Olsson, Erik (Olai)

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Theologian, historian; b. Sweden, c. 1422; d. Uppsala, Sweden, Dec. 24, 1486. Educated in Rostock, where he was magister artium in 1452, he became a canon in Uppsala as indicated by a document of 1459, and was a magister in sacra theologia of Siena in 1475. From 1477 to his death he was professor of theology at the University of Uppsala (founded 1477). Though he was a learned theologian and a writer of hymns, he is principally remembered as "the father of Swedish historiography." His chief work, Chronica regni Gothorum (Chronica Erici Olai ), is a chronicle with a fine patriotic spirit and a somewhat strong feeling of hatred toward Denmark. It was written probably in the late 1460s and the early 1470s, and compiled from a vast collection of sources, both in Latin and in the vernacular, among them the rhymed chronicles.

Bibliography: Chronica Erici Olai in Scriptores rerum Svecicarum medii aevi, 3 v. (Uppsala 181876) 2:1165. h. Östlund in Svenska män och kvinnor, v. 2 (Stockholm 1944) 438439. e. nygren, in Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, v. 14 (Stockholm 1953) 216242, with bibliog.; Kulturhistorisk leksikon for nordisk middelalder, v. 2 (Copenhagen 1957) 603604. h. jÄgerstad, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 3:992993.

[h. bekker-nielsen]