Jonas Danilssønn Ramus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Jonas Danilssønn Ramus (27 September 1649 - 16 May 1718) was a Norwegian priest and historian. He was principally an author of religious and historical writings. [1]


Ramus was born in Aukra, in Møre og Romsdal. His parents were Danil Johnsen Ramus (d. 1654), a parish priest and Anna Christensdatter Bernhoft (1624–1705). Ramus belonged a family of clerics, with the father, grandfather, stepfather and two brothers, clerics and scholars in various positions. He lost his father early, but her stepfather, Hans Olsen Brejer, took responsibility for his basic education. After studies at the Trondheim Cathedral School, in 1665 he was discharged to the University of Copenhagen with two of his brothers. For the next 15 years, he is believed to have continued studying in Copenhagen.


In the 1680s Ramus became the personal curate in Sørum kirke in Romerike under the priest Colbjørn Torstensen Arneberg. From 1690 Ramus was a priest in Norderhov kirke in Ringerike, in Buskerud County. Ramus became a magistrate in 1698.[2]

In 1680, he published his first book, Naadens aandelige Markets-Tiid. It quickly became popular and was issued in both Swedish and Danish editions. Perhaps his best known book was Norges Beskrivelse which contains information about a feral child, Jostedalsrypa, the only survivor of the Black Death in her valley of Jostedal. Ramus also wrote about the famous Maelstrom at Moskenstraumen. His work was read by Edgar Allan Poe and mentioned in A Descent into the Maelström.[3] [4]

Anna Colbjørnsdatter[edit]

In 1682, he married Anna Colbjørnsdatter (ca. 1667- 1736), the daughter of pastor Colbjørn Torstensen Arneberg (1628–1720) in Sørum. They had five children: Ole (1683-1714), Daniel (1684-1727), Johanna (1685-1717), Christian (1686-1714) and Anna Sophie (1687-1722), all of whom were born in Sørum. Their son, Daniel Ramus followed his father as a priest in Norderhov from 1717, when his father was sick. Ramus died in 1718 at Norderhov. [5][6][7]

Anna Colbjørnsdatter became known for her role in the skirmish at Norderhov (Slaget på Norderhov) between Norwegian-Danish and Swedish forces on 29 March 1716. Reportedly she alerted the Norwegians to the presence of the troops of Charles XII of Sweden in the church yard at Norderhov, where they had taken shelter in and around the rectory. The event itself was first published by Peter Andreas Munch in his book, Norges, Sveriges og Danmarks Historie til Skolebrug (1838).[8]

Her half-brothers, Hans Colbjørnsen (1675-1754) and Peder Colbjørnsen (1683–1738), were successful timber merchants in Fredrikshald. Both were active in leading the civilian resistance to the Swedish attacks of Fredrikshald during 1716 and 1718. [9][10]

Selected works[edit]

  • Naadens aandelige Markets-Tiid(1680)
  • Noris Regum (1698)
  • Guds Rige blandt Verdens Riger (1702)
  • Ulysses & Outinus unus & idem (1714)
  • Norges Beskrivelse (1715)
  • Norriges Kongers Historie (1719)


Other sources[edit]

  • Bang, A. B. Jonas Ramus og Anna Colbjørnsdatter (Ringerike: 1966–67)