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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0660 • Johann Georg Gmelin to Carl Linnaeus, 3 December 1745 n.s.
Dated XXII Nov. MDCCXLV. Sent from St Petersburg (Russia) to (). Written in Latin.

Viro Illustri,
D[omino] D[octori] Carolo Linnaeo,
Prof[essori] Upsalensi,
S[alutem] P[lurimam] D[icit]
Jo[annes] G[eorgius] Gmelin.

Acceptissimae erant litterae Tuae d[ie] XIV Sept[embris] exaratae, uti fuerunt adhuc, & olim futurae sunt.[1] Avidissime sane expecto, quas promisisti, reliquas in plantas transmissas dilucidationes. Scio quidem concatenata Tua negotia parum otii relinquere ad illa animum adplicandi, quae tanquam aliena haberi possunt. Si vero nosses, quo animo Tua accipiam, nec vel adhuc pigeret Te improbi laboris propter me suscepti. Spero initium factum iri primi tomi florae Sibiricae hac adhuc hieme.[2] Saltim, quod me concernit, paratus est. Forte & jam typis esset impressus, si res Academiae nostrae in meliori statu essent. Limnia StelleriSteller, Georg Wilhelm
(1709-1746). German. Voyager, who
sailed with Vitus Bering and returned
with important collections from
Kamchatka.
forte ad Claytoniam referri potest. Ammodeniam meam diu certe habuissem pro Arenaria foliis ovatis acutis carnosis Fl[orae] Lapp[onicae] (nam contuleram cum descriptione & icone Loeseliana),[3] sed fateor me seductum fuisse charactere arenariae a Te exhibito, ubi nulla glandularum mentio fit, quae tamen evidentissimae sunt & plantam vel obiter intuenti in oculos cadunt. Malpighiam & Bannisteriam sine glandularum ope difficulter a congeneribus distingui posse videtur, licet perianthium parum diversum sit. Si igitur in his glandulae determinando generi sufficiunt, quare alibi id beneficii non praestent? Delibera, quaeso, adhuc Tecum, quid secundum genuina botanices principia conveniat & cedam lubentissime Tuo judicio, quod meo semper antepono. Anandriam primum ad Tussilaginem retuleram, sed postea videbatur mihi characterem Erigeri melius tueri[a][a] : MS1 <[illegible]>
tueri
propter longitudinem pappi et reliquorum attributorum non malam convenientiam.[4] Quotquot specimina ego examinavi, videbantur esse radiata, scilicet discus mihi videbatur floribus femellis bracteatis cinctus. Sed bene video hoc non obstante posse ad Tussilaginem referri, modo non obstet longitudo pappi. Nisi grave fuerit, solutionem, quaeso, hujus dubii facias. Etiam ego Fl[oram] Jen[ensem] HalleriHaller, Albrecht von
(1708-1777). Swiss. Naturalist and
poet, professor of medicine, botany,
anatomy and surgery at Göttingen
1736-1753. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
accepi ab ipso autore.[5] Nam vetus est amicitia nostra. Rapide admodum sua edit nec satis caute agitur, si inventa cum illo mature communicentur. De Flora Suecica ad finem perducta ex animo gratulor non tantum Tibi quam orbi litterato botanico.[6] SiegesbeckiusSiegesbeck, 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.
quid agat, scire cupis. Rixatur & rixis sordidae avaritiae specimina intermiscet. Te non amat sed carpit saepius. Errare, e.g., Te dicit, quando 1. Napellum flore variegato H[orti] Eyst[etensis][7] pro varietate aconiti[b][b] : MS1 [added above the line] sive napelli caerulei minoris C[aspari] B[auhini]Bauhin, Caspar (1560-1624).
Swiss. Botanist and physician, Basle.
Bauhin’s Prodromus and Pinax
theatri botanici
(1620, 1623, 1671)
were important works in the field of
botanical nomenclature.
habeas, cum potius ad napellum 1. C[aspari] B[auhini] spectet. 2. Aconitum lycoctonum Or[ionis] flore magno albo T[ournefortii]Tournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
