Portal:Denmark/Selected biography/Archive/2007

Denmark Portal selected biography archive: 2007Edit

This is the selected biography archive, for the Denmark portal.


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Jacob Riis in 1906.

Jacob August Riis (May 3, 1849 - May 26, 1914), a Danish-American muckraker journalist, photographer, and social reformer, was born in Ribe, Denmark. He is known for his dedication to using his photographic and journalistic talents to help the less fortunate in New York City, which was the subject of most of his prolific writings and photographic essays. As one of the first photographers to use flash, he is considered a pioneer in photography.

Riis held various jobs before he landed a position as a police reporter in 1873 with the New York Evening Sun newspaper. In 1874, he joined the news bureau of the Brooklyn News. In 1877 he served as police reporter, this time for the New York Tribune. During these stints as a police reporter, Riis worked the most crime-ridden and impoverished slums of the city. Through his own experiences in the poor houses, and witnessing the conditions of the poor in the city slums, he decided to make a difference for those who had no voice.

He was one of the first Americans to use flash powder, allowing his documentation of New York City slums to penetrate the dark of night, and helping him capture the hardships faced by the poor and criminal along his police beats, especially on the notorious Mulberry Street. In 1889, Scribner's Magazine published Riis's photographic essay on city life, which Riis later expanded to create his magnum opus How the Other Half Lives. This work was directly responsible for convincing then-Commissioner of Police Theodore Roosevelt to close the police-run poor houses in which Riis suffered during his first months as an American. After reading it, Roosevelt was so deeply moved by Riis's sense of justice that he met Riis and befriended him for life, calling him "the best American I ever knew." Roosevelt himself coined the term "muckraking journalism", of which Riis is a recognized protagonist, in 1906.

Recently selected: Bertel Thorvaldsen - Rasmus Rask - Ludvig Holberg


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Canute the Great (d. November 12, 1035) was a Danish king of England, Denmark, Norway, and Sigtuna in Sweden, as well as overlord of Pomerania, and the Mark of Schleswig. He, in treaty with the Holy Roman Emperors, Henry II and Conrad II, as well as, in good relations with the papacy, was the ruler of a Scandinavian domain which saw the Kingdom of Denmark at its height. A king of the Vikings, historians also know Cnut as, the Emperor of the North.

Canute was the son of king Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark and his queen, the daughter of Mieszko I, first Duke of Poland. Little is known for sure of his life before 1013. That year, in August, he accompanied his father on his successful invasion of England. While King Sweyn was off conquering England, Canute was left in charge of the remainder of the Danish army at Gainsborough. Upon the sudden death of his father the following February, Canute was proclaimed king by the Danish army. However, the national assembly of Earls refused to accept him and instead voted to restore the defeated king Ethelred the Unready from exile in Normandy.

Ethelred quickly raised an army, forcing Canute to abandon England and sail back to Denmark with the remnants of his army. When he sailed past Sandwich, Canute mutilated hostages given to his father as pledges of support from local nobles.

Canute's older brother Harold became the King of Denmark on their father's death. Canute suggested that the two brothers should jointly rule the Kingdom, which found little appeal with his brother. However, Harold promised him assistance and support for his conquest of England if Canute renounced his rights to the Danish throne. Canute kept silent and waited for an opportunity to present itself when he would reclaim his throne in England.

Canute proceeded to England in the summer of 1015 with a Danish force of approximately 10,000 men. This time, he was joined by his Norwegian brother-in-law Eiríkr Hákonarson, who was an experienced soldier and statesman. Fortunately for Canute, a strong mercenary chief, Thorkell the High, pledged alliegance to him. The Earl Eadric also joined the Danes with forty ships. The invasion force landed in Essex, which was occupied quickly.

Recently selected: Jacob Riis - Bertel Thorvaldsen - Rasmus Rask


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N. F. S. Grundtvig.

Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig (8 September 1783 – 2 September 1872) was a Danish teacher, writer, poet, philosopher, historian, minister, and even politician. He is one of the most influential people in Danish history, his philosophy giving rise to a new form of non-aggressive nationalism in Denmark in the last half of the 19th century. He was married three times, the last time in his seventy-sixth year.

Grundtvig and his followers, Grundtvigians, are credited with being very influential in the formulation of modern Danish national consciousness. Their attitude is well illustrated in the very different reaction of Danes to their national defeat in 1864 against Prussia versus the national trauma of German defeat in World War I.

Recently selected: Canute the GreatJacob RiisBertel Thorvaldsen


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Hans Christian Ørsted.

Hans Christian Ørsted (14 August 1777 – 9 March 1851) was a Danish physicist and chemist, influenced by the thinking of Immanuel Kant. He is best known for discovering the relationship between electricity and magnetism known as electromagnetism.

From 1806, Ørsted was a professor at the University of Copenhagen. He was instrumental in the founding of the university's Faculty of Science shortly before his death. In the 1960s, the main building complex of the university's new science campus was named in his honor.

Ørsted was the driving force behind the founding of the Technical University of Denmark in 1829 and served as its first director. The present-day department of applied electronics is named Ørsted·DTU in his honor.

Recently selected: N. F. S. GrundtvigCanute the GreatJacob Riis


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Hans Christian Ørsted.

Hans Christian Ørsted (14 August 1777 – 9 March 1851) was a Danish physicist and chemist, influenced by the thinking of Immanuel Kant. He is best known for discovering the relationship between electricity and magnetism known as electromagnetism.

From 1806, Ørsted was a professor at the University of Copenhagen. He was instrumental in the founding of the university's Faculty of Science shortly before his death. In the 1960s, the main building complex of the university's new science campus was named in his honor.

Ørsted was the driving force behind the founding of the Technical University of Denmark in 1829 and served as its first director. The present-day department of applied electronics is named Ørsted·DTU in his honor.

Recently selected: N. F. S. GrundtvigCanute the GreatJacob Riis


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Tycho Brahe.

Tycho Brahe, born Tyge Ottesen Brahe (14 December 1546 – 24 October 1601), was a Danish nobleman and astronomer, as well as an astrologer and alchemist. He was granted an estate on the island of Hven and the funding to build the Uraniborg, an early research institute, where he built large astronomical instruments and took many careful measurements. As an astronomer, Brahe worked to combine what he saw as the geometrical benefits of the Copernican system with the philosophical benefits of the Ptolemaic system into his own model of the universe, the Tychonic system. From 1600 until his death in 1601, he was assisted by Johannes Kepler, who would later use Brahe's astronomical information to develop his own theories of astronomy.

He is credited with the most accurate astronomical observations of his time, and the data was used by his assistant Kepler to derive the laws of planetary motion. No one before Brahe had attempted to make so many redundant observations, and the mathematical tools to take advantage of them had not yet been developed. He did what others before him were unable or unwilling to do — to catalogue the planets and stars with enough accuracy so as to determine whether the Ptolemaic or Copernican system was more valid in describing the heavens.

Recently selected: Hans Christian ØrstedN. F. S. GrundtvigCanute the Great


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Bjørn Lomborg.

Bjørn Lomborg (born 6 January 1965) is a Danish political scientist and former director of the Environmental Assessment Institute in Copenhagen. He is most known for his best-selling book The Skeptical Environmentalist, its controversial claims, and the allegations of scientific dishonesty that followed it. He is now an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School.

