Elias Lönnrot Biography | Author of Kalevala

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Elias Lonnrot was born in the southern parish of Sammatti, Finland in 1802, the fourth of seven children in a poor tailor's family. In spite of his humble background, Lonnrot managed to attend the University of Turku, where he studied folklore and linguistics while supporting himself with various jobs. At Turku, Lonnrot became involved with the Finnish nationalist movement. He was strongly influenced by the ideas of Professor Henrik Gabriel Porthan, a historian who encouraged the study of folklore and believed that a nation's cultural identity must be rooted in the language and oral traditions of its ordinary folk.

Following the Turku fire of 1827, the University relocated to Helsinki, where Lonnrot continued his studies and earned his medical degree in 1832. From 1833 to 1853 Lonnrot worked as district physician and travelling health inspector in the remote northern town of Kajaani. Though he was the only doctor in this part of northeastern...

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This section contains 527 words
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Buy the Kalevala Study Guide
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Kalevala from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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