Carl Linnaeus


Carl Linnaeus : biography

23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778

During the summer of 1745, Linnaeus published two more books: ‘ and ‘. ‘ was a strictly botanical book, while ‘ was zoological.Stöver (1974), pp. 117–118. 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.Koerner (1999), p. 204.


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 journey. Linnaeus described his findings from the expedition in the book ‘, published the next year.Blunt (2004), p. 159. 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.

In 1747, Linnaeus was given the title archiater, or chief physician, by the Swedish king Adolf Frederick—a mark of great respect.Blunt (2004), p. 165. The same year he was elected member of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin.Stöver (1974), p. 167.


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 ‘.Blunt (2004), pp. 198–205.Koerner (1999), p. 116.

Rector of Uppsala University

In 1750, 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".Gribbin & Gribbin (2008), pp. 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.Blunt (2004), pp. 173–174.

Publishing of ‘

Linnaeus published ‘ 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.Blunt (2004), p. 221.

Publishing of ‘

Linnaeus published ‘, the work which is now internationally accepted as the starting point of modern botanical nomenclature, in 1753.Stace (1991), . The first volume was issued on 24 May, the second volume followed on 16 AugustICBN (Vienna Code), . of the same year.Sprague (1953) The book contained 1,200 pages and was published in two volumes; it described over 7,300 species.Gribbin & Gribbin (2008), p. 47.Stöver (1974), pp. 198–199. The same year the king dubbed him knight of the Order of the Polar Star, the first civilian in Sweden to become a knight in this order. He was then seldom seen not wearing the order.Blunt (2004), p. 166.


Linnaeus felt 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.Blunt (2004), p. 219. 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.Blunt (2004), pp. 220–224.