Lomborg is also a vegetarian (although he is not a supporter of animal rights), and known to wear jeans to formal business meetings.

According to an interview published in 2005 by The San Francisco Examiner, the book he would most liked to have written is Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Society, by Jared Diamond.

Bjørn Lomborg spent one year as an undergraduate at the University of Georgia, earned a Master's in political science at the University of Aarhus in 1991, and earned a Ph.D. at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, 1994.

Recently selected: Tycho BraheHans Christian ØrstedN. F. S. Grundtvig


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Karen von Blixen-Finecke (April 17, 1885 – September 7, 1962), neé Dinesen, was a Danish author also known under her pen name Isak Dinesen. Blixen wrote works both in Danish and in English. She is best known, at least in English, for her account of living in Kenya, Out of Africa, and a film based on one of her stories, Babette's Feast.

Daughter of Ingeborg Westenholz Dinesen, and the writer and army officer Wilhelm Dinesen, and sister of Thomas Dinesen, she was born into a Unitarian aristocratic family in Rungsted on the island of Zealand, in Denmark, and was schooled in art in Copenhagen, Paris, and Rome. She began publishing fiction in various Danish periodicals in 1905 under the pseudonym Osceola, the name of the Seminole Indian leader, and possibly inspired by her father's connection with American Indians. From August 1872 to December 1873, Wilhelm Dinesen had lived among the Chippewa Indians, in Wisconsin, where he fathered a daughter, who was born after his return to Denmark.


Recently selected: Bjørn Lomborg - Tycho Brahe - Hans Christian Ørsted



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Ole Rømer.

Ole Rømer (September 25, 1644 – September 19, 1710) was a Danish astronomer who made the first quantitative measurements of the speed of light (1676).

Rømer was employed by the French government: King Louis XIV made him teacher for the Dauphin, and he also took part in the construction of the magnificent fountains at Versailles.

In 1681, he returned to Denmark and was appointed professor of Astronomy at Copenhagen University. He was active also as an observer, both at the University Observatory at the Round Tower and in his home, using improved instruments of his own construction. Unfortunately, his observations have not survived: they were lost in the great fire of Copenhagen in 1728. However, a former assistant (and later an astronomer in his own right), Peder Horrebow, loyally described and wrote about Rømer's observations.


Recently selected: Karen Blixen - Bjørn Lomborg - Tycho Brahe



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Ole Rømer.

Ole Rømer (September 25, 1644 – September 19, 1710) was a Danish astronomer who made the first quantitative measurements of the speed of light (1676).

Rømer was employed by the French government: King Louis XIV made him teacher for the Dauphin, and he also took part in the construction of the magnificent fountains at Versailles.

In 1681, he returned to Denmark and was appointed professor of Astronomy at Copenhagen University. He was active also as an observer, both at the University Observatory at the Round Tower and in his home, using improved instruments of his own construction. Unfortunately, his observations have not survived: they were lost in the great fire of Copenhagen in 1728. However, a former assistant (and later an astronomer in his own right), Peder Horrebow, loyally described and wrote about Rømer's observations.


Recently selected: Karen Blixen - Bjørn Lomborg - Tycho Brahe



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King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway. Painting by Pieter Isaacsz (1611-1616).

Christian IV of Denmark and Norway (April 12, 1577–February 28, 1648) was the longest reigning Danish monarch with a reign of 60 years. His reign was characterized by wars and rivalry with Sweden as well as his unsuccessful involvement in the Thirty Years' War. Christian is also remembered for founding a number of towns and a large number of buildings, including Børsen, Rundetårn and Holy Trinity Church in Kristianstad. He features in the Danish national play, Elverhøj (The Elf's Hill) and is the central figure in the Danish royal anthem Kong Christian stod ved højen mast.

Christian was the son of Frederick II and Sophia of Mecklenburg. Christian was born at Frederiksborg Palace in 1577, and succeeded to the throne on the death of his father (April 4, 1588), attaining his majority on August 17, 1596. ...

Recently selected: Ole Rømer - Karen Blixen - Bjørn Lomborg



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King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway. Painting by Pieter Isaacsz (1611-1616).

Christian IV of Denmark and Norway (April 12, 1577–February 28, 1648) was the longest reigning Danish monarch with a reign of 60 years. His reign was characterized by wars and rivalry with Sweden as well as his unsuccessful involvement in the Thirty Years' War. Christian is also remembered for founding a number of towns and a large number of buildings, including Børsen, Rundetårn and Holy Trinity Church in Kristianstad. He features in the Danish national play, Elverhøj (The Elf's Hill) and is the central figure in the Danish royal anthem Kong Christian stod ved højen mast.

Christian was the son of Frederick II and Sophia of Mecklenburg. Christian was born at Frederiksborg Palace in 1577, and succeeded to the throne on the death of his father (April 4, 1588), attaining his majority on August 17, 1596. ...

Recently selected: Ole Rømer - Karen Blixen - Bjørn Lomborg



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Carl Nielsen.

Carl August Nielsen (June 9, 1865, Sortelung – October 3, 1931, Copenhagen) was a conductor, violinist, and the most internationally known composer from Denmark. He is especially admired for his six symphonies and his concertos for violin, flute and clarinet.

Nielsen was born one of twelve children in a poor peasant family in Sortelung, not far from the city of Odense. His father was a housepainter and amateur musician. Carl first discovered music by experimenting with the different sounds and pitches he heard when striking the logs in a pile of firewood behind his home. His family was relatively poor, but he was still able to learn the violin and piano as a child.

He also learned how to play brass instruments, which led to a job as a bugler in the 16th Battalion at nearby Odense. He later studied violin and music theory at the Copenhagen Conservatory, but never took formal lessons in composition. Nonetheless, he began to compose. At first, he did not gain enough recognition for his works to support him. During the concert which saw the premiere of his first symphony on March 14, 1894 (conducted by Johan Svendsen), Nielsen played in the second violin section. However, the same symphony was a great success when played in Berlin in 1896, and from then his fame grew.

Recently selected: Christian IV of Denmark - Ole Rømer - Karen Blixen



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Carl Nielsen.

Carl August Nielsen (June 9, 1865, Sortelung – October 3, 1931, Copenhagen) was a conductor, violinist, and the most internationally known composer from Denmark. He is especially admired for his six symphonies and his concertos for violin, flute and clarinet.

Nielsen was born one of twelve children in a poor peasant family in Sortelung, not far from the city of Odense. His father was a housepainter and amateur musician. Carl first discovered music by experimenting with the different sounds and pitches he heard when striking the logs in a pile of firewood behind his home. His family was relatively poor, but he was still able to learn the violin and piano as a child.

He also learned how to play brass instruments, which led to a job as a bugler in the 16th Battalion at nearby Odense. He later studied violin and music theory at the Copenhagen Conservatory, but never took formal lessons in composition. Nonetheless, he began to compose. At first, he did not gain enough recognition for his works to support him. During the concert which saw the premiere of his first symphony on March 14, 1894 (conducted by Johan Svendsen), Nielsen played in the second violin section. However, the same symphony was a great success when played in Berlin in 1896, and from then his fame grew.

