Documentation

Letters

-Search for letters
-Search in texts

Manuscripts

Editions

Links

Contact

C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0052 • Johann Georg Siegesbeck to Carl Linnaeus, 25 November 1735 n.s.
Dated 14 Nov. st. v. CCXXV. Sent from St Petersburg (Russia) to (). Written in Latin.

Viro Clarissimo,
D[omi]n[o] Carolo Linnaeo,
Botanico Upsaliensi celeberrimo,
S[alutem] P[lurimam] D[icit]
Jo[hannes] Georgius Siegesbeck,
Med[icinae] Doct[or] et p[ro] t[empore] Praefectus
Horti Medici Petropolitani.

Iam ab illo tempore, Anno nimirum 1731, quo relationes publicae litterariae de scriptis nonnullis Botanicis a Te iam editis atque etiam imposterum edendis et quidem adhuc tum in Germania, nempe Helmstadii, celebri illa Musarum Academicarum sede, degentem atque Physicatus munere ibidem fungentem me certiorem facerent, nihil magis in votis habui quam Tecum, Vir Clarissime, Commercium litterarium Botanicum instituere, sed tamen partim ob loci distantiam, partim etiam ob varia alia impedimenta voti compos fieri tunc minus potui. Quum vero interim nutu divini Numinis singulari ex patria evocatus, ut nimirum Horto Medico Petriburgensi praeessem Remque Herbariam publice docerem, ante paucos menses huc appulerim, eo magis iam propinquior factus, non quidem proprio solum ausu et instinctu sed praeprimis officii et muneris ratione ducor, ut per litteras hasce amicitiam Tuam ambiam et Correspondentiam, quam vocant Botanicam, a Te expetam.[1] Nimirum non solum semina quaedam selectiora Plantarum tam Indigenarum quam Exoticarum, quae forte ad manus sunt pro Flora nostra hic locorum iam noviter efflorescente sed et scripta a Te evulgata, nempe tam Hortum Uplandicum, sive Enumerationem Plantarum Exoticarum Uplandiae, quae in hortis vel agris imprimis autem in Horto Academico Upsaliensi coluntur,[2] quam Fundamenta Botanica[3] libenter desiderarem. Ut igitur faveas conatibus meis et responsionem una cum desideratis ad me des, est quod unice rogo atque efflagito credasque velim ad mutua talia reciproce officia praestanda me Tibi nunquam defuturum. Non solum enim iam supellectilem quandam plantarum rariorum,[a][a] : MS1 <rariorem> rariorum licet adhuc paullo contractiorem, Hortus Noster Medicus iam possidet, sed et hanc ipsam ex favore et liberalitate exterorum quorundam amicorum et Botanices Professorum Celeberrimorum in dies augere et amplificare omni studio annitor. Quem in finem etiam Catalogum Plantarum Horti[4] ipsius insequente anno Deo volente typis exscribere animus est, quo amicis Botanophylis eo facilius constare possit, quibus defectus nostros supplere quaeque a nobis recipere queant, cuiusque impressi Catalogi exemplar tunc curabo, ut ad Te perveniat. Caeterum ex Commercio Litterario ad Rei Medicae et scientiae naturalis incrementum instituto[5] iam anno 1732 percepi Dominum Professorem Andream CelsiumCelsius, Anders (1701-1744).
Swedish. Professor of astronomy,
Uppsala. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
Vestrum indefesso studio occupatum esse in elaboratione magni Operis Botanici Flora Uplandica nuncupati,[6] immo de Plantis cuiusdam Insulae minoris[7] eundem iam Relationem adjectis figuris Prodromi quasi loco publicasse.[8] Libenter ergo scirem [b][b] : MS1 [added above the line] non solum,[b][b] : MS1 [added above the line] an forte Opus illud iam ad finem perductum et evulgatum fuerit, sed et exemplar De Plantis Insulae illius minoris avide exoptarem.

Vale!

Dabam Petropoli ex Horto Medico ad diem 14 Nov[embris] st[yli] v[eteris] {sym- CIC+M}{sym-IC+D}CCXXXV.

upSUMMARY

After a few months as director of the Medical Garden in St Petersburg Johann Georg Siegesbeck wants to establish a botanical correspondence with Linnaeus.

Siegesbeck would like to have seeds from Swedish and exotic plants and he would like Linnaeus’s Hortus Uplandicus and Fundamenta botanica. He hopes to publish a catalogue of the plants of the Medical Garden in St Petersburg.

Siegesbeck has seen from Commercium litterarium ad rei medicae et scientiae naturalis incrementum institutum (1732) that Anders Celsius is working on a Flora Uplandica and that Celsius has already published a work on the plants of a small island, of which work Siegesbeck would like to have a copy.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, XIV, 76-77). [1] [2] [3]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
MS1 <rariorem> rariorum
b.
MS1 [added above the line]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
This is Johann Georg Siegesbeck’s first letter to Linnaeus. No letters from Linnaeus to Siegesbeck have come down to us. However, according to Siegesbeck, Linnaeus sent him letters on 29 April 1736 n.s. (see Siegesbeck, 24 May 1736 o.s., 4 June 1736 n.s.Letter L0085) and 22 November 1736 n.s. (see Siegesbeck to Linnaeus, 17 December 1736 o.s., 28 December 1736 n.s.Letter L0119). When Linnaeus first published his ideas about the sexual system in Systema naturae (1735)Linnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae, sive regna tria naturae
systematice proposita per classes,
ordines, genera & species

