Then Swänska Argus

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First edition Then Swänska Argus(The Swedish Argus).

Then Swänska Argus (Old Swedish for The Swedish Argus) was a weekly magazine published by the writer and historian Olof von Dalin.


The first issue appeared anonymously on 13 December 1732. Then Swänska Argus took its cue from two English journals, The Tatler and The Spectator. Thus, some articles were translations of certain texts from these papers. Each issue comprised six to ten pages and dealt with moral, religious, political, and economic issues in short stories, poems, and articles, often paired with witty satire. Characteristic of this form was, on the one hand, its entertaining style of presentation and, on the other, its efforts to educate readers. The magazine was a result of the growing bourgeois public culture. Here, in contrast to the newspapers, the individual rather than the secular and ecclesiastical authorities had their say. The ideal was the enlightened citizen and the rulers were mocked.[1]

For the development of the Swedish language, the journal possessed great importance due to its wide circulation and modern use of language. Dalin preferred a simpler style of language than was generally used. For example, he spelled the Swedish word for “church” not “kyrkhia” but “kyrka”. The influence was so great that the editions are now regarded as the dividing line between the older and the modern New Swedish language.[1]

The last issue of the journal appeared in 1734. Due to its great popularity, Then Swänska Argus was completely reprinted in 1754. The paper had many imitators, but most of them could not reach the quality of the original.[1]


  • Lena Moberg and Margarita Westman, Svenskan i tusen år, Norstedts förelag, 1996
  • Jan Melin and Alf W. Johansson Hedenborg, Sveriges historia, Prisma, 2003
  • Martin Lamm, Olof Dalin: en litteraturhistorisk undersökning af hans verk, Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksell, 1908
  • Ingemar Carlsson, Olof von Dalin: samhällsdebattör, historiker, språkförnyare, Olof von Dalin Society, Varberg, CAL Publishing 1997.

Web links

Individual references

  1. a b c Claes-Göran Holmberg Tidskriften i Sverige = The journal in Sweden (Swedish; PDF; 141 kB)