Recently selected: Christian IV of Denmark - Ole Rømer - Karen Blixen



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Johan Ludvig Heiberg.

Johan Ludvig Heiberg (December 14, 1791 - August 25, 1860), Danish poet and critic, son of the political writer Peter Andreas Heiberg (1758-1841), and of the novelist, afterwards the Baroness Gyllembourg-Ehrensvärd, was born at Copenhagen.

In 1800 his father was exiled and settled in Paris, where he was employed in the French foreign office, retiring in 1817 with a pension. His political and satirical writings continued to exercise great influence over his fellow-countrymen. Johan Ludvig Heiberg was taken by K.L. Rahbek and his wife into their house, Bakkehuset. He was educated at the university of Copenhagen, and his first publication, entitled The Theatre for Marionettes (1814), included two romantic dramas. This was followed by Christmas Jokes and New Years Tricks (1816), The Initiation of Psyche (1817), and The Prophecy of Tycho Brahe, a satire on the eccentricities of the Romantic writers, especially on the sentimentality of Ingemann. These works attracted attention at a time when Baggesen, Oehlenschläger and Ingemann possessed the popular ear, and were understood at once to be the opening of a great career.

Recently selected: Carl Nielsen - Christian IV of Denmark - Ole Rømer - Karen Blixen



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Johan Ludvig Heiberg.

Johan Ludvig Heiberg (December 14, 1791 - August 25, 1860), Danish poet and critic, son of the political writer Peter Andreas Heiberg (1758-1841), and of the novelist, afterwards the Baroness Gyllembourg-Ehrensvärd, was born at Copenhagen.

In 1800 his father was exiled and settled in Paris, where he was employed in the French foreign office, retiring in 1817 with a pension. His political and satirical writings continued to exercise great influence over his fellow-countrymen. Johan Ludvig Heiberg was taken by K.L. Rahbek and his wife into their house, Bakkehuset. He was educated at the university of Copenhagen, and his first publication, entitled The Theatre for Marionettes (1814), included two romantic dramas. This was followed by Christmas Jokes and New Years Tricks (1816), The Initiation of Psyche (1817), and The Prophecy of Tycho Brahe, a satire on the eccentricities of the Romantic writers, especially on the sentimentality of Ingemann. These works attracted attention at a time when Baggesen, Oehlenschläger and Ingemann possessed the popular ear, and were understood at once to be the opening of a great career.

Recently selected: Carl Nielsen - Christian IV of Denmark - Ole Rømer - Karen Blixen



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Johan Ludvig Heiberg.

Johan Ludvig Heiberg (December 14, 1791 - August 25, 1860), Danish poet and critic, son of the political writer Peter Andreas Heiberg (1758-1841), and of the novelist, afterwards the Baroness Gyllembourg-Ehrensvärd, was born at Copenhagen.

In 1800 his father was exiled and settled in Paris, where he was employed in the French foreign office, retiring in 1817 with a pension. His political and satirical writings continued to exercise great influence over his fellow-countrymen. Johan Ludvig Heiberg was taken by K.L. Rahbek and his wife into their house, Bakkehuset. He was educated at the university of Copenhagen, and his first publication, entitled The Theatre for Marionettes (1814), included two romantic dramas. This was followed by Christmas Jokes and New Years Tricks (1816), The Initiation of Psyche (1817), and The Prophecy of Tycho Brahe, a satire on the eccentricities of the Romantic writers, especially on the sentimentality of Ingemann. These works attracted attention at a time when Baggesen, Oehlenschläger and Ingemann possessed the popular ear, and were understood at once to be the opening of a great career.

Recently selected: Carl Nielsen - Christian IV of Denmark - Ole Rømer - Karen Blixen



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Knud Rasmussen.

Knud Johan Victor Rasmussen (June 7, 1879–December 21, 1933) was a Greenlandic polar explorer and anthropologist. He has been called the "father of Eskimology" and was the first to cross the Northwest Passage via dog sled.

Rasmussen was born in Jakobshavn, Greenland, the son of a Danish missionary and Inuit mother. He spent his early years in Greenland among the Inuit where he learned from an early age to speak the language, hunt, drive dog sleds and live in harsh Arctic conditions. "My playmates were native Greenlanders; from the earliest boyhood I played and worked with the hunters, so even the hardships of the most strenuous sledge-trips became pleasant routine for me." He was later educated in Lynge, North Zealand, Denmark. Between 1898 and 1900 he pursued an unsuccessful career as an actor and opera singer.

He went on his first expedition in 19021904, known as "The Literature Expedition", with Jørgen Brønlund, Harald Moltke and Ludvig Mylius-Erichsen, to examine Inuit culture. After returning home he went on a lecture circuit and wrote The People of the Polar North (1908), a combination travel journal and scholarly account of Inuit folk-lore. In 1908 he married Dagmar Andersen.

Recently selected: Johan Ludvig Heiberg - Carl Nielsen - Christian IV of Denmark



19: View  · edit  · discuss  · history

 
Knud Rasmussen.

Knud Johan Victor Rasmussen (June 7, 1879–December 21, 1933) was a Greenlandic polar explorer and anthropologist. He has been called the "father of Eskimology" and was the first to cross the Northwest Passage via dog sled.

Rasmussen was born in Jakobshavn, Greenland, the son of a Danish missionary and Inuit mother. He spent his early years in Greenland among the Inuit where he learned from an early age to speak the language, hunt, drive dog sleds and live in harsh Arctic conditions. "My playmates were native Greenlanders; from the earliest boyhood I played and worked with the hunters, so even the hardships of the most strenuous sledge-trips became pleasant routine for me." He was later educated in Lynge, North Zealand, Denmark. Between 1898 and 1900 he pursued an unsuccessful career as an actor and opera singer.

He went on his first expedition in 19021904, known as "The Literature Expedition", with Jørgen Brønlund, Harald Moltke and Ludvig Mylius-Erichsen, to examine Inuit culture. After returning home he went on a lecture circuit and wrote The People of the Polar North (1908), a combination travel journal and scholarly account of Inuit folk-lore. In 1908 he married Dagmar Andersen.

Recently selected: Johan Ludvig Heiberg - Carl Nielsen - Christian IV of Denmark



20: View  · edit  · discuss  · history

 
Knud Rasmussen.

Knud Johan Victor Rasmussen (June 7, 1879–December 21, 1933) was a Greenlandic polar explorer and anthropologist. He has been called the "father of Eskimology" and was the first to cross the Northwest Passage via dog sled.

Rasmussen was born in Jakobshavn, Greenland, the son of a Danish missionary and Inuit mother. He spent his early years in Greenland among the Inuit where he learned from an early age to speak the language, hunt, drive dog sleds and live in harsh Arctic conditions. "My playmates were native Greenlanders; from the earliest boyhood I played and worked with the hunters, so even the hardships of the most strenuous sledge-trips became pleasant routine for me." He was later educated in Lynge, North Zealand, Denmark. Between 1898 and 1900 he pursued an unsuccessful career as an actor and opera singer.

