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Link: • Jean François Séguier to Carl Linnaeus, 4 February 1745 n.s.
Dated Prid. non. Februar. anni MDCCXLV. Sent from Verona (Italia) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.


On February 1, 1745, Jean François SéguierSéguier, Jean François
(1703-1784). French. Antiquarian
and botanist, Nimes. Correspondent of
received a letter from Linnaeus dated 11 April 1744 [Séguier means Linnaeus to Séguier, 10 April 1744Letter L0539]. He wonders why it took so long to reach him. Séguier had written to Anders CelsiusCelsius, Anders (1701-1744).
Swedish. Professor of astronomy,
Uppsala. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
and told him that he was very eager to start a friendly exchange of letters with Linnaeus. [The letter from Linnaeus was first sent to Celsius, who passed away, and thereafter it was sent to Séguier through François Boissier de La Croix de SauvagesSauvages, François Boissier de
La Croix de
(1706-1767). French.
Botanist and clergyman and physician,
professor in medicine at Montpellier.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, see Linnaeus to Sauvages, in an undated letter, written in 1744Letter L0598, and Sauvages to Linnaeus, 24 July 1744Letter L0565 ]. The answer from Linnaeus was positive which he is very glad at, and he will do what he can to maintain this relation.

Linnaeus has written much about a project with Séguier called Bibliotheca botanica. It should be clear from the preface what Séguier had intended, and Séguier had known nothing about Linnaeus’s project at that time. Séguier had already compiled long lists of books kept in important libraries in Paris, in London and in Leyden, when he received the unexpected information that Linnaeus had already published such a list [Bibliotheca botanicaLinnaeus, Carl Bibliotheca
botanica recensens libros plus mille de
plantis huc usque editos, secundum
systema auctorum naturale in classes,
ordines, genera & species
dispositos, additis editionis loco,
tempore, forma, lingua etc. cum
explicatione Fundamentorum botanicorum
pars prima
(Amsterdam 1736).
], which was for sale in Amsterdam. Séguier had bought a copy and studied it, but when he saw that Linnaeus’s list was far from complete, he had continued his project. He had continued to Vienna, from there to Italy, and he had brought with him to Verona a very large harvest of titles, which he had arranged in a certain order.

As he was eager to publish the list, he had sent it to Suindemus famous for his knowledge of Latin and Greek literature, and asked him to arrange for a printing if he considered so. The printing had been done, but Suindemus had not had time to do any proof-reading. When it appeared it was full of misprints, and Séguier had made a list of these and sent it to the bookseller to accompany the books. The bookseller had answered, however, that most of the copies were already sold, so that Séguier’s request could not be met. So if Linnaeus finds it full of misprints, Séguier is as sorry for those as Linnaeus.

Another difficulty was that Séguier had often found the same work with false title pages, pretending to be different editions although it had only been printed once. That fraud was especially common with booksellers in Italy and England. Séguier will be glad to receive comments on such mistakes, which he will publish in a supplement with due reference to Linnaeus.

However, Séguier has only published one part of the result of his project [Bibliotheca botanicaSéguier, Jean François
Bibliotheca botanica, sive
Catalogus auctorum et librorum omnium
qui de re botanica, de medicamentis ex
vegetabilibus paratis, de re rustica,
& de horticultura tractant, a
Joanne-Francisco Seguiero Neumasense
digestus. Accessit Bibliotheca botanica
Jo. Ant. Bumaldi, seu potius Ovidii
Montalbani Bononiensis
(The Hague
]. The second part is not yet ready [Bibliotheca botanica, sive, Catalogus auctorum et librorumSéguier, Jean François
Bibliotheca botanica, sive,
Catalogus auctorum et librorum qui de re
botanica, de medicamentis ex
vegetabilibus paratis, de re rustica,
& de horticultura tractant / a
Joanne Francisco Sequierio Nemausense
digestus. Accessit Bibliotheca botanica
Jo. Ant. Bumaldi, seu potius Ovidii
Montalbani Bononiensis, nec non
Auctuarium in bibliothecam botanicam cl.
Sequierii opera Laur. Theod.
(Leiden, 1760).
]. It will be a critical description of the character of each work and of every scholar. Séguier has gathered much material and hopes to see it published sometime.

Séguier asks if Linnaeus has already published the new edition of his Bibliotheca botanica, of which Séguier has already heard rumours [ next edition was published in 1747, Bibliotheca botanica. Editio novaLinnaeus, Carl Bibliotheca
botanica. Editio nova multo
(Halle, 1747). Soulsby
no. 251.
]. Linnaeus has inserted titles found by Séguier in his supplement, and Linnaeus will find more in Séguier’s supplement, soon to be published.

Séguier asks Linnaeus not to be annoyed if Séguier disagrees with him sometimes. He holds Linnaeus in high esteem, and nothing can disturb Linnaeus’s fame. Séguier just states his humble opinion when he treats Linnaeus’s works.

