Erslev, Kristian

Erslev, Kristian


Born Dec. 28, 1852, in Copenhagen; died June 20, 1930, in Frederiksberg. Danish medievalist and historian.

Erslev was the most important representative of radical positivism in Danish historiography. He was a professor at the University of Copenhagen from 1883 to 1916, director of the National Record Office from 1916 to 1924, and a member of the Danish Royal Academy of Sciences and Letters. In 1877 he helped found the Society for the Publication of Sources on Danish History.

Erslev introduced into Danish universities history seminars modeled on those at German universities. He founded a school of Danish historians that was characterized by a scrupulously thorough treatment of sources. One of the first Danish historians to study the social and economic history of medieval Denmark, Erslev exaggerated the role of royal power in the country’s development.


Danmarks historie under Dronning Margrethe og Erik af Pommern, parts 1–2. Copenhagen, 1882–1901.
Valdemarernes storhedstid. Copenhagen, 1898.
Historisk teknik, 2nd ed. Copenhagen [1954].
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