Arthur Långfors
Humanist of the day

Arthur Långfors

Arthur Långfors was a leading scholar of mediaeval French, active both in the interpretation and publication of manuscripts. Following Finland’s independence in 1917, like many of his professorial contemporaries, he carried out diplomatic tasks and represented the country in various international conferences, including the League of Nations council sessions. In addition to his duties as professor of Romance Languages, Långfors served the University of Helsinki first as dean, then vice-rector and rector.

Arthur Långfors

Arthur Isak Edvard Långfors
Born January 12,1881,  Rauma. Died October 20, 1959, Helsinki.

Bachelor of Arts, 1903, Master of Arts, 1907, Licentiate of Philosophy, 1907, and Doctor of Philosophy, 1910, Imperial Alexander University
Docent, Romance Language Philology, 1908–25, Imperial Alexander University, subsequently University of Helsinki

Second Secretary to Finnish Embassies in Madrid and Paris, 1918–25
Professor extraordinarius, Romance Language Philology 1925–29, and Professor 1929–51, University of Helsinki
Teacher, French Language 1928-31 and Spanish Language 1930–51, Helsinki School of Economics
President, Finnish Academy of Science and Letters 1933–34
Dean, Division for History and Philology (University of Helsinki) 1932–43
Vice-rector, University of Helsinki 1943–50
Rector, University of Helsinki 1945–50
Finnish Representative at the League of Nations Council Sessions in 1920 and 1922

Chairman, Société des anciens textes français (‘Society of ancient French letters’), 1925–26, 1929–30, 1938–39
Editor-in-chief, Neuphilologische Mitteilungen-Bulletin of the Modern Language Society, 1926–50

Member of various learned societies

Honours and awards
Knight (First Class), Order of the White Rose of Finland, 1921, Commander of the White Rose of Finland, 1934, Order of the Cross of Liberty (Fourth Class), 1940
Knight (First Class), Order of the Finnish Lion, 1948 (for services in the Winter War and the Continuation War)
Honorary Doctorates, Sorbonne (1938), University of Oslo (1946), and University of Glasgow (1951)
Prix Bordin, Académie française, 1918
Prix Saintour, Académie française, 1920
Honorary merit, Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, 1951


Photo: Helsingin Yliopistonmuseo
Written by Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta
Translated by John Calton