Death Psalm of Bishop Henry meets Digital Humanities

Finland in the 1150s: the national saint Bishop Henry is murdered – but how, and by whom? Can digital humanities help solve Finland’s oldest murder mystery?

Despite the numerous dimensions of the written word, our communication has always been and still remains mainly oral. This group approaches and tackles the methodological challenges of orally transmitted literature through the oldest and most prominent Finnish example: the Death-Psalm of Bishop Henry (Piispa Henrikin surmavirsi), describing the murder of the semi-legendary apostle of Finland in the mid-12th century but written down only centuries later.

Our group is the first to combine the humanities and computational approaches to study the Death-Psalm. The sources we are studying have been of paramount interest in Finnish scholarship since the late 18th century. Basically, every new piece of information can lead to important new insights.