Antti Aarne
Humanist of the day

Antti Aarne

Antti Aarne forged a notable career in the study of folklore, particularly in the development of an international classification for traditional folklore collections. Aarne’s typology of folklore narratives is still used around the world today. He is among Finland’s most internationally recognised folklorists.

Antti Aarne

Antti Amatus Aarne (formerly Limnell)
Born December 12, 1867, Pori. Died February 5, 1925, Helsinki

Bachelor of Arts 1893, Master of Arts 1894, Licentiate and PhD 1907, Imperial Alexander University
Docent in Finnish and comparative folk poetry 1911–22, Imperial Alexander University

Professor extraordinary of Finnish and comparative folk poetry 1922–25, University of Helsinki
Junior lecturer 1902–20 and principal 1904–08, Sortavala Lyceum
Director of Kokkola Finnish Grammar School 1898–1902

Vergleichende Märchenforschungen, 1907
Verzeichnis der Märchentypen, 1910 (in English with S. Thompson The Types of the Folk-Tale. 1928, 1961)
Finnische Märchenvarianten, 1911
Die Tiere auf der Wanderschaft, 1913
Vergleichende Rätselforschungen I–III, 1918–1920

Photo: Helsingin yliopistomuseon kokoelma
Written by Tiia Niemelä
Translated by Matthew Billington

Antti Aarne remains one of Finland’s best known folklorists abroad. Aarne’s research at the beginning of the 20th century still forms the basis for folklore studies, and it has attracted much comment over the course of a century.

If Aarne’s studies fail quite to reach the level of Indiana Jones…

Read more

Antti Aarne’s path to becoming an internationally renowned folklorist was not quite the stuff of fairy tales. Aarne was born into a working class family, the son of a blacksmith. His father died young and his mother passed away during Aarne’s school days. The talented and hardworking orphan nevertheless…

Read more