Nikolaus Rungius: Lifestyle and Status of an Early Seventeenth-Century Northern Finnish Vicar

Tiina Väre*, Sanna Lipkin, Jenni A. Suomela, Krista Vajanto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


Vicar Nikolaus Rungius’s (ca. 1560–1629) mummified remains have been the subject of research that has provided a wide variety of information on his life. This article examines the ways Rungius’s health and lifestyle highlight his status as a vicar, and this status is visible in his burial and funerary clothing. He was a relatively large man for his time. CT scans even include indications of certain conditions related to being overweight. Likewise, stable-isotope analyses of his nail keratin support the hypothesis that he was consuming a rather heavy, protein-rich diet. Given his status as the vicar of Kemi parish in northern Finland, he likely made sumptuous use of the rich local natural resources of fish, game, and domestic animals as part of his regular diet. In addition to his diet and health, the vicar’s high-quality clothes, while fragmentary, also open an avenue to extend the exploration of his social status and wealth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-29
Number of pages19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • early modernity
  • Finland
  • mummy research
  • paleopathology
  • stable isotopes
  • textile archaeology


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