Renæssanceforum 2 • 2006

Karen Skovgaard-Petersen
Erasmus Lætus' Res Danicæ (1574), a History of Denmark in the light of the Nordic Seven Years War

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In 1570, the Nordic Seven Years War between Denmark and Sweden ended. Four years later, Erasmus Lætus published his Res Danicæ, a history of Denmark in Latin hexameters. This paper argues that the poem expresses the official Danish view of the Danish-Swedish relationship after the war. Since a prohibition against defamatory writings had been laid down in the peace treaty, LŠtus had to treat Sweden respectfully. Still, he insists that the Swedish king bore the blame for the outbreak of the war. He also rejects several points in Johannes Magnus' violently anti-Danish History of Sweden. Indeed, his Res Danicæ should also be seen as an attempt to match Magnus' influential work.