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The library as a place of early modern ideology: two 17th-century Latin poems on Uppsala University Library

MARCS presents a talk by Dr Elena Dahlberg

Post-doctoral Fellow at Uppsala University & The University of Calgary

(Calgary Institute for the Humanities/Dept. of Classics and Religion)


Thursday, April 6

3:30-5:00pm, Social Sciences SS1153


The creation of the early modern university library was a purely ideological enterprise. A good manifestation of this pragmatic attitude towards books is found in the response to the famous “literary” booty taken by Sweden in the many wars it waged during the 17th century, when its army managed to confiscate thousands of valuable books and manuscripts from Jesuit libraries on the continent. The Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus saw to it that these new acquisitions immediately became part of Uppsala University Library. They came thus to serve his political and cultural agenda. This project was justified by contemporary Lutheran writers, including poets. In my talk, I will discuss two neo-Latin poems that through their descriptions of Uppsala University Library and its collections support Gustavus Adolphus’ ideological program. In addition, I will seek to explain why the authors convey such messages through Latin verse.

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