Emanuel Swedenborg

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Comment by PÃ¥l Jensen on July 18th, 2013 at 11:52 am

Dear Sir!
The 1759 Stockholm fire mentioned in the article, broke out at July 19, not July 29 as claimed in several sources, and it was extinguishet early the next morning. In Sweden, it is named Mariabranden; in Norway Mariabrannen (Swedish brand, Norwegian brann = fire; English brand in e.g. brand new is derived from Nordic) after the church Maria Magdalena Kyrkan, which was severly damaged. See e.g. http://www.brandhistoriska.org/, http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariabranden_1759 (sorry, no English translation).
And July 19, 1759 was a Thursday (see http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariabrannen_i_Stockholm_1759, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1759, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_year_starting_on_Monday).
I don’t know the date for Swedenborg’s dinner with William Castel, and his visions about the fire during the dinner. But I havn’t seen any source mention other days for the dinner than Saturday or Sunday. Some sources say July 29, and this was undoubtedly a Sunday.
The date confusion is not caused by differences between Gregorian and Julian calendars: Sweden converted to the Gregorian calendar in 1753. And according to the Julian calendar, the fire broke out at Thursday July 8.
Yours sincerely,
PÃ¥l Jensen

Comment by PÃ¥l Jensen on July 20th, 2013 at 2:54 am

On Psychic accounts
Dear Sir!
You have written that the dinner took place at 29 july, 1759. Lars Bergquist’s Swedenborg biography tells the same, and also that this day was a Sunday – though other biographers tell the dinner was arranged on a Saturday. I don’t know the truth about the date of the dinner, but there are some other facts:
1. The fire undoubtedly broke out at July 19, 1759, and in Sweden it’s known as Mariabranden (Swedish brand = fire) after the church Maria Magdalena Kyrkan which was severly damaged. About 300 houses were reduced to ash, and about 2000 people lost their homes.
2. Any calendar shows that July 19, 1759 was a Thursday.
3. If Berquist’s date for the dinner is correct, it took place on a Sunday, ten days after the fire. If so, Swedenborg could have got information about the fire without any supernatural powers.
Yours sincerely,
PÃ¥l Jensen

Comment by Jennifer Tanabe on October 29th, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Thank you for your feedback. Indeed, the fire in Stockholm broke out on July 19, not July 29. That typo has been corrected. As to the date of the dinner, the article merely states it to be the same as the fire, and therefore it would also be July 19. That dinner is stated as being on the 19th in Sigstedt’s ”The Swedenborg Epic”.

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