Cor[ollarii] esse[c][c] : MS1 [added above the line] ,[8] nonnisi ipsum aconitum seu napellum 1 flore albo B[auhini], minime vero Aconiti minoris varietatem. Dedit etiam diss[ertationem] de Delphiniis, cujus novem species esse credit. Nihil cum veterano homine, uti se quavis occasione praedicat, agi potest. Quid alii dicant, non intelligit. Se ipsum non intelligit & confusum idearum chaos miscendo quosdam errores obvelat & erudito orbi, illi inprimis parti, quae parem eruditionem adfectat, imponit. Si liceret nebulones in scientiis statuere, ego quidem Siegesbeckioidem eo referre nullus dubitarem. Occasione Siegesbeckii liceat ex Te quaerere, annon Siegesbeckia commode Verbesinae conjungi possit. Mihi superiori aestate, cum plantam secundum Tuos characteres lustrarem, ita visum est. In simiis indagandis non admodum felix fui. Quaedam enim fere penitus corruptae, ut ea, quae Tu de illis scire cupis, discernere sit impossibile. Mammas in nulla specie dignoscere valui. No. 38 Simia parva ex cinereo fusca, naso productiore, &c., Belgis Gen. Loeris. Caput & supina corporis pars intense rufa. Brachia & pronum corpus albent ex gilvo. Nasus productus acutiusculus albus. Vibrissae rarae breves, quarum nonnullae defluxisse videntur. Cauda nulla, nates pilosae. Ungues manuum & pedum humanis similes unico [d][d] : MS1 [added above the line] tam in manibus quam pedibus[d][d] : MS1 [added above the line] excepto, qui proximus pollici longo aliquantum compresso & adunco. 39 Color in supina corpore dilutior quam in 38, 40, 41. Quoad omnia eaedem praeter colorem ventris, qui cinerascit. 42 Facies albente angusta fascia circumscribitur, quae utrinque a collo incipit & in fronte conjungitur. Caetera eadem. Catulus eam amplectens videtur recens natus nudus albens. 43, 44 Omnino eaedem. 45 Color pilorum describi nequit, quia omnes pili defluxerunt; fuisse autem pilosam simiam certum est. [e][e] : MS1 [added above the line] In externa parte brachiorum & in pedibus pili rufi supersunt.[e][e] : MS1 [added above the line] Nullae sunt vibrissae. An fuerint, dubium. Nates videntur pilosae fuisse. Dentes canini in utraque maxilla duo, utrinque scilicet unus, reliquis notanter longiores. Ungues breves, incurvi, compressi felinis similes, sed in extremitate minus acuti, fusci. Cauda corpore duplo longior pilis, quantum ex residuis conjectari valet, nigricantibus vestita. 46 Cereopithecus totus albus. Color totius corporis albens. Ungues humanis similes. Labia livida raris vibrissis, horrida Barba, brevis densa intensioris respectu reliqui corporis coloris. Clunes pilosae. Cauda corporis longitudine. 47 Dorsum & caput grysea. Fauces, aures & omne pronum corpus candida. Brachia, crura & pedes rufa. Volae manuum albae nudae. Ungues manuum & pedum breves lati humanis similes. Vibrissae rarae, longiusculae, fuscae. Cauda fusca corporis longitudine, clunes pilosae. 48 Idem. Ungues manuum & pedum longissimi aliquantum incurvi praeter ungues pollicum tam manuum quam pedum, qui brevissimi. 49 Idem. Omnes ungues breves. 50 Idem. Ungues, ut in no. 48. Malae in regione aurium nigricant. 51-55 Idem. 56 Idem. Serpentem deglutiens. 57 Cercopithecus catulus nudus sellae insidens. Ungues manuum & pedum latiusculi breves. Vibrissae rarae longiusculae. Corpus nigricans raris fuscis brevissimis pilis vestitum. Cauda corpore notanter brevior in extremo exiguum floccum habere videtur. [f][f] : MS1 [added above the line] Dentes aequalis fere longitudinis.[f][f] : MS1 [added above the line] In spiritu. Sub eodem numero siccum animalculum est supra scripto per omnia simile, nisi quod cauda instruatur corpore suo longiore, quae ad radicem crassior paulatim attenuatur, ut tandem tenuissima in ipsa extremitate conspiciatur. Ossicula 21 in hac cauda. 58 Cercopithecus catulus, &c., &c. Color totius corporis albens. Ungues recti breves, ad exortum lati, aliquantum compressi, in acutum apicem desinentes, pollicibus manuum & pedum exceptis, quorum ungues humanis similes. Cauda corpore duplo fere longior nuda. Os nigricans. Vibrissae rarae. 59 Cercopithecus totus rufus. Aures albae. Labia livida. Volae manuum una cum digitis nudae. Ungues humanis similes. Clunes pilosae. Color totius corporis e rufo nigrescens. Cauda longitudine corporis pilis paulo[g][g] : MS1 [added above the line] longioribus quam corpus vestita. Sine No. est Cercopithecus sellae insidens, baculum manu tenens, cauda brevi. Corpus crassum pilis fuscis tectum. Ungues humanis similes. Cauda brevis vix tertiam corporis partem aequans pilis aeque ac corpus longis tecta. Vibrissae rarae. Clunes pilosae.

