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Per Pippin Aspaas


Per Pippin Aspaas is a Neo-Latinist and historian of science working at the University Library in Tromsø, UiT The Arctic University of Norway. Since his graduation with a thesis on Cornelius Nepos (University of Oslo, 2001), his research interests have circled around intellectual and cultural history, usually but not always with Neo-Latin texts as source materials. Aspaas has published on Jesuit astronomers of the eighteenth century, on various early-modern texts dealing with the aurora borealis, on the Sámi population of the far north, and on the incorporation of enlightenment ideals in Neo-Latin poetry in Scandinavia.

Aside from his interests in Neo-Latin literature, Aspaas is a former president of the cross-disciplinary Norwegian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and co-editor of 1700-tal. Nordic Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. He has taken an active part in the local branch of the Norwegian Historical Association and acted as keynote at a recent national conference organized by the Historical Association of Norway. Furthermore, in his capacity as university librarian he is an active spokesperson for Open Science and is part of a unit that works to facilitate that all publications from his home university are made available online, in open access.

During his two-month stay at the LBI for Neo-Latin Studies in 2023, Aspaas works on a project titled “The nature, climate and indigenous populations of the European Far North as depicted in learned works from the sixteenth century”. The primary source materials for this explorative project are geographical and proto-ethnographical treatises as well as printed maps describing the northernmost parts of the Fenno-Scandinavian region. In addition, together with Andreas Klein, Aspaas is preparing for a conference on Johannes Schefferus’ Lapponia (1673) to take place in Tromsø, Norway 23–25 May 2023: https://uit.no/schefferus

Neo-Latin Publications

Books, anthologies, and stand-alone editions

[with Truls Lynne Hansen] Maximilian Hell’s geomagnetic observations in Norway 1769. In the series Tromsø Geophysical Observatory Reports, No. 2. University of Tromsø, 2005. 119 pp. Open Access: http://hdl.handle.net/10037/2392

[Ed., with Sigrid Albert & Fredrik Nilsen] Rara avis in Ultima Thule: Libellus festivus Sunnivae des Bouvrie dedicatus. Special issue of the journal Nordlit, No. 33. UiT Norges arktiske universitet, 2014. 361 pp. Open Access: http://hdl.handle.net/10037/6932

Maximilianus Hell: Lucis Boreæ Theoria nova (MS, c. 1770) / Aurorae Borealis Theoria Nova (1776) / Neue Theorie des Nordlichtes (1792). In the series Aurorae Borealis Studia Classica Vol. 4 (2016). Digital facsimile with 17 pp. introduction. Open Access: https://doi.org/10.7557/absc.2016.4

[with László Kontler] Maximilian Hell (1720–92) and the Ends of Jesuit Science in Enlightenment Europe. In the series Jesuit Studies, Vol. 27. Brill, 2020. 477 pp. Open Access: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004416833

Forordet til Knud Leems Lexicon Lapponicum (1768–1781): Oversatt til norsk, med en innledning og kommentarer [The Latin preface to a Sámi dictionary, translated with introduction and commentary]. In the series Bibliotheca Neolatina Upsaliensis, Vol. XVII. Upsala, 2021. 62 pp. Open Access: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-462389

Articles on the aurora borealis in the Acta Literaria Sveciæ (1720–1729) by Erik Johan Burman, Conrad Quensel and Anders Celsius. In the series Aurorae Borealis Studia Classica, Vol. 13 (2022). Digital facsimile with 10 pp. introduction. Open Access: https://doi.org/10.7557/absc.2022.13

De Lumine Nocturno Boreali Svetice Nordskien (1726) by Conrad Quensel (praeses) & Hans Eurodius (respondens). Forthcoming in the series Aurorae Borealis Studia Classica, Vol. 14 (2023). Digital facsimile with 16 pp. introduction.

CCCXVI. Observationes de lumine Boreali partim a se, partim ab aliis, in Suecia habitas (1733) by Anders Celsius. Forthcoming in the series Aurorae Borealis Studia Classica, Vol. 15 (2023). Digital facsimile with 13 pp. introduction.

Peer-reviewed articles

[with Truls Lynne Hansen] «Geomagnetism by the North Pole, anno 1769: The Magnetic Observations of Maximilian Hell during his Venus Transit Expedition». Centaurus Vol. 49,2 (2007), 138–164.

