Linnaeus (/lɪˈniːəs, lɪˈneɪəs/; 23 May[note 1] 1707
– 10 January 1778), also known after his ennoblement as Carl von
Linné (Swedish pronunciation: [kɑːɭ fɔn
lɪˈneː] ( listen)), was a Swedish botanist, physician and
zoologist, who formalised the modern system of naming organisms called
binomial nomenclature. He is known by the epithet "father of modern
taxonomy". Many of his writings were in
Latin and his name is
Latin as Carolus Linnæus (after 1761 Carolus a Linné).
Linnaeus was born in the countryside of Småland, in southern Sweden.
He received most of his higher education at
Uppsala University and
began giving lectures in botany there in 1730. He lived abroad between
1735 and 1738, where he studied and also published a first edition of
Systema Naturae in the Netherlands. He then returned to Sweden,
where he became professor of medicine and botany at Uppsala. In the
1740s, he was sent on several journeys through
Sweden to find and
classify plants and animals. In the 1750s and 1760s, he continued to
collect and classify animals, plants and minerals, while publishing
several volumes. At the time of his death, he was one of the most
acclaimed scientists in Europe.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau sent him the message: "Tell him
I know no greater man on earth." The German writer Johann Wolfgang
von Goethe wrote: "With the exception of Shakespeare and Spinoza, I
know no one among the no longer living who has influenced me more
strongly." Swedish author
August Strindberg wrote: "
Linnaeus was in
reality a poet who happened to become a naturalist". Among other
Linnaeus has been called Princeps botanicorum (Prince of
Botanists), "The Pliny of the North", and "The Second Adam". He is
also considered as one of the founders of modern ecology.
In botany, the author abbreviation used to indicate
Linnaeus as the
authority for species' names is L. In older publications, sometimes
the abbreviation "Linn." is found (for instance in: Cheeseman, T. F.
(1906). Manual of the New Zealand Flora.). Linnaeus' remains comprise
the type specimen for the species Homo sapiens, following the
International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, since the sole specimen
he is known to have examined when writing the species description was
1 Early life
1.2 Early education
2 University studies
3 Expedition to Lapland
5 Publishing of Systema Naturae
6 George Clifford, Philip Miller, and Johann Jacob Dillenius
7 Return to Sweden
Öland and Gotland
7.4 Rector of
7.5 Philosophia Botanica
7.6 Nutrix Noverca
7.7 Species Plantarum
8 Final years
9.1 Early expeditions
9.2 Cook expeditions and Japan
10 Major publications
10.1 Systema Naturae
10.2 Species Plantarum
10.2.1 Genera Plantarum
10.2.2 Philosophia Botanica
12 System of taxonomy
13 Influences and economic beliefs
14 Views on mankind
14.2 Strange people in distant lands
14.3 Four races
17 Works by Linnaeus
18 See also
20 Further reading
21 Standard author abbreviation
22 External links
Birthplace at Råshult
Linnæus was born in the village of
Råshult in Småland, Sweden, on
23 May 1707. He was the first child of Nicolaus (Nils) Ingemarsson
(who later adopted the family name Linnæus) and Christina
Brodersonia. His siblings were Anna Maria Linnæa, Sofia Juliana
Linnæa, Samuel Linnæus (who would eventually succeed their father as
rector of Stenbrohult and write a manual on beekeeping),
and Emerentia Linnæa.
One of a long line of peasants and priests, Nils was an amateur
Lutheran minister, and the curate of the small village of
Stenbrohult in Småland. Christina was the daughter of the rector of
Stenbrohult, Samuel Brodersonius.:376
A year after Linnæus' birth, his grandfather Samuel Brodersonius
died, and his father Nils became the rector of Stenbrohult. The family
moved into the rectory from the curate's house.
Even in his early years, Linnæus seemed to have a liking for plants,
flowers in particular. Whenever he was upset, he was given a flower,
which immediately calmed him. Nils spent much time in his garden and
often showed flowers to
Linnaeus and told him their names. Soon
Linnæus was given his own patch of earth where he could grow
Carl's father was the first in his ancestry to adopt a permanent
surname. Before that, ancestors had used the patronymic naming system
of Scandinavian countries: his father was named Ingemarsson after his
father Ingemar Bengtsson. When Nils was admitted to the University of
Lund, he had to take on a family name. He adopted the Latinate name
Linnæus after a giant linden tree (or lime tree), lind in Swedish,
that grew on the family homestead. This name was spelled with the
æ ligature. When Carl was born, he was named Carl Linnæus, with his
father's family name. The son also always spelled it with the æ
ligature, both in handwritten documents and in publications.
Carl's patronymic would have been Nilsson, as in Carl Nilsson
Linnaeus' father began teaching him basic Latin, religion, and
geography at an early age. When
Linnaeus was seven, Nils decided
to hire a tutor for him. The parents picked Johan Telander, a son of a
Linnaeus did not like him, writing in his autobiography
that Telander "was better calculated to extinguish a child's talents
than develop them."
Two years after his tutoring had begun, he was sent to the Lower
Grammar School at
Växjö in 1717.
Linnaeus rarely studied, often
going to the countryside to look for plants. He reached the last year
of the Lower School when he was fifteen, which was taught by the
headmaster, Daniel Lannerus, who was interested in botany. Lannerus
noticed Linnaeus' interest in botany and gave him the run of his
He also introduced him to Johan Rothman, the state doctor of Småland
and a teacher at Katedralskolan (a gymnasium) in Växjö. Also a
botanist, Rothman broadened Linnaeus' interest in botany and helped
him develop an interest in medicine. By the age of 17,
Linnaeus had become well acquainted with the existing botanical
literature. He remarks in his journal that he "read day and night,
knowing like the back of my hand, Arvidh Månsson's Rydaholm Book of
Flora Åboensis, Palmberg's Serta Florea Suecana,
Bromelii Chloros Gothica and Rudbeckii Hortus Upsaliensis...."
Linnaeus entered the
Växjö Katedralskola in 1724, where he studied
mainly Greek, Hebrew, theology and mathematics, a curriculum designed
for boys preparing for the priesthood. In the last year at the
gymnasium, Linnaeus' father visited to ask the professors how his
son's studies were progressing; to his dismay, most said that the boy
would never become a scholar. Rothman believed otherwise, suggesting
Linnaeus could have a future in medicine. The doctor offered to have
Linnaeus live with his family in
Växjö and to teach him physiology
and botany. Nils accepted this offer.
Statue as a university student in Lund
Linnaeus that botany was a serious subject. He taught
Linnaeus to classify plants according to Tournefort's system. Linnaeus
was also taught about the sexual reproduction of plants, according to
Sébastien Vaillant. In 1727, Linnaeus, age 21, enrolled in Lund
University in Skåne. He was registered as Carolus Linnæus,
Latin form of his full name, which he also used later for his
Professor Kilian Stobæus, natural scientist, physician and historian,
Linnaeus tutoring and lodging, as well as the use of his
library, which included many books about botany. He also gave the
student free admission to his lectures. In his spare time,
Linnaeus explored the flora of Skåne, together with students sharing
the same interests.
