Poul Egede, a Danish-Norwegian missionary to Greenland, is sometimes known as the Apostle to North Greenland because of his missionary activities in that region among the native Inuit population. Poul Egede was the son of Hans Egede (see Egede, Hans), himself styled the Apostle to Greenland. He moved to Greenland with his parents and brother Niels (1710-1782) at the age of 13 in 1721. He assisted his father in missionary activity, since he quickly learned Greenlandic, as well as Greenlandic ways of hunting and handling kayaks. In 1728, he moved to Copenhagen (in Denmark). Despite a personal leaning toward a maritime career, he accepted his father's guidance and took a degree in theology in 1734, as well as holy orders, the same year that his brother Niels became a merchant and bookkeeper in Godthab (in Greenlandic, Nuuk) until he too returned to Denmark, in the company of his father, in 1736. That same year, Poul again traveled to Greenland where, from 1736 to 1740, he served as a missionary in Christianshab (in Greenlandic, Qasigiannguit), which he helped to establish and where the native Inuit Greenlander Amarsaaq provided him with valuable assistance, not least in the translation of Danish Biblical texts into Greenlandic. Poul Egede returned to Denmark in 1740, in part because of his failing eyesight, and the following year became a priest in Vartov, a position he held until his death.
High ecclesiastical and administrative positions awaited him. In 1758, he became dean for Greenland in 1761 titular professor of theology at Copenhagen University, and in 1774 director of the orphanage. Finally, in 1779, he was made titular bishop for Greenland. His brother Niels, meanwhile, after having published a continuation of Hans Egede's Relations, had again gone back to Greenland, where he proceeded to found the settlement of Egedesminde (Aasiaat) in 1759, and then Holsteinborg (Sisimiut) in 1764, while actively engaging in whaling not far from Godthab (Nuuk) in Disko Bay. Back in Denmark, though, Poul continued to devote himself to considerable philological studies related to Greenland. In 1750 he published a Greenlandic dictionary, followed by a Greenlandic grammar book in 1760. Six years later, in 1766, he published the first edition of the New Testament in Greenlandic, a testament to both his own personal erudition and spiritual devotion. Other writings included excerpts from his journal as well as expanded texts relating to his father's literary production, especially his Relations. He also translated Thomas a Kempis into Greenlandic in 1787. His son Hans had meanwhile become a missionary in Greenland, where he served from 1770 to 1778.
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