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Matthias Castrén

Matthias Alexander Castrén
Born December 12, 1813, Tervola. Died May 7, 1852, Helsinki.

Bachelor of Arts 1836, Master of Arts 1836, Doctor of Philosophy 1944, Imperial Alexander University.

Docent, 1840 (Finnish and Old Scandinavian Tribal Languages), Imperial Alexander University, Professor, 1851 (Finnish Language and Literature), Imperial Alexander University.

Field trips:
1841-44 Russia (occasionally with Elias Lönnrot)
1845-48 Russia and China (accompanying Johan Bergstadt)

Awards and special achievements:
Joint winner of the Demidov Award
Member, St Petersburg Academy of Science, January 1, 1849.

Photo: WikimediaCommons
Written by Tero Juutilainen
Translated by John Calton

Castrén's name lives on

A street in the district of Kallio in Helsinki has been named after Matthias Castrén (Castréninkatu) as well as a park called Matiaksenlehto located in front of the National Museum in Helsinki.

There is also a society founded in 1990, which bears the name of M. A. Castrén (http://www.helsinki.fi/jarj/macastren/), with the duty to “create connections and fostering dialogue between the Uralian language peoples in Finland and Russia, promote knowledge about the culture of these peoples in Finland and support their cultural aspirations and cultivation of their own languages.”

More information on the Society as well as the source of the original Finnish citation is available here.


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