Knut Tallqvist
Humanist of the day

Knut Tallqvist

Knut Tallqvist was a professor of Oriental literature specialised in Assyriology. His diverse and extensive production had a decisive effect on the development of the discipline in Finland and also brought research in the field, in a popularised form, to a wider audience. Tallqvist spent many years in the eastern Mediterranean and described his travels and activities in his letters to his fiancée, which were later published.

Knut Tallqvist

Knut Leonard Tallqvist
Born March 16, 1865, Kirkkonnummi. Died 16 August 1949, Kirkkonummi

BA 1887 (Oriental literature), MA 1890, licentiate 1890 (Assyriology), PhD 1894, Imperial Alexander University
Study and research trips to, inter alia, Germany 1889–90, eastern Mediterranean, Italy, France and Germany 1893–95

Head of the Department of Historical Linguistics 1904–35, deacon of the Faculty of Arts 1920-30, Imperial Alexander University – University of Helsinki
Acting professor of oriental literature 1897, professor 1899–1933, acting professor 1934-35, Imperial Alexander University – University of Helsinki
Docent in Assyriology and Semitic languages, Imperial Alexander University
Teacher of Hebrew 1890-1891, Imperial Alexander University

Founder of the Finnish Oriental Society, chairman 1917–49
Member of the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters 1902, Chairman 1912–13

Honorary member of the American Oriental Society 1947
Honorary member of the Finno-Ugrian Society 1937
Honorary doctor of theology, Lund University 1918
Honorary member of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland 1910

Photo: National Board of Antiquities
Written by Tomas Sjöblom
Translated by Matthew Billington

Knut Tallqvist, the youngest son of a parson from an old clerical family, entered the Imperial Alexander University in 1883 to study Oriental languages. Much of his studying was done independently, as his professor, Ernst August Strandman, was often absent due to illness. When Tallqvist completed his bachelor’s…

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