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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Julius Krohn
Julius Krohn.jpg
Born(1835-04-19)19 April 1835
Died28 August 1888(1888-08-28) (aged 53)
Cause of deathDrowned in a Yachting Accident
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Helsinki
InfluencesElias Lonnrot
Academic work
School or traditionFennoman
Main interestsFinnish mythology, Kalevala Scholarship
Notable ideasThe Historic-Geographic Method
InfluencedKaarle Krohn

Julius Leopold Fredrik Krohn (19 April 1835 – 28 August 1888) was a Finnish folk poetry researcher, professor of Finnish literature, poet, hymn writer, translator and journalist. He was born in Viipuri and was of Baltic German origin.[1] Krohn worked as a lecturer on Finnish language in Helsinki University from the year 1875 and as a supernumerary professor from 1885. He was one of the most notable researchers into Finnish folk poetry in the 19th century. His native language was German.

Works and influence

Krohn mostly preferred not to write under his foreign surname, but either adopted a nom de plume or worked as part of a collective, such as the fennomans, of which he was a leading member. Using pseudonyms, he translated many of Johan Ludvig Runeberg's works into Finnish, and researchers also concluded that he penned the Finnish lyrics for the Finnish national anthem.

Under his most notable pseudonym Suonio he published poetry; e.g. Mansikoita ja mustikoita 1856–61 ("Strawberries and blueberries") and Kuun tarinoita ("Tales of the moon"). As Suonio, he worked as editor of Suomen Kuvalehti and translated many of Sir Walter Scott's novels, such as A Legend of Montrose.

Scientific work

An important contribution to a history of Finnish literature was Krohn's doctoral thesis Suomenkielinen runollisuus ruotsinvallan aikana (1862).[2] Krohn was also the first to develop a scientific method for the study of folklore, the historic-geographic method. This method, which is connected with nationalist understandings of folk culture, involves careful comparison of variant texts of an item of folklore to the end of identifying the "original" version (as well as its origin)[3][4]

Julius Krohn died by drowning in Bay of Vyborg in a yachting accident at the age of 53.[5] His work with folklore and the Finnish language was continued by his son Kaarle Krohn, who published much of his scientific work posthumously. This work was further developed by their student Antti Aarne.


Back row from left Ilmari Krohn [fi], Kaarle, Helmi with E.N. Setälä; in front Aune Krohn, Helena née Cleve and Aino
Back row from left Ilmari Krohn [fi], Kaarle, Helmi with E.N. Setälä; in front Aune Krohn, Helena née Cleve and Aino

Apart from Krohn's son Kaarle, mentioned above, his son Ilmari became a composer of church music. His daughter Aino married the Estonian nationalist Oskar Kallas and was known as a writer by the name Aino Kallas. His daughter Helmi Krohn, also an author, married Eemil Nestor Setälä, later the acting head of state of Finland in November 1917, after the abdication of Nicholas II of Russia.


  • Krohn, Julius (February 1981). Kaarle Krohn (ed.). Folklore Methodology: Formulated by Julius Krohn and Expanded by Nordic Researchers (Paperback). Roger L. Welsch (translator). Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press. p. 192. ISBN 0-292-72432-2.
  • Etext books on-line at the Project Gutenberg site


  1. ^ George C. Schoolfield, ed. (1998). A History of Finland's Literature. Volume 4 of History of Scandinavian literatures. U of Nebraska Press. p. 733. ISBN 9780803241893.
  2. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Finland". Encyclopædia Britannica. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 387.
  3. ^ Wolf-Knuts, Ulrika. "On the history of comparison in folklore studies". Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  4. ^ Frog: "Revisiting the Historical-Geographic Method(s)". In: Lukin, Karina, Frog & Sakari Katajamäki (eds.), Limited Sources, Boundless Possibilities. Textual Scholarship and the Challenges of Oral and Written Texts. RMN Newsletter, No. 7, December 2013.
  5. ^ Siikala, Anna-Leena. "Kaarle Krohn's Way". Folklore Fellows.[permanent dead link]

External links

This page was last edited on 18 January 2021, at 19:00
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