This paper discusses the Ingrian years of the Swedish writer, chemist, physician, geologist and amateur linguist Urban Hiärne, b. in 1641 at Ingrian Squoritz (Скворицы), d. in 1724 at Stockholm. Making use, in part, of previously untapped archival sources, the author investigates the circumstances in which Hiärne’s father, Erlandus Jonæ, was invited from Sweden to Ingria, first as vicar at the new parish of Squoritz, on the estate of Baron Gabriel Gustafsson Oxenstierna, and then as vicar at Cattila (Котлы), on the estate of Baron Gabriel Bengtsson Oxenstierna. Particular attention is paid to the languages which would have been spoken in the family (taking into account, e.g., the German roots of Urban’s mother, Christina Schmidt) as well as in the vicinities of these parish centres. It is shown that the Hiärnes quickly became part of an important mid-section of Swedish Ingrian society, with links to clergymen and bailiffs. (Thus, for example, Christina’s father, a social climber, was the bailiff of the Oxenstiernas at Squoritz.) On the other hand, links to individuals from great families, who wielded power or owned land in Ingria – at times without ever visiting their distant estates – can often be surmised behind the changing fortunes of the Hiärne household. Russian Orthodox worshippers – often, no doubt, speakers of Finnic languages – would never have been far away from where the Hiärnes lived, but it is difficult to asses to what degree there would have been much personal contacts. Urban Hiärne spent some formative year as a youth in the multicultural and multilingual town of Nyen, where his father was appointed vicar of the Swedish church and provost of north-eastern Ingria around 1648. After discussing aspects of ecclesiastical geography and biography – Swedish and Russian – at Nyen, including some questions concerning the Nyen school and gymnasium, it is concluded that Russian may not have been taught any longer at the time Urban attended secondary school in town, even though it had earlier been used to a greater degree than is sometimes thought. Nonetheless, Hiärne would doubtless have had contacts with Russians of the Nyen area, as with Swedes, Finns and Germans. Later, in Sweden proper, he will recall the four languages spoken in his ‘native country’ (Fädernesland), and he will himself be able to recognise Nyen Finnish, to use the occasional Russian word in letters to his brother, and to digress on the relationship between Russian and Church Slavonic or on Muscovite pronunciation. The Hiärne household (Erlandus Jonæ had passed away two years earlier) managed to escape the rupture of 1656, when the troups of Piotr Potiomkin, aided by the acting “diachok” of the Orthodox church of Our Saviour across the river, attacked and burned Nyen. In his mind Urban will later return to these event with intense hostility. Terribly impoverished, but aided by a brother of Erlandus’ widow and by his former superior as well, the family settles for some time at Narva. Soon, however, Urban leaves for Stockholm in order to get an education and launch a career, never, it is sometimes assumed, to come back. Yet in fact Urban was to return to his native country, his “Natalia”. Suffering from sciatica in 1668, he spends the spring with his mother in Nyen. This is the time between the two dated stages of work on his short novel “Stratonica”, and it is very tempting indeed to believe that now, free from all other obligations than some legal problems to do with an inheritance from his father, in springtime by that great river, he became the very first to compose a novel in one of the cities on the Neva.
St. Petersburg: Naučno-issledovatel’skij institut kul’turnogo i prirodnogo nasledija , 2014. 105-139 p.