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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L1033 • Joseph von Rathgeb to Carl Linnaeus, 9 May 1749 n.s.
Dated IX Mensis Maii 1749. Sent from Venezia (Italia) to (). Written in Latin.

Viro Nobilissimo Doctissimoque
Carolo Linnaeo,
Archiatro P[erillustri] Reg[is] Sv[eciae], Med[icinae] et Bot[anices] Profess[ori] Upsal[iensi],
S[alutem] P[lurimam] D[icit]
Joseph Nobilis à Rathgeb Eques.

Antequam ad humanissimas tuas litteras d[e] d[ie] 16 Martii[1] suo tempore recte mihi redditas, Vir celeberrime, respondeam, nosse te cupio proxima ineunte hebdomade me tibi mittere more autem consueto Academiae Regiae Scientiarum Upsaliae[2] inscriptam cistam, in qua inclusi sunt tres sequentes libri:

VallisnieriVallisnieri, Antonio
(1661-1730). Italian. Professor of
medicine at Padua in 1700.
Opere Medico-Fisiche Tom. III in fol. Venetiis.[3]
Index Testarum Conchyliorum, quae adservantur in Museo Nicolai GualtieriGualtieri, Nicola (1688-1744).
Italian. Doctor of medicine, physician
at Pisa.
. Florentiae 1742 fol.[4]
Commentarii Academiae Bononiensis Volumina IV quanta hucusque prodiere.[5]

Hos tres libros, ubi acceperis, rogo atque etiam rogo, Societati Regiae Scientiarum Upsalensi meo nomine observantissimisque verbis exhibeas, ut in publica ejusdem Societatis Biblioteca reponantur ibique maneant, quamvis leve munusculum, argumentum tamen perpetuae meae erga illam venerationis monumentumque animi mei gratissimi pro tanta sua Benevolentia ac liberalitate, qua me immeritissimum ac ne cogitantem quidem inter socios suos adscribere sponte dignata est. Vallisnierii Opera ita etiam Commentarios Bononienses gratissimos fore spero. Gualtieri Museum addidi, quod figurae sint elegantissimae interque eas aliquot Plantae submarinae. Videbis tu quoque in Praefatione ad idem Museum honorificentissimam nominis Tui factam mentionem. Nitide compacta sunt omnia. Adjeci Mappae Topographicae Dioeceseos Patavinae exempla duo, quod numquam scripseris, ea, quae anno abhinc altero misi, ad manus tuas pervenisse.

Nunc ad illa superius dictae epistolae tuae capita accedo et quod quidem in primo loco ad culices ficarios attinet. Hos expecto propediem Syracusis, Siciliae Urbe percelebri, curante illius loci Episcopo, quocum nuper amicitiam inire mihi contigit. Si promissis stabitur, occasio erit culices observandi. Habebis a me tu quoque aliquos. Interea quanto magis super hoc argumento versor, eo magis perspicere licet multa adhuc observanda mansisse. Ita autem est de plurrimis [sic] aliis in Botanica. Cujus quidem rei causa aperta est, quod paucissimi sint, qui huic studio incumbunt, atque illos ipsos paucissimos plerumque mediis, quae maximi dispendii sunt, destitutos. Ceterum aut ego mentem meam non bene aperui, dum in superiore mea epistola d[e] d[ie] 19 Martii ex Te, Vir Doctissime, me quaesiisse autumas, utrum foemina possit producere fructus absente mare?[6] Hoc enim extra omnem dubitationem posui. Minus adhuc dubitavi fructus absque mare genitos idem esse quod sunt ova subventanea. Haec enim regeris in ultima Epistola tua, ut taceam, quae nostris temporibus ad confirmandam hanc sententiam observata sunt et etiam, antequam CamerariusCamerarius, Rudolf Jacob
(1665-1721). German. Professor of
medicine, Tübingen.
in epistola sua de Sexu Plantarum[7] et in aliquibus suis observationibus de eodem argumento Actis Nat[urae] Curios[iorum] insertis hoc assereret plures fuere, qui hanc copulam in plantis analogam cum animalibus dixere.[8] Ego solummodo causalem, quam subjunxi, propter quam foemina etiam absque absente mare fructus producere possit. Non intellexi, quae haec fuit de ficu loquens, quia fructus pericarpium non est sed calyx.