Séguier has given the names of plants used by Linnaeus in Hortus CliffortianusLinnaeus, Carl Hortus
Cliffortianus, plantas exhibens quas in
hortis tam vivis quam siccis Hartecampi
in Hollandia coluit [...] Georgius
(Amsterdam 1737). Soulsby
no. 328.
. He also lists many others described by Linnaeus. In the preface, however, he has been most concerned with those treating plants found in Italy. Joseph Pitton de Tournefort’sTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
method is used in the definition of the species, with small changes, since Italian botanists are more pleased with that. In the supplement, Séguier tells that he lists much that was omitted before, that he has rearranged some and that he has corrected misprints. Séguier will arrange for it to be sent to Linnaeus as soon as it is ready.

Séguier has met some inhabitants in the mountain regions, who are suspicious of botanists because they collect plants and thereby invoke the wrath of Heaven, as they think. In order to avert this and to keep the plants for their cattle, they are careful not to take out the herbs with their roots, and even threaten to kill those who do.

Séguier states openly that he thinks that Giulio PontederaPontedera, Giulio (1688-1757).
Italian. Director of the botanical
garden and professor of botany at Padua.
He rejected Linnaeus’s system. Linnaeus
named a family of Narcissoides,
Pontederia, after him.
is very much against Linnaeus and that he had criticised Linnaeus’s method in his teaching. So far, there is nobody in Italy who prefers Linnaeus’s method to Tournefort’s. Séguier thinks that older teachers are reluctant to learn something new after so many years’ teaching. Pontedera has just a few years earlier published a work Antiquitatum Latinarum Graecarumque enarrationesPontedera, Giulio
Antiquitatum Latinarum Graecarumque
enarrationes atque emendationes
praecipue ad veteris anni rationem
attinentes, epistolis LXVIII comprensae
et tabulis ornatae
(Padua, 1740).
. Pontedera is now preparing a work on the medical garden in Padua.

When the west wind blows again and the fig trees flower, Séguier will send Linnaeus Ficarium insectum, which Pontedera had described in AnthologiaPontedera, Giulio
Anthologia, sive de floris natura
libri tres plurimis inventis,
observationibusque, ac aereis tabulis
ornati. Accendunt ejusdem Dissertationes
XI [.. .] quibus res botanica, et
subinde etiam medica illustratur

(Padua, 1720).

Séguier is glad that Linnaeus has finished Flora SvecicaLinnaeus, Carl Flora Svecica,
exhibens plantas per regnum Sveciae
crescentes, systematice cum differentiis
specierum, synonymis autorum, nominibus,
incolarum, solo locorum, usu
(Leiden 1745).
Soulsby no. 408.
and added a list of the animals found there. Linnaeus published a short list already in 1743 [Séguier refers to the Elenchus animalium per Sueciam observatorumLinnaeus, Carl Elenchus
animalium per Sueciam observatorum

(Leiden 1743).
]. Séguier has some questions about Linnaeus’s attributions: Why is the boar listed among cattle, the deer, the elk and others among domestic animals and the frog among serpents?

Pierre Barrère’sBarrère, Pierre
(1690-1755). French. Professor of
medicine, Perpignan. Correspondent of
’ small work Nouvelle relation de la France equinoxialeBarrère, Pierre
Nouvelle relation de la France
equinoxiale, contenant la description
des côtes de la Guiane; de l’isle
de Cayenne; le commerce de cette
colonie; les diverse changemens
arrivés dans ces pays; & les
mœurs & coûtumes des
différens peuples sauvages qui
(Paris 1743).
has not been delivered to Séguier. He expects it any day, and he will tell Linnaeus what he thinks of it.