Pollination depicted in Praeludia Sponsaliorum Plantarum (1729)
In August 1728,
Linnaeus decided to attend
Uppsala University on the
advice of Rothman, who believed it would be a better choice if
Linnaeus wanted to study both medicine and botany. Rothman based this
recommendation on the two professors who taught at the medical faculty
Olof Rudbeck the Younger
Olof Rudbeck the Younger and Lars Roberg. Although Rudbeck
and Roberg had undoubtedly been good professors, by then they were
older and not so interested in teaching. Rudbeck no longer gave public
lectures, and had others stand in for him. The botany, zoology,
pharmacology and anatomy lectures were not in their best state. In
Linnaeus met a new benefactor, Olof Celsius, who was a
professor of theology and an amateur botanist. He received
Linnaeus into his home and allowed him use of his library, which was
one of the richest botanical libraries in Sweden.
Linnaeus wrote a thesis, Praeludia Sponsaliorum Plantarum on
plant sexual reproduction. This attracted the attention of Rudbeck; in
May 1730, he selected
Linnaeus to give lectures at the University
although the young man was only a second-year student. His lectures
were popular, and
Linnaeus often addressed an audience of 300
people. In June,
Linnaeus moved from Celsius' house to Rudbeck's
to become the tutor of the three youngest of his 24 children. His
Celsius did not wane and they continued their
botanical expeditions. Over that winter,
Linnaeus began to doubt
Tournefort's system of classification and decided to create one of his
own. His plan was to divide the plants by the number of stamens and
pistils. He began writing several books, which would later result in,
Genera Plantarum and Critica Botanica. He also produced a
book on the plants grown in the
Uppsala Botanical Garden, Adonis
Rudbeck's former assistant, Nils Rosén, returned to the University in
March 1731 with a degree in medicine. Rosén started giving anatomy
lectures and tried to take over Linnaeus' botany lectures, but Rudbeck
prevented that. Until December, Rosén gave
Linnaeus private tutoring
in medicine. In December,
Linnaeus had a "disagreement" with Rudbeck's
wife and had to move out of his mentor's house; his relationship with
Rudbeck did not appear to suffer. That Christmas,
home to Stenbrohult to visit his parents for the first time in about
three years. His mother had disapproved of his failing to become a
priest, but she was pleased to learn he was teaching at the
Expedition to Lapland
Expedition to Lapland
Expedition to Lapland and
Wearing the traditional dress of the
Sami people of Lapland, holding
the twinflower, later known as
Linnaea borealis, that became his
personal emblem. Martin Hoffman, 1737.
During a visit with his parents,
Linnaeus told them about his plan to
travel to Lapland; Rudbeck had made the journey in 1695, but the
detailed results of his exploration were lost in a fire seven years
afterwards. Linnaeus' hope was to find new plants, animals and
possibly valuable minerals. He was also curious about the customs of
the native Sami people, reindeer-herding nomads who wandered
Scandinavia's vast tundras. In April 1732,
Linnaeus was awarded a
grant from the Royal Society of Sciences in
Uppsala for his
Linnaeus began his expedition from
Uppsala on May 12, 1732, just
before he turned 25. He travelled on foot and horse, bringing with
him his journal, botanical and ornithological manuscripts and sheets
of paper for pressing plants. Near
Gävle he found great quantities of
Campanula serpyllifolia, later known as
Linnaea borealis, the
twinflower that would become his favourite. He sometimes
dismounted on the way to examine a flower or rock and was
particularly interested in mosses and lichens, the latter a main part
of the diet of the reindeer, a common and economically important
animal in Lapland.
Linnaeus travelled clockwise around the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia,
making major inland incursions from Umeå,
Luleå and Tornio. He
returned from his six-month-long, over 2,000 kilometres
(1,200 mi) expedition in October, having gathered and observed
many plants, birds and rocks. Although Lapland was a
region with limited biodiversity,
Linnaeus described about 100
previously unidentified plants. These became the basis of his book
Flora Lapponica. However, on the expedition to Lapland,
Latin names to describe organisms because he had not yet
developed the binomial system.
Flora Lapponica Linnaeus' ideas about nomenclature and
classification were first used in a practical way, making this the
first proto-modern Flora. The account covered 534 species, used
Linnaean classification system and included, for the described
species, geographical distribution and taxonomic notes. It was
Augustin Pyramus de Candolle
Augustin Pyramus de Candolle who attributed
Linnaeus with Flora
Lapponica as the first example in the botanical genre of Flora
writing. Botanical historian E. L. Greene described
Flora Lapponica as
"the most classic and delightful" of Linnaeus's works.
It was also during this expedition that
Linnaeus had a flash of
insight regarding the classification of mammals. Upon observing the
lower jawbone of a horse at the side of a road he was travelling,
Linnaeus remarked: "If I only knew how many teeth and of what kind
every animal had, how many teats and where they were placed, I should
perhaps be able to work out a perfectly natural system for the
arrangement of all quadrupeds."
Linnaeus led a small group of students to Dalarna. Funded by
the Governor of Dalarna, the expedition was to catalogue known natural
resources and discover new ones, but also to gather intelligence on
Norwegian mining activities at Røros.
Cities where he worked; those outside
Sweden were only visited during
Back in Uppsala, Linnaeus' relations with Nils Rosén worsened, and
thus he gladly accepted an invitation from the student Claes Sohlberg
to spend the Christmas holiday in
Falun with Sohlberg's family.
Sohlberg's father was a mining inspector, and let
Linnaeus visit the
mines near Falun. Sohlberg's father suggested to
should bring Sohlberg to the
Dutch Republic and continue to tutor him
there for an annual salary. At that time, the
Dutch Republic was one
of the most revered places to study natural history and a common place
for Swedes to take their doctoral degree; Linnaeus, who was interested
in both of these, accepted.
In April 1735,
Linnaeus and Sohlberg set out for the Netherlands, with
Linnaeus to take a doctoral degree in medicine at the University of
Harderwijk. On the way, they stopped in Hamburg, where they met
the mayor, who proudly showed them a wonder of nature which he
possessed: the taxidermied remains of a seven-headed hydra. Linnaeus
quickly discovered it was a fake: jaws and clawed feet from weasels
and skins from snakes had been glued together. The provenance of the
hydra suggested to
Linnaeus it had been manufactured by monks to
represent the Beast of Revelation. As much as this may have upset the
Linnaeus made his observations public and the mayor's dreams of
selling the hydra for an enormous sum were ruined. Fearing his wrath,
Linnaeus and Sohlberg had to leave
Hamburg Hydra, from the Thesaurus (1734) of Albertus Seba
Linnaeus reached Harderwijk, he began working towards a degree
immediately; at the time,
Harderwijk was known for awarding "instant"
degrees after as little as a week. First he handed in a thesis on
the cause of malaria he had written in Sweden, which he then defended
in a public debate. His dissertation, submitted on 23 June, was titled
Dissertatio medica inauguralis in qua exhibetur hypothesis nova de
febrium intermittentium causa ("Inaugural thesis in medicine, in which
a new hypothesis on the cause of intermittent fevers is presented").
He concluded that malaria arose only in places with clay-rich
soil. He is now known to have been wrong about the cause, not
having a microscope good enough to see malarial parasites, which were
spread by mosquitoes breeding in the water that collected in ruts and
puddles. But he was right in predicting that traditional Chinese
medicine, including the use of wormwood (Artemisia), is a potential
source of antimalarial drugs; Artemisinins, derived from wormwood,
are now the principal antimalarial drugs.
