Early Modern Autobiography in Tallinn: David Gallus’ Anotationes


  • Aigi Heero Tallinna Ülikool




Gallus, David, Literature of 17th century in Tallinn, Tallinn Gymnasium, Early modern autobiography


The present study analyzes an autobiographical text with the title Anotationes, written in Tallinn in 1650–1659. The author of this text is David Gallus, who was born in Germany in 1603. He came to Tallinn in 1631 and became cantor of the Tallinn Gymnasium in 1634. In Anotationes he depicts his daily life, including the financial and bureaucratic problems related to his work. Gallus’ text could also be read as “manifestation of a heterologous subjectivity” (Kormann 2004): the author portrays his life by describing mainly the relationships in the social groups to which he belongs or by analyzing certain events or incidents which he feels connected to, rather than by revealing his own feelings and opinions. Therefore, Anotationes gives us an overview of Gallus’ personal life and, concurrently, an overview of the general conditions in the Tallinn Gymnasium and the city of Tallinn in the middle of the 17th century.


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