He went on his first expedition in 19021904, known as "The Literature Expedition", with Jørgen Brønlund, Harald Moltke and Ludvig Mylius-Erichsen, to examine Inuit culture. After returning home he went on a lecture circuit and wrote The People of the Polar North (1908), a combination travel journal and scholarly account of Inuit folk-lore. In 1908 he married Dagmar Andersen.

Recently selected: Johan Ludvig Heiberg - Carl Nielsen - Christian IV of Denmark



21: View  · edit  · discuss  · history

 
Nicolas Steno.

Nicolas Steno (Danish: Niels Stensen; latinized to Nicolaus Stenonis) (January 10, 1638 - November 25, 1686) was a pioneer both in anatomy and geology.

After having completed his university education in Copenhagen, the city of his birth, he set out travelling in Europe; in fact, he would be on the move for the rest of his life. In the Netherlands, France, and Italy he came into contact with prominent physicians and scientists, and thanks to his eminent power of observation he very soon made important discoveries. At a time when scientific studies consisted in the study of ancient authorities, Steno was bold enough to trust his own eyes, even when his observations differed from traditional doctrines.

Steno first studied anatomy, beginning with a focus on the muscular system and the nature of muscle contraction. He used geometry to show that a contracting muscle changes its shape but not its volume.

However, in October 1666, two fishermen caught a huge shark near the town of Livorno, and Duke Ferdinand ordered its head to be sent to Steno. Steno dissected it and published his findings in 1667. Examination of the teeth of the shark showed a striking resemblance to certain stony objects, called glossopetrae or "tongue stones," that were found in certain rocks. Ancient authorities, such as the Roman author Pliny the Elder, had suggested that these stones fell from the sky or from the moon. Others were of the opinion, also going back to ancient times, that fossils naturally grew in the rocks. Steno's contemporary Athanasius Kircher, for example, attributed fossils to a "lapidifying virtue diffused through the whole body of the geocosm."


Recently selected: Knud Rasmussen - Johan Ludvig Heiberg - Carl Nielsen



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Nicolas Steno.

Nicolas Steno (Danish: Niels Stensen; latinized to Nicolaus Stenonis) (January 10, 1638 - November 25, 1686) was a pioneer both in anatomy and geology.

After having completed his university education in Copenhagen, the city of his birth, he set out travelling in Europe; in fact, he would be on the move for the rest of his life. In the Netherlands, France, and Italy he came into contact with prominent physicians and scientists, and thanks to his eminent power of observation he very soon made important discoveries. At a time when scientific studies consisted in the study of ancient authorities, Steno was bold enough to trust his own eyes, even when his observations differed from traditional doctrines.

Steno first studied anatomy, beginning with a focus on the muscular system and the nature of muscle contraction. He used geometry to show that a contracting muscle changes its shape but not its volume.

However, in October 1666, two fishermen caught a huge shark near the town of Livorno, and Duke Ferdinand ordered its head to be sent to Steno. Steno dissected it and published his findings in 1667. Examination of the teeth of the shark showed a striking resemblance to certain stony objects, called glossopetrae or "tongue stones," that were found in certain rocks. Ancient authorities, such as the Roman author Pliny the Elder, had suggested that these stones fell from the sky or from the moon. Others were of the opinion, also going back to ancient times, that fossils naturally grew in the rocks. Steno's contemporary Athanasius Kircher, for example, attributed fossils to a "lapidifying virtue diffused through the whole body of the geocosm."


Recently selected: Knud Rasmussen - Johan Ludvig Heiberg - Carl Nielsen



23: View  · edit  · discuss  · history

 
Thorvald Stauning.

Thorvald August Marinus Stauning (26 October 1873 – 3 May 1942) was the first Social Democrat Prime Minister of Denmark.

Stauning was trained as a cigar sorter and soon became involved with trade union activity. From 1896 to 1908 he was leader of the Cigar Sorters' Union, in 1898-1904 also editor of the magazine Samarbejdet (Co-operation) of the Federation of Trade Unions, and elected Member of Parliament (Rigsdagen) in 1906.

In 1910 he was elected chairman of the Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokratiet), a position he retained for almost thirty years, until 1939. He became Prime Minister in 1924 - leading a minority cabinet which would survive until 1926. His cabinet was considered ground breaking not only as it was the first purely Social Democratic cabinet, but also because a woman, Nina Bang, was appointed Minister of Education, which attracted some international attention.

From 1929 he led a successful coalition cabinet with the Danish Social Liberal Party that would steer Denmark out of the Great Depression, shaping a major political compromise that greatly improved the Danish economy, and also transformed the Social Democratic Party from a class party to a popular party.


Recently selected: Nicolas Steno - Knud Rasmussen - Johan Ludvig Heiberg



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Thorvald Stauning.

Thorvald August Marinus Stauning (26 October 1873 – 3 May 1942) was the first Social Democrat Prime Minister of Denmark.

Stauning was trained as a cigar sorter and soon became involved with trade union activity. From 1896 to 1908 he was leader of the Cigar Sorters' Union, in 1898-1904 also editor of the magazine Samarbejdet (Co-operation) of the Federation of Trade Unions, and elected Member of Parliament (Rigsdagen) in 1906.

In 1910 he was elected chairman of the Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokratiet), a position he retained for almost thirty years, until 1939. He became Prime Minister in 1924 - leading a minority cabinet which would survive until 1926. His cabinet was considered ground breaking not only as it was the first purely Social Democratic cabinet, but also because a woman, Nina Bang, was appointed Minister of Education, which attracted some international attention.

From 1929 he led a successful coalition cabinet with the Danish Social Liberal Party that would steer Denmark out of the Great Depression, shaping a major political compromise that greatly improved the Danish economy, and also transformed the Social Democratic Party from a class party to a popular party.


Recently selected: Nicolas Steno - Knud Rasmussen - Johan Ludvig Heiberg



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Piet Hein (December 16, 1905 - April 17, 1996) was a scientist, mathematician, inventor, author, and poet, often writing under the Old Norse pseudonym "Kumbel" meaning "tombstone". His short poems, gruks (or grooks), first started to appear in the daily newspaper Politiken shortly after the Nazi Occupation in April 1940 under the signature Kumbel Kumbell.

Piet Hein popularized the use of the superellipse in architecture, urban planning, and furniture making, and he invented the super-egg or superellipsoid based on the superellipse.

Recently selected: Thorvald Stauning - Nicolas Steno - Knud Rasmussen



26: View  · edit  · discuss  · history


Piet Hein (December 16, 1905 - April 17, 1996) was a scientist, mathematician, inventor, author, and poet, often writing under the Old Norse pseudonym "Kumbel" meaning "tombstone". His short poems, gruks (or grooks), first started to appear in the daily newspaper Politiken shortly after the Nazi Occupation in April 1940 under the signature Kumbel Kumbell.

Piet Hein popularized the use of the superellipse in architecture, urban planning, and furniture making, and he invented the super-egg or superellipsoid based on the superellipse.


Recently selected: Thorvald Stauning - Nicolas Steno - Knud Rasmussen



27: View  · edit  · discuss  · history

 
Rasmus Rask.

Rasmus Rask (Danish pronunciation: [ʁɑsmus ʁɑsɡ̊]) (November 22, 1787 - November 14, 1832), Danish was a scholar and philologist, was born at Brændekilde on the island of Funen.

