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Jussi Nuorteva

Jussi Pekka Nuorteva
Born 22 July, 1954, Helsinki.

Master of Theology (Finnish and Scandinavian Church History) 1979, Master of Philosophy (Finnish and Scandinavian Church History) 1983, Licentiate of Philosophy 1986 and Doctor of Theology (Finnish and Scandinavian Church History) 1997, University of Helsinki
Docent, Church History and History of Science, University of Helsinki 1998

Director General of Archives, National Archivist 2003-

Secretary General, Finnish Literary Society, 2000–2003
Secretary General, Research Council for Culture and Society, Academy of Finland, 1998–2000
Science journalist, Finnish  Broadcasting Company, 1994–1998
Editor-in-chief, University of Helsinki Library’s National Bibliography of Finland 1991–1993
Assistant, Church History, University of Helsinki, 1989–1994 (leave of absence 1991–1993)
Research Assistant, Academy of Finland 1984–1989
Project Researcher, Academy of Finland 1879–1984

Research interests: Church history and history of science, history of early manuscripts, university 'practice masters', prison systems, history of administration, diplomatic history, states of emergency

Written by Jussi Nuorteva and Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta (ed.)
Translated by John Calton

‘Practice masters’ as representatives of internationalism at the Turku Academy

The Royal Academy at Turku was entirely Finnish in character. All of its professors were from Sweden or Finland which was part of the Swedish Empire at the time. And only a few of the students came from abroad and even their stay was typically brief. But one group of teachers stood out in representing the universities’ characteristic internationalism–the lesser known tutors.

In the sixteenth century, European universities were transformed from bodies formed around the institution of the Catholic church into national, and lavishly supported seats of learning. With the growing state administration of the era, there was a need for more educated civil servants, lawyers and diplomats. The mission of the universities was to offer an education to these new vocational cohorts. Besides the traditional educational ideals of the sciences, the nobility and civil servants in the Estates-General needed to acquire new skills, in such areas as modern languages, drawing, dancing, fencing and horsemanship. Also practised were music and theatre. Training in these skills was offered by specialist tutors. The universities granted them teaching privileges but they usually earned their keep from fees paid by their students.


The Swedish universities adopted a new teaching model in the seventeenth century. Johannes Messenius, who had received his education at the hands of Jesuits, brought theatre to the University. The first recognisably Finnish actors to appear in his plays were Erik and Åke Tott – the latter went on to become a celebrated field marshal in the Thirty Years war. Meanwhile the first master of fencing in Turku to be mentioned is from the 1670s. By the end of the century, the Bolognese Antonio Papi brought modern languages–Italian and French–to Turku. After moving to Uppsala a few years later, Papi was entitled to be addressed as professor.

The institution of tutors continued in Turku and later in the University of Helsinki, where it continues right up to the present day. The swordsman Gioacchino Otta’s school of gymnastics, established in the 1830s, later moved to Jyväskylä, where it became the faculty of physical education. The School of Drawing at the Turku Academy was set up in 1707, and it is still active.



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