"The Kalevala" is a Finnish national epic. It begins with scenes of Earth's creation, and it ends with the removal of the main god, shaman Väinämöinen, who appears in almost every song. The plot has no climax and it doesn’t end with the destruction of Väinämöinen or the world, but it does announce he could come back … [Read more...] about The Kalevala
Elias Lönnrot was born on April 9th, 1802 in Sammatta, Finland and died in 1884.
He started his study on the Academy in Turku. A 16-page work titled about Väinämöinen, the got of ancient Finnish was written in 1827. He proceeded his studies in Helsinki where he became a doctor. In Turku, he studied Russian and the classical languages (Greek, Hebrew, Latin). His thesis for medicine was about the magic in Finnish medicine and it was written in Swedish. He used some oral literature gathered by other writers to do the work. This thesis shows he was prone to the oral literary tradition of the Finnish.
He worked as a teacher for a while and then he started his first journey on collecting the national treasure. He encountered a rune's singer named Juhan Kainulainen and he spent three days writing down his songs, saying and oaths. In 1828 he had about 6000 verses at his disposition and they were mostly epic poems, sayings, and oaths.
Durning his lifetime Elias worked on a Finnish-Swedish dictionary. He wrote a book of poems and ballads named "Kanteletar". In 1844 he published a book about the riddles of the Finnish people and in 1880 his book about oaths of the Finnish people came to life.