Rask studied at the University of Copenhagen, and at once showed remarkable talent for the acquisition of languages. In 1808 he was appointed assistant keeper of the university library, and some years afterwards professor of literary history. In 1811 he published, in Danish, his Introduction to the Grammar of the Icelandic and other Ancient Northern Languages, from printed and manuscript materials accumulated by his predecessors in the same field of research.

The reputation which Rask thus acquired recommended him to the Arna-Magnaean Institution, by which he was employed as editor of the Icelandic Lexicon (1814) of Björn Halldórsson, which had long remained in manuscript. Rask visited Iceland, where he remained from 1813 to 1815, mastering the language and familiarizing himself with the literature, manners and customs of the natives. To the interest with which they inspired him may probably be attributed the establishment at Copenhagen, early in 1816, of the Icelandic Literary Society of which he was the first president.

In October 1816 Rask left Denmark on a literary expedition at the cost of the king, to prosecute inquiries into the languages of the East, and collect manuscripts for the university library at Copenhagen. He proceeded first to Sweden, where he remained two years, in the course of which he made an excursion into Finland to study the language. Here he published, in Swedish, his Anglo-Saxon Grammar in 1817. In 1818 there appeared at Copenhagen, in Danish, an Essay on the Origin of the Ancient Scandinavian or Icelandic Tongue, in which he raced the affinity of that idiom to the other European languages, particularly Latin and Greek.


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Rasmus Rask.

Rasmus Rask (Danish pronunciation: [ʁɑsmus ʁɑsɡ̊]) (November 22, 1787 - November 14, 1832), Danish was a scholar and philologist, was born at Brændekilde on the island of Funen.

Rask studied at the University of Copenhagen, and at once showed remarkable talent for the acquisition of languages. In 1808 he was appointed assistant keeper of the university library, and some years afterwards professor of literary history. In 1811 he published, in Danish, his Introduction to the Grammar of the Icelandic and other Ancient Northern Languages, from printed and manuscript materials accumulated by his predecessors in the same field of research.

The reputation which Rask thus acquired recommended him to the Arna-Magnaean Institution, by which he was employed as editor of the Icelandic Lexicon (1814) of Björn Halldórsson, which had long remained in manuscript. Rask visited Iceland, where he remained from 1813 to 1815, mastering the language and familiarizing himself with the literature, manners and customs of the natives. To the interest with which they inspired him may probably be attributed the establishment at Copenhagen, early in 1816, of the Icelandic Literary Society of which he was the first president.

In October 1816 Rask left Denmark on a literary expedition at the cost of the king, to prosecute inquiries into the languages of the East, and collect manuscripts for the university library at Copenhagen. He proceeded first to Sweden, where he remained two years, in the course of which he made an excursion into Finland to study the language. Here he published, in Swedish, his Anglo-Saxon Grammar in 1817. In 1818 there appeared at Copenhagen, in Danish, an Essay on the Origin of the Ancient Scandinavian or Icelandic Tongue, in which he raced the affinity of that idiom to the other European languages, particularly Latin and Greek.


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Bertel Thorvaldsen. Painted by Karl Begas, c. 1820. Oil on canvas. Currently located in the Eremitage in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Bertel Thorvaldsen (19 November 1770 - 24 March 1844) was a Danish sculptor.

Thorvaldsen is normally believed to have been born in Copenhagen in 1770 (according to some accounts in 1768), the son of an Icelander who had settled in Denmark, and there carried on the trade of a wood-carver. An alternative Icelandic account argues that he was born in Iceland.

He attended Copenhagen's Royal Danish Academy of Art (Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi), winning all the prizes including the large Gold Medal. As a consequence, he was granted a Royal stipend, enabling him to complete his studies in Rome, where he arrived on March 8, 1797.

Thorvaldsen's first success was the model for a statue of Jason, which was highly praised by Antonio Canova, the most popular sculptor in the city. In 1803 he received the commission to execute it in marble from Thomas Hope, a wealthy English art-patron. From that time Thorvaldsen's success was assured, and he did not leave Italy for sixteen years.

In 1819 he visited his native Denmark. Here he was commissioned to make the colossal series of statues of Christ and the twelve Apostles for the rebuilding of Copenhagen's Church of Our Lady, now Copenhagen Cathedral. This work between 1817 and 1829, after its having been destroyed in the British bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807. These were executed after his return to Rome, and were not completed till 1838, when Thorvaldsen returned to Denmark.

He died suddenly in the Copenhagen Royal Theatre on 24 March 1844, and bequeathed a great part of his fortune for the building and endowment of a museum in Copenhagen, and also left to fill it all his collection of works of art and the models for all his sculptures very large collection, exhibited to the greatest possible advantage. Thorvaldsen is buried in the courtyard of this museum, under a bed of roses, by his own special wish.


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Bertel Thorvaldsen. Painted by Karl Begas, c. 1820. Oil on canvas. Currently located in the Eremitage in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Bertel Thorvaldsen (19 November 1770 - 24 March 1844) was a Danish sculptor.

Thorvaldsen is normally believed to have been born in Copenhagen in 1770 (according to some accounts in 1768), the son of an Icelander who had settled in Denmark, and there carried on the trade of a wood-carver. An alternative Icelandic account argues that he was born in Iceland.

He attended Copenhagen's Royal Danish Academy of Art (Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi), winning all the prizes including the large Gold Medal. As a consequence, he was granted a Royal stipend, enabling him to complete his studies in Rome, where he arrived on March 8, 1797.

Thorvaldsen's first success was the model for a statue of Jason, which was highly praised by Antonio Canova, the most popular sculptor in the city. In 1803 he received the commission to execute it in marble from Thomas Hope, a wealthy English art-patron. From that time Thorvaldsen's success was assured, and he did not leave Italy for sixteen years.

In 1819 he visited his native Denmark. Here he was commissioned to make the colossal series of statues of Christ and the twelve Apostles for the rebuilding of Copenhagen's Church of Our Lady, now Copenhagen Cathedral. This work between 1817 and 1829, after its having been destroyed in the British bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807. These were executed after his return to Rome, and were not completed till 1838, when Thorvaldsen returned to Denmark.

He died suddenly in the Copenhagen Royal Theatre on 24 March 1844, and bequeathed a great part of his fortune for the building and endowment of a museum in Copenhagen, and also left to fill it all his collection of works of art and the models for all his sculptures very large collection, exhibited to the greatest possible advantage. Thorvaldsen is buried in the courtyard of this museum, under a bed of roses, by his own special wish.


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Karen von Blixen-Finecke (April 17, 1885 – September 7, 1962), neé Dinesen, was a Danish author also known under her pen name Isak Dinesen. Blixen wrote works both in Danish and in English. She is best known, at least in English, for her account of living in Kenya, Out of Africa, and a film based on one of her stories, Babette's Feast.

Daughter of Ingeborg Westenholz Dinesen, and the writer and army officer Wilhelm Dinesen, and sister of Thomas Dinesen, she was born into a Unitarian aristocratic family in Rungsted on the island of Zealand, in Denmark, and was schooled in art in Copenhagen, Paris, and Rome. She began publishing fiction in various Danish periodicals in 1905 under the pseudonym Osceola, the name of the Seminole Indian leader, and possibly inspired by her father's connection with American Indians. From August 1872 to December 1873, Wilhelm Dinesen had lived among the Chippewa Indians, in Wisconsin, where he fathered a daughter, who was born after his return to Denmark.