The next step was to take an oral examination and to diagnose a
patient. After less than two weeks, he took his degree and became a
doctor, at the age of 28. During the summer,
Linnaeus met a
friend from Uppsala, Peter Artedi. Before their departure from
Uppsala, Artedi and
Linnaeus had decided should one of them die, the
survivor would finish the other's work. Ten weeks later, Artedi
drowned in one of the canals of Amsterdam, and his unfinished
manuscript on the classification of fish was left to
Publishing of Systema Naturae
One of the first scientists
Linnaeus met in the
Netherlands was Johan
Frederik Gronovius to whom
Linnaeus showed one of the several
manuscripts he had brought with him from Sweden. The manuscript
described a new system for classifying plants. When Gronovius saw it,
he was very impressed, and offered to help pay for the printing. With
an additional monetary contribution by the Scottish doctor Isaac
Lawson, the manuscript was published as Systema Naturae
Linnaeus became acquainted with one of the most respected physicians
and botanists in the Netherlands, Herman Boerhaave, who tried to
Linnaeus to make a career there. Boerhaave offered him a
journey to South Africa and America, but
Linnaeus declined, stating he
would not stand the heat. Instead, Boerhaave convinced
he should visit the botanist Johannes Burman. After his visit, Burman,
impressed with his guest's knowledge, decided
Linnaeus should stay
with him during the winter. During his stay,
Linnaeus helped Burman
with his Thesaurus Zeylanicus. Burman also helped
Linnaeus with the
books on which he was working:
Fundamenta Botanica and Bibliotheca
George Clifford, Philip Miller, and Johann Jacob Dillenius
Leaf forms from
Hortus Cliffortianus (1738)
In August 1735, during Linnaeus' stay with Burman, he met George
Clifford III, a director of the
Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company and the owner
of a rich botanical garden at the estate of
Hartekamp in Heemstede.
Clifford was very impressed with Linnaeus' ability to classify plants,
and invited him to become his physician and superintendent of his
Linnaeus had already agreed to stay with Burman over the
winter, and could thus not accept immediately. However, Clifford
offered to compensate Burman by offering him a copy of Sir Hans
Sloane's Natural History of Jamaica, a rare book, if he let Linnaeus
stay with him, and Burman accepted. On 24 September 1735,
Linnaeus moved to
Hartekamp to become personal physician to Clifford,
and curator of Clifford's herbarium. He was paid 1,000 florins a year,
with free board and lodging. Though the agreement was only for a
winter of that year,
Linnaeus practically stayed there till 1738.
It was here that he wrote a book Hortus Cliffortianus, in the preface
of which he described his experience as "the happiest time of my
life." (A portion of
Hartekamp was declared as public garden in April
1956 by the
Heemstede local authority, and was named
"Linnaeushof". It eventually became, as it is claimed, the biggest
playground in Europe.)
In July 1736,
Linnaeus travelled to England, at Clifford's
expense. He went to London to visit Sir Hans Sloane, a collector
of natural history, and to see his cabinet, as well as to visit
Chelsea Physic Garden
Chelsea Physic Garden and its keeper, Philip Miller. He taught
Miller about his new system of subdividing plants, as described in
Systema Naturae. Miller was in fact reluctant to use the new binomial
nomenclature, preferring the classifications of Joseph Pitton de
John Ray at first. Linnaeus, nevertheless, applauded
Miller's Gardeners Dictionary, The conservative Scot actually
retained in his dictionary a number of pre-Linnaean binomial
signifiers discarded by
Linnaeus but which have been retained by
modern botanists. He only fully changed to the Linnaean system in the
The Gardeners Dictionary of 1768. Miller ultimately was
impressed, and from then on started to arrange the garden according to
Linnaeus also travelled to Oxford University to visit the botanist
Johann Jacob Dillenius. He failed to make Dillenius publicly fully
accept his new classification system, though the two men remained in
correspondence for many years afterwards.
Linnaeus dedicated his
Critica botanica to him, as "opus botanicum quo absolutius mundus non
Linnaeus would later name a genus of tropical tree Dillenia in
his honour. He then returned to Hartekamp, bringing with him many
specimens of rare plants. The next year, he published Genera
Plantarum, in which he described 935 genera of plants, and shortly
thereafter he supplemented it with Corollarium Generum Plantarum, with
another sixty (sexaginta) genera.
His work at
Hartekamp led to another book, Hortus Cliffortianus, a
catalogue of the botanical holdings in the herbarium and botanical
garden of Hartekamp. He wrote it in nine months (completed in July
1737), but it was not published until 1738. It contains the first
use of the name Nepenthes, which
Linnaeus used to describe a genus of
pitcher plants.[note 3]
Linnaeus stayed with Clifford at
Hartekamp until 18 October 1737 (new
style), when he left the house to return to Sweden. Illness and the
kindness of Dutch friends obliged him to stay some months longer in
Holland. In May 1738, he set out for
Sweden again. On the way home, he
stayed in Paris for about a month, visiting botanists such as Antoine
de Jussieu. After his return,
Linnaeus never left Sweden
Return to Sweden
Linnaeus returned to
Sweden on 28 June 1738, he went to Falun,
where he entered into an engagement to Sara Elisabeth Moræa. Three
months later, he moved to
Stockholm to find employment as a physician,
and thus to make it possible to support a family. Once again,
Linnaeus found a patron; he became acquainted with Count Carl Gustav
Tessin, who helped him get work as a physician at the
Admiralty. During this time in Stockholm,
found the Royal Swedish Academy of Science; he became the first
Praeses in the academy by drawing of lots.
Because his finances had improved and were now sufficient to support a
family, he received permission to marry his fiancée, Sara Elisabeth
Moræa. Their wedding was held 26 June 1739. Seven months later, Sara
gave birth to their first son, Carl. Two years later, a daughter,
Elisabeth Christina, was born, and the subsequent year Sara gave birth
to Sara Magdalena, who died when 15 days old. Sara and
later have four other children: Lovisa, Sara Christina, Johannes and
House in Uppsala
In May 1741,
Linnaeus was appointed Professor of Medicine at Uppsala
University, first with responsibility for medicine-related matters.
Soon, he changed place with the other Professor of Medicine, Nils
Rosén, and thus was responsible for the Botanical Garden (which he
would thoroughly reconstruct and expand), botany and natural history,
instead. In October that same year, his wife and nine-year-old son
followed him to live in Uppsala.:49–50
Öland and Gotland
Ten days after he was appointed Professor, he undertook an expedition
to the island provinces of
Gotland with six students from
the university, to look for plants useful in medicine. First, they
Öland and stayed there until 21 June, when they sailed
Visby in Gotland.
Linnaeus and the students stayed on
about a month, and then returned to Uppsala. During this expedition,
they found 100 previously unrecorded plants. The observations from the
expedition were later published in Öländska och Gothländska Resa,
written in Swedish. Like
Flora Lapponica, it contained both zoological
and botanical observations, as well as observations concerning the
Öland and Gotland.
During the summer of 1745,
Linnaeus published two more books: Flora
Suecica and Fauna Suecica.
Flora Suecica was a strictly botanical
book, while Fauna Suecica was zoological.
Anders Celsius had
created the temperature scale named after him in 1742. Celsius' scale
was inverted compared to today, the boiling point at 0 °C and
freezing point at 100 °C. In 1745,
Linnaeus inverted the scale
to its present standard.
