Documentation

Letters

-Search for letters
-Search in texts

Manuscripts

Editions

Links

Contact

C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0919 • Johann Georg Gmelin to Carl Linnaeus, 10 June 1748 n.s.
Dated X Jun. MDCCXLVIII. Sent from Basel (Switzerland) to (). Written in Latin.

Viro Illustri,
D[omino] D[octori] Carolo Linnaeo,
Profess[ori] Upsaliae,
S[alutem] P[lurimam] D[icit]
J[oannes] G[eorgius] Gmelin.

Ignosces sine dubio pro innata Tibi humanitate, quod paullo serius ad suavissimas Tuas d[ie] XII Mart[ii] scriptas respondeam.[1] Varia fuerunt impedimenta domestica, negotia botanica, excursiones & tandem iter in Helvetiam, quae me distinuerunt et effecerunt, quominus officio meo ad Te scribendi defunctus sim. Gratias Tibi ago summas, uti fere semper soleo, pro transmissis in plantas Sibiricas animadversionibus Tuis &, ut reliquas absolvas, enixe rogo. Sunt enim certe omnes tales, quae floram Sibiricam maturant, cujus Tu fautor es & fulcrum egregium. Secundum tomum, qui continebit compositas, aggregatas & tricoccas, revidi adhuc semel & correctum misi Petropolin, ut imprimatur & ut icones aeri incidantur.[2] Multa is continet nova, forte etiam multa invenies, quae digna essent, ut virgula censoria notarentur. Scripsi tamen omnia hac ratione, ut error botanicus, si quis irrepserit, facile deprehendi possit. Classes difficiles sunt & errores facile committi possunt etiam a peritis botanicis. In dies magis magisque agnosco clima & soli naturam facillime varietates in plantis producere saepe insignes, quae tamen non sunt sufficientes speciebus diversis constituendis. Quid sentis de Actaea fructibus tribus, quod semina nunquam germinaverint neque in Russia neque apud nos? An species hybrida erit ex Actaea vulg[ari] & Delphinio aconiti folio, uti Dilleniana ex Actaea vulg[ari] & delphinio segetum orta esse dici posset. Sed semina specierum hybridarum fertilia esse Peloria Tua docet? O quam vellem Peloriam Tuam videre, ut conferre possem cum Swertia mea! Argusiam Amm[ani]Amman, Johann (1707-1741).
Swiss/Russian?. Curator of Hans Sloane’s
natural history collection. Professor of
botany at the Imperial Academy of
Sciences at St Petersburg. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
florentem observavi, quae mihi quidem admodum differre videtur tam a lithospermo quam a cerinthe. Argusiae nomen retinere nolo, quia Tuis praeceptis adversatur, & praeterea error admissus est, cum fluvius, a quo Ammanus nomen imposuit, Argum vocetur. Astrachaniam dixit SchoberusSchober, Gottlob (1770-1739).
German. Doctor of medicine, travelled in
Russia.
etiam a loco natali. Quoniam MesserschmidMesserschmied, Daniel Gottlieb
(1685-1735). German. Botanist.
Travelled in Siberia.
& Schober primi & soli inter botanicos plantam observarunt ab alterutro horum virorum nomen dare placuit. Dederam amethystinae Mess[erschmidii] nomen Messerschmidiae, sed videns Te retinuisse nomen Messerschmidianum Messerschmidiam Argusiae reliqui sperans nitrariam Schoberi, primi inventoris, novum nomen requisituram esse, cui tunc Schoberi nomen adcommodari poterit. Non concedam omnino, ut oves cornutae specie differant a non cornutis, nisi aliae differentiae detegantur. Sed a cornibus in non cornutis genus definiri non poterit. Secundum schema, quod olim per Te ad SalviumSalvius, Lars (1706-1773).
Swedish. Printer, bookseller, publisher.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
misi, mitti poterunt omnia vestra scripta per Salvium, quia is quotannis libros vestros Lipsiam mittit, cum quibus & eos, quos Tua humanitas mihi procurabit, mittere poterit. Gratus certe omnia persolvam, de quo nollem, ut dubitares. Gesnerum Tigurensem invisi, hominem eruditissimum & perquam comem. Historiam universalem plantarum edere in animo habet & subsidiis ad id perquam idoneis instructus est.[3] Characteres omnium generum simul aere incisos exhibebit. Multas etiam aves pictas habet, satis nitide ad vivum exaratas. Musaeum fossilium sui simile vix habet. Characteres Tuos & systema prorsus adoptavit & supra nominatam historiam secundum idem systema divulgarit. Hic spero ex eruditione SteheliniStähelin, Benedikt
(1695-1750). Swiss. Botanist. Studied
under Sébastien Vaillant and
Albrecht von Haller, professor of
physics in Basle.
proficere. Cryptogamiae hic indefessus cultor est, propterea quod reliqua botanica parum sectetur. Colligo plantas in via, quam facio, ut curo, ne iter studiis meis perniciosum sit. Abhinc proficiscar Argentoratum, Carolsruham tandem petiturus & hortum invisurus. Denique laribus meis me reddam. Tu interim vale & aestatem tam jucunde transige aut jucundius quam ego! Iterum vale!

Dabam Basileae d[ie] X Jun[ii] MDCCXLVIII.

upSUMMARY

Johann Georg Gmelin has received Linnaeus’s letter of 12 March 1748 o.s., 23 March 1748 n.s. A lot of things have delayed him from answering, among them a tour to Switzerland. He thanks Linnaeus for his comments on the Siberian plants sent to him.

Gmelin has revised the second volume of his Flora Sibirica and sent it to St Petersburg to be printed. This work contains much that is new. But the classes are difficult. Gmelin continues to grow more convinced that climate and nature can markedly affect the characteristics of a plant. These, however, cannot justify new species.

Gmelin wants Linnaeus’s opinion of Actaea with three fruits. He wonders whether it might be a hybrid of the common Actaea Delphinium Aconiti folio. He eagerly wants a Peloria to compare with his own Swertia. He has seen Johann Amman’s Argusia flower; it differs from both Lithospermum and Cerinthe. The names Argusia, Astrachania, Messerschmidia, etc. are discussed, as deviating from the rules of nomenclature given by Linnaeus.

Gmelin denies that sheep can be divided into two species, horned and non-horned.

Gmelin emphasises that things can be sent to him through Lars Salvius.

In Switzerland Gmelin met Johannes Gesner, who plans to edit a universal history of plants. Gesner has adopted Linnaeus’s system and characters of genera. Gmelin hopes he will benefit from Benedikt Stähelin’s learning.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, V, 55). [1] [2]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
Linnaeus’s letter to Johann Georg Gmelin of 12 March 1748 o.s., 23 March 1748 n.s. has not come down to us.
2.
Gmelin, Flora SibiricaGmelin, Johann Georg Flora
Sibirica, sive Historia plantarum
Sibiriae
(St Petersburg 1747-1769).
. Vol. II “1749” was published early 1752.
3.
Johann Gesner never finished his “History of plants”. However, Gesner’s Tabulae phytographicae analysin generum plantarum exhibentes [...] edidit Ch. S. SchinzGessner, Johannes Tabulae
phytographicae analysin generum
plantarum exhibentes, cum commentatione
edidit Ch. S. Schinz, med doct.
,
I-II (Zürich 1795-1804).
appeared in 1795.