«Maximilian Hell’s invitation to Norway». In: F. Kerschbaum & M. Firneis (eds.), Konferenzbeiträge: Festkolloquium und Fachtagung 250 Jahre Universitätssternwarte Wien. Special issue of Communications in Asteroseismologi, No. 149. Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2008. 10–20. Open Access: http://hdl.handle.net/10037/4545

[with Teemu Ryymin] «Kvenbegrepet hos Henrik Gabriel Porthan». Arina: Nordisk tidskrift for kvensk forskning – Pohjoismainen kveenitutkimuksen aikakausjulkaisu Vol. 7 (2009), 45–72; with a Finnish version of the same article, «Henrik Gabriel Porthanin kveeni-käsite», on pp. 15–44. Open Access: https://septentrio.uit.no/index.php/arina/article/view/5255

[with Teemu Ryymin] «Henrik Gabriel Porthan: Om det gamle folket kvenene – kildeutgave med oversettelse, innledning, appendix og kommentarer» [Henrici Gabrielis Porthan de antiqua gente Quenorum, translated into Norwegian, with introduction, appendix and commentary]. Arina: Nordisk tidskrift for kvensk forskning – Pohjoismainen kveenitutkimuksen aikakausjulkaisu Vol 7 (2009), 85–103. Open Access: https://septentrio.uit.no/index.php/arina/article/view/5254

«Le père Jésuite Maximilien Hell et ses relations avec Lalande». In: G. Boistel, J. Lamy & C. Le Lay (eds.), Jérôme Lalande (1732–1807): Une trajectoire scientifique. Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2010. 129–148. Open Access:  https://doi.org/10.4000/books.pur.108608

«Nordiske amatørastronomers bidrag i forbindelse med venuspassasjene 1761 og 1769». In: M-T. Federhofer & H. Hodacs (eds.), Mellom pasjon og profesjonalisme: Dilettantkulturer i skandinavisk kunst og vitenskap. Tapir akademisk, 2011. 103–127

[with Truls Lynne Hansen] «The Role of the Societas Meteorologica Palatina (1781–1792) in the History of Auroral Research». Acta Borealia Vol. 29,2 (2012), 157–176. The peer-reviewed, accepted manuscript is Open Access: http://hdl.handle.net/10037/5584

«Maximilian Hellin ja Johannes Sajnovicsin ‘Expeditio litteraria ad Polum arcticum’ ja suomalais-ugrilaisen kielentutkimuksen synty». In O. Pekonen & J. Stén (eds.), Lapin tuhat tarinaa: Anto Leikolan juhlakirja. Mäntykustannus Oy, 2012. 65–86.

«The Auroral Zone versus The Zone of Learning: A Brief History of Early Modern Theories on the Aurora Borealis». In: S. Gaupseth et al. (eds.), Travels in the North: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Long History of Northern Travel Writing. Wehrhahn Verlag, 2013. 113–135.

[with Johan Stén] «Anders Johan Lexell’s Role in the Determination of the Solar Parallax». In: C. Sterken & P.P. Aspaas (eds.), Meeting Venus: A Collection of Papers Presented at the Venus Transit Conference Tromsø 2012. Special issue of The Journal of Astronomical Data Vol. 19,1 (2013), 71–82. Open Access: http://hdl.handle.net/10037/5195

[with Thomas Posch, Isolde Müller & Akos Bazso] «Astronomische Observatorien der Jesuiten in der ‘Provincia Austriae’ im 18. Jahrhundert». Acta Historica Astronomiae No. 52 (2014), 89–110.

«The use of Latin and the European Republic of Letters: Change and continuity in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries». Nordlit No. 33 (2014), 281–295. Open Access: https://doi.org/10.7557/13.3169

[with Harald Gaski] «Oassi sámi noaidevuođa birra Kaspar Peucera čállosis Commentarius de praecipuis divinationum generibus (Wittenberg 1560): Teakstakritihkalaš hámis jorgalusain ja kommentáraiguin» [critical edition of a passage dealing with Sámi rituals in a book by Caspar Peucer]. Nordlit No. 33 (2014), 243–258. Open Access: https://doi.org/10.7557/13.3172

[with László Kontler] «Before and after 1773: Central European Jesuits, the Politics of Language and Discourses of Identity in the Late Eighteenth Century Habsburg Monarchy». In: G. Almási & L. Subarić (eds.), Latin at the Crossroads of Identity: The Evolution of Linguistic Nationalism in the Kingdom of Hungary. Brill, 2015. 95–118. The final, accepted manuscript is Open Access: http://hdl.handle.net/10037/8875

