The Kalevala (; ) is a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology. It is regarded as the national epic of Karelia and Finland and is one of the most significant works of Finnish literature. The Kalevala played an instrumental role in the development of the Finnish national identity, the intensification of Finland’s language strife and the growing sense of nationality that ultimately led to Finland’s independence from Russia in 1917. The first version of The Kalevala (called The new Kalevala) was published in 1835. The version most commonly known today was first published in 1849 and consists of 23,795 verses, divided into fifty songs (Finnish: runot). The title can be interpreted as “The land of Kaleva” or “Kalevia”.