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Karen von Blixen-Finecke (April 17, 1885 – September 7, 1962), neé Dinesen, was a Danish author also known under her pen name Isak Dinesen. Blixen wrote works both in Danish and in English. She is best known, at least in English, for her account of living in Kenya, Out of Africa, and a film based on one of her stories, Babette's Feast.

Daughter of Ingeborg Westenholz Dinesen, and the writer and army officer Wilhelm Dinesen, and sister of Thomas Dinesen, she was born into a Unitarian aristocratic family in Rungsted on the island of Zealand, in Denmark, and was schooled in art in Copenhagen, Paris, and Rome. She began publishing fiction in various Danish periodicals in 1905 under the pseudonym Osceola, the name of the Seminole Indian leader, and possibly inspired by her father's connection with American Indians. From August 1872 to December 1873, Wilhelm Dinesen had lived among the Chippewa Indians, in Wisconsin, where he fathered a daughter, who was born after his return to Denmark.


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Ludvig Holberg.

Ludvig Holberg (December 3, 1684 – January 27, 1754) was a Dano-Norwegian writer and playwright born in Bergen, Norway, and is considered the founder of modern Danish literature. He died in Copenhagen. Holberg's works about natural and common law were widely read by many Danish law students over two hundred years.

Holberg was the youngest of six brothers. His father, Christian Nielsen Holberg, died before Ludvig was one year old. He was educated in Copenhagen, and was a teacher at the University of Copenhagen for many years. At the same time, he started his successful career as an author, writing the first of a series of comedies.

Holberg began to study theology at the University of Copenhagen and later taught himself law, history and language. He was not particularly interested in theology as a career, settling for an attestats (similar to a Bachelor's degree today), which gave him the right to work as a priest; he did not attempt a baccalaureus, magister or doctorate in the subject, nor did he follow a career as a theology professor, priest, or bishop.

Holberg was eventually appointed assistant professor after having first worked as one without pay, having to accept the first available position, which was teaching metaphysics. Later, he became a professor and taught rhetoric. Finally, he was given a professorship in the subject which he prized most and was most productive in, history.


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Ludvig Holberg.

Ludvig Holberg (December 3, 1684 – January 27, 1754) was a Dano-Norwegian writer and playwright born in Bergen, Norway, and is considered the founder of modern Danish literature. He died in Copenhagen. Holberg's works about natural and common law were widely read by many Danish law students over two hundred years.

Holberg was the youngest of six brothers. His father, Christian Nielsen Holberg, died before Ludvig was one year old. He was educated in Copenhagen, and was a teacher at the University of Copenhagen for many years. At the same time, he started his successful career as an author, writing the first of a series of comedies.

Holberg began to study theology at the University of Copenhagen and later taught himself law, history and language. He was not particularly interested in theology as a career, settling for an attestats (similar to a Bachelor's degree today), which gave him the right to work as a priest; he did not attempt a baccalaureus, magister or doctorate in the subject, nor did he follow a career as a theology professor, priest, or bishop.

Holberg was eventually appointed assistant professor after having first worked as one without pay, having to accept the first available position, which was teaching metaphysics. Later, he became a professor and taught rhetoric. Finally, he was given a professorship in the subject which he prized most and was most productive in, history.


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Tycho Brahe.

Tycho Brahe, born Tyge Ottesen Brahe (December 14, 1546 – October 24, 1601), was a Danish nobleman astronomer as well as an astrologer and alchemist. He was granted an estate on the island of Hven and the funding to build the Uraniborg, an early research institute, where he built large astronomical instruments and took many careful measurements. As an astronomer, Tycho worked to combine what he saw as the geometrical benefits of the Copernican system with the philosophical benefits of the Ptolemaic system into his own model of the universe, the Tychonic system. From 1600 until his death in 1601, he was assisted by Johannes Kepler, who would later use Tycho's astronomical information to develop his own theories of astronomy.

He is credited with the most accurate astronomical observations of his time, and the data was used by his assistant Kepler to derive the laws of planetary motion. No one before Tycho had attempted to make so many redundant observations, and the mathematical tools to take advantage of them had not yet been developed. He did what others before him were unable or unwilling to do — to catalogue the planets and stars with enough accuracy so as to determine whether the Ptolemaic or Copernican system was more valid in describing the heavens.

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Tycho Brahe.

Tycho Brahe, born Tyge Ottesen Brahe (December 14, 1546 – October 24, 1601), was a Danish nobleman astronomer as well as an astrologer and alchemist. He was granted an estate on the island of Hven and the funding to build the Uraniborg, an early research institute, where he built large astronomical instruments and took many careful measurements. As an astronomer, Tycho worked to combine what he saw as the geometrical benefits of the Copernican system with the philosophical benefits of the Ptolemaic system into his own model of the universe, the Tychonic system. From 1600 until his death in 1601, he was assisted by Johannes Kepler, who would later use Tycho's astronomical information to develop his own theories of astronomy.

He is credited with the most accurate astronomical observations of his time, and the data was used by his assistant Kepler to derive the laws of planetary motion. No one before Tycho had attempted to make so many redundant observations, and the mathematical tools to take advantage of them had not yet been developed. He did what others before him were unable or unwilling to do — to catalogue the planets and stars with enough accuracy so as to determine whether the Ptolemaic or Copernican system was more valid in describing the heavens.

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Bjørn Lomborg.

Bjørn Lomborg (born January 6, 1965) is a Danish political scientist and former director of the Environmental Assessment Institute in Copenhagen. He is most known for his best-selling book The Skeptical Environmentalist, its controversial claims, and the allegations of scientific dishonesty that followed it. He is now an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School.

Lomborg is also a vegetarian (although he is not a supporter of animal rights), and known to wear jeans to formal business meetings.

According to an interview published in 2005 by the San Francisco Examiner, the book he would most liked to have written is Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Society, by Jared Diamond.

Bjørn Lomborg spent one year as an undergraduate at the University of Georgia, earned a Master's in political science at the University of Aarhus in 1991, and earned a Ph.D. at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, 1994.

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Bjørn Lomborg.

Bjørn Lomborg (born January 6, 1965) is a Danish political scientist and former director of the Environmental Assessment Institute in Copenhagen. He is most known for his best-selling book The Skeptical Environmentalist, its controversial claims, and the allegations of scientific dishonesty that followed it. He is now an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School.

Lomborg is also a vegetarian (although he is not a supporter of animal rights), and known to wear jeans to formal business meetings.

According to an interview published in 2005 by the San Francisco Examiner, the book he would most liked to have written is Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Society, by Jared Diamond.

Bjørn Lomborg spent one year as an undergraduate at the University of Georgia, earned a Master's in political science at the University of Aarhus in 1991, and earned a Ph.D. at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, 1994.

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Hans Christian Ørsted.

Hans Christian Ørsted (August 14, 1777 – March 9, 1851) was a Danish physicist and chemist, influenced by the thinking of Immanuel Kant. He is best known for discovering the relationship between electricity and magnetism known as electromagnetism.