In the summer of 1746,
Linnaeus was once again commissioned by the
Government to carry out an expedition, this time to the Swedish
province of Västergötland. He set out from
Uppsala on 12 June and
returned on 11 August. On the expedition his primary companion was
Erik Gustaf Lidbeck, a student who had accompanied him on his previous
Linnaeus described his findings from the expedition in the
book Wästgöta-Resa, published the next year. After returning
from the journey the Government decided
Linnaeus should take on
another expedition to the southernmost province Scania. This journey
was postponed, as
Linnaeus felt too busy.
Linnaeus was given the title archiater, or chief physician,
by the Swedish king Adolf Frederick—a mark of great respect. The
same year he was elected member of the Academy of Sciences in
In the spring of 1749,
Linnaeus could finally journey to Scania, again
commissioned by the Government. With him he brought his student, Olof
Söderberg. On the way to Scania, he made his last visit to his
brothers and sisters in Stenbrohult since his father had died the
previous year. The expedition was similar to the previous journeys in
most aspects, but this time he was also ordered to find the best place
to grow walnut and Swedish whitebeam trees; these trees were used by
the military to make rifles. The journey was successful, and Linnaeus'
observations were published the next year in Skånska Resa.
Summer home at his Hammarby estate
Linnaean Garden in Uppsala
Linnaeus became rector of
Uppsala University, starting a
period where natural sciences were esteemed. Perhaps the most
important contribution he made during his time at
Uppsala was to
teach; many of his students travelled to various places in the world
to collect botanical samples.
Linnaeus called the best of these
students his "apostles".:56–57 His lectures were normally very
popular and were often held in the Botanical Garden. He tried to teach
the students to think for themselves and not trust anybody, not even
him. Even more popular than the lectures were the botanical excursions
made every Saturday during summer, where
Linnaeus and his students
explored the flora and fauna in the vicinity of Uppsala.
Philosophia Botanica in 1751. The book
contained a complete survey of the taxonomy system he had been using
in his earlier works. It also contained information of how to keep a
journal on travels and how to maintain a botanical garden.
Cover of Nutrix Noverca (1752)
During Linnaeus' time it was normal for upper class women to have wet
nurses for their babies.
Linnaeus joined an ongoing campaign to end
this practice in
Sweden and promote breast-feeding by mothers. In 1752
Linnaeus published a thesis along with Frederick Lindberg, a physician
student, based on their experiences. In the tradition of the
period, this dissertation was essentially an idea of the presiding
reviewer (prases) expounded upon by the student. Linnaeus'
dissertation was translated into French by J.E. Gilibert in 1770 as La
Nourrice marâtre, ou Dissertation sur les suites funestes du
Linnaeus suggested that children might absorb
the personality of their wet nurse through the milk. He admired the
child care practices of the Lapps and pointed out how healthy
their babies were compared to those of Europeans who employed wet
nurses. He compared the behaviour of wild animals and pointed out how
none of them denied their newborns their breastmilk. It is
thought that his activism played a role in his choice of the term
Mammalia for the class of organisms.
Main article: Species Plantarum
Linnaeus published Species Plantarum, the work which is now
internationally accepted as the starting point of modern botanical
nomenclature, in 1753. The first volume was issued on 24 May, the
second volume followed on 16 August of the same year.[note 4] The
book contained 1,200 pages and was published in two volumes; it
described over 7,300 species.:47 The same year the king
dubbed him knight of the Order of the Polar Star, the first civilian
Sweden to become a knight in this order. He was then seldom seen
not wearing the order's insignia.
His coat of arms
Uppsala was too noisy and unhealthy, so he bought two
farms in 1758: Hammarby and Sävja. The next year, he bought a
neighbouring farm, Edeby. He spent the summers with his family at
Hammarby; initially it only had a small one-storey house, but in 1762
a new, larger main building was added. In Hammarby, Linnaeus
made a garden where he could grow plants that could not be grown in
the Botanical Garden in Uppsala. He began constructing a museum on a
hill behind Hammarby in 1766, where he moved his library and
collection of plants. A fire that destroyed about one third of Uppsala
and had threatened his residence there necessitated the move.
Since the initial release of
Systema Naturae in 1735, the book had
been expanded and reprinted several times; the tenth edition was
released in 1758. This edition established itself as the starting
point for zoological nomenclature, the equivalent of Species
The Swedish king Adolf Frederick granted
Linnaeus nobility in 1757,
but he was not ennobled until 1761. With his ennoblement, he took the
name Carl von Linné (Latinised as Carolus a Linné), 'Linné' being a
shortened and gallicised version of 'Linnæus', and the German
nobiliary particle 'von' signifying his ennoblement. The noble
family's coat of arms prominently features a twinflower, one of
Linnaeus' favourite plants; it was given the scientific name Linnaea
borealis in his honour by Gronovius. The shield in the coat of arms is
divided into thirds: red, black and green for the three kingdoms of
nature (animal, mineral and vegetable) in Linnaean classification; in
the centre is an egg "to denote Nature, which is continued and
perpetuated in ovo." At the bottom is a phrase in Latin, borrowed from
the Aeneid, which reads "Famam extendere factis": we extend our fame
by our deeds.:62
Linnaeus inscribed this personal motto
in books that were gifted to him by friends.
After his ennoblement,
Linnaeus continued teaching and writing. His
reputation had spread over the world, and he corresponded with many
different people. For example,
Catherine II of Russia
Catherine II of Russia sent him seeds
from her country. He also corresponded with Giovanni Antonio
Linnaeus of the Austrian Empire", who was a doctor and a
botanist in Idrija,
Duchy of Carniola
Duchy of Carniola (nowadays Slovenia).
Scopoli communicated all of his research, findings, and descriptions
(for example of the olm and the dormouse, two little animals hitherto
unknown to Linnaeus).
Linnaeus greatly respected Scopoli and showed
great interest in his work. He named a solanaceous genus, Scopolia,
the source of scopolamine, after him, but because of the great
distance between them, they never met.
Headstone of him and his son Carl
Linnaeus the Younger
Linnaeus was relieved of his duties in the Royal Swedish Academy of
Science in 1763, but continued his work there as usual for more than
ten years after. He stepped down as rector at
in December 1772, mostly due to his declining health.
Linnaeus' last years were troubled by illness. He had suffered from a
disease called the
Uppsala fever in 1764, but survived thanks to the
care of Rosén. He developed sciatica in 1773, and the next year, he
had a stroke which partially paralysed him. He suffered a second
stroke in 1776, losing the use of his right side and leaving him
bereft of his memory; while still able to admire his own writings, he
could not recognise himself as their author.
In December 1777, he had another stroke which greatly weakened him,
and eventually led to his death on 10 January 1778 in
Hammarby.:63 Despite his desire to be buried in Hammarby, he
was buried in
Uppsala Cathedral on 22 January.
His library and collections were left to his widow Sara and their
children. Joseph Banks, an English botanist, wanted to buy the
collection, but his son Carl refused and moved the collection to
Uppsala. In 1783 Carl died and Sara inherited the collection, having
outlived both her husband and son. She tried to sell it to Banks, but
he was no longer interested; instead an acquaintance of his agreed to
buy the collection. The acquaintance was a 24-year-old medical
student, James Edward Smith, who bought the whole collection: 14,000
plants, 3,198 insects, 1,564 shells, about 3,000 letters and 1,600
books. Smith founded the
Linnean Society of London
Linnean Society of London five years
The von Linné name ended with his son Carl, who never married. His
other son, Johannes, had died aged 3. There are over two hundred
Linnaeus through two of his daughters.
