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 written culture and the change of information environment, 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: Book/ReportBookScientificpeer-review

  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: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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

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

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

  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: Book/ReportBookScientificpeer-review

  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: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

  6. Piirtoja ja kirjaimia: kirjoittamisen kulttuurihistoriaa keskiajalla

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

    Research output: Book/ReportBookScientificpeer-review

  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: Book/ReportBookGeneral public

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Latest activities

  1. Cultural Evolution of the Death-Psalm of Bishop Henry

    Tuomas Heikkilä (Speaker)
    5 Apr 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

  2. Studia Stemmatologica VIII

    Tuomas Heikkilä (Speaker: Chair)
    4 Apr 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  3. Studia Stemmatologica VIII

    Tuomas Heikkilä (Member of organizing committee)
    3 Apr 20195 Apr 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

View all (323) »

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

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Latest projects

  1. DF: Diplomatarium Fennicum

    Leinonen, L., Eskola, S., Heikkilä, T., Lahtinen, A., Salminen, K., Lamberg, M., Sandelin, M., Tiisala, S., Happonen, P., Haukkovaara, V., Mandrov, D., Kotivuori, Y. & Wilenius, A.


    Project: Research project_Research

  2. Cataloguing of the Incunabula Collection of the National Library of Finland

    Leinonen, L., Heikkilä, T., Havu, S. & Hakkarainen, M.


    Project: Research project_Research, Libraries

  3. Nordic Medieval Book History in the European Context

    Heikkilä, T., Mortensen, L. B., Ommundsen, Å., Gejrot, C. & Már Gunnlaugsson, G.

    Vetenskapsrådet, Sweden


    Project: Research project_Research

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