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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0023 • Carl Linnaeus to Anders Celsius, 4 January 1733 n.s.
Dated . Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to (). Written in Latin.

Non debui diutius morari, quin Te, V. C. itineris mei Lapponici, auctoritate et impensis Societatis Regiae suscepti, paucis in antecessum certiorem faciam.[1]

In tota mea profectione, a mense Majo usque ad Octobrem praeteriti anni (1732) continuata, et vel sexcentis periculis obnoxia, 672 milliaria Suecica consumsi. Neque omne iter terra, sed multum per mare et flumina institutum. In montibus Lapponicis 15 milliaria Suecica pedibus ivi. Sub elevatione poli 70 grad. in ipso Oceano septentrionali huc illuc navigando, per octiduum solem inocciduum vidi. Per orientale latus Sinus Bothnici Upsaliam reversus, in Tavastia sciurum volantem deprehendi.

Omne a reditu meo tempus in conscribendam Floram Lapponicam impendi. Continebit haec Vegetabilia, in Lappmarkiis et jugis montium Lapponicis crescentia, novis nominibus et specierum synonymis, novorum generum characteribus, rariorum accuratis descriptionibus, plantarumque nondum descriptarum figuris, una cum usu earundem apud Lappones oeconomico et medico, locupletata.

Ante paucos dies hocce opus ad finem perduxi, 36 plagulis et 80 figuris constans.[2] Jam tantum restat ejus in latinam linguam translatio, quam proximo Paschatis tempore prelo paratam, D. V. promitto. Interea temporis ut editorem opusculo meo in Germania, vel alibi, procures humiliter peto.

Flora mea absoluta, Lachesin Lapponicam[3] elaborandam aggredior.In hac de Oeconomia Lapponum agam, causas sanitatis et longaevitatis eorum, simulque praerogativas hujus gentis prae aliis, indigitaturus. Quocirca non SchaefferumSchefferus, Johannes
(1621-1679). Swedish. Philologist and
historian of German origin. Professor of
eloquence and political science at
Uppsala.
, et alios rei Lapponicae scriptores corrigere, sed quae ipse vidi, fideliter et simpliciter referre lubet.

Probe quidem scio, neminem eorum juga montium Lapponica aestatis tempore transivisse. Miram convenientiam inter hosce montes Lapponicos et Alpinos deprehendi; adeo, ut omnes fere plantas, quae non nisi in Alpibus florent, huc quoque invenerim.

Sane quam plurima, rem botanicam egregie illustrantia, reperiisse mihi videor. Tuo quoque desiderio satisfacturus, rebus, oeconomicis in itinere meo attendi.

Ipsa montium juga nullo modo vegetabilibus excoli possunt. Lappmarkiae enim omnes, tractibus plerumque arenosis abundantes, terra nigra carent. Nullibi idoneus agricolae locus, nisi circa fluviorum ripas; quamvis id etiam difficillime. Hinc in Lappmarkiis vix centum dantur agricolae, iique pauperrimi, quia venti, e jugis montium provenientes, frigus semper, imo in ipsis diebus canicularibus, afferendo, labores eorum non raro irritos reddunt. Specimen segetis in Lappmarkiis et Finmarkia Norvegica sponte nascentem inveni, quae in sola arena crescens frigore aestivo difficulter corrumpitur.[4]

Societati Regiae indicem observationum mearum obtuli. E. gr. n. 21 in Regno Minerali, de metallo ferreo, quod magnes non attrahit No 37 de alumine sponte confecto, in montibus Lulensibus. No. 56 de arena nigra martiali in omnibus fluviis contenta. No. 61 de terra conchis referta, in sylvis Helsingicis, 24 ulnis supra mare elevatis. No. 65 de saxo, quo juga montium Lapponicorum constant. No. 66 de saxo seminifero Lapon. Tornensis. No. 100 de 32 speciebus mineralium Lapon. No. 106 de Oeconomia mira Purkiijauri.

In Regno Vegetabili: No. 19 de 23 speciebus Salicum, maximam partem incognitis. N. 24 de modo, lectum sibi commodum in sylvis ex tempore adornandi. No. 29 de gramine, omne frigus arcente. No. 40 de quadam vegetabili esca vaccarum, butyrum colore croceo, imbuente. No. 44 de philtro Lapponis. No. 77 de moxa Lapponum. No. 78 de vegetabili, lac. instar casei, sine coagulatione, condensante.

In Regno Animali: No. 35 historia avis Carolinae.[5] No. 41 de pisce Solsensogd, hactenus non descripto.[6] No. 54 historia insecti, pellem Rangiferi terebrantis.

In Oeconomicis: No. 104 de decem panis speciebus, usitatis a Norlandis et Fennonibus, annona laborantibus.[7] No. 156 de 16 speciebus lactis Westrobotniensium. No. 205 de tempestatum prognosi, quam Fennones a cornicibus ducunt. No. 20S de Lapponum compasso triplicis generis.[8]

upSUMMARY

Linnaeus’s letter to Celsius, which was published in Commercium litterarium, describes his journey to Lapland. Linnaeus begins by enumerating the distances he has travelled. He has described the flora of Lapland according to his new system in a manuscript entitled Flora Lapponica. He also says he is planning to write another work on the economy, Lachesis Lapponica, an intention which he never fulfilled as he later probably found it sufficient to insert comments on the economy of the Lapps in his Flora Lapponica. Linnaeus goes on to say that he has seen plants not observed elsewhere, not even in the Alps. He describes the infertile regions of the mountains. Agriculture is not possible except in the river valleys, and even there not without difficulty. Linnaeus also describes the observations requested by the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala.

