Johan Ludvig Runeberg

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Johan Ludvig Runeberg
The old pistol recounts his war memories. Scene from Runeberg's Christmas Eve . Painting by Robert Wilhelm Ekman (1808–1873)
Runeberg bust in Jakobstad
20 ECU silver commemorative coin from 1995

Johan Ludvig Runeberg (born February 5 or February 7, 1804 in Jakobstad , † May 6, 1877 in Borgå ) was a Finnish-Swedish writer . He is considered the national poet of Finland .


Johan Ludvig Runeberg studied at the Åbo Akademi . After completing his studies, he became a lecturer in Greek in Helsingfors ( Helsinki in Finnish ) in 1830 . From 1837 until his retirement in 1857 he taught at the grammar school in Borgå ( Porvoo in Finnish ).

He was with his great cousin Fredrika Charlotta Runeberg , geb. Tengström, married. He had eight children with her. Fredrika was also active as a writer.

Johan Ludvig Runeberg was buried in the Borgå cemetery.


The most famous work by Runeberg is Fänrik Ståls sägner (" Fähnrich Stahl "), which appeared in two parts in 1848 and 1860. It consists of 35 poems, mainly heroic ballads , from the time of the Finnish war (1808-1809), which led to the cession of Finland to Russia by Sweden after the Treaty of Fredrikshamn . The first poem from it, Vårt land (“Our Country”), became the national anthem of Finland (with Swedish and translated Finnish text).

Runeberg translated Serbian folk songs into Swedish. This gave him a simple, folksong-like tone, which particularly characterizes the two volumes of his collection of poems Idyll och epigram (Idylls and Epigrams). Runeberg also wrote hexameter idyls in Tegnér's succession and dramas.

Runeberg also worked as a teacher and lecturer, including for Greek, in Helsingfors and Borgå. He also wrote for the newspapers Helsingfors Morgonblad and Borgå Tidning .

In 2004 he was ranked 57th in a poll by the Finnish radio station YLE for the 100 biggest Finns.

Runebergs to memory the town Borgå since 1987, the 150th year forgives his arrival in this city, on his birthday every year the Runeberg Prize .

In Finland, Runeberg Day ( Swedish Runeberg dygn , Finnish Runebergin päivä ) is celebrated on February 5th . Runeberg tarts ( Runebergstårta in Swedish , Runebergin torttuja in Finnish ) are traditionally eaten on this day .

His son Walter Magnus Runeberg (1838–1920) became a well-known sculptor .

Runeberg as namesake

Runeberg became the namesake of the Runeberg project . This is a volunteer project that has made old works of Scandinavian literature available on the Internet for free since 1992 . This is not just about literature in the narrow sense, but also historical reference works such as those of Jens Peter Trap in 1858 and finally started 1898-1906 (3rd Edition) by Harald Weitemeyer continued Statistisk-topografisk Beskrivelse af Danmark Kongeriget (Statistical-topographical Description of the Kingdom of Denmark) .

Works in German translation

  • Finland's heroic struggle in the poems of its folk poet Johann Ludwig Runeberg: For our German people . Callwey Verlag, Munich 1920. Translated by Wolrad Eigenbrodt.
  • Hanna. Christmas Eve. 2 seals. Haessel Verlag, Leipzig 1925. Translated by Johannes Öhquist .
  • Ensign steel . Söderström, Helsingfors 1942. Translated by Wolrad Eigenbrodt.

See also


Web links

Commons : Johan Ludvig Runeberg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Johan Ludvig Runeberg  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Erkki Kaila:  Runeberg, Johan Ludwig . In: Religion Past and Present (RGG). 1st edition. Volume 5, Mohr-Siebeck, Tübingen, Sp. 64-65.
  2. ^ About Project Runeberg