Haec, qualiacunque sunt, benevole accipias, animum respiciendo, qui exequi voluit omnia Tua desiderata, non vero potuit. Libros Tuos ut & H[ortum] Cliffortianum avidissime expecto.

Dabam Petropoli d[ie] XXII Nov[embris] MDCCXLV.

upSUMMARY

Johann Georg Gmelin has received Linnaeus’s letter of 14 September 1745 o.s. 25 September 1745 n.s.

Gmelin hopes that the beginning of the first volume of his Flora Sibirica will be printed next winter.

Georg Wilhelm Steller’s Limnia can perhaps be grouped with Claytonia.

Gmelin long considered his Ammodenia to be an Arenaria foliis ovatis acutis carnosis. He was deceived by Linnaeus’s character in Flora Lapponica, where the glandules are not mentioned, but these are evident.

It is difficult to separate Malpighia and Bannisteria from the members of the same genus without taking the glandules into consideration.

Gmelin first grouped Anandria with Tussilago. Then the character of Erigerum was more fitting because of the length of the pappus and other attributes.

Albrecht von Haller has sent him his Flora Jenensis.

Gmelin congratulates Linnaeus on having finished Flora Svecica.

Johann Georg Siegesbeck is troublesome. Siegesbeck asserts that Linnaeus is wrong, for example, to believe Napellus flore variegato (Hortus Eystetensis) to be a variety of Caspar Bauhin’s Aconitum or Napellus caeruleus minor; it is rather Bauhin’s Napellus no. 1, etc.

Siegesbeck neither understands himself nor anybody else; he is totally confused.

Gmelin wonders whether Siegesbeckia can be grouped with Verbesina.

Gmelin finds it difficult to answer Linnaeus’s questions regarding the apes numbered 38-59, since several of them are in very poor condition.

38. A small Simia (“ape”), brown tinged with greyish, elongated nose. The head is reddish, few short hairs in the nose, no tail, etc.
39. On the backside of its body the colour is somewhat weaker than the colours of 38, 40, 41.
42. A small white band goes like a circle round the head, etc.
43,44. The same as above.
45. The colour of the hairs cannot be decided; they have disappeared. However, there are some reddish hairs on the elbows and the feet. It is doubtful whether there have ever been any hairs in the nose, etc.
46. A Cercopithecus (“guenon”), totally white, etc.
47. A Cercopithecus, whose back and head are grey. Face, ears and the whole body leaning forwards are pure glossy white, etc.
48. The same. The claws of the hands and feet are very long, a bit curved inwards with the exception of the claws of the thumbs of the hands and feet, which are very short, etc.
49. The same. All claws are short, etc.
50. The same. Claws as those of no. 48.
51-55. The same.
56. The same; swallowing a serpent.
57. A young naked Cercopithecus, which sits on a chair. The claws of the hands and feet are a bit broad, short. Blackish body, etc.
58. A young Cercopithecus. White. Claws straight, short, etc.
59. A cercopithecus with darkish red body, white ears, livid lips, etc.
Ape without number: A Cercopithecus, which sits on a chair and holds a stick, short tail, etc.

Gmelin anxiously awaits Linnaeus’s works including Hortus Cliffortianus.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, V, 33-34). [1] [2] [3]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
MS1 <[illegible]> tueri
b.
MS1 [added above the line]
c.
MS1 [added above the line]
d.
MS1 [added above the line]
e.
MS1 [added above the line]
f.
MS1 [added above the line]
g.
MS1 [added above the line]