Documentation

Letters

-Search for letters
-Search in texts

Manuscripts

Editions

Links

Contact

C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0689 • Johann Georg Gmelin to Carl Linnaeus, 18 February 1746 n.s.
Dated VII Febr. 1746. Sent from St Petersburg (Russia) to (). Written in Latin.

Viro Celeberrimo, Evergetae[1] maximo,
D[omino] D[octori] Carolo LINNAEO,
Professori Upsalensi,
S[alutem] P[lurimam] D[icit]
J[oannes] G[eorgius] Gmelin.

Acceptissimas Tuas diuque desideratissimas litteras doctrina locupletes tandem accepi, atque porro pro iis gratias Tibi habeo maximas, reliquas, quas promisisti, animadversiones non sine voluptatis sensu, qui erudiri cupidos afficere solet, avide expectans. Acquiescere possem & deberem in doctissimis Tuis monitis, quae solidissima esse nunquam non deprehendi. Deinde iniquum est nimiis quaestionibus Tuam humanitatem, qua non Tibi, sed aliis, inservis, fatigare. Scio haec, sed multa antehac ausus sum. Audebo adhuc occasionem nactus Tecum colloquendi, & voluptas, quam exinde capio, audaciae crimen, saltem apud me, lenit. Quodsi in Te effectus sequetur contrarius, condona, quaeso, innocentiae. Plantam 39 Bupleurum foliis linearibus acutis sessilibus H[orti] Cliff[ortiani] Tu pro nova planta habes, quam nominare suades Bupleurum foliis linearibus involucris partialibus polyphyllis aveniis longitudine corollulae.[2] Ego vero post acceptas Tuas litteras denuo sub examen revocavi, sed deprehendere non potui involucra partialia minime nervosa esse aut rigida. In multis speciminibus mihi rigidissima & venosa visa[a][a] : MS1 [added above the line] sunt, in cujus demonstrationem litteris hisce includo ramulum. Contuli etiam descriptiones & icones Auctorum denuo nec differentiam invenire datur. Forte igitur mentem Tuam non penitus intellexi, quam, ni grave fuerit, penitius explices. Plantam 23 sub nomine Pastinacae Tu habes pro Heraclii specie & quidem pro Heracleo foliolis pinnatifidis H[orti] Cliff[ortiani]. Ego, ni fallor, vidi illud Heracleum, quod, uti & ex definitione generica sequitur, corollis est admodum irregularibus at Pastinaca mea ad sensum regularibus gaudet. Flosculi perpetuo e viridi lutei & statura hominis etiam indicant non esse illum Heraclii speciem pro qua Tu habes. In descriptione ego etiam dixi folia simillima esse illius Heraclii. Salicem 16 pro Salice florae Tuae Suec[iae] 798 habes, sed mea capsulas[b][b] : MS1 <foliis> capsulas glabras fert. Quoad Ephedras flora mea Sibirica unam tantum agnoscit speciem, quae mihi est Ephedra pedunculis saepe pluribus, amentis solitariis.[3] Pedunculi enim saepe tres, quatuor & quinque sunt, quod non adeo bene in sicca planta propter pedunculos deciduos distingui potest. Amenta autem semper solitaria sunt. De monosperma ephedra plane Tecum sentio, quod non nisi varietas sit alterius. Non diffiteor tamen fatum mirum videri, quo in insigni copia plantarum ex quolibet fructu singuli embryones abortierunt. Certe ego tunc temporis, cum plantam invenirem, innumera exempla lustravi omnia monosperma, nisi etiam bonam fructuum quantitatem ad C[eleberrimum] AmmannumAmman, Johann (1707-1741).
Swiss/Russian?. Curator of Hans Sloaneís
natural history collection. Professor of
botany at the Imperial Academy of
Sciences at St Petersburg. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
, qui idem deprehendit, tanquam in libello de stirpibus Russiae testatur.[4] Jussu Tuo lustravi flores femineos, sed nihil distincti vidi. Salices 8 & 9 Tu pro iisdem habes. Ego praeter alias distinctionis notas in Salice 9 perpetuo tria stamina observavi, cum 8a quatuor, quinque, sex & septem staminibus variet. An tibi haec differentia tam nauci habenda videtur? Salicem pumilam 15 Tu haberi vis pro Salice Fl[orae] Suec[iae] 808, sed in nostra folia superne atroviridia nunquam vidi, sed semper utrinque candicantia.[5] Cassia, quam ad Te miseram, ex semine Sinico enata est. Ergo non est planta Sibirica. Ego ad Te illam miseram, quia magnas in illa quoad situm glandularum variationes observavi. Etiam numerus foliorum mire variat. Certe in laeto solo & juvante tepidariorum calore plerumque sex paria profert. Optandum esset, ut pro Cassiis notae specificae constantiores excogitari possent. Osmundam 58 & Asplenium 53 ne mireris amplius Sibiricas esse. Plures adhuc Americanas Sibiria colit, nisi concedere lubet easdem plantas a prima rerum creatione diversis regionibus concessas esse. Americae vicinia forte ad scrupulum omnem solvendum juvabit. Multas esse rationes audio, quae cogant credere cohesisse olim Sibiriam Americae. Nec vel jam distantia magna est, eaque propter insulas copiose interjectas non magni aestimanda. Theae fruticem aut semen si comparare possem, Croeso me ditiorem agnoscere vellem.[6] Saepissime cogitavi de hac re & deliberavi cum illis, qui in Sinas profecti sunt, voluntatem suam mihi quidem significantibus, sed, postquam redierunt, impossibilitatem rei praetexentibus. Multa propter Jesuitas, ut se magis amicos redderent, suspiciones perpetuas de Russis insinuantes adhuc latuerunt & diu latebunt. Dissertationes Tuas avidissime expecto. Quod Limniam videre gestias, gaudeo. Melius enim me determinabis, an sit Claytoniae species. Nam ego nunquam antehac Claytoniae speciem vidi. Quod opellam meam qualemcunque in describendis simiis gazophylacii nostri tam humaniter interpretatus sis, est quod me ad quaevis officiorum genera Tibi praestanda allicit. Non vidi tractatum HalleriHaller, Albrecht von
(1708-1777). Swiss. Naturalist and
poet, professor of medicine, botany,
anatomy and surgery at Göttingen
1736-1753. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
de aliis;[7] scripsit ad me missurum esse. Librum de animalibus Sueciae[8] videre aveo doleoque ignorantiam meam, quod Suecice non edoctus sim, ut descriptionem itineris Oelandici legere possim.[9] Nam omnia Tua suspicio. Hoc momento ex Astracano accipio litteras, quibus significatur plantas Astracanenses ad me missas esse. Si accepero, partiar Tecum.

