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Carolus Linnaeus

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Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778)

Carl Linnaeus (Latinized: Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné; Born::May 23, 1707Died::January 10, 1778), often referred to as the "Father of Taxonomy", was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist. Many know him today for the system that he created to rank, name, and classify animals which is still in use today.[1] After he followed in the footsteps of his father by becoming a botanist, he wrote the first edition of his book named, Systema Naturae, which was concerned with the classifications of living things. Throughout the rest of his life he continued to make changes and revisions to this book to make it more up to date.

His Life Devotion

Title page of the 10th edition of Systema naturæ written by Carl Linnæus

In 1727, he moved to Lund to study medicine. Here, he devoted his life to natural history as well as the study of medicine. As he lived his life, he started to make a rather large collection of items that he considered special or significant. In 1766, he became concerned for these collections because of a big fire that had occurred. He became so concerned that he built a museum to shelter all of his belongings. Carolus Linnaeus accumulated many accomplishments throughout his life, with one of the main ones being that he was one of the founders of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He was also pivotal in the creation of the Celsius temperature scale.

Linnaeus deeply loved nature, and was always in awe when looking at the world of living things. One of Linnaeus's greatest pieces of work was the botanical garden which he created in Uppsala, which can still be seen today. Linnaeus's religious beliefs mostly were dependent on natural theology. In many of his statements he talked about God's divine order.

In one of these statements he said,

The Earth's creation is the glory of God, as seen from the works of nature by man alone. The study of nature would reveal the Divine order of God's creation, and it was the naturalists task to construct a 'natural Classification' that would reveal this order in the universe.

In accordance with his fascination with plants, he wrote in 1729 to connect both plant sexuality and human love saying that,

The flowers' leaves...serve as bridal beds which the creator has so gloriously arranged, adorned with such noble bed curtains, and perfumed with so many soft scents that the bridegroom with his bride might there celebrate their nuptials with so much the greater solemnity.[2]

See Also


  1. Godfray, H. C. J (March 15, 2007). "Linnaeus in the Information Age". Nature (Nature Publishing Group, Macmillan Publishers Ltd) 446 (7133): 259. ISSN 0028-0836. 
  2. Ben Waggoner. Carl Linnaeus. University of California Museum of Paleontology