born in Ruszcza nearby Krakow (according to some historians, however, in Kurozweki or Krakow), he was a son of Pawel and Emilia Soltyk, younger brother of Jan (vide). First years of his life he stayed in Ruszcza, in 1840 his parents moved to Kurozweki, where Popiel together with his brothers was educated by private tutor Kudasiewicz. In 1846 his father sent him with his elder brothers Marcin and Jan to Nissa to attend Prussian Catholic High School, which he considered better than the Krakow and Austrian schools. In Nisse Popiel stayed at the teacher Koehnhorn's house. The school gave him solid classical background. After final exams he came back to Krakow where he attended the Jagiellonian University Law School and was granted the title of doctor of laws in 1862. On 9-15-1962 the Government Commission under Alexander Wielopolski, his father's friend appointed Popiel as a professor extraordinary for the Roman law at the Warsaw Main School. After accepting the appointment Popiel left Poland and studied for some time in Lipsk (Germany) and also for a time in Praga and Paris. He started his lectures in 1864. With his both private and public lectures caused that he gained himself a name among students and listeners. A conservative, he was stopping students from joining the 1963 uprising. In 1868 he received from his parents a village Sciborzyce nearby Olkusz. In 1869, when the Warsaw Main School became a Russian university, Popiel left the school. He resisted the governor-general of Galicia Agenor Goluchowski and the marshall Leon Sapieha, which tried to convice him to take the professor's post at the Lviv University.

After leaving Warsaw Popiel settled in Sciborzyce, where he busied himself rather not with farming, but with writing. He wrote translations from classics, articles for magazines and he was also an editor. At the beginning of 1870-ties he started translation of Homer's "Iliad" and its fragments he published in "przeglad Polski" and whole book published in Krakow in 1880 (the second print, reviewed and improved by the translator was published in 1882, and the third reprint in 1990). The translation a mensural verse, trying to be as close to the original as possible, resulting perfect translation, a favorite reading of Henryk Sienkiewicz, however, it's artistic value was not great and it became fairy quickly out of fashion. In nineties there were known Popiel's translations of Horatio, written in hexameter,   "Sermones" and "Epistulae", which were printed in form of book in 1903 as "Satyry i listy" (2 volumes).  The translator omitted entirely the satire I2 and parts of I5 and II7 "which cannot be reconciled with our custom". The translation was preceded with a broad preface on Roman literature, life and works of Horatio, their translations and editions. Each satire and letter received brief commentary. This translation, however near perfect, by similar reasons as "Iliad" had short life.

Popiel's columns were related to the politics, history and literature, part of them was of memories character. In "przeglad Powszechny" and "przeglad Polski" he wrote on political issues in France and Germany, in these newspapers he printed lond pieces on the popes: Clement VIII (1903/4), Gregory the Great (1904), Leo XIII (1904). The religoius columns were his frequent task and his last work ("Przeglad Polski" 1910) was on the rosary encyclics of Leo XIII related to ecumenic matters. Popiel was active in the Goerres Society, which was for cultivation of the Catholic studies in Germany and wrote accounts from the yearly meetings in "Przeglad Powszechny". In "Przeglad Polski" he wrote on the reform of the High Schools (1899) and restauration of the Wawel Cathedral (1900). His pieces (Krakow 1900) on the Renaissance were on the historic-literary matters, written under the influence of the Julian Klaczko's ""Rome et la Renaissance", similarly his notes on the E. Rennan's drama "L’abbesse de Jouarre" ("Przeglad Katolicki" 1887). Among reviews, the most distinguished is his work on P. Ludwig's "Geschichte der Paepste seit dem Ausgang des Mittelalters" ("Przeglad Polski" 1908). Important for Polish history and culture was publication of Popiel's father's works ("Pisma" Kr. 1892 2 volumes). Popiel had quite big library in Sciborzyce inherited from his grandfather Marcin Badeni and his father. In his home he also kept a collectin of arts. Popiel diad in Krakow on May 11, 1910 and was buried in the Rakowice cemetery.

He married Maria Zamoyska on 7-10-1868 and had two sons and three daughters. Waclaw (born in 1879, died in 1940 in the concentration camp in Stutthof)) was an owner of the estate Kostrzynek in Wielkopolska region, a social and catholic activist. Ludwik was a heir of Sciborzyce. Elfryda diad in her childhood, Maria married to Stanislaw Kowerski, Cecylia married to M. Komorowicz.

Estreicher w. XIX; Nowy Korbut, XV; Enc.Org., XII 201; - Cwiklinski L. Homer i homerycy, L. 1881 s 150-4; Dzieje Uniw. Warsz. 1807-1915, W. 1981; Fita S., Pokolenie Szkoly Glownej, W. 1980; Lanowski J., Wstep [do] Homer, Iliada, Wyd. 12, Wr. 1972 s. LXXV; Ogrodzinski W., Polskie przeklady Horacego, Kr. 1895 s. 149; Popiel P., Rodzina Popielow…, Kr. 1936 s. 78-80 (fot.); Szkola Glowna Warszawska (1862-1869), Wydzial Filologiczno-Historyczny, Kr. 1900 l 69; Tarnowski S., Pawel Popiel Syn, "Przeglad Polski" 1910 t. 176 s. 383-93; - Popiel P., Pamietniki (1807-1892), Kr. 1927; - "Bibl. Warsz." 1910 t. 2 s. 609-10; "Czas" 1910 nr 213, 214, 218; "Kur. Warsz." 1910 nr 131 s. 4; "Slowo Pol." 1910 nr 220 s. 6; - Arch. UJ: Matrikel der k.k. juridischen Facultaet zu Krakau, k. 283, 385; IBL PAN: Kartoteka bibliograficzna.

Ignacy Lewandowski

Translation from Polish to English: sp


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This site was created on June 15, 1998 and updated on May 11, 2007
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