From 1806, Ørsted was a professor at the University of Copenhagen. He was instrumental in the founding of the university's Faculty of Science shortly before his death. In the 1960's the main building complex of the university's new science campus was named in his honor.

Ørsted was the driving force behind the founding of the Technical University of Denmark in 1829 and served as its first director. The present-day department of applied electronics is named Ørsted·DTU in his honor.

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Hans Christian Ørsted.

Hans Christian Ørsted (August 14, 1777 – March 9, 1851) was a Danish physicist and chemist, influenced by the thinking of Immanuel Kant. He is best known for discovering the relationship between electricity and magnetism known as electromagnetism.

From 1806, Ørsted was a professor at the University of Copenhagen. He was instrumental in the founding of the university's Faculty of Science shortly before his death. In the 1960's the main building complex of the university's new science campus was named in his honor.

Ørsted was the driving force behind the founding of the Technical University of Denmark in 1829 and served as its first director. The present-day department of applied electronics is named Ørsted·DTU in his honor.

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Ole Rømer.

Ole Rømer (September 25, 1644 – September 19, 1710) was a Danish astronomer who made the first quantitative measurements of the speed of light (1676).

Rømer was employed by the French government: King Louis XIV made him teacher for the Dauphin, and he also took part in the construction of the magnificent fountains at Versailles.

In 1681, he returned to Denmark and was appointed professor of Astronomy at Copenhagen University. He was active also as an observer, both at the University Observatory at the Rundetårn and in his home, using improved instruments of his own construction. Unfortunately, his observations have not survived: they were lost in the great fire of Copenhagen in 1728. However, a former assistant (and later an astronomer in his own right), Peder Horrebow, loyally described and wrote about Rømer's observations.


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Ole Rømer.

Ole Rømer (September 25, 1644 – September 19, 1710) was a Danish astronomer who made the first quantitative measurements of the speed of light (1676).

Rømer was employed by the French government: King Louis XIV made him teacher for the Dauphin, and he also took part in the construction of the magnificent fountains at Versailles.

In 1681, he returned to Denmark and was appointed professor of Astronomy at Copenhagen University. He was active also as an observer, both at the University Observatory at the Rundetårn and in his home, using improved instruments of his own construction. Unfortunately, his observations have not survived: they were lost in the great fire of Copenhagen in 1728. However, a former assistant (and later an astronomer in his own right), Peder Horrebow, loyally described and wrote about Rømer's observations.


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N. F. S. Grundtvig.

Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig (8 September 1783 – 2 September 1872) was a Danish teacher, writer, poet, philosopher, historian, minister, and even politician. He is one of the most influential people in Danish history, his philosophy giving rise to a new form of non-aggressive nationalism in Denmark in the last half of the 19th century. He was married three times, the last time in his seventy-sixth year.

Grundtvig and his followers, Grundtvigians, are credited with being very influential in the formulation of modern Danish national consciousness. Their attitude is well illustrated in the very different reaction of Danes to their national defeat in 1864 against Prussia versus the national trauma of German defeat in World War I.

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N. F. S. Grundtvig.

Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig (8 September 1783 – 2 September 1872) was a Danish teacher, writer, poet, philosopher, historian, minister, and even politician. He is one of the most influential people in Danish history, his philosophy giving rise to a new form of non-aggressive nationalism in Denmark in the last half of the 19th century. He was married three times, the last time in his seventy-sixth year.

Grundtvig and his followers, Grundtvigians, are credited with being very influential in the formulation of modern Danish national consciousness. Their attitude is well illustrated in the very different reaction of Danes to their national defeat in 1864 against Prussia versus the national trauma of German defeat in World War I.

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Jacob Riis in 1906.

Jacob August Riis (May 3, 1849 – May 26, 1914), a Danish-American muckraker journalist, photographer, and social reformer, was born in Ribe, Denmark. He is known for his dedication to using his photographic and journalistic talents to help the less fortunate in New York City, which was the subject of most of his prolific writings and photographic essays. As one of the first photographers to use flash, he is considered a pioneer in photography.

Riis held various jobs before he landed a position as a police reporter in 1873 with the New York Evening Sun newspaper. In 1874, he joined the news bureau of the Brooklyn News. In 1877 he served as police reporter, this time for the New York Tribune. During these stints as a police reporter, Riis worked the most crime-ridden and impoverished slums of the city. Through his own experiences in the poor houses, and witnessing the conditions of the poor in the city slums, he decided to make a difference for those who had no voice.

He was one of the first Americans to use flash powder, allowing his documentation of New York City slums to penetrate the dark of night, and helping him capture the hardships faced by the poor and criminal along his police beats, especially on the notorious Mulberry Street. In 1889, Scribner's Magazine published Riis's photographic essay on city life, which Riis later expanded to create his magnum opus How the Other Half Lives. This work was directly responsible for convincing then-Commissioner of Police Theodore Roosevelt to close the police-run poor houses in which Riis suffered during his first months as an American. After reading it, Roosevelt was so deeply moved by Riis's sense of justice that he met Riis and befriended him for life, calling him "the best American I ever knew." Roosevelt himself coined the term "muckraking journalism", of which Riis is a recognized protagonist, in 1906.

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Jacob Riis in 1906.

Jacob August Riis (May 3, 1849 – May 26, 1914), a Danish-American muckraker journalist, photographer, and social reformer, was born in Ribe, Denmark. He is known for his dedication to using his photographic and journalistic talents to help the less fortunate in New York City, which was the subject of most of his prolific writings and photographic essays. As one of the first photographers to use flash, he is considered a pioneer in photography.

Riis held various jobs before he landed a position as a police reporter in 1873 with the New York Evening Sun newspaper. In 1874, he joined the news bureau of the Brooklyn News. In 1877 he served as police reporter, this time for the New York Tribune. During these stints as a police reporter, Riis worked the most crime-ridden and impoverished slums of the city. Through his own experiences in the poor houses, and witnessing the conditions of the poor in the city slums, he decided to make a difference for those who had no voice.

He was one of the first Americans to use flash powder, allowing his documentation of New York City slums to penetrate the dark of night, and helping him capture the hardships faced by the poor and criminal along his police beats, especially on the notorious Mulberry Street. In 1889, Scribner's Magazine published Riis's photographic essay on city life, which Riis later expanded to create his magnum opus How the Other Half Lives. This work was directly responsible for convincing then-Commissioner of Police Theodore Roosevelt to close the police-run poor houses in which Riis suffered during his first months as an American. After reading it, Roosevelt was so deeply moved by Riis's sense of justice that he met Riis and befriended him for life, calling him "the best American I ever knew." Roosevelt himself coined the term "muckraking journalism", of which Riis is a recognized protagonist, in 1906.

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47: View  · edit  · discuss  · history

 
Jacob Riis in 1906.

Jacob August Riis (May 3, 1849 – May 26, 1914), a Danish-American muckraker journalist, photographer, and social reformer, was born in Ribe, Denmark. He is known for his dedication to using his photographic and journalistic talents to help the less fortunate in New York City, which was the subject of most of his prolific writings and photographic essays. As one of the first photographers to use flash, he is considered a pioneer in photography.

