Nils Ahnlund

Nils Ahnlund (23 August 1889 – 11 January 1957) was a Swedish historian. He was professor of history at the then-Stockholm University College 1928–1955 and became a member of the Swedish Academy in 1941. He was the father of physician Hans Olof Ahnlund, literary scientist Knut Ahnlund and the grandfather of journalist and writer Nathan Shachar.

Nils Ahnlund was born in Uppsala as the eldest son of theologian Olof Ahnlund and Hilda Svensson. In 1893 his father was appointed vicar in Umeå, and that is where Nils finished his secondary education. Thereafter he enrolled at Uppsala University, where he quickly became a disciple of Harald Hjärne. His research mainly focused on the time of Swedish Empire, and his dissertation was on Gustavus Adolphus' diplomatic relations.[1]

Between 1926 and 1926 he worked at Svenska Dagbladet, where he had a promising career ahead of him. However, he chose the academic path and became the first professor of history at Stockholm University College in 1928. During World War II, he participated in the public debate, exhibiting nationalist sentiments.

Ahnlund was a popularizer of history and became widely known for his contributions in newspapers and radio, but in academia he was also successful and became, among other things, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities as early as 1934 and the Swedish Academy. He was also made a member of several nordic academic societies as well as vice president of the Comité International des Sciences Historiques.[2]


  1. Lucian Boia (ed.), Great Historians of the Modern Age: An International Dictionary (New York, Westport and London, 1991), s.v.
  2. Abridged translation from Swedish Wikipedia (
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Torsten Fogelqvist
Swedish Academy,
Seat No.11

Succeeded by
Eyvind Johnson
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