Linnaeus wants to know what botanists are active in Italy. Séguier lists these: Lionardo SeslerSesler, Lionardo (17?-1785).
Italian. Physician in Venice.
and CapelliCapelli, Italian. Botanist,
in Venice, Pontedera in Padua, Guiseppe MontiMonti, Guiseppe (1682-1760).
Italian. Professor at Bologna.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
and Gaëtano Lorenzo MontiMonti, Gaëtano Lorenzo
(1712-1797). Italian. Son of Guiseppe
in Bologna. Gaëtano Lorenzo Monti has just translated Giacomo Zanoni’sZanoni, Giacomo (1615-1682).
Italian. Botanist, superintendent of the
botanical garden at the university of
botanical work into Latin, made a supplement to it and added a second volume [Séguier refers to the Rariorum stirpium historia ex parte olim editaZanoni, Giacomo Rariorum
stirpium historia ex parte olim edita.
Nunc centum plus tabulis ex commentariis
auctoris ab ejusdem nepotibus ampliata.
Opus umiversum digessit, Latine
reddidit, supplevitque Cajetanus
(Bologna 1742).
]. Giovanni Targioni-TozzettiTargioni-Tozzetti, Giovanni
(1712-1783). Italian. Naturalist and
physician, associate of Pietro Antonio
Micheli. Father of Ottaviano
Targioni-Tozzetti.Uncle of Antonio
lives in Florence. He has obtained the whole of Pietro Antonio Micheli’ sMicheli, Pietro Antonio
(1679-1737). Italian. Botanist, curator
of the botanical garden of Florence.
Before Linnaeus the leading authority on
botanical property, and we expect to have a second part of Micheli’s work from him [Micheli published himself, Nova plantarum genera iuxta Tournefortii methodumMicheli, Pietro Antonio Nova
plantarum genera iuxta Tournefortii
methodum disposita quibus plantae MDCCCC
recensentur, scilicet fere MCCCC nondum
observatae, reliquae suis sedibus
restitutae; quarum vero figuram exhibere
visum fuit, eae ad DL aeneis tabulis
CVIII graphice expressae sunt;
adnotationibus, atque observationibus,
praecipue fungorum, mucorum, affiniumque
plantarum sationem, ortum &
incrementum spectantibus, interdum
, I (Florence 1729).
, and Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti, Catalogus plantarumMicheli, Pietro Antonio
Catalogus plantarum horti caesarei
Florentini opus postumum, iussu
societatis botanicae editum,
continuatum, et ipsius horti historia
locupletatum ab Io. Targioni
(Florence 1748).
]. After Michelangelo Tilli’sTilli, Michelangelo
(1665-1740). Italian. Professor of
botany, supervisor of the botanical
garden, Pisa. Grandfather of Angelo
Attilio Tilli.
death in Pisa, his tasks are continued by a son of his brother [here Séguier. Is probably misinformed, Angelo Attilio TilliTilli, Angelo Attilio
(1710-1781). Italian. Professor of
Botany, Pisa. Grandson of Michelangelo
, was Michelangelo Tilli’s grandson]. In Torino, Séguier has been to see Giuseppe Bartolomeo CacciaCaccia, Giuseppe Bartolomeo (d.
1747). Italian. Professor of botany and
materia medica, Turin.
and BellaiaBellaia, Italian. Owner of a
botanical garden, Ferrara.
in Ferrara, both having medical gardens. In Verona, the pharmacist CavazzaniusCavazzanius, Italian.
Pharmacist, Verona.
has a small garden planted with various herbs. In Rome, Séguier has seen a garden that is almost neglected after Triumphatus died.

In Milan, a work has just been published in Morando Morandi’sMorandi, Morando (1693-1756).
Italian. Physician, Milan.
name, describing medical plants. However, it is a plagiarism, literally copied from works by Herman BoerhaaveBoerhaave, Herman (1668-1738).
Dutch. Professor of medicine, botany and
chemistry at Leiden. One of the most
influential professors of medicine of
the eighteenth century. Linnaeus visited
him during his stay in Holland.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
and MarisoniusMarisonius, Italian. . A few plants are added, very poorly drawn. Janus Plancus [pseud. for Giovanni BianchiPlancus, Janus (pseud. for Giovanni
(1693-1775). Italian.
Naturalist and physician. Professor of
Anatomy at Siena.
] has published in Florence a work by Fabio ColonnaColonna, Fabio (1567-1650).
Italian. Botanist, painter and engraver.
[Séguier refers to the PhytobasanosColonna, Fabio Phytobasanos
[...] Cui accessit vita Fabi et
lynceorum notitia adnotationesque in
Phytobasanos Jano planeo Ariminensis

(Florence 1744).
] and added a biography of the author.

Séguier is ready to send Linnaeus dried plants and seeds, which he will collect this year. He wants to know the address he should use. Séguier suggests that he could send it to Peter Christian WagnerWagner, Peter Christian
(1703-1764). German. Physician in
Bayreuth. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
in Erlangen, a friend of them both and with whom Séguier has talked about Linnaeus. Séguier will be glad to receive sample plants or seeds from Linnaeus.

Séguier asks Linnaeus to give his regards to Olof CelsiusCelsius, Olof (1670-1756).
Swedish. Orientalist and theologian,
professor at Uppsala. Botanist and plant
collector, benefactor of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
. Séguier has never seen Celsius’ catalogue of the plants growing around Uppsala [Séguier refers to the“Plantarum circa Upsaliam sponte nascentium catalogus”Celsius, Olof “Plantarum circa
Upsaliam sponte nascentium catalogus”,
ALSS, 2 (1732), 9-44 [1735].
], and he asks Linnaeus to get it for him. The bookseller asks Séguier to send Linnaeus the title page of Séguier’s work and to ask Linnaeus if there could be an exchange of books for sale.

Séguier’s address in Verona concludes the letter.


a. original holograph (LS, XIV, 40-41). [1] [2] [3]