(Leiden 1735). Soulsby no. 39.
and refined these ideas in Fundamenta botanica (1736)Linnaeus, Carl Fundamenta
botanica, quae majorum operum prodromi
instar theoriam scientiae botanices per
breves aphorismos tradunt
(Amsterdam
1736). Soulsby no. 253.
, Genera plantarum (1737)Linnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum eorumque characteres naturales
secundum numerum, figuram, situm &
proportionem omnium fructificationis
partium
(Leiden 1737). Soulsby no.
284.
and Critica botanica (1737)Linnaeus, Carl Critica
botanica, in qua nomina plantarum
generica, specifica & variantia
examini subjiciuntur, selectiora
confirmantur, indigna rejiciuntur;
simulque doctrina circa denominationem
plantarum traditur. Seu Fundamentorum
botanicorum pars IV. Accedit J.
Browallii De necessitate historiae
naturalis discursus
(Leiden 1737).
, he was severely criticised by Christian Gottlieb LudwigLudwig, Christian Gottlieb
(1709-1773). German. Physician.
Professor of medicine in Leipzig. One of
Linnaeus’s early opponents.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, Johann Georg SiegesbeckSiegesbeck, Johann Georg
(1686-1755). German. Prussian botanist,
doctor of medicine at Wittenberg in
1716, physician and director of the
botanical garden at St Petersburg
1735-1747. One of the most bitter
opponents of Linnaeus’s sexual system.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
and Lorenz HeisterHeister, Lorenz (1683-1758).
German. Anatomist and surgeon,
considered the father of German surgery.
Professor of anatomy and surgery in
1720, of theoretical medicine and botany
at Helmstädt in 1730. He rejected
Linnaeus’s sexual system. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
(see their letters to Linnaeus). The botanical systems used at this time were those of Joseph Pitton de TournefortTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
, John RayRay, John (1627-1705).
British. Naturalist and clergyman. One
of the most influential botanists before
Linnaeus.
and August Quirinus RivinusRivinus, August Quirinus
(1652-1723). German. Professor of
medicine and botany at Leipzig.
Constructed a plant classification
system based on petals.
. On the antagonism between Linnaeus and Siegesbeck see Jönsson, “Odium botanicorum. The polemics between Carl Linnaeus and Johann Georg Siegesbeck”Jönsson, A.-M. Odium
botanicorum
. The polemics between
Carl Linnaeus and Johann Georg
Siegesbeck”, Språkets
speglingar. Festskrift till Birger
Bergh
, ed. A. Jönsson & A.
Piltz (Lund 2000), 555-566.
.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
The author of Flora Uplandica was not Anders Celsius but his uncle, Olof Celsius the ElderCelsius, Olof (1670-1756).
Swedish. Orientalist and theologian,
professor at Uppsala. Botanist and plant
collector, benefactor of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, who was a botanical autodidact. The first work on Flora Uplandica started in the 1690s (according to the preface of the Uppsala manuscript D 58; see belowCelsius, Olof “Flora Uplandica”
(manuscript; UUB, Ms D 58).
). The final work was done together with Linnaeus in the spring of 1729. Flora UplandicaCelsius, Olof “Flora Uplandica”
(manuscript; LUB)
was dedicated to Queen Ulrika EleonoraUlrika Eleonora, (1688-1741).
Swedish. Reigned 1719-1741. Wife of
Fredrik I, sister of Karl XII.
, but was never published. The original manuscript of 1730 is now kept in LUB. The plants are arranged in classes after a modification of the system of Joseph Pitton de TournefortTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
and partly after John RayRay, John (1627-1705).
British. Naturalist and clergyman. One
of the most influential botanists before
Linnaeus.
. Celsius wrote two other manuscripts of Flora Uplandica, which are now kept in the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm (“Linnéherbariet”Celsius, Olof “Flora Uplandica”
(manuscript; NR)
) and UUB (D 58, finished in 1733Celsius, Olof “Flora Uplandica”
(manuscript; UUB, Ms D 58).
). The printed Plantarum circa Upsaliam sponte nascentium catalogusCelsius, Olof “Plantarum circa
Upsaliam sponte nascentium catalogus”,
ALSS, 2 (1732), 9-44 [1735].
of 1735 is based on the latter. See Gertz, “Olof Celsius d.ä. och Flora UplandicaGertz, O. “Olof Celsius
d.ä. och Flora Uplandica.
Ett blad till Uppsalabotanikens
historia”, SLÅ 3 (1920),
36-56.
. There is also a Celsius herbarium, consisting of 713 specimens bound in 8 volumes, at the Museum of Evolution, Uppsala. It contains 609 specimens of vascular plants, 57 mosses, 30 lichens, 9 fungi and 8 algae.
7.
Siegesbeck may be referring to Linnaeus’s Flora Kofsöensis. On 23 June 1731 Linnaeus visited Kofsan, an islet in Lake Mälaren in Uppland, and described its flora in half an hour. The Swedish original is now lost. In 1919 O. Gertz published Caroli Linnaei Flora Kofsöensis, intra horae 1/2 spatium perlustrata & descripta. An. 1731 in Botaniske notiser Botaniske notiser (Lund
1839-).
(1919), 88-93, but this is only a copy (D 67a, UUB) of Linnaeus’s original. In 1924 J. M. Hulth edited the Latin original (now in the L.S.) of Flora Kofsöensis, SLÅ 7 (1924), 65-67. See also Fredbärj & Knöppel, “Kofsan på Linnaei tid och idag”Fredbärj, T. & J.
Knöppel
“Kofsan på
Linnaei tid och idag”, SLÅ
36 (1953), 58-70.
.
8.
See Siegesbeck’s letter to Linnaeus, 24 May 1736 o.s., 4 June 1736 n.s.Letter L0085, where Siegesbeck says that this information about a work on the plants of a small island was false and that Celsius’s first name was not Anders.