Helleno-Nordica. The Humanist Greek Heritage of the Swedish Empire

Project: Research

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Humanities
  • Specific Languages
  • Specific Literatures


  • Humanist Greek, Renaissance Greek, Classical tradition, Baltic Sea Region, History of Universities, History of classical studies, History of Greek studies


In the Baltic Sea Region interest in the ancient Greek past and the study of the Greek language took off in the 16th century. In the Swedish Empire, Greek assumed a specific role in the cultural and educational system, reinforced by the Lutheran Reformation and the educational precepts of Philipp Melanchthon. Reading and writing Greek had an important position in the curricula of schools and universities. Following examples further south, scholars began to create and publish literary works in a revived variety of the language called Humanist Greek. By writing in an international language, scholars expressed their ideas and erudition to an educated community across the region.

Helleno-Nordica intends to study a network of cultural, political and economic relations, united by a common idea of re-vitalising an ancient language and reusing its culture. The aim of the four closely connected projects of Helleno-Nordica is to discover and study previously unknown material, and to open new perspectives in the understanding of the role of historical Greece and its language in the development of European cultural history, especially in the Swedish Empire. The overall ambition is to show how the Greek past and the use of Humanist Greek were central for developing a common approach to scholarship and education in the Early Modern Baltic Sea Region. Despite the different experiences of the Baltic Sea countries in the 19th and 20th centuries, these common roots are still relevant today.
Short titleHelleno-Nordica
Effective start/end date2017/01/012020/12/31

Collaborative partners

  • Lund University
  • Department of world culture, University of Helsinki
  • Tartu University Library


  • Johanna Akujärvi - Greek (Ancient and Byzantine) (PI)
  • Korhonen, Tua - Department of world culture, University of Helsinki (Researcher)
  • Sironen, Erkki - Department of world culture, University of Helsinki (Researcher)
  • Päll, Janika - Tartu University Library (Researcher)
  • Näripä, Neeme - Tartu University Library (Researcher)
  • Beyer, Jürgen - Tartu University Library (Researcher)
  • Rein, Kaarina - Tartu University Library (Researcher)

Related research output

Johanna Akujärvi 2017 (Submitted) Att dikta för livet, döden och evigheten. Tillfällesdiktning 1500-1800. Jönson, A. (ed.).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

Johanna Akujärvi 2017 (Unpublished)

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

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