Main article: Apostles of Linnaeus
Peter Forsskål was among the apostles who met a tragic fate abroad.
During Linnaeus' time as Professor and Rector of
he taught many devoted students, 17 of whom he called "apostles". They
were the most promising, most committed students, and all of them made
botanical expeditions to various places in the world, often with his
help. The amount of this help varied; sometimes he used his influence
as Rector to grant his apostles a scholarship or a place on an
expedition. To most of the apostles he gave instructions of what
to look for on their journeys. Abroad, the apostles collected and
organised new plants, animals and minerals according to Linnaeus'
system. Most of them also gave some of their collection to Linnaeus
when their journey was finished. Thanks to these students, the
Linnaean system of taxonomy spread through the world without Linnaeus
ever having to travel outside
Sweden after his return from
Holland. The British botanist
William T. Stearn
William T. Stearn notes without
Linnaeus' new system, it would not have been possible for the apostles
to collect and organise so many new specimens. Many of the
apostles died during their expeditions.
Christopher Tärnström, the first apostle and a 43-year-old pastor
with a wife and children, made his journey in 1746. He boarded a
Swedish East India Company
Swedish East India Company ship headed for China. Tärnström never
reached his destination, dying of a tropical fever on Côn Sơn Island
the same year. Tärnström's widow blamed
Linnaeus for making her
children fatherless, causing
Linnaeus to prefer sending out younger,
unmarried students after Tärnström. Six other apostles later
died on their expeditions, including
Pehr Forsskål and Pehr
Two years after Tärnström's expedition, Finnish-born
Pehr Kalm set
out as the second apostle to North America. There he spent
two-and-a-half years studying the flora and fauna of Pennsylvania, New
York, New Jersey and Canada.
Linnaeus was overjoyed when Kalm
returned, bringing back with him many pressed flowers and seeds. At
least 90 of the 700 North American species described in Species
Plantarum had been brought back by Kalm.
Cook expeditions and Japan
Daniel Solander (far left) with
Joseph Banks (left, sitting)
James Cook (centre) on his journey to Australia.
Daniel Solander was living in Linnaeus' house during his time as a
student in Uppsala.
Linnaeus was very fond of him, promising Solander
his oldest daughter's hand in marriage. On Linnaeus' recommendation,
Solander travelled to England in 1760, where he met the English
botanist Joseph Banks. With Banks, Solander joined
James Cook on his
expedition to Oceania on the Endeavour in 1768–71.
Solander was not the only apostle to journey with James Cook; Anders
Sparrman followed on the Resolution in 1772–75 bound for, among
other places, Oceania and South America. Sparrman made many other
expeditions, one of them to South Africa.
Perhaps the most famous and successful apostle was Carl Peter
Thunberg, who embarked on a nine-year expedition in 1770. He stayed in
South Africa for three years, then travelled to Japan. All foreigners
Japan were forced to stay on the island of
Dejima outside Nagasaki,
so it was thus hard for Thunberg to study the flora. He did, however,
manage to persuade some of the translators to bring him different
plants, and he also found plants in the gardens of Dejima. He returned
Sweden in 1779, one year after Linnaeus' death.
Main article: Carl
Title page of the 10th edition of Systema Naturæ (1758)
Main article: Systema Naturae
The first edition of
Systema Naturae was printed in the
1735. It was a twelve-page work. By the time it reached its 10th
edition in 1758, it classified 4,400 species of animals and 7,700
species of plants. People from all over the world sent their specimens
Linnaeus to be included. By the time he started work on the 12th
Linnaeus needed a new invention - the index card - to track
In Systema Naturae, the unwieldy names mostly used at the time, such
as "Physalis annua ramosissima, ramis angulosis glabris, foliis
dentato-serratis", were supplemented with concise and now familiar
"binomials", composed of the generic name, followed by a specific
epithet – in the case given, Physalis angulata. These binomials
could serve as a label to refer to the species. Higher taxa were
constructed and arranged in a simple and orderly manner. Although the
system, now known as binomial nomenclature, was partially developed by
the Bauhin brothers (see
Gaspard Bauhin and Johann Bauhin) almost 200
Linnaeus was the first to use it consistently
throughout the work, including in monospecific genera, and may be said
to have popularised it within the scientific community.
After the decline in Linnaeus' health in the early 1770s, publication
of editions of
Systema Naturae went in two different directions.
Another Swedish scientist,
Johan Andreas Murray issued the Regnum
Vegetabile section separately in 1774 as the Systema Vegetabilium,
rather confusingly labelled the 13th edition. Meanwhile a 13th
edition of the entire Systema appeared in parts between 1788 and 1793.
It was through the Systema Vegetabilium that Linnaeus' work became
widely known in England, following its translation from the
Lichfield Botanical Society
Lichfield Botanical Society as A System of Vegetables
Main article: Species Plantarum
Species Plantarum (or, more fully, Species Plantarum, exhibentes
plantas rite cognitas, ad genera relatas, cum differentiis specificis,
nominibus trivialibus, synonymis selectis, locis natalibus, secundum
systema sexuale digestas) was first published in 1753, as a two-volume
work. Its prime importance is perhaps that it is the primary starting
point of plant nomenclature as it exists today.
Main article: Genera Plantarum
Genera plantarum: eorumque characteres naturales secundum numerum,
figuram, situm, et proportionem omnium fructificationis partium was
first published in 1737, delineating plant genera. Around 10 editions
were published, not all of them by
Linnaeus himself; the most
important is the 1754 fifth edition. In it
Linnaeus divided the
plant Kingdom into 24 classes. One, Cryptogamia, included all the
plants with concealed reproductive parts (algae, fungi, mosses and
liverworts and ferns).
Main article: Philosophia Botanica
Philosophia Botanica (1751) was a summary of Linnaeus' thinking on
plant classification and nomenclature, and an elaboration of the work
he had previously published in
Fundamenta Botanica (1736) and Critica
Botanica (1737). Other publications forming part of his plan to reform
the foundations of botany include his
Classes Plantarum and
Bibliotheca Botanica: all were printed in Holland (as were Genera
Plantarum (1737) and
Systema Naturae (1735)), the Philosophia being
simultaneously released in Stockholm.
Linnaeus marble by
Léon-Joseph Chavalliaud (1899), outside the Palm
House at Sefton Park, Liverpool
At the end of his lifetime the Linnean collection in
considered one of the finest collections of natural history objects in
Sweden. Next to his own collection he had also built up a museum for
the university of Uppsala, which was supplied by material donated by
Carl Gyllenborg (in 1744–1745), crown-prince Adolf Fredrik (in
1745), Erik Petreus (in 1746), Claes Grill (in 1746), Magnus
Lagerström (in 1748 and 1750) and
Jonas Alströmer (in 1749). The
relation between the museum and the private collection was not
formalised and the steady flow of material from Linnean pupils were
incorporated to the private collection rather than to the museum.