De Cicindellis idem evenire mihi videtur, quod Reaumur de insectis lingua Gallica Pucerons[9] appellatis Tom. III de ses Memoires adstruit[10] se omnia adhibita diligentia discernere nequisse quum alati et non alati foeminae sint, qui sint, qui foecundant utrosque. Neque eo felicior fuit Carolus BonnettusBonnet, Charles (1720-1793).
Swiss. Naturalist, entomologist,
philosopher, founded the theory of
parthenogenesis of insects.
, licet studio adhuc majori in haec eadem inquisierit, uti ipse fatetur in observatione, quam inseruit Transact[ionibus] Anglic[is] no. 471, p. 465 seqq.[11] Sed hoc incidenter a me dicta sunt. Nam argumentum hoc a studiis meis alienum.

Ex seminibus, quae misisti, plurimae jam natae sunt Plantae. Gaudeo et nasci Axyrim et Ceratocarpum. Diligenter haec observabo. Alio tempore plura de his scripturus uti etiam de Planta mea Alpina. De Linaria scoparia neque ego in praesentiarum dicere queo, qui sint ejusdem flores masculi. Ita fit saepissime, ut quae maxime obvia sunt, maxime negliguntur! Quanta in his maxime obviis adhuc non observata! Quod si quis solummodo cunctas species, quae sub uno genere locata[e] fuere, examinare vellet, deprehenderet vera scripsisse DilleniumDillenius, Johann Jacob
(1684-1747). German/British. Studied at
Giessen. Sherardian professor of botany
at Oxford. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
in Hort[o] Elth[amensi]: Si nomina Plantarum generica deberent speciebus omnibus et singulis iisque solis quadrare, pauca erunt recte imposita, etc.[12] Ita etiam de aliis rebus. Nimis vasta est in quovis suo Regno Natura.

Pro Ave Pendulino Bononiam scripsi spemque habeo obtinere eam asservatam in spiritu vini; quod si ita erit, suo tempore mittam.[13] .

Observationem forte adhuc expectas ex Commentariis Bononiensibus de Insecto in Vite reperto. Sed quum illos ipsos Commentarios videre licebit, supervacaneum duxi eamdem exinde transcribere in epistolam meam.

Neque hac vice respondisti super dubia mea de Tribulo aquatico. Ex hoc silentio non obscure arguo id factum ex quadam Tua singulari circumspectione, forsan veritus, ne effluant, quae secreta vellis [sic]. De fide autem mea non est, quod dubites. Neque ego in his a te erudiri quaesivi, ut HallerumHaller, Albrecht von
(1708-1777). Swiss. Naturalist and
poet, professor of medicine, botany,
anatomy and surgery at Göttingen
1736-1753. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
errasse dicas. Nihil de eo sollicitus. Aliorum cura erit monstrare lapsus suos quam plurimos in opere suo Stirpium Helveticarum.[14] Neque id mirum! Nam fieri nequit, ut pluribus intentus cuncta accurate examinet. Hinc factum, quod ex ore Viri celeberrimi mihique amicissimi audivi eumdem etiam in notis ad praelectiones Boerhaavianas sexcenties errasse.[15]

Postremo, quod in limine statim faciundum erat, gratias ago pro dissertatione de Taenia.[16] Si etiam illam, quam de Polygala praeterito mense Februario in lucem prodere constutueras, mittas, summe me Tibi devincies.[17]

Deum precor, ut felix et salvus ex itinere in Scaniam Domum redeas.[18]

Vale et me amore Tuo, quem maximi facio quemque mihi continuari omni opera adlaborabo, prosequi perge iterumque vale!

Venetiis IX Mensis Maii 1749.

