3 Matthias Castrén


Matthias Castrén

Matthias Castrén

Matthias Alexander Castrén (2 December 1813, Tervola – 7 May 1853) was a Finnish ethnologist and philologist.

Castrén was born at Tervola, in Northern Finland, on the 20th of November (2 December 1813). His father, Christian Castrén, parish minister at Rovaniemi, died in 1825; and Matthias passed under the protection of his uncle, Mathias Castrén, the kindly and learned incumbent of Kemi. At the age of twelve he was sent to school at Oulu, and there he helped to maintain himself by teaching the younger children. On his removal to the Alexander University at Helsinki (today the University of Helsinki) in 1828 he first devoted himself to Greek and Hebrew with the intention of entering the church; but his interest was soon excited by the language of his native country, and even before his course was completed he began to lay the foundations of a work on Finnish mythology.

Linguistic adventures

File:CastrenBustHelsinki.JPG
Bust of M. A. Castrén in Helsinki, with National Museum of Finland in the background.

The necessity of personal explorations among the still unwritten languages of cognate tribes soon made itself evident; and in 1838 he joined a medical fellow student, Dr. Ehrström, in a journey through Lapland. In the following year he travelled in Karelia at the expense of the Literary Society of Finland; and in 1841 he undertook, in company with Dr Elias Lönnrot, the great Finnish philologist, a third journey, which ultimately extended beyond the Ural as far as Obdorsk, and occupied a period of three years. Before starting on this last expedition he had published a translation into Swedish of the Finnish epic of Kalevala; and on his return he gave to the world his Elementa grammatices Syrjaenae and Elementa grammatices Tscheremissae, 1844.

No sooner had he recovered from the illness which his last journey had occasioned than he set out, under the auspices of the Academy of St Petersburg and the Alexander University, on an exploration of the whole province of Siberia, which resulted in a vast addition to previous knowledge, but seriously affected the health of the adventurous investigator. The first-fruits of his collections were published at St Petersburg in 1849 in the form of a Versuch einer ostjatischen Sprachlehre. In 1850 he published a treatise De affixis personalibus linguarum Altaicarum, and was appointed professor at Helsinki of the new chair of Finnish language and literature. The following year saw him raised to the rank of chancellor of the university; and he was busily engaged in what he regarded as his principal work, a Samoyedic grammar, when he died on the 7th of May 1853.

Posthumous publications

Five volumes of his collected works appeared from 1852 to 1858, containing respectively (1) Reseminnen från åren 1838-1844; (2) Reseberättelser och bref åren 1845-1849; (3) Föreläsningar i finsk mytologi; (4) Ethnologiska föreläsningar öfver altaiska folken; and (5) Smärre afhandlingar och akademiska dissertationer. A German translation was published by Anton Schiefner, who was also entrusted by the St Petersburg Academy with the editing of his manuscripts, which had been left to the Helsinki University and which were subsequently published.

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Matthias Castrén — Matthias Alexander Castrén Matthias Alexander Castrén (* 2. Dezember 1813 in Tervola / Finnland; † 7. Mai 1852 in Helsinki) war ein finnischer Philologe und Ethnologe. Er gilt als der Begründer der wissenschaftlichen Beschäftigung mit den …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Matthias Alexander Castren — Matthias Alexander Castrén Matthias Castrén …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Matthias Alexander Castrén — Matthias Castrén Matthias Alexander Castrén (né le 2 décembre 1813 à Tervola, Finlande mort le 7 mai 1852 à Helsinki) était un célèbre voyageur, ethnographe, philologue, linguiste et traducte …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Matthias Alexander Castrén — (* 2. Dezember 1813 in Tervola / Finnland; † 7. Mai 1852 in Helsinki) war ein finnischer Philologe und Ethnologe. Er gilt als der Begründer der wissenschaftlichen Beschäftigung mit den …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Castren — Castrén ist der Familienname von Kaarlo Castrén (1860–1938), finnischer Bankfachmann, Politiker und Ministerpräsident Matthias Alexander Castrén (1813–1852), finnischer Philologe und Ethnologe Urho Castrén (1886–1965), finnischer Politiker und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Castrén — is a Finnish family. Notable members include* Matthias Alexander Castrén (1813 1853), a Finnish ethnologist and philologist. * Kaarlo Castrén (1860 1938), Prime Minister of Finland. See also * Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human …   Wikipedia

  • Castrén — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Kaarlo Castrén (1860–1938), finnischer Bankfachmann, Politiker und Ministerpräsident Matthias Alexander Castrén (1813–1852), finnischer Philologe und Ethnologe Urho Castrén (1886–1965), finnischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Matthias — ist ein männlicher Vorname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung 1.1 Gegenüberstellung 2 Verbreitung 3 Namenstage …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Castren — Castrén Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Matthias Alexander Castrén (1813 1853), célèbre voyageur Erik J. S. Castrén (1904 1985), juriste scandinave. Ce document provient de «… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Castrēn — Castrēn, Matthias Alexander, geb. 2. Decbr. 1813 in dem Kirchspiel Gerwola (Finnland), studirte seit 1830 in Helsingfors Theologie, Geschichte, Philosophie u. Orientalische Sprachen, machte 1838 eine Reise nach Lappland u. wurde 1839 Lehrer der… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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