THE POWER OF ANTIQUITY, ACTA UNIVERSITATIS OULUENSIS B Humaniora 125

My thesis focuses on the incorporation of Hyperboreans, a mythical classical race, into the\nprevailing Gothic or Geatic narrative of national history in seventeenth and eighteenth century\nSwedish historiography. The beatific Hyperboreans were identified with ancient Swedes to\nemphasise that the Gothic ancestors of Sweden’s rulers had not been mere mediaeval barbarians.\nThe most extreme proponents of this Hyperborean research tradition claimed that a high culture\nhad thrived in Sweden before classical antiquity. They asserted that traces of this highly-developed\nnorthern civilisation could be found in the Bible, classical writings and mediaeval historiography,\nas well as the domestic antiquities such as runestones and Old Norse writings.\nBy close-reading published and unpublished writings of historians and antiquaries, I examined\nthe overarching and shared distinctive features within this Hyperborean research tradition. This\ninvolved an analysis of the main content of this research tradition in its learned, mostly Western\nEuropean historiographical setting. I focused especially on understanding the Hyperborean\nresearch tradition within the intellectual traditions of constructing fabulous pasts.\nThe seventeenth century was a period of institutionalisation of historical and antiquarian\nresearch in Sweden and Europe. Hence, I also studied the role of specific politico-historical and\ninstitutional conditions in the emergence, development and decline of the Hyperborean research\ntradition.\nBy combining these two approaches, I attempted to strike a balance between research on longterm\nintellectual traditions and short-term immediate situations in which the ideas about the\nHyperboreans were developed and used.\nUltimately my thesis illustrates that the Hyperborean research tradition was a fairly coherent\ntradition of research. It arose in the early seventeenth century as part of the political pursuits and\nproblems of Swedish monarchs in the domestic front and the Baltics. The tradition dominated\nSwedish historiography during the period of Swedish absolutism (1690–1720), before gradually\ncrumbling from 1730s onwards. The emergence, development and decline of the Hyperborean\nresearch tradition were all a result of complex historiographical and politico-institutional factors.

ISBN-10:
978-952-62-0713-1
Kieli:
eng.
Sivumäärä:
332 s.
Tekijät:
ANTTILA TERO
Tuotekoodi 014120
30,00 €