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Far etter Eirik Vandvik. Frå Suldal til Akropolis


Skeie, A.B. 2007: Eirik Vandvik – from Suldal to Akropolis.
Eirik Vandvik, 1904 –1953, is one of Norway's most talented and gifted classical scholars. He studied at the University of Oslo and graduated in Latin, Greek and German in 1934 and published some of his works in German as well as in English and French. Before graduation, in 1933, he won the King's gold medal for his paper on some intricate grammatical problems in Latin, “Genitivus und Ablativus Qualitatis im Latein”.

As one of seven brothers Eirik Vandvik grew up in a teacher's family in Suldal, a small remote place in Ryfylke in the southwest of Norway. Although a true and talented scholar it is as a gifted, poetic and creative master of translation of Homer's Iliad and the great classical Greek tragedies he is best known. His books about Greek mythology and philosophy, “Gods on Olympus” (“Blant gudar på Olymp”) and “Traces made by humans” (“Far etter menneske”) have enabled Norwegians to get to know and love both Greek gods and Greek authors and philosophers. The latter book written during World War II, and published when the war ended in 1945, is dedicated to those who fought and gave their life to end the tyranny against the free human spirit. Eirik Vandvik saw the connection between the resistance against the nazi regime and the free spirit of the Greek democracy.

Eirik Vandvik was an active writer in contemporary newspapers and magazines as well as an industrious, original and creative linguist; maybe too creative for the small department of classical studies at the University of Oslo in the 1940s. He was not appointed to the vacant professorship in Greek and Latin, but became, however, professor in 1949 in Norwegian literature from the Middle Ages. His scope was so wide. He mastered all fields, and scientists and historians, poets and authors considered his early death in 1953 to be a great loss.

Anne Berit Skeie, Nordenden 13, N-4230 Sand, Norway. Telephone: (+47) 52797737.

Key words: Eirik Vandvik, classicist, Greek tragedies, the Iliad.
Emneord: Eirik Vandvik, klassisk filolog, greske tragediar, Iliaden.

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