Linnaeus felt his work was reflecting the harmony of nature and he
said in 1754 'the earth is then nothing else but a museum of the
all-wise creator's masterpieces, divided into three chambers'. He had
turned his own estate into a microcosm of that 'world museum'.
In April 1766 parts of the town were destroyed by a fire and the
Linnean private collection was subsequently moved to a barn outside
the town, and shortly afterwards to a single-room stone building close
to his country house at Hammarby near Uppsala. This resulted in a
physical separation between the two collections, the museum collection
remained in the botanical garden of the university. Some material
which needed special care (alcohol specimens) or ample storage space
was moved from the private collection to the museum.
In Hammarby the Linnean private collections suffered seriously from
damp and the depredations by mice and insects. Carl von Linné's son
(Carl Linnaeus) inherited the collections in 1778 and retained them
until his own death in 1783. Shortly after Carl von Linné's death his
son confirmed that mice had caused "horrible damage" to the plants and
that also moths and mould had caused considerable damage. He
tried to rescue them from the neglect they had suffered during his
father's later years, and also added further specimens. This last
activity however reduced rather than augmented the scientific value of
the original material.
In 1784 the young medical student
James Edward Smith
James Edward Smith purchased the
entire specimen collection, library, manuscripts, and correspondence
Linnaeus from his widow and daughter and transferred the
collections to London.:342-357 Not all material in Linné's
private collection was transported to England. Thirty-three fish
specimens preserved in alcohol were not sent and were later
In London Smith tended to neglect the zoological parts of the
collection, he added some specimens and also gave some specimens
away. Over the following centuries the Linnean collection in
London suffered enormously at the hands of scientists who studied the
collection, and in the process disturbed the original arrangement and
labels, added specimens that did not belong to the original series and
withdrew precious original type material.
Much material which had been intensively studied by Linné in his
scientific career belonged to the collection of Queen Lovisa Ulrika
(1720–1782) (in the Linnean publications referred to as "Museum
Ludovicae Ulricae" or "M. L. U."). This collection was donated by his
grandson King Gustav IV Adolf (1778–1837) to the museum in Uppsala
in 1804. Another important collection in this respect was that of her
husband King Adolf Fredrik (1710–1771) (in the Linnean sources known
as "Museum Adolphi Friderici" or "Mus. Ad. Fr."), the wet parts
(alcohol collection) of which were later donated to the Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences, and is today housed in the Swedish Museum of
Natural History at Stockholm. The dry material was transferred to
System of taxonomy
Table of the Animal Kingdom (Regnum Animale) from the 1st edition of
Systema Naturæ (1735)
Main article: Linnaean taxonomy
The establishment of universally accepted conventions for the naming
of organisms was Linnaeus' main contribution to taxonomy—his work
marks the starting point of consistent use of binomial
nomenclature. During the 18th century expansion of natural
Linnaeus also developed what became known as the
Linnaean taxonomy; the system of scientific classification now widely
used in the biological sciences. A previous zoologist Rumphius
(1627–1702) had more or less approximated the Linnaean system and
his material contributed to the later development of the binomial
scientific classification by Linnaeus.
The Linnaean system classified nature within a nested hierarchy,
starting with three kingdoms. Kingdoms were divided into classes and
they, in turn, into orders, and thence into genera (singular: genus),
which were divided into Species (singular: species). Below the
rank of species he sometimes recognised taxa of a lower (unnamed)
rank; these have since acquired standardised names such as variety in
botany and subspecies in zoology. Modern taxonomy includes a rank of
family between order and genus and a rank of phylum between kingdom
and class that were not present in Linnaeus' original system.
Linnaeus' groupings were based upon shared physical characteristics,
and not simply upon differences. Of his higher groupings, only
those for animals are still in use, and the groupings themselves have
been significantly changed since their conception, as have the
principles behind them. Nevertheless,
Linnaeus is credited with
establishing the idea of a hierarchical structure of classification
which is based upon observable characteristics and intended to reflect
natural relationships. While the underlying details
concerning what are considered to be scientifically valid "observable
characteristics" have changed with expanding knowledge (for example,
DNA sequencing, unavailable in Linnaeus' time, has proven to be a tool
of considerable utility for classifying living organisms and
establishing their evolutionary relationships), the fundamental
principle remains sound.
Influences and economic beliefs
Statue on University of Chicago campus
Linnaeus' applied science was inspired not only by the instrumental
utilitarianism general to the early Enlightenment, but also by his
adherence to the older economic doctrine of Cameralism.
Linnaeus was a state interventionist. He supported
tariffs, levies, export bounties, quotas, embargoes, navigation acts,
subsidised investment capital, ceilings on wages, cash grants,
state-licensed producer monopolies, and cartels.
Views on mankind
According to German biologist Ernst Haeckel, the question of man's
origin began with Linnaeus. He helped future research in the natural
history of man by describing humans just as he described any other
plant or animal.
Linnaeus classified humans among the primates (as they were later
called) beginning with the first edition of Systema Naturae. During
his time at Hartekamp, he had the opportunity to examine several
monkeys and noted similarities between them and man.:173–174 He
pointed out both species basically have the same anatomy; except for
speech, he found no other differences.[note 5] Thus he placed man
and monkeys under the same category, Anthropomorpha, meaning
"manlike." This classification received criticism from other
biologists such as Johan Gottschalk Wallerius,
Jacob Theodor Klein
Jacob Theodor Klein and
Johann Georg Gmelin
Johann Georg Gmelin on the ground that it is illogical to describe a
human as 'like a man'. In a letter to Gmelin from 1747, Linnaeus
It does not please [you] that I've placed Man among the
Anthropomorpha, perhaps because of the term 'with human form',[note 7]
but man learns to know himself. Let's not quibble over words. It will
be the same to me whatever name we apply. But I seek from you and from
the whole world a generic difference between man and simian that
[follows] from the principles of Natural History.[note 8] I absolutely
know of none. If only someone might tell me a single one! If I would
have called man a simian or vice versa, I would have brought together
all the theologians against me. Perhaps I ought to have by virtue of
the law of the discipline.
Detail from the sixth edition of
Systema Naturae (1748) describing
Ant[h]ropomorpha with a division between Homo and Simia
The theological concerns were twofold: first, putting man at the same
level as monkeys or apes would lower the spiritually higher position
that man was assumed to have in the great chain of being, and second,
because the Bible says man was created in the image of God
(theomorphism), if monkeys/apes and humans were not distinctly and
separately designed, that would mean monkeys and apes were created in
the image of God as well. This was something many could not
accept. The conflict between world views that was caused by
asserting man was a type of animal would simmer for a century until
the much greater, and still ongoing, creation–evolution controversy
began in earnest with the publication of
On the Origin of Species
On the Origin of Species by
Charles Darwin in 1859.
After such criticism,
Linnaeus felt he needed to explain himself more
clearly. The 10th edition of
Systema Naturae introduced new terms,
including Mammalia and Primates, the latter of which would replace
Anthropomorpha as well as giving humans the full binomial Homo
sapiens. The new classification received less criticism, but many
natural historians still believed he had demoted humans from their
former place of ruling over nature and not being a part of it.
Linnaeus believed that man biologically belongs to the animal kingdom
and had to be included in it. In his book Dieta Naturalis, he
said, "One should not vent one's wrath on animals,
that man has a soul and that the animals are mere 'aoutomata
mechanica,' but I believe they would be better advised that animals
have a soul and that the difference is of nobility."