«Astronomy, Latinity, Enlightenment: Niels Krog Bredal’s poems in commemoration of the transits of Venus, 1761 and 1769». Symbolae Osloenses Vol. 90 (2016), 205–234. The peer-reviewed, accepted manuscript is Open Access: http://hdl.handle.net/10037/10209

«Nicolai Krog Bredal ‘ΟΝΕΙΡΟ-ΚΟΣΜΟΣ. Id est Mundus in Somnio, Poëma Philosophico-Heroicum’: Editio diplomatica, praefatione notisque instructa». Humanistica Lovaniensia Vol. 66 (2017), 439–452. Open Access: https://hdl.handle.net/10037/14093

«Niels Krog Bredals Oneiro-Kosmos (1753): oversatt til norsk, med en innledning og etterskrift». AIGIS: Nordisk tidsskrift for klassiske studier Vol. 17,1 (2017), 1–12. Open Access: https://hdl.handle.net/10037/10993

[with Katalin Pataki] «Did Astronomy Constitute a Denominationally Neutral Space within the Republic of Letters? An Outline for the Use of Visualization Tools in the Study of Astronomical Correspondence». In: T. Wallnig, M. Romberg & J. Weis (eds.), Digital Eighteenth Century: Central European Perspectives, special issue of Das Achtzehnte Jahrhundert und Österreich, Vol. 34 (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2019). 65–90. Open Access: https://doi.org/10.7767/9783205209096.65

«En Horats-pastisj fra 1805: Johan Nordahl Bruns latinske epitafium over Gerhard Sandberg» [Edition with introduction, translation and commentary on a Latin epitaph written by a Norwegian bishop]. Klassisk Forum Vol. 37,1–2 (2021), 69–80. Open Access: https://hdl.handle.net/10037/24358

«Standing on the Shoulders of Scandinavian Giants? Intellectual heritage in the ‘Demonstratio idioma Ungarorum et Lapponum idem esse’ by János Sajnovics». Nordlit No. 50 (2022), 151–170. Open Access: https://doi.org/10.7557/13.6553

«The 1769 Transit of Venus as a Springboard for Jesuit Ministries among the Learned». Forthcoming in the Journal of Jesuit Studies Vol. 10,2 (2023). Open Access

Book reviews

Alexander Moutchnik: ‘Forschung und Lehre in der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts: Der Naturwissenschaftler und Universitätsprofessor Christian Mayer SJ (1719–1783)’ (Dr. Erwin Rauner Verlag, 2006). Acta Historica Astronomiae No. 36 (2008), 286–291.

Horst Kastner-Masilko: ‘Franciscus de Paula Triesnecker: Astronom, Mathematiker und Landvermesser aus Mallon bei Kirchberg am Wagram’ (Edition Weinviertel, 2005). Acta Historica Astronomiae No. 36 (2008), 269–273.

Hugo Grotius: ‘Mare liberum – Det frie hav: En avhandling om retten nederlenderne har til å drive handel i Ostindia’. Redigert, oversatt og med noter av Andreas Harald Aure (Vidarforlaget, 2009). Klassisk Forum Vol. 35,1 (2011), 118–124.

Kristian Nilsson: ‘Baltic-Finns and Scandinavians: Comparative-Historical Linguistics and the Early History of the Nordic Region’, Ugglan – Minervaserien 16 (Lunds universitet, 2012). Sjuttonhundratal Vol. 11 (2014), 127–132. Open Access: http://hdl.handle.net/10037/8448

Philip Ford, Jan Bloemendal & Charles Fantazzi (eds.): ‘Brill’s Encyclopaedia of the Neo-Latin World’, Vol. I: ‘Macropaedia’ & Vol. II: ‘Micropaedia’ (Brill, 2014). Sjuttonhundratal Vol. 12 (2015), 257–259. Open Access: http://hdl.handle.net/10037/8849

Meelis Friedenthal, Hanspeter Marti & Robert Seidel (eds.), ‘Early Modern Disputations and Dissertations in an Interdisciplinary and European Context’ (Brill, 2021). 1700-tal Vol. 18 (2021), 229–231. Open Access: https://doi.org/10.7557/4.5903

Hans Ellegren, ‘Hvad nytt och nyttigt. Tillkomsten av landets första lärda sällskap: Kungl. Vetenskaps-Societeten i Uppsala’ & ‘En akademi finner sin väg’ (Kungl. Vetenskaps-Societeten, 2019 & 2020). 1700-tal Vol. 19 (2022), 180–182. Open Access: https://doi.org/10.7557/4.6602