Józef Julian Sękowski (1800–1858), doktor filozofii Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego i członek zagraniczny Towarzystwa Naukowego Krakowskiego

Joachim Śliwa


Józef Julian Sękowski (1800–1858) – doctor of philosophy of the Jagiellonian University and foreign member of the Cracow Learned Society

This is a short outline of the activity of an eminent orientalist, talented writer and journalist, and professor at St Petersburg University (1822–1847), with particular consideration of his stay in Cracow in the autumn of 1826. It was then that Sękowski donated to the collections of the Jagiellonian University an Egyptian papyrus scroll 3.5 m long, acquired during his journey to Egypt and Nubia in 1821. The scroll is accompanied by a four-page treatise entitled Observationes de papyro Aegyptiaca a Iosepho Senkowski reperta atque Universitati Cracoviensi dono data, written by Gustav Seyffarth (1796–1885), including basic information about the ancient owner of the papyrus and the dating of the object. Appended to the treatise is a reproduction of the entire text of the Observationes (leaves 1–2). On 16 August 1826, in recognition of Sękowski’s merits both as a researcher and donor, by the decision of its Department of Literature the University conferred on him a doctor’s degree in philosophy. On 15 November of the same year Sękowski was also appointed as a foreign member of the Cracow Learned Society. Soon, in 1827, thanks to the endeavours of the Cracow University a lithographic reproduction of the precious scroll appeared in 25 + 8 [sic] copies. It had been prepared on the basis of an accurate drawing executed by the Cracow painter Jan Nepomucen Lewicki (1802–1871). The hieratic tomb scroll, in the literature known as the Sękowski Papyrus, has been held in the Jagiellonian Library to this day. Thanks to the findings of Tadeusz Andrzejewski and Albertyna Szczudłowska, it is now known that the scroll was designed for a priest by the name of Nesmin, the son of Ankh-hap and Ta-dis-Amun-opet; it is dated to the first century AD and probably comes from a Theban necropolis