Tuomas Heikkilä


Further information on the affiliationYliopistonlehtori / University Lecturer

Curriculum Vitae

Tuomas Heikkilä (b. 1972), PhD, docent in general history and and church history (University of Helsinki) and docent in Finnish history (University of Turku), is one of the most influential Finnish medievalists. Currently employed at the University of Helsinki, he has previously been the Director of the Finnish research institute in Rome, Italy, (2013-2017); Visiting Research Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (2010); and Visiting Scholar at the University of Gothenburg (2009).

Heikkilä's almae matres are the University of Helsinki, the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Germany, as well as the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana where he took the European Diploma in Medieval Studies. 

Originally a historian, Heikkilä has emphasized multidisciplinary scholarship. His fields of expertise include medieval hagiography, manuscript studies, monastic history, and computer-assisted stemmatology. Heikkilä has published widely on these topics in several languages.

Heikkilä wrote his doctoral thesis (Vita et miracula s. Symeonis Treverensis – ein hochmittelalterlicher Heiligenkult im Kontext, Academia Scientiarum Fennica 2002) on high medieval hagiography in Western Europe. Later on, he expanded his expertise to include Nordic hagiography and edited the legend of St Henry, the Finnish national saint. The studies resulted in monographs in Finnish and Swedish as well as the first critical edition of the oldest literary work composed in Finland.

In 2006–2011, Heikkilä directed a large-scale research project on the arrival and development of written culture in Finland. The project resulted in a detailed picture of the implications of Latin written culture in a European periphery as well as a research database of the fragmenta membranea collection of the National Library of Finland. Heikkilä has also been one of the driving forces behind the two other Finnish databases on medieval sources: the Diplomatarium Fennicum and the Codices Fennici.

In 2009–2012, Tuomas Heikkilä directed Studia Stemmatologica, an international multidisciplinary scholarly network concentrating on exploring the possibilities and different uses of computer-assisted stemmatology.

In 2013-2017, Heikkilä was the director of the oldest and most prestigious Finnish scholarly institute abroad, Institutum Romanum Finlandiae. In Rome, Heikkilä's research group concentrated on the study of different aspects of time and calendars in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In addition, Heikkilä is currently finishing a critical edition of the Vita et miracula s. Symeonis for the Monumenta Germaniae Historica.

Highlighted publications

  1. Sankt Henrikslegenden

    Heikkilä, T. 2009 Helsingfors ; Stockholm: Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland Atlantis. 336 p. (Skrifter utgivna av Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland; no. 720)

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewBook

  2. Evaluating methods for computer-assisted stemmatology using artificial benchmark data sets

    Roos, T. T. & Heikkilä, T. 2009 In : Literary and Linguistic Computing. 24, 4, p. 417-433 17 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

  3. Vita s. Symeonis Treverensis: Ein hochmittelalterlicher Heiligenkult im Kontext

    Heikkilä, T. 2002 Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia. 330 p.

    Research output: MonographDoctoral Thesis

  4. Das Kloster Fulda und der Goslarer Rangstreit

    Heikkilä, T. 1998 Helsinki: Academia scientiarum Fennica. 222 p. ( Suomalaisen tiedeakatemian toimituksia, Sarja Humaniora; vol. 298)

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewBook

  5. Schriftliche Kultur als Mittel gegen äußere Feinde und innere Unruhe: das Kloster Fulda unter Abt Widerad (1060-1075)

    Heikkilä, T. 1998 Roma, magistra mundi: Itineraria culturae medievalis : mélanges offerts au Père L.E. Boyle à l’occasion de son 75e anniversaire. Hamesse, J. H. (ed.). Louvain-la-Neuve: Federation Internationale des Instituts d'Etudes Medievales, p. 155-171 16 p. (Textes et études du moyen âge ; no. 10,3)

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewChapter

  6. Piirtoja ja kirjaimia: kirjoittamisen kulttuurihistoriaa keskiajalla

    Heikkilä, T. 2009 Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. 191 p. (Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seuran toimituksia; no. 1208)

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewBook

  7. Euroopan historia I-II: Osa 1 : Valta ja asema ; Osa 2 : Henki ja elämä.

    Suvikumpu, L. (ed.), Heikkilä, T. (ed.), Kukkonen, T. (ed.), Tiilikainen, T. (ed.) & Kaartinen, M. (ed.) 2012 1 ed. Helsinki: WSOY. 853 p.

    Research output: General publicBook

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Latest activities

  1. Manuscripts & Computers - New Ways of Studying Medieval Textual Traditions

    Heikkilä, T. (Keynote speaker)
    13 Dec 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

  2. Participation in the panel discussion

    Heikkilä, T. (Speaker)
    5 Dec 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

  3. How to Study Medieval Calendars by Computational Means?

    Heikkilä, T. (Keynote speaker)
    4 Dec 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

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Latest prizes

  1. Vuoden humanistiteko

    Ilkka Niiniluoto (Recipient) & Tuomas Heikkilä (Recipient), 28 Apr 2017

    Prize: Prizes and awards

  2. Valoisa keskiaika -palkinto

    Tuomas Heikkilä (Recipient), 26 Oct 2012

    Prize: Prizes and awards

View all (12) »


Fil. toht., historia

ID: 128114