[a][a] : [added by Rathgeb] Tui observantissimus Tibique addictissimus
Rathgeb[a][a] : [added by Rathgeb]

[a][a] : [added by Rathgeb] P.S. Quum Societas Regia Upsalensis non alio modo adscribere consuevit, quos suos vult esse socios, quam vocatoriis per Secretarium exaratis neque ego alia petere possum. Tamen rem faceres gratissimam eamque, ut mihi videtur, boni ordinis caussa necessariam, ut saltem illam ipsam schedulam, quam misisti manu Tua scriptam, denuo mitteres manu amanuensis factam in charta illius formae, quae decet, dein a Te signatam &, quod maxime convenit, illius ipsius Societatis Regiae sigillo munitam. Iterum vale! Rathgeb[a][a] : [added by Rathgeb]

upSUMMARY

Joseph von Rathgeb has received Linnaeus’s letter dated 16 March 1749 o.s., 27 March 1749 n.s. He will send a box to the Royal Swedish Society of Sciences at Uppsala containing Antonio Vallisnieri’s Opere fisico-mediche, III, Nicola Gualtieri’s Index testarum conchyliorum and De Bononiensi scientiarum et artium instituto atque academia commentarii, I-IV. The books are to be kept in the Library of the Society as a token of Rathgeb’s gratitude for having been elected a member. He also enclosed two maps of the diocese of Padua.

Rathgeb awaits some Culices ficarii from Syracuse.

Rathgeb believes that a female can produce a fruit, when a male is absent. It is likely that fruits born without a male are subventaneous eggs as Linnaeus says. Already Rudolf Jacob Camerarius asserted in his De sexu plantarum epistola that the copula of plants is similar to that of animals.

Also René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur deals with a problem of fecundication in his Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire des insectes, III, regarding insects called “Pucerons” in French: when both the winged and the non-winged ones are females, it is not possible to tell which is fecundating with which. Charles Bonnet could not solve such problems either, which he confesses in The Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London, 471, pp. 456 seqq.

Most of the seeds that Linnaeus had sent Rathgeb have now grown into plants, among them Axyris and Ceratocarpus. Regarding Linaria Scoparia, Rathgeb cannot say which are male flowers.

Rathgeb hopes to receive a penduline bird from Bologna.

Linnaeus can read in De Bononiensi scientiarum et artium instituto atque academia commentarii about the insect found on a tendril of a vine.

Rathgeb complains that Linnaeus has not answered his questions about Tribulus aquaticus.

Rathgeb explains that it is natural that Albrecht von Haller made many mistakes in Enumeratio methodica stirpium Helvetiae indigenarum, since he devotes himself to so many different things. Rathgeb has heard that Haller made hundreds of errors in his notes to Herman Boerhaaves’s Praelectiones academicae.

Rathgeb is grateful for Linnaeus’s dissertation De Taenia. He would also like to have Linnaeus’s dissertation on Polygala, if it has been published.

Rathgeb hopes that Linnaeus will return safely from Scania.

P.S. Rathgeb asks for a proper diploma showing that he is a member of the Royal Swedish Society of Sciences at Uppsala.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original (LS, XII, 143-144). [1] [2] [3]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
[added by Rathgeb]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
Linnaeus’s letter to Joseph von Rathgeb, 16 March 1749 o.s., 27 March 1749 n.s., has not come down to us.
2.
The Royal Swedish Society of Sciences was founded at Uppsala in 1727.
3.
4.
5.
6.
See Rathgeb to Linnaeus, 19 March 1749 n.s.Letter L1022.
7.
8.
Miscellanea curiosa sive ephemeridum medico-physica Germanicarum [...] decuriae (1670). See Schmid & Freund, “Linné und Academia naturae curiosorum”Schmid, Günther & H. Freund
“Linné und Academia Naturae
Curiosorum”, SLÅ 13 (1930),
124-152.
.
9.
Sc. “plant lice”.
This bird is probably a Penduline Tit.
Linnaeus wrote no dissertation on Polygala. However, Rathgeb means Linnaeus’s Radix SenegaLinnaeus, Carl Radix
Senega
, diss., resp. J. Kiernander
ad (Stockholm 1749).
, where Polygala is dealt with.