Johannes Magnus’ Historia de omnibus Gothorum Sueonumque regibus and Gostagus the Tyrant

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


The last Catholic archbishop of Sweden to hold residence in his see at Uppsala, Johannes Magnus (1488-1544), was the author of a major work about Swedish history: the Historia de omnibus Gothorum Sueonumque regibus. Johannes Magnus left Sweden in 1526, spent the rest of his life away from his home country and eventually died in Rome, where his work was published posthumously in 1554. One reason for the long exile was the gradual introduction of Protestantism in Sweden by King Gustavus Vasa.
The Historia de omnibus Gothorum Sueonumque regibus consists of over 200 portraits of Swedish kings, beginning with Magog, the grandson of Noah. An interesting case among the kings is Gostagus (Ostanus), who is said to have ruled Sweden in the 7th century. This tyrant is generally considered an invention of Johannes Magnus’, intended as a malicious portrait of Gustavus Vasa, only safely displaced in time, probably as a vengeful, Catholic display of dislike for a Protestant king. In this paper, I propose a different view of Gostagus and his function within Johannes Magnus’ work.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History
  • Specific Literatures
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationActa Conventus Neo-Latini Vindobonensis
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Sixteenth International Congress of Neo-Latin Studies (Vienna 2015)
EditorsAstrid Steiner-Weber, Franz Römer
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-36155-3
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-36152-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch
EventSixteenth International Congress of the International Association for Neo-Latin Studies (IANLS) - Vienna University, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 2015 Aug 22015 Aug 7

Publication series

NameActa Conventus Neo-Latini
ISSN (Print)2212-6007


ConferenceSixteenth International Congress of the International Association for Neo-Latin Studies (IANLS)
Internet address

Related activities

Nilsson, A. (Presenter)
2015 Aug 22015 Aug 7

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Nilsson, A. (Presenter)
2014 Oct 16

Activity: Talk or presentationPublic lecture/debate/seminar

View all (2)