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Link: • Samuel Aurivillius to Carl Linnaeus, 22 September 1748 n.s.
Dated 11/22 September 1748. Sent from Berlin (Germany) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Swedish.


Samuel AurivilliusAurivillius, Samuel
(1721-1767). Swedish. Professor of
medicine, Uppsala. Correspondent of
reports that the seeds requested by Linnaeus had been delivered by KraussKrauss, Austrian.
Book-printer, publisher, Vienna.
, and sent to Stockholm to merchant BrandelBrandel, Swedish. Merchant,
. As Krauss is anxious to establish contact with Linnaeus, he sent a letter to Linnaeus [this letter has not come down to us] with Anders Johan von HöpkenísHöpken, Anders Johan von
(1712-1789). Swedish. Count and
statesman. One of the founders of the
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.The
Chancellor of the Uppsala University
1760-1764. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
servant. Krauss is a great lover of the entire field of natural history. Besides his garden he has started a mineral and shell cabinet. He has engaged an artist, who has made sketches of all his flowers, following their natural colours. The result is a success.

It was rather difficult to get a meeting with Johann Gottlieb GleditschGleditsch, Johann Gottlieb
(1714-1786). German. Botanist and
sylviculturist in Berlin, disciple of
Anton Wilhelm Platz and Johann Ernst
Hebenstreit, supervisor of Caspar Boseís
garden 1731-1735, professor at the
Collegium Medico-Chirurgicum in 1746.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
who demonstrated the Botanic Garden belonging to the Royal Academy of Sciences in Berlin [Königliche Akademie der WissenschaftenKönigliche Akademie der
Wissenschaften, Royal Academy of
Sciences in Berlin
Founded at the instigation of Leibniz in
1700 as the
Societät der Wissenschaften. In
1744 it merged with the
Société Littéraire
du Berlin (which had been founded in
1743) to form the Königliche
Akademie der Wissenschaften.
]. It was a special pleasure to see the magnificent pieces donated by King William of EnglandWilliam III, (1650-1702).
British. Stateholder of the Netherlands.
Reigned in England from 1689.
. Cypresses, Cedars, and several others, had already got thick and high trunks. Unfortunately, the garden is rather disorderly, because of the fact that both Gleditsch, who is the director of the garden, and Michael Matthias LudolffLudolff, Michael Matthias
(1705-1756). German. Professor of
botany and medicine, Berlin.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, have been given authority to demonstrate plants to their audiences. The two are bitter enemies, and what is built up by one, is torn apart by the other.

Gleditsch has founded a new system in botany, from the stems of the plants defined in five classes. His system makes examination and understanding of plants quite easy. Gleditsch will soon make it more generally known by publication [the new system was published in 1764, Systema plantarum

] together with his Methodus fungorumGleditsch, Johann Gottlieb
Methodus fungorum, exhibens genera,
species et varietates cum charactere,
differentia specifica, synonomis [sic],
solo, loco et observationibus

(Berlin 1753).
. He further uses common moss to grow Ficus and several species of Aloe, a kind of Geranium and others. According to Aurivillius, no one has tried that before.

Aurivillius reports of some other observations of putting sprouts in water, which he has told Nils Rosén von RosensteinRosén von Rosenstein, Nils
(1706-1773). Swedish. Physician
and professor of medicine. Colleague of
Linnaeus at Uppsala. The founder of
modern pediatrics. Correspondent of
in a letter. In his opinion, these observations should be demonstrated for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences [Kungliga Svenska VetenskapsakademienKungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademien,
Swedish. The Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Founded
in 1739.
]. Gleditsch has reported these to the Royal Academy of Sciences in Berlin, but sofar none of his observations has been published in the Memoires [Aurivillius means the transactions of the Academy, Histoire de líAcadémie Royale des Sciences et des Belles Lettres de Berlin : depuis [... ]Gleditsch, Johann Gottlieb ], for which he blames both people who envy him and the low esteem for botany in Berlin.

Gleditsch further regrets that he seldom gets the opportunity to learn from Linnaeus, and stressed his wish to actually see Linnaeusís publications. He particularly wants to read Flora ZeylanicaLinnaeus, Carl Flora
Zeylanica; sistens plantas Indicas
Zeylonae insulae, quae olim 1670-1677,
lectae fuere a Paulo Hermanno [...]
demum post 70 annos ab Augusto
Günthero [...] orbi redditae

(Stockholm,1747). Soulsby no. 420.
, Hortus UpsaliensisLinnaeus, Carl Hortus
, resp. S. Nauclér
(Upsala, 1745). Soulsby no. 1424.
and the new edition of Systema naturae [Aurivillius refers to Systema naturae, 6th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 7th edition (Leipzig 1748).
Soulsby no. 52.
]. Some time ago Gleditsch had sent a lot of seeds together with a letter to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, all through Claes GrillGrill, Claes (1705-1767).
Swedish. Merchant, owner of the iron
works of Söderfors, Österby
and Iggesund. Director of the Swedish
East India Company. Also known as an art
collector and patron of arts and
sciences. Brother of Anthoni Grill and
Johan Abraham Grill. Correspondent of
, conveying his thanks for being admitted a member, but just before Aurivllliusís arrival in Berlin, the whole parcel came back in return.

It is said that 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 Linnaeusís sexual system.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
in Petersburg has recently lost his office and pension, without being told why. He and his large family live in deep poverty.

In Berlin, a clergyman, named Johan Lukas WoltesdorfWoltesdorf, Johan Lukas
(1721-1772). German. Preacher, Berlin.
, has established himself as a mineralogist, without proper knowledge or training. He has published a Systema minerale oder MineralsystemLinnaeus, Carl , where he follows the observations of Johann Heinrich PottPott, Johann Heinrich
(1692-1777). German. Professor of
chemistry in 1716 in Berlin.
, who is expected to deliver some critics .

In Wolfenbüttel, a physician called Börner [Aurivillius means Friedrich BoernerBoerner, Friedrich (1723-1761).
German. Physician at
Wolffenbüttel. Son-in-law of
Franciscus Ernst Brückmann.
], has started to publish the biographies of the most well-known physicians in Germany and adjacent countries. Linnaeusís biography is included [Aurivillius refers to Nachrichten von den vornehmsten LebensumständenBoerner, Friedrich
Nachrichten von den vornehmsten
Lebensumständen und Schriften
jeztlebender berühmter Aerzte und
Naturforscher in und um Deutschland
[...] Erstes Zehend

(Wolffenbüttel 1749-1764).

The famous Julien Offray De la Mettrie in Potsdam is described as a rather weird man. He has published a paper called LíHomme-planteBoerner, Friedrich , in which he compares humans to plants. He describes man according to Linnaeusís method to define herbs, and Aurivillius gives some examples of his way of reasoning.

Aurivillius will now proceed to Leipzig and then to Göttingen.


a. original holograph (LS, I, 207-210). [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1909), vol. I:3, p. 97-101   p.97  p.98  p.99  p.100  p.101.