Olaus, Magnus

Olaus, Magnus a Swedish Roman Catholic, divine of note, was brother of John Olaus, archbishop of Upsala, and was an archdeacon in the Swedish Church when the Reformation, supported by Gustavus Vasa, gained the ascendency in Sweden. In consequence of this change the two brothers, who remained attached to the Roman Catholic faith, left their country and retired to Rome, where Olaus Magnus passed the remainder of his life in the enjoyment of a small pension from the pope. At Rome he wrote his work, Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus, earumque diversis Statibzs, Conditionibus, Moribus, itidemque Superstitionibus, Disciplinis, etc. (Rome, 1555; fol., and Basle, 1567). Other editions of this work have been published, which, as well as a French translation in 1561, are all incomplete. The work is minute, and contains some curious information, but is uncritically written. Olaus died at Rome in 1568. His brother John wrote a work entitled Gothorum Suevorumque Historia, probatissimis Antiquorum monumentis collecta (Rome, 1554, fol.), which is a still more uncritical performance than that of his brother Magnus.

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