Johan Ihre’s dissertations now in digital form.
6 September 2019
Johan Ihre (1707-1780) was professor of Rethoric and Politics at Uppsala University for 42 years. During this time he managed no less than 453 dissertations, the theses of the time. These dissertations are currently a widely used source material in research, and they have now also been made available in digital form.
Most of the impressive number of dissertations presented under Johan Ihre's presidency are written by Ihre himself. All but two dissertations are in Latin. The subjects are very varied. In addition to political science and rhetoric, Ihre addresses legal issues in such diverse areas as receiving foreigners in the state and the relationship between children, parents and spouses. A large part of the dissertations also deal with different languages and their relationships.
Ihre was also a pioneering linguist with an ambition to clarify the origin of the words in the Swedish language. Therefore he made in-depth studies of Germanic languages, such as Gothic and Icelandic, Ancient Swedish and Swedish dialects. Of course, the investigations involved both the Edda and Codex argenteus, which were already in the University Library at the time. Sub-studies of these studies were published in dissertation form.
Andreas Hellerstedt, Department of Culture and Aesthetics at Stockholm University, is one of those who currently uses these dissertations in his research. Hellerstedt has studied the legal process that Johan Ihre was involved in during 1747-1751. At that time, Ihre was prosecuted and sentenced for having dealt in dissertations with topics that were politically sensitive and unsuitable for the youth, including the war against Russia 1741-43, criticism of the nobility, and other sensitive subjects.
Elena Dahlberg, Department of Linguistics and Philology at Uppsala University, examines how Ihre and his students received Rousseau's ideas, both his social theories and the philosopher's literary works.
Josef Eskhult, also at the Department of Linguistics and Philology at Uppsala University, is working on a study of Johan Ihre as a language historian, etymologist and lexicographer, and another concerning Ihre's Finnish-Germanic loanword research.