Gabriel Rein
Humanist of the day

Gabriel Rein

Gabriel Rein’s career at the Imperial Alexander University included periods as library amanuensis, lecturer in German language and professor of history. In addition, he was rector of the University between 1848 and 1858. Rein, a liberal and advocate of Finnish identity, was ennobled in 1856 and participated in the Diet of Finland in the 1860s. Rein held the position of rector at a difficult time, and he was forced to balance between an authoritarian leadership and liberal students. Eventually, he was forced to resign, following a conflict that shook the university.

Gabriel Rein

Born December 20, 1800, Jääksi. Died June 24, 1867, Helsinki

Bachelor of Arts 1822 and Master of Arts 1823, Imperial Alexander University

Director 1865, temporary Statistical Office of Finland
Rector 1848–1858 and vice-rector 1845–1848, Imperial Alexander University
Dean 1838–1839 and 1847–1848, Historical Department of the Faculty of Philosophy, Imperial Alexander University
Professor of history 1834–1860, Imperial Alexander University
Acting university lecturer in German language 1829 and permanent lecturer in German language 1832, Imperial Alexander University consistory.
Extraordinary amanuensis 1828 and permanent amanuensis 1829, Imperial Alexander University consistory
Docent in history 1825
Representative of the aristocracy in the Diet of Finland 1863–64 and 1867
Curator of the Vyborg student nation 1826–1834 and inspector (supervisor) 1835–1852

Founding member of the Finnish Literature Society 1831 and chairman 1841–1853, 1863­–1867
Founding member of the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters 1838 and chairman 1846–1847

Knight of the Order of St Vladimir, fourth class, 1843
Knight of the Order of St Anna, second class, 1856
Ennobled 1856
Privy Councillor 1856

Photo: WikimediaCommons
Written by Olli Siitonen
Translated by Matthew Billington

Born into a Karelian family of clerics in 1800, Gabriel Rein left upper secondary school in Vyborg to study at the Imperial Academy of Turku in 1817. Rein worked as amanuensis of the Academy library and docent in history. The Great Fire of Turku reached the Academy building on September 5, 1827. Rein and the undergraduate Matthias Akiander distinguished themselves by saving the majority of the university’s archives from the partly flame-engulfed buildings. Rein began as a lecturer of German Language after the university moved to the new administrative centre of the Grand Duchy of Finland, Helsinki.

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