Carl Linnaeus

Carl Linnaeus (Carl von Linné)
Portrait of Linnaeus on a brown background with the word "Linne" in the top right corner
Carl von Linné, Alexander Roslin, 1775
(oil on canvas, Gripsholm Castle)
Born(1707-05-23)23 May 1707[note 1]
Råshult, Stenbrohult parish (now within Älmhult Municipality), Sweden
Died10 January 1778(1778-01-10) (aged 70)
Hammarby (estate), Danmark parish (outside Uppsala), Sweden
Resting placeUppsala Cathedral
59°51′29″N 17°38′00″E / 59°51′29″N 17°38′00″E / 59.85806; 17.63333
ResidenceSweden
NationalitySwedish
Alma materLund University
Uppsala University
University of Harderwijk
Known forBinomial nomenclature
Scientific classification
Taxonomy
Spouse(s)Sara Elisabeth Moraea
Children7
Scientific career
FieldsBotany
Biology
Zoology
InstitutionsUppsala University
ThesisDissertatio medica inauguralis in qua exhibetur hypothesis nova de febrium intermittentium causa (1735)
Notable studentsPeter Ascanius
Author abbrev. (botany)L.
Author abbrev. (zoology)Linnaeus
Signature
Carl v. Linné

Carl Linnaeus (s/;[1][2] 23 May[note 1] 1707 – 10 January 1778), also known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné[3] (Swedish pronunciation: [kɑːɭ fɔn lɪˈneː] (About this sound listen)), was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the "father of modern taxonomy".[4] Many of his writings were in Latin, and his name is rendered in 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 the first edition of his 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. He was one of the most acclaimed scientists in Europe at the time of his death.

Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau sent him the message: "Tell him I know no greater man on earth."[5] 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."[5] Swedish author August Strindberg wrote: "Linnaeus was in reality a poet who happened to become a naturalist".[6] Linnaeus has been called Princeps botanicorum (Prince of Botanists) and "The Pliny of the North".[7] He is also considered as one of the founders of modern ecology.[8]

In botany, the abbreviation L. is used to indicate Linnaeus as the authority for a species' name.[9] In older publications, the abbreviation "Linn." is found. Linnaeus' remains comprise the type specimen for the species Homo sapiens following the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, since the sole specimen that he is known to have examined was himself.[note 2]

Early life

Childhood

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),[10][11][12] and Emerentia Linnæa.[13] His family spoke so much Latin at home, that Linnæus learned Latin before he learned Swedish.[14]

One of a long line of peasants and priests, Nils was an amateur botanist, a Lutheran minister, and the curate of the small village of Stenbrohult in Småland. Christina was the daughter of the rector of Stenbrohult, Samuel Brodersonius.[15]: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.[16][17]

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 plants.[18]

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.[10] 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.[16] Carl's patronymic would have been Nilsson, as in Carl Nilsson Linnæus.[citation needed]

Early education

Linnaeus' father began teaching him basic Latin, religion, and geography at an early age.[19] When Linnaeus was seven, Nils decided to hire a tutor for him. The parents picked Johan Telander, a son of a local yeoman. Linnaeus did not like him, writing in his autobiography that Telander "was better calculated to extinguish a child's talents than develop them."[20]

Two years after his tutoring had begun, he was sent to the Lower Grammar School at Växjö in 1717.[21] 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 garden.

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.[22][23] 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 Herbs, Tillandz's Flora Åboensis, Palmberg's Serta Florea Suecana, Bromelii Chloros Gothica and Rudbeckii Hortus Upsaliensis...."[24]

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.[25][26] 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.[27][28]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Carolus Linnaeus
Alemannisch: Carl von Linné
aragonés: Carl von Linné
armãneashti: Carolus Linnaeus
asturianu: Carl von Linné
Avañe'ẽ: Carolus Linnaeus
azərbaycanca: Karl Linney
تۆرکجه: کارل لینه
Bân-lâm-gú: Carolus Linnaeus
башҡортса: Карл Линней
беларуская: Карл Ліней
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Карл Лінэй
български: Карл Линей
Boarisch: Carl von Linné
bosanski: Carl von Linné
brezhoneg: Carl von Linné
Чӑвашла: Линней Карл
čeština: Carl Linné
corsu: Linneu
dolnoserbski: Carl von Linné
español: Carlos Linneo
Esperanto: Karolo Lineo
estremeñu: Carl von Linné
euskara: Lineo
فارسی: کارل لینه
Fiji Hindi: Carl Linnaeus
français: Carl von Linné
Gàidhlig: Carl von Linné
한국어: 칼 폰 린네
Հայերեն: Կառլ Լիննեյ
hornjoserbsce: Carl von Linné
hrvatski: Carl Linné
Bahasa Indonesia: Carolus Linnaeus
interlingua: Carl von Linné
íslenska: Carolus Linnaeus
italiano: Linneo
Basa Jawa: Carolus Linnaeus
Kapampangan: Carolus Linnaeus
ქართული: კარლ ლინე
kaszëbsczi: Karol Linneùsz
қазақша: Карл Линней
Kiswahili: Carl Linnaeus
Кыргызча: Карл Линней
latviešu: Kārlis Linnejs
Lëtzebuergesch: Carl von Linné
lietuvių: Carl von Linné
Limburgs: Carl Linnaeus
lingála: Carl von Linné
Livvinkarjala: Carl Linnaeus
lumbaart: Carl von Linné
македонски: Карл Лине
Malagasy: Carl von Linné
მარგალური: კარლ ლინე
Bahasa Melayu: Carl Linnaeus
Baso Minangkabau: Carolus Linnaeus
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Carl Linnaeus
Mirandés: Carolus Linnaeus
монгол: Карл Линней
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ကားလ် လင်းနီးယပ်
Dorerin Naoero: Carl Linnaeus
Nederlands: Carl Linnaeus
Nedersaksies: Carolus Linnaeus
नेपाल भाषा: कारोलस लिनियस
Napulitano: Carl von Linné
нохчийн: Линней, Карл
Nordfriisk: Carl von Linné
norsk nynorsk: Carl von Linné
олык марий: Линне Карыл
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Carl Linnaeus
پنجابی: کارل لنیاس
Piemontèis: Carl von Linné
Plattdüütsch: Carl von Linné
português: Carolus Linnaeus
română: Carl Linné
Runa Simi: Carl von Linné
русиньскый: Карл Лінней
русский: Линней, Карл
саха тыла: Карл Линней
संस्कृतम्: केरोलस् लीनियस्
Seeltersk: Carolus Linnaeus
shqip: Karl Lineu
sicilianu: Carolus Linnaeus
Simple English: Carolus Linnaeus
slovenčina: Carl Linné
slovenščina: Carl Linnaeus
ślůnski: Carl von Linné
српски / srpski: Карл фон Лине
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Carolus Linnaeus
Basa Sunda: Carolus Linnaeus
Tagalog: Carl Linnaeus
татарча/tatarça: Карл Линней
тоҷикӣ: Карл Линней
Türkçe: Carl Linnaeus
Türkmençe: Karl Linneý
українська: Карл Лінней
vepsän kel’: Linnei Karl
Tiếng Việt: Carl Linnaeus
West-Vlams: Carolus Linnaeus
Winaray: Carl Linnaeus
Yorùbá: Carl Linnaeus
粵語: 林奈
žemaitėška: Karls Liniejos
Kabɩyɛ: Carl von Linne