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Photograph of the pillar on which the now missing bust of Runeberg once sat.

Johan Ludvig Runeberg: (1804-1877) Finnish-Swedish Poet

Johan Ludvig Runeberg was born in Jakobstad, Swedish Finland (now Pietarsaari, Fin) on February 5, 1804.  He left the University of Abo in 1823 pursue tutoring in two quiet Finnish villages, Saarijrvi and Ruovesi.  When he returned to Abo wrote and published verses in the local newspaper. He received a degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1827.

In 1830 he published his first volume of poems. In 1831 his verse romance of Finnish life, Grafven i Perrho, received the small gold medal of the Swedish Academy.  In 1832 he published Elgskyttarne and in 1833 a second collection of lyrical poems.

In 1832, he founded the Helsingfors Morgonblad, a literary and philosophical paper, which was very popular Sweden and Finland.

Johan Runeberg is recognized in both Sweden and Finland for his poetry and epic writing. His works awakened a sense of common history among both Finnish and Swedish speakers in Finland, playing an important role in creating a sense of national identity.

Johan Ludvig Runeberg died May 6, 1877.


Runeberg bust

Further Reading:

Project Runeberg, Nordic Authors, Johan Ludvig Runeberg

Swedish-Finn Historical Society, Johan Ludvig Runeberg

Love to Know, 1911 Encyclopedia, Johan Runeberg, J.L. Runeberg (in Finnish)