Strange people in distant lands
Anthropomorpha depicted in Hoppius' Amoenitates Academicae (1763)
1. Troglodyta Bontii, 2. Lucifer Aldrovandi, 3. Satyrus Tulpii, 4.
Linnaeus added a second species to the genus Homo in Systema Naturae
based on a figure and description by
Jacobus Bontius from a 1658
publication: Homo troglodytes ("caveman") and published a
third in 1771: Homo lar. Swedish historian
Gunnar Broberg states
that the new human species
Linnaeus described were actually simians or
native people clad in skins to frighten colonial settlers, whose
appearance had been exaggerated in accounts to Linnaeus.
In early editions of Systema Naturae, many well-known legendary
creatures were included such as the phoenix, dragon and manticore as
well as cryptids like the satyrus,[note 9] which Linnaeus
collected into the catch-all category Paradoxa. Broberg thought
Linnaeus was trying to offer a natural explanation and demystify the
world of superstition.
Linnaeus tried to debunk some of these
creatures, as he had with the hydra; regarding the purported remains
Linnaeus wrote that they were either derived from lizards
or rays. For Homo troglodytes he asked the Swedish East India
Company to search for one, but they did not find any signs of its
existence. Homo lar has since been reclassified as Hylobates lar,
the lar gibbon.
See also: Race (human categorisation)
In the first edition of Systema Naturae,
Linnaeus subdivided the human
species into four varieties based on continent and skin colour:
"Europæus albus" (white European), "Americanus rubescens" (red
American), "Asiaticus fuscus" (brown Asian) and "Africanus Niger"
(black African). In the tenth edition of
Systema Naturae he further
detailed stereotypical characteristics for each variety, based on the
concept of the four temperaments from classical antiquity, and changed
the description of Asians' skin tone to "luridus"
Linnaeus created a
wastebasket taxon "monstrosus" for "wild and monstrous humans, unknown
groups, and more or less abnormal people".
1907 celebration in Råshult
Main article: Commemoration of Carl Linnaeus
Anniversaries of Linnaeus' birth, especially in centennial years, have
been marked by major celebrations.
Linnaeus has appeared on
numerous Swedish postage stamps and banknotes. There are numerous
Linnaeus in countries around the world. The Linnean Society
of London has awarded the
Linnean Medal for excellence in botany or
zoology since 1888. Following approval by the Riksdag of Sweden,
Växjö University and
Kalmar College merged on 1 January 2010 to
Linnaeus University. Other things named after Linnaeus
include the twinflower genus Linnaea, the crater Linné on the Earth's
moon, a street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the cobalt sulfide
Andrew Dickson White
Andrew Dickson White wrote in A History of the Warfare of Science with
Theology in Christendom (1896):
Linnaeus ... was the most eminent naturalist of his time, a wide
observer, a close thinker; but the atmosphere in which he lived and
moved and had his being was saturated with biblical theology, and this
permeated all his thinking. ... Toward the end of his life he
timidly advanced the hypothesis that all the species of one genus
constituted at the creation one species; and from the last edition of
his Systema Naturæ he quietly left out the strongly orthodox
statement of the fixity of each species, which he had insisted upon in
his earlier works. ... warnings came speedily both from the
Catholic and Protestant sides.
PageRank algorithm, applied to 24 multilingual
editions in 2014, published in
PLOS ONE in 2015, placed Carl
Linnaeus at the top historical figure, above Jesus, Aristotle,
Adolf Hitler (in that order).
Works by Linnaeus
Linnaeus, Carolus (1735). Systema naturae, sive regna tria naturae
systematice proposita per classes, ordines, genera, & species.
Leiden: Haak. pp. 1–12.
Linnaeus, Carolus; Hendrik Engel; Maria Sara Johanna Engel-Ledeboer
Systema Naturae (facsimile of the 1st ed.). Nieuwkoop,
Netherlands: B. de Graaf. OCLC 460298195.
Linnaeus, Carl (1755) . Philosophia botanica: in qua explicantur
fundamenta botanica cum definitionibus partium, exemplis terminorum,
observationibus rariorum, adiectis figuris aeneis. originally
published simultaneously by R. Kiesewetter (Stockholm) and Z.
Chatelain (Amsterdam). Vienna: Joannis Thomae Trattner. Retrieved 13
Linnaeus, C. (1753). Species Plantarum
Linnaeus, Carolus (1758). Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ,
secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus,
differentiis, synonymis, locis. 1 (10th ed.). Stockholm: Laurentius
Salvius. pp. [1–4], 1–824.
Linné, Carl von (1774). Murray, Johann Andreas, ed. Systema
vegetabilium (13th edition of Systema Naturae) (2 vols.). Gottingen:
Typis et impensis Jo. Christ. Dieterich. Retrieved 24 February
Linné, Carl von (1785) . Systema vegetabilium (13th edition of
Systema Naturae) [A System of Vegetables 2 vols. 1783–1785].
Lichfield: Lichfield Botanical Society. Retrieved 24 February
Linnaeus, Carolus (1771). Mantissa plantarum altera generum editionis
VI et specierum editionis II. Stockholm: Laurentius Salvius.
pp. [1–7], 144–588.
Linnaean taxonomy (Linnaean system)
Linnaeus' flower clock
Johann Bartsch, colleague
History of botany
History of phycology
Index cards, which were invented by Linnaeus
^ a b Carl
Linnaeus was born in 1707 on 13 May (Swedish Style) or 23
May according to the modern calendar. According to the Julian calendar
he was born 12 May. (Blunt 2004, p. 12)
^ ICZN Chapter 16, Article 18.104.22.168 – "For a nominal species or
subspecies established before 2000, any evidence, published or
unpublished, may be taken into account to determine what specimens
constitute the type series." and Article 73.1.2 – "If the nominal
species-group taxon is based on a single specimen, either so stated or
implied in the original publication, that specimen is the holotype
fixed by monotypy (see Recommendation 73F). If the taxon was
established before 2000 evidence derived from outside the work itself
may be taken into account [Art. 22.214.171.124] to help identify the
^ "If this is not Helen's Nepenthes, it certainly will be for all
botanists. What botanist would not be filled with admiration if, after
a long journey, he should find this wonderful plant. In his
astonishment past ills would be forgotten when beholding this
admirable work of the Creator!" (translated from
Latin by Harry
^ The date of issue of both volumes was later, for practical purposes,
arbitrarily set on 1 May, see Stearn, W.T. (1957), The preparation of
Species Plantarum and the introduction of binomial nomenclature,
in: Species Plantarum, A Facsimile of the first edition, London, Ray
Society: 72 and ICN (Melbourne Code) Art. 13.4 Note 1: "The two
volumes of Linnaeus' Species plantarum, ed. 1 (1753), which appeared
in May and August, 1753, respectively, are treated as having been
published simultaneously on 1 May 1753."
^ Frängsmyr et al. (1983), p. 167, quotes
Linnaeus explaining the
real difference would necessarily be absent from his classification
system, as it was not a morphological characteristic: "I well know
what a splendidly great difference there is [between] a man and a
bestia [literally, "beast"; that is, a non-human animal] when I look
at them from a point of view of morality. Man is the animal which the
Creator has seen fit to honor with such a magnificent mind and has
condescended to adopt as his favorite and for which he has prepared a
nobler life". See also books.google.com in which
Linnaeus cites the
significant capacity to reason as the distinguishing characteristic of
^ Discussion of translation was originally made in this thread on
talk.origins in 2005. For an alternative translation, see Gribbin
& Gribbin (2008), p. 56, or Slotkin (1965), p. 180.
