Axel Olof Freudenthal
Humanist of the day

Axel Olof Freudenthal

Axel Olof Freudenthal was a professor of Swedish language and literature, a man of cultural influence and advocate for Finland’s Swedish-speaking nationalist movement; he is remembered for his principled views on matters of language and nationality. However, Freudenthal was also active in promoting the teaching of Swedish and was closely associated with the establishment of a number of cultural associations, which are important to this day.

Axel Olof Freudenthal

Born December 12, 1836, Siuntio. Died June 2, 1911, Helsinki.

Bachelor of Philosophy, 1859, Master of Philosophy, 1860, Doctor of Philosophy, 1865, Imperial Alexander University
Studies in Uppsala, 1861–1862, Copenhagen 1862–1863

Professor of Swedish Language and Literature, 1878–1904, Imperial Alexander University

Acting Professor of Swedish Language and Literature, 1876–1878, Imperial Alexander University
Lektor, Swedish 1868–1878, Helsingfors svenska lyceum (Swedish-medium school)
Docent, Medieval Scandinavian Languages and Antiquities, 1866, Imperial Alexander University

Member, Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, 1876; Chairman, 1888–1889
Founder member, Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland (Swedish Literature Society in Finland), 1885
Founder member, Svenska Folkskolans Vänner (Friends of Swedish elementary schooling), 1882
Founder member, Svenska Landsmålsföreningen (Swedish student cultural body), 1874
Curator 1868–1880, Nyländska afdelningen (Uusimaa student nation), Inspector, 1884–86

Nyländska afdelningen memorial, 1913
Riemumaisteri (honorary master’s degree conferred fifty years after a first degree), University of Uppsala, 1910
Honorary member, Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland (Society of Swedish Literature in Finland), 1909
Cross of the Order of St Anna, 3rd class, 1904
Honorary member, Svenska Landsmålsföreningen (Swedish student cultural body), 1900
Cross of the Order of St Stanislaus, 3rd class, 1897
Honorary member, Nyländska afdelningen, 1880, Imperial Alexander University
Honorary Doctor of Philosophy, University of Uppsala, 1877

Photo: Nylands Nations konstsamling
Written by Tomas Sjöblom
Translated by John Calton

The Swedish-speaking nationalist movement in Finland arose in the second half of the 19th century as a reaction to the Finnish-language nationalism of the Fennoman movement. Supporters of the Swedish-speaking nationalist movement were given the name Svecomans. The movement’s early ideology and agenda were drafted primarily by Axel Olof Freudenthal

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