Mikko Kauko


Arcanuminkuja 1


Areas of expertise
Medieval Swedish. Latin. Middle Low German.


MA 2009, University of Turku. PhD 2015, University of Turku.


Medieval Swedish. Jöns Budde.

In my ongoing research, I focus on the revelations of Saint
Mechtilde of Hackeborn (1241–1299). The oldest surviving versions of her
revelations are in Latin but they were early translated into German, English, Dutch,
and Swedish. I focus especially on the Swedish version from the year 1469, some
of the oldest Latin editions, and early German translations. I discuss the
revelations in several research articles.

In one of the articles, I focus on Biblical quotations
in the revelations of Mechtilde. Sources outside the Bible were seldom quoted,
and the Biblical quotations were mainly taken from the most important Biblical
books such as The Book of Psalms and the Gospels. Other Biblical books, in some
cases even marginal texts such as 2 Esdras, were quoted sporadically. In the
Swedish version, the quotations are sometimes given in Swedish, sometimes in
Latin, but in most cases in both languages. In the German versions, the
quotations are usually given only in German, sometimes also in Latin. The form
of the quotations varies from version to version and is not always identical
with Vulgata. In my article, I show that the quotations served varying
functions and were given for different reasons.

In another article, I discuss the use of Latin case
endings in Jöns Budde’s Old Swedish translation of Mechtilde’s Revelations. I
systematically compare the Swedish text with Latin versions. Vernacular texts
can be seen as a part of the Latin text culture because Latin was widely used
as a model. Latin case endings were often used in personal names and loan words
that often were exotic or foreign. The Latin forms were sometimes taken mechanically
over from the Latin source text. On the other hand, they were in many cases used
consciously by the translator to gain specific goals. The Latin endings gave
the text authenticity, authority, and credibility. They also created a
bilingual atmosphere that helped persons unversed in Latin to have a share in
the Latin text culture. Sometimes the Swedish translator used different
syntactic structures than the source text and therefore had to use different
case endings. In such cases, Jöns Budde had to build Latin forms that were
suitable in the new syntactic context. Budde knew his Latin and used correct
forms. Loan words have in some cases also Swedish endings. It’s quite common
that a word has Latin endings in the indefinite form and Swedish endings in the
definite form. Thus, the variation between Latin and Swedish forms is mainly

In other articles, I discuss misunderstandings and
freely translated details in the Swedish version of Mechtilde. I also focus my
attention on Codex Holmiensis A 13, the only existing manuscript that contains
the medieval Swedish translation of Mechtilde. Additionally, I translate the
revelations into Finnish. 


Old Swedish

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Last updated on 2021-22-10 at 02:18