Johannes Gezelius the elder

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Johannes Gezelius the elder
Encyclopaedia synoptica

Johannes (John) Gezelius the elder (1615-1690) was the Bishop of Turku and the Vice-Chancellor of The Royal Academy of Turku (1664–90).

Gezelius was a peasant's son from Västmanland, but was observed in childhood to have apparent gifts and was given a personal tutor, Boetius Murenius. After studying in Västerås, Uppsala and Dorpat, he graduated with an Master of Arts degree in 1641 and Doctor of Theology in Uppsala in 1661.

His first professorship was in Greek and oriental languages at the Dorpat university in 1642.

In 1666 Gezelius published En rätt barnaklenodium [A real children's gem], which went through 70 editions over the next two centuries.[1]

In 1672 Gezelius published a three-piece Latin encyclopaedia, (Encyclopaedia synoptica: ex optimis & accuratissimis philosophorum scriptis collecta), which specifically dealt with fields of philosophy and mathematics. Encyclopaedia synoptica is considered to be Finland's first encyclopedic work.

Johannes Gezelius the elder was known as an opponent of Finnish paganism and in 1673 ordered the destruction of spells.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jacques Michon; Jean-Yves Mollier (2001). Les mutations du livre et de l'édition dans le monde du XVIIIe siècle à l'an 2000: actes de Colloque International Shebrooke 2000. Presses Université Laval. p. 164. ISBN 978-2-7475-0813-1. Retrieved 19 February 2013.