Riis held various jobs before he landed a position as a police reporter in 1873 with the New York Evening Sun newspaper. In 1874, he joined the news bureau of the Brooklyn News. In 1877 he served as police reporter, this time for the New York Tribune. During these stints as a police reporter, Riis worked the most crime-ridden and impoverished slums of the city. Through his own experiences in the poor houses, and witnessing the conditions of the poor in the city slums, he decided to make a difference for those who had no voice.

He was one of the first Americans to use flash powder, allowing his documentation of New York City slums to penetrate the dark of night, and helping him capture the hardships faced by the poor and criminal along his police beats, especially on the notorious Mulberry Street. In 1889, Scribner's Magazine published Riis's photographic essay on city life, which Riis later expanded to create his magnum opus How the Other Half Lives. This work was directly responsible for convincing then-Commissioner of Police Theodore Roosevelt to close the police-run poor houses in which Riis suffered during his first months as an American. After reading it, Roosevelt was so deeply moved by Riis's sense of justice that he met Riis and befriended him for life, calling him "the best American I ever knew." Roosevelt himself coined the term "muckraking journalism", of which Riis is a recognized protagonist, in 1906.

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48: View  · edit  · discuss  · history

 
Jacob Riis in 1906.

Jacob August Riis (May 3, 1849 – May 26, 1914), a Danish-American muckraker journalist, photographer, and social reformer, was born in Ribe, Denmark. He is known for his dedication to using his photographic and journalistic talents to help the less fortunate in New York City, which was the subject of most of his prolific writings and photographic essays. As one of the first photographers to use flash, he is considered a pioneer in photography.

Riis held various jobs before he landed a position as a police reporter in 1873 with the New York Evening Sun newspaper. In 1874, he joined the news bureau of the Brooklyn News. In 1877 he served as police reporter, this time for the New York Tribune. During these stints as a police reporter, Riis worked the most crime-ridden and impoverished slums of the city. Through his own experiences in the poor houses, and witnessing the conditions of the poor in the city slums, he decided to make a difference for those who had no voice.

He was one of the first Americans to use flash powder, allowing his documentation of New York City slums to penetrate the dark of night, and helping him capture the hardships faced by the poor and criminal along his police beats, especially on the notorious Mulberry Street. In 1889, Scribner's Magazine published Riis's photographic essay on city life, which Riis later expanded to create his magnum opus How the Other Half Lives. This work was directly responsible for convincing then-Commissioner of Police Theodore Roosevelt to close the police-run poor houses in which Riis suffered during his first months as an American. After reading it, Roosevelt was so deeply moved by Riis's sense of justice that he met Riis and befriended him for life, calling him "the best American I ever knew." Roosevelt himself coined the term "muckraking journalism", of which Riis is a recognized protagonist, in 1906.

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Nicolas Steno.

Nicolas Steno (Danish: Niels Stensen; latinized to Nicolaus Stenonis) (10 January 1638 – 25 November 1686) was a pioneer both in anatomy and geology.

After having completed his university education in Copenhagen, the city of his birth, he set out travelling in Europe; in fact, he would be on the move for the rest of his life. In the Netherlands, France and Italy he came into contact with prominent physicians and scientists, and thanks to his eminent power of observation, he very soon made important discoveries. At a time when scientific studies consisted in the study of ancient authorities, Steno was bold enough to trust his own eyes, even when his observations differed from traditional doctrines.

Steno first studied anatomy, beginning with a focus on the muscular system and the nature of muscle contraction. He used geometry to show that a contracting muscle changes its shape but not its volume.

However, in October 1666, two fishermen caught a huge shark near the town of Livorno, and Duke Ferdinand ordered its head to be sent to Steno. Steno dissected it and published his findings in 1667. Examination of the teeth of the shark showed a striking resemblance to certain stony objects, called glossopetrae or "tongue stones," that were found in certain rocks. Ancient authorities, such as the Roman author Pliny the Elder, had suggested that these stones fell from the sky or from the moon. Others were of the opinion, also going back to ancient times, that fossils naturally grew in the rocks. Steno's contemporary Athanasius Kircher, for example, attributed fossils to a "lapidifying virtue diffused through the whole body of the geocosm."


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Nicolas Steno.

Nicolas Steno (Danish: Niels Stensen; latinized to Nicolaus Stenonis) (10 January 1638 – 25 November 1686) was a pioneer both in anatomy and geology.

After having completed his university education in Copenhagen, the city of his birth, he set out travelling in Europe; in fact, he would be on the move for the rest of his life. In the Netherlands, France and Italy he came into contact with prominent physicians and scientists, and thanks to his eminent power of observation, he very soon made important discoveries. At a time when scientific studies consisted in the study of ancient authorities, Steno was bold enough to trust his own eyes, even when his observations differed from traditional doctrines.

Steno first studied anatomy, beginning with a focus on the muscular system and the nature of muscle contraction. He used geometry to show that a contracting muscle changes its shape but not its volume.

However, in October 1666, two fishermen caught a huge shark near the town of Livorno, and Duke Ferdinand ordered its head to be sent to Steno. Steno dissected it and published his findings in 1667. Examination of the teeth of the shark showed a striking resemblance to certain stony objects, called glossopetrae or "tongue stones," that were found in certain rocks. Ancient authorities, such as the Roman author Pliny the Elder, had suggested that these stones fell from the sky or from the moon. Others were of the opinion, also going back to ancient times, that fossils naturally grew in the rocks. Steno's contemporary Athanasius Kircher, for example, attributed fossils to a "lapidifying virtue diffused through the whole body of the geocosm."


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King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway. Painting by Pieter Isaacsz (1611–1616).

Christian IV of Denmark and Norway (12 April 1577 – 28 February 1648) was the longest reigning Danish monarch with a reign of 60 years. His reign was characterized by wars and rivalry with Sweden as well as his unsuccessful involvement in the Thirty Years' War. He is also remembered for founding a number of towns and a large number of buildings, including Børsen, Rundetårn and Holy Trinity Church in Kristianstad. He features in the Danish national play Elverhøj (The Elf's Hill) and is the central figure in the Danish royal anthem Kong Christian stod ved højen mast.

Christian was the son of Frederick II and Sophia of Mecklenburg. He was born at Frederiksborg Palace in 1577, and succeeded to the throne on the death of his father (4 April 1588), attaining his majority on 17 August 1596. ...

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King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway. Painting by Pieter Isaacsz (1611–1616).

Christian IV of Denmark and Norway (12 April 1577 – 28 February 1648) was the longest reigning Danish monarch with a reign of almost 60 years. His reign was characterized by wars and rivalry with Sweden as well as his unsuccessful involvement in the Thirty Years' War. He is also remembered for founding a number of towns and a large number of buildings, including Børsen, Rundetårn and Holy Trinity Church in Kristianstad. He features in the Danish national play Elverhøj (The Elf's Hill) and is the central figure in the Danish royal anthem Kong Christian stod ved højen mast.

Christian was the son of Frederick II and Sophia of Mecklenburg. He was born at Frederiksborg Palace in 1577, and succeeded to the throne on the death of his father (4 April 1588), attaining his majority on 17 August 1596. ...

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