The Brothers Petri - From the Renaissance to the Baroque

Revival of the Runes: The Modern Rediscovery and Reinvention of the Germanic Runes - Stephen E. Flowers Ph.D. 2021

The Brothers Petri
From the Renaissance to the Baroque

Like their predecessors the brothers Magnus, two other brothers, Laurentius Petri (1499—1573) and Olaus Petri (1493—1552), who succeeded the Magnuses in their ecclesiastical offices, also wrote on runes. The brothers Petri were both essential contributors to the process of turning Sweden into a Protestant, and then specifically Lutheran, realm. Their real (non-Latinized) names were Lars and Olof Petersson, and their interests included the promotion of Swedish national identity and the use of the Swedish language in all areas of life. They were instrumental in producing a Swedish translation of the Bible. One important aspect in the task of shaping a national church, with the king as its head, involved rehabilitating the view of the national—and hence pagan—past. Olaus began to study the pre-Christian monuments in the Swedish countryside and wrote about the pagan names of the weekdays. Both brothers wrote manuscripts that remained unpublished but were archived and used by subsequent generations of Swedish scholars. They noted that runes had continued to be used in a fashion parallel to the Latin script, and Laurentius wrote a manuscript later referred to as Mäster Larses Runekänsla (Master Lars’s Runology). All in all, however, rudimentary studies and texts such as those produced by the brothers Magnus and Petri mainly served to point out how the general runic tradition had fallen into relative obscurity and disuse, even in the areas of the North where they had best survived.