Henrik Gabriel Porthan

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Porthan, Henrik Gabriel


Born Nov. 8, 1739, in Viitasaari; died Mar. 16, 1804, in Abo (Turku). Finnish educator, historian and ethnologist.

Porthan graduated from the University of Abo in 1754 and became a professor there in 1777. From 1766 to 1804 he published five volumes of Finnish folklore and a number of documents on the history of Finland. Porthan wrote works on the history of the Finnish church and the cultural relations between the Finnish and Swedish peoples. He founded Aura, an educational society in Abo, and Tidningar utgifne af et sällskap i Abo, the first newspaper in Finland. He was editor in chief of the newspaper from 1771 to 1778 and from 1782 to 1785. He made important contributions to the development of the national self-awareness of the Finnish people.


Opera selecta, vols. 1–5. Helsinki, 1859–73.