Elias Lönnrot

 - The creator of Kalevala -

( 1802 - 1884 )

* List of the stories he appears in :
- D 99078 : "The Quest for Kalevala", from 1999, by Don Rosa.


* His biography :
     Elias Lönnrot was born April 9, 1802 in Sammatti, Finland, the son of Fredrik Johan Lönnrot, a tailor, and Ulrika (Wahlberg) Lönnrot. He studied Swedish language and Latin in Tammisaari and Turku, and then, in 1922, he entered the University of Turku, but he moved to Helsinki, because of a fire in Turku, and he studied medicine here and graduated in 1832. During his studies, he had very poor means and had to do jobs such as tailor or tutor.
   From 1833 to 1853, he worked as a doctor in Kajaani. In his leisure time, , he travelled throughout Finland, Lapland, Russia and Estony, collecting songs and legends. In this way he was able to put together the great epic of Finland, the Kalevala, "Land of Heroes", the first edition of which he published in 1835. With this book, he wanted to tell the ancient history of the Finnish people along similar lines to Homer's Iliad. According to his own interpretation, events described in it went back to pre-Christian period when the Finns worshipped their own pagan god, Ukko. The epic ends with the victory of Christianity. One of the main themes of Kalevala is the fight for the property of  the Sampo, a magic mill which brought eternal prosperity. He continued to add to Kalevala, and in 1849 issued a larger and completer text. In 1840 Lönnrot publishes his important collection of the Kanteletar (folk-songs of ancient Finland), which he had taken down from oral tradition, and Sananlaskuja, the "Proverbs of Finland" followed in 1842.
   In 1849 Lönnrot married Maria Piponius, who was over 20 younger.
   In 1853 Lönnrot was appointed professor of Finnish language and Literature at the University of Helsinki, after Mathias Alexander Castrés had died of tuberculosis. Lönnrot worked in this post until 1862.
   After retiring, he spent his last years in the province of Sammatti. During this period Lönnrot compiled Finske-Svenskt lexikon,  a Finnish-Swedish dictionary in two bands (1866-1880), published a collection of Finnish magical poems (1880), and also wrote psalms.
   Lönnrot died in Sammatti on March 19, 1884.

* His place in the Barks/Rosa stories universe :
    In "The Quest for Kalevala", we learn that Young Scrooge met Elias Lönnrot in Glasgow Scotland, around 1877, when Scrooge was a shoe-shiner and Elias was going to have a conference about Finnish folk-lore at the University of Glasgow. Scrooge repaired his birch tree bark made shoes with tar, and instead of paying him with 5 pence, he gives him a Finnish coin because he's late and he didn't have anything else. As Scrooge didn't want to be swindled as he had been the day he won his first dime, so he tore a page from Elias' manuscript of Kalevala, which was going to be known as the "famous missing page of Kalevala", and used it as an I.O.U., but when he brought him to Elias' hotel, the Glasgow Hotel, the doorkeeper didn't want to let him in, and so Scrooge kept the page...

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