^ "antropomorphon" [sic]
^ Others who followed were more inclined to give humans a special
place in classification;
Johann Friedrich Blumenbach
Johann Friedrich Blumenbach in the first
edition of his Manual of Natural History (1779), proposed that the
primates be divided into the
Quadrumana (four-handed, i.e. apes and
Bimana (two-handed, i.e. humans). This distinction was
taken up by other naturalists, most notably Georges Cuvier. Some
elevated the distinction to the level of order. However, the many
affinities between humans and other primates – and especially the
great apes – made it clear that the distinction made no scientific
Charles Darwin wrote, in The Descent of Man in 1871:
The greater number of naturalists who have taken into consideration
the whole structure of man, including his mental faculties, have
followed Blumenbach and Cuvier, and have placed man in a separate
Order, under the title of the Bimana, and therefore on an equality
with the orders of the Quadrumana, Carnivora, etc. Recently many of
our best naturalists have recurred to the view first propounded by
Linnaeus, so remarkable for his sagacity, and have placed man in the
same Order with the Quadrumana, under the title of the Primates. The
justice of this conclusion will be admitted: for in the first place,
we must bear in mind the comparative insignificance for classification
of the great development of the brain in man, and that the strongly
marked differences between the skulls of man and the Quadrumana
(lately insisted upon by Bischoff, Aeby, and others) apparently follow
from their differently developed brains. In the second place, we must
remember that nearly all the other and more important differences
between man and the
Quadrumana are manifestly adaptive in their
nature, and relate chiefly to the erect position of man; such as the
structure of his hand, foot, and pelvis, the curvature of his spine,
and the position of his head.
Linnaeus is translated, writing that the satyrus is "hairy, bearded,
with a manlike body, gesticulating much, very fallacious, is a species
of monkey, if ever one has been seen."
^ "Linnaeus" entry in Collins English Dictionary.
^ "Linnaeus, Carolus" in the Oxford Dictionaries Online.
^ a b c Blunt (2004), p. 171.
^ Calisher, CH (2007). "Taxonomy: what's in a name? Doesn't a rose by
any other name smell as sweet?". Croatian Medical Journal. 48 (2):
268–270. PMC 2080517 . PMID 17436393.
^ a b "What people have said about Linnaeus". Linné on line. Uppsala
University. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 3
^ a b c "
Linnaeus deceased". Linné on line.
Retrieved 3 October 2011.
^ Broberg (2006), p. 7.
^ Egerton, Frank N. (2007). "A History of the Ecological Sciences,
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^ "Linnaeus, Carl (1707–1778)". Author Details. International Plant
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^ Blunt (2004), pp. 15–16.
^ Stöver (1794), p. 5.
^ Blunt (2004), p. 16.
^ Stöver (1794), pp. 5–6.
^ Carl von Linnés betydelse såsom naturforskare och läkare :
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^ Stöver (1794), p. 71.
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^ Linnaeus’ thesis on the ague (malaria), ©-2008, Uppsala
^ Tu, Youyou (2011). "The discovery of artemisinin (qinghaosu) and
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^ Stöver (1794), pp. 81–82.
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^ a b
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Standard author abbreviation
The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate this person as
the author when citing a botanical name.
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Biography from Taxonomic Literature, 2nd Edition. 1976–2009.
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Linnaeus was depicted by
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A tattoo of Linnaeus' definition of the order Primates mentioned by
Ginkgo biloba tree at the University of Harderwijk, said to have been
Linnaeus in 1735
The Study of Instinct
The Study of Instinct (book)
Systema Naturae (1735)
Fundamenta Botanica (1736)
Bibliotheca Botanica (1736)
Musa Cliffortiania (1736)
Critica Botanica (1737)
Flora Lapponica (1737)
Genera Plantarum (1737)
Linnaean taxonomy (Linnaean classification)
Taxa named by Linnaeus
History of biology
History of botany
Historical race concepts
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Elisabeth Christina von Linné
Apostles of Linnaeus
Students of Linnaeus
Commemoration of Carl Linnaeus
Linnean Society of London
Linnean Society of New South Wales
Linnean Tercentenary Medal
Systema Naturae by Carl Linnaeus
Aristotle (History of Animals)
Theophrastus (Historia Plantarum)
Aelian (De Natura Animalium)
Pliny the Elder
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Dioscorides (De Materia Medica)
Gaspard Bauhin (Pinax theatri botanici)
Conrad Gessner (Historia animalium)
William Turner (Avium Praecipuarum, New Herball)
John Gerard (Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes)
Robert Hooke (Micrographia)
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
Linnaeus (Systema Naturae)
Johan Christian Fabricius
John Ray (Historia Plantarum)
Comte de Buffon (Histoire Naturelle)
Bernard Germain de Lacépède
Gilbert White (The Natural History of Selborne)
Thomas Bewick (A History of British Birds)
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (Philosophie Zoologique)
George Montagu (
Georges Cuvier (Le Règne Animal)
Charles Darwin (On the Origin of Species)
Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace (The Malay Archipelago)
Henry Walter Bates
Henry Walter Bates (The Naturalist on the River Amazons)
Alexander von Humboldt
John James Audubon
John James Audubon (The Birds of America)
Philip Henry Gosse
William Jackson Hooker
Joseph Dalton Hooker
William Jardine (The Naturalist's Library)
Ernst Haeckel (Kunstformen der Natur)
Richard Lydekker (The Royal Natural History)
Abbott Thayer (Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom)
Hugh B. Cott
Hugh B. Cott (Adaptive Coloration in Animals)
Niko Tinbergen (The Study of Instinct)
Konrad Lorenz (On Aggression)
Karl von Frisch
Karl von Frisch (The Dancing Bees)
Ronald Lockley (Shearwaters)
Natural history museums (List)
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Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
Samuel A. Cartwright
Houston Stewart Chamberlain
Sonia Mary Cole
Carleton S. Coon
Egon Freiherr von Eickstedt
Stanley Marion Garn
Reginald Ruggles Gates
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An Essay upon the Causes of the Different Colours of People in
Different Climates (1744)
The Outline of History of Mankind (1785)
Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question (1849)
An Essay on the Inequality of the
Human Races (1855)
The Races of Europe (Ripley, 1899)
The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century (1899)
Race Life of the Aryan Peoples
Race Life of the Aryan Peoples (1907)
Heredity in Relation to Eugenics (1911)
Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development (1916)
The Passing of the Great Race
The Passing of the Great Race (1916)
The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy
The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy (1920)
The Myth of the Twentieth Century
The Myth of the Twentieth Century (1930)
Annihilation of Caste
Annihilation of Caste (1936)
The Races of Europe (Coon, 1939)
An Investigation of Global Policy with the Yamato Race as Nucleus
The Race Question
The Race Question (1950)
Great chain of being
History of anthropometry
in the United States
Nazism and race
in the United States
History of botany
Hypanthium (Floral cup)
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International Code of
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Alfred Russel Wallace
Timeline of zoology
ISNI: 0000 0001 2127 4957
BNF: cb130917536 (data)