He has found iron ore without magnetism and alum, soil partly consisting of shell in the forests of Hälsingland. He has observed the fishing of pearls in Purkijauri.

In the Regnum vegetabilium, the Vegetable Kingdom, he has found 23 species of salix, most of them unknown, grass resistant to low temperature, and pasture which gave butter a deep yellow colour. He had seen the philtre of the Lapps, tinder which could be used for all kinds of illness. There was also a herb which made the milk coagulate.

In the Regnum animalium, in the Animal Kingdom, he has observed the bluethroat, by Rudbeck the Younger named King Carl’s bird, the fish Solsenogd and the insect Rangiferum which could penetrate the skin of the reindeer.

As for economic aspects, Linnaeus could report on ten different kinds of substitutes for bread in Lapland and Finland in times of scarcity, about sixteen different kinds of milk in Westrobothnia, about crows in Finland which could tell the weather and three kinds of compasses used by the Lapps.

upEDITIONS

1. Commercium litterarium (1731), vol. 1735, p. 73-74 .
2. Leben des Ritters Carl von Linné (1792), vol. 2, p. 302-306 .
3. Bref och skrifvelser (1911), vol. I:5, p. 241-244   p.241  p.242  p.243  p.244.

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
This letter was written in Swedish and sent by Linnaeus to Anders Celsius in Berlin 1733. Celsius was the secretary of the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala to whom Linnaeus had to report on his journey. Celsius translated it and had it published in Commercium litterarium. The original document is missing. Johann Jacob DilleniusDillenius, Johann Jacob
(1684-1747). German/British. Studied at
Giessen. Sherardian professor of botany
at Oxford. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
in a letter to Christopher Jacob TrewTrew, Christopher Jacob
(1695-1769). German. Botanist,
physician and counsellor of the margrave
of Ansbach.
dated London 19 December 1732 writes that “a Botanophilo quodam Dn Linnero” had made a journey in Lapland to study botany. Dillenius had got the information from Anders Celsius. Linnaeus’s letter of January 1733, published in Commercium litterarium, was preceded by a letter dated Berlin 15 February 1733 from Celsius to Trew. See Fries, Linné. LefnadsteckningFries, T. M. Linné.
Lefnadsteckning
, I-II (Stockholm
1903).
, I, 114.
2.
This was evidently the first outline to “Flora Lapponica”Linnaeus, Carl “Flora Lapponica”
(manuscript; UUB, Ms D 63).
, a manuscript which was later augmented. The manuscript, written in Swedish, was brought to Holland in 1735 and used for the printed version of Flora LapponicaLinnaeus, Carl Flora
Lapponica exhibens plantas per Lapponiam
crescentes, secundum systema sexuale
collectas in itinere [...] Additis
synonymis, & locis natalibus omnium,
descriptionibus & figuris rariorum,
viribus medicatis & oeconomicis
plurimarum
(Amsterdam, 1737).
Soulsby no. 279.
, published in Amsterdam 1737. The manuscript was donated to Uppsala University Library by prince Roland Bonaparte.
3.
“Lachesis Lapponica” was never completed by Linnaeus. It should not be confused with Lachesis Lapponica or a tour in Lappland now first published from the original manuscript journal of the celebrated LinnaeusLinnaeus, Carl Lachesis
Lapponica, or a tour in Lapland. Now
first published from the original
manuscript journal of the celebrated
Linnaeus,
, ed. J. E. Smith, 2 vol.
(London, 1811). Soulsby no. 192.
which was published by James Edward Smith in 1811. Smith’s Lachesis Lapponica is a translation of Linnaeus’s diary from the voyage “Iter Lapponicum dei gratia institutum 1732”. Linnaeus appended to Flora LapponicaLinnaeus, Carl Flora
Lapponica exhibens plantas per Lapponiam
crescentes, secundum systema sexuale
collectas in itinere [...] Additis
synonymis, & locis natalibus omnium,
descriptionibus & figuris rariorum,
viribus medicatis & oeconomicis
plurimarum
(Amsterdam, 1737).
Soulsby no. 279.
the most important observations of the Lapp’s economic system.
4.
Elymus aernarius L. In a letter to Gabriel GyllengripLetter L0026 Linnaeus describes this grass which he recommended for cultivation in Northern Sweden.
5.
The bluethroat, described by Olof Rudbeck the Younger in his “Iter Lapponicum” (1695) and in his “Fogelboken”. The bird, which he called Avis Carolina, was named after King Karl XI.
6.
Linnaeus gave Solsenogd the name Cyprinus aphya.
7.
8.
The Lapps made observations of the growth of the trees and how they looked from different points of the compass. See Fries, Linné. LefnadsteckningFries, T. M. Linné.
Lefnadsteckning
, I-II (Stockholm
1903).
, I, 112, n.1.