Stahl's "Home- and Handbook" and other publications in Estonian in the XVII century

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During the Swedish era, mainly printings of the religious sort were published. From 1632 to 1638 Heinrich Stahl published a four-volume "Home- and Handbook" for the Estonian nobility in Livonia, which was meant for German pastors who could not speak Estonian. The book was bilingual, same texts were printed in Estonian and German. It also contained choral songs, a small Lutheran catechism and excerpts from the Bible.
Estonian literature began to spread from that point on. In the middle of the XVII century, they started to translate choral songs into Estonian, taking into account the rhymes and verses. Also, lot of earthly poetry was written. The most known for writing Estonian poetry was the pastor in Kadrina and latter professor of the Tallinn gymnasium - Reiner Brockmann.
Books in southern Estonian were printed in Riga and the ones in northern Estonian in Tallinn. During the Swedish era, over 40 books in Estonian emerged, with the addition of several other smaller prints. Even the announcements of the governor general of Estonia were on occasion printed in the native language, because the people, in general, were literate.

Image: title page of Stahl's "Home- and Handbook" from 1637.

Source: Ain Mäesalu, Tõnis Lukas, Mati Laur, Tõnu Tannberg. Eesti ajalugu I. Avita, Tallinn 1995
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