Fäderneslandets antikviteter: Etnoterritoriella historiebruk och integrationssträvanden i den svenska statsmaktens antikvariska verksamhet ca 1600–1720
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Antiquities of the Fatherland : The Use of History and the Striving for Ethnic Integration in the Antiquarian Sector of the Swedish State ca 1600–1720 (English)
The National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet) and Collegium Antiquitatum were established during the seventeenth century to safeguard the historical and antiquarian interests of the Swedish state. The civil servants who worked within these institutions were called antiquarians, and they were given the task of seeking out those ancient remains with which ”the fatherland could be illustrated.” The assignment was both scientific and political. Antiquarians were supposed to devote themselves to archaeology and to follow the scientific conventions of their times. At the same time they were expected to give a positive political picture of Sweden as a great power in their writings. This dissertation deals with how the antiquarians carried out this task.
The Swedish state supported the work of the antiquarians in various ways. The antiquarians were given travel passes so that they could make journeys throughout the realm and take inventories of the ancient remains. They composed official decrees and announcements that were read from the pulpits. The antiquarians were also instructed to undertake systematic inventories of ancient remains. The work was discussed in the Riksdag in 1668 at the behest of the state. All means and channels were used to create enthusiasm and support for this work throughout the kingdom.
Using the theories on ethnies and ethnic formation formulated by the British scholar Anthony D. Smith as the departure point, this dissertation takes a different stand than earlier research on the use of history and nation-building. Some scholars have expressed doubt as to whether the use of history played a role in the process of building the Swedish state and nation during the early modern era. The dissertation shows this doubt to be groundless. The use of history which was part of the work of antiquarians in the seventeenth century played an important role in the propaganda directed towards foreign countries. The use of history was also of significance for the national striving for integration that was directed to subjects within the Swedish realm.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2006. , 282 p.
Studia historica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0081-6531 ; 225
History, The National Heritage Board, antiquarians, archaeology, runestones, prehistoric graves, prehistoric monuments, Icelandic sagas, use of history, cultural heritage, The Age of Greatness, state formation, nation-building, nationalism, fatherland, ethnie, ethno-symbolism
Research subject History
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7119ISBN: 91-554-6607-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-7119DiVA: diva2:168786
2006-10-07, Lärosal IX, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 10:15
Eng, Torbjörn, fil. dr
Ågren, Maria, professorRevera, Margareta, docent