Dalin, Olof von

Dalin, Olof von

Dalin, Olof von (o͞oˈlôv fən dälēnˈ), 1708–63, Swedish historian, poet, and journalist, the foremost figure of the Swedish Enlightenment. In his successful career in the civil service, Dalin served as royal librarian (1737–39), tutor to the future Gustavus III (1750–56), royal historiographer (1755–56), and king's councillor (1763). His periodical, the Swedish Argus (1733–34), helped to introduce the Enlightenment in Sweden and won for Dalin the title “the Voltaire of the North.” Dalin's prose masterpiece, the allegorical Tale of the Horse (1740), uses folk material to satirize the relations between the Swedish people (the horse) and the monarchy (the master). Most of his writings were more notable as skillful imitations than as creative efforts. They include essays, plays, lyric poetry, and humorous prose, all highly regarded in his time. His History of the Swedish Kingdom (4 vol., 1746–62) ridiculed confused theories of Sweden's Gothic origins.
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Dalin, Olof von


Born Aug. 29, 1708, in Vinberg; died Aug. 12, 1763, in Drottningholm. Swedish author, critic, and historian.

From 1732 to 1734, Dalin published the moralizing didactic weekly Then Swanska Argus, in which he criticized the aristocracy and clergy in an enlightened bourgeois spirit. He was the author of the political allegory The Story of the Horse (1740). In his epic Swedish Liberty (1742) he put forward the idea of enlightened monarchy. He wrote the tragedy Brynhilda (1738) and the comedy The Envier (staged in 1738) under the influence of French classicism. In his anacreontic lyrics he used motifs from Swedish folk songs.


Valda skrifter. Örebro, 1872.


Gorn, F. V. Istoriia skandinavskoi literatury. Moscow, 1894.
Wikander, R. Studier over stil och spr&k i Dalins Argua.... Uppsala. 1924.
Dyberg, N. O. Olof Dalin och tidsideerna. Uppsala, 1946.
Carlson. I. Olof Dalin och den politiska propagandan infbr “Lilla ofreden”.... Lund. 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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