Vale, Vir Colendissime & me ama!

Dabam Petropoli d[ie] VII Febr[uarii] 1746.

upSUMMARY

Johann Georg Gmelin thanks Linnaeus for the letter he has received.

Linnaeus considers plant no. 39 Bupleurum foliis linearibus acutis sessilibus (Hortus Cliffortianus) to be a new plant that should be classified as Bupleurum foliis linearibus involucris partialibus polyphyllis aveniis longitudine corollulae. Gmelin has examined this plant again and found that the partial involucres really are fibrous and rigid.

According to Gmelin Linnaeus classifies no. 23, a Pastinaca, as a Heracleum foliolis pinnatifidis (Hortus Cliffortianus). Gmelin states, however, that Heracleum has irregular corollae, while his Pastinaca has regular ones.

Linnaeus classifies Salix no. 16 as no. 798 in Flora Svecica. But Gmelinís Salix has glabrous capsules.

Regarding Ephedra monosperma Gmelinís Flora Sibirica only recognises one species, which often has many peduncles and solitary cones (amentae). Often there are three, four or five peduncles. The cones are always solitary. A long discussion regarding the number of species follows.

Linnaeus considers Salices nos. 8 and 9 to be one and the same. Among other things Gmelin has observed that Salix no. 9 always has three stamens, whereas no. 8 varies between four, five, six and seven stamens.

Linnaeus considers Salix pumila no. 15 to be Salix no. 808 in Flora Svecica. But Gmelin has never seen leaves that are dark green upwards in his Salix.

Gmelin has sent a Chinese Cassia. He observed many variations in the position of the glandules and number of leaves.

Linnaeus should not be surprised any more that Osmunda no. 58 and Asplenium no. 53 are Siberian plants; many American plants grow in Siberia, unless the same plants grew in different regions when things were first created. Gmelin hears many arguments why Siberia and America were once one. The distance between Siberia and America is not big even now, and there are a lot of islands in between.

If he could have a seed or a Thea bush, he would consider himself richer than Croessus. Gmelin has thought a lot about this and discussed it with people going to China. However, when they come back from China they say that it is impossible. The Jesuits are the cause of it; they slander the Russians.

Gmelin expects Linnaeusís dissertations. He is glad that Linnaeus wants to see Limnia. Linnaeus will be able to see whether it is a species of Claytonia. Albrecht von Haller will send Gmelin his De Alii genere naturali libellus. Gmelin longs to see Fauna Svecica. He regrets not being able to read Linnaeusís Öländska resa, since it is in Swedish.

Gmelin expects plants from Astrakhania. If he receives them, Linnaeus will have some.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, V, 36-37). [1] [2] [3] [4]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
MS1 [added above the line]
b.
MS1 <foliis> capsulas

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
From the Greek word for benefactor.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Croesus, King of Lydia, 6th c. B.C.
7.
Haller, De Alii genere naturali libellus .
8.
9.