Such nobility might believe that they belonged (at least figuratively) to a different people than the Slavs whom they ruled.
"Roman maps, fashioned during the Renaissance, had the name of Sarmatia written over most of the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and thus 'justified' interest in 'Sarmatian roots'." Centuries later modern scholarship discovered evidence showing that the Alans, a late Sarmatian people speaking an Iranian idiom, did invade Slavic tribes in Eastern Europe before the sixth century, and that these "Sarmatians evidently formed the area's ruling class, which was gradually Slavicized." In his 1970 publication The Sarmatians (in the series "Ancient Peoples and Places") Tadeusz Sulimirski (1898–1983), an Anglo-Polish historian, archaeologist, and researcher on the ancient Sarmatians, discusses the abundant evidence of the ancient Sarmatian presence in Eastern Europe, e.g., the finds of various grave goods such as pottery, weapons, and jewelry.
It was unique for its cultural mix of Eastern, Western and native traditions.
Criticized during the Polish Enlightenment, Sarmatism was rehabilitated by the generations that embraced Polish Romanticism.
Having survived the literary realism of Poland's "Positivist" period, Sarmatism enjoyed a triumphant comeback with The Trilogy of Henryk Sienkiewicz, Poland's first Nobel laureate in literature (1905).
Possible ethnological and social influences on the Polish szlachta would include tamga-inspired heraldry, social organization, military practices, and burial customs.
Poles tracing their descent to the Sarmatians was part of wider tendency evident all over Europe, of various peoples tracing their descent to an ancient people who had lived in their country in Roman times: the Dutch taking up the Batavians as their forbears, the French - the Gauls, the Portuguese - the Lusitanians, the Scots - the Caledonians, the Swiss - the Helvetii, the Romanians - the Dacians, etc.
It also differentiated the Polish szlachta from Western nobility (which szlachta called pludracy, a reference to their hose, an item of clothing not worn by the szlachta Sarmatians strongly valued social and family ties. Conversation was one of the favourite preoccupations.
Guests were always welcomed – relatives, friends, even strangers, especially from abroad. Sumptuous feasts with large amount of alcohol were organised.
Male quarrels and fighting during such events was quite common. Men often travelled a lot (to the Sejms, Sejmiki, indulgences, law courts, or common movements).
At their parties the polonaise, mazurka, and oberek were the most popular dances. Women stayed at home and took care of the property, livestock and children.
Sarmatia (in Polish, Sarmacja) was a semi-legendary, poetic name for Poland that was fashionable into the 18th century, and which designated qualities associated with the literate citizenry of the vast Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Sarmatism greatly affected the culture, lifestyle and ideology of the Polish nobility.
Sometimes many months passed before all the preparations were completed.