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Astrid Nilsson

Astrid Nilsson holds a PhD in Latin and a Master’s degree in Latin, History and French from the University of Lund, Sweden. Her doctoral thesis (2016) is a study on Renaissance historiography, on Historia de omnibus Gothorum Sueonumque regibus, a historical work from 1554 by the last Catholic archbishop of Uppsala, Johannes Magnus (1488–1544).

At the LBI, she works on an anthology of Neo-Latin and Humanist Greek poetry from the Baltic region, between 1500 and the early 1800s, and including a couple of poems by Johannes Magnus. Neo-Latin literature is often researched as part of the literature of individual countries or regions. The Baltic Sea was however basically a Swedish Mare nostrum in the early modern era, and in order to take the cultural networks from this period into account, the area needs to be studied as a whole, regardless of modern national borders. The anthology collects works by outstanding authors, but also strives to emphasise the breadth and diversity of early modern poetry. The researchers contributing to the anthology come from all over the Baltic area and are connected throught the network Colloquium Balticum.

Dr. Nilsson has continued to explore the some 800 pages of Johannes Magnus’ very rarely studied work in a number of conference presentations and articles, for example on his views on laughter and on his portrayal of tyrants. The classical reception in the work has also been an object of a small study: Johannes Magnus tends to draw parallels between the classical world and Sweden and compare the two.

She recently finished a monograph about marginalia by King Eric XIV (1533–1577) of Sweden, Royal Marginalia (2021), and was the main editor of a large Festschrift (Humanitas, 2017). During two longer stays in Rome, she has begun working on a critical edition of the most important Latin translation of Marco Polo’s description of the world. This was the version studied by most of the learned Europe from the 14th century on. Latin historiography from any time period is one of her main research interests, and she is working on a pilot project about causation in historiography, on Livy and Gregory of Tours.