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Link: • Fredrik Hasselquist to Carl Linnaeus, 27 December 1749 n.s.
Dated 16/27 Decemb.. Sent from Smyrna (Syria) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Swedish.


Fredrik HasselquistHasselquist, Fredrik
(1722-1752). Swedish. Physician and
naturalist, explorer. Studied under
Linnaeus and Lars Roberg 1741-1749. Went
to Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus,
Rhodes and the island of Chios. Died
near Smyrna. Son of Magnus and Helena
Maria Hasselquist, brother of Andreas
Hasselquist. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
reports to Linnaeus that, after a 16 weeks’ voyage, he has arrived in Smyrna in perfect health.

The voyage was uneventful; visits by birds like Motarilla, Emberiza,Frigilla and Alauda sometimes broke the routine, but they were not very popular as they usually forbode bad weather.

He caught some of these birds and stuffed them. He has described 30 birds but is disappointed with not having seen a Procellaria; they are said to be found only in the Indian Ocean. In mid-November he visited the island of Milo. The season was unfavourable for collecting plants, but he found the following: Leontodon, there is a reference to Flora SvecicaLinnaeus, Carl Flora Svecica,
exhibens plantas per regnum Sveciae
crescentes, systematice cum differentiis
specierum, synonymis autorum, nominibus,
incolarum, solo locorum, usu
(Leiden 1745).
Soulsby no. 408.
, 62 62, Nerium, Lentiscus, Pistcia, and a species of Anemone. The fig trees were full of blossoms. Somebody gave him a pot with Origanum Majorana.

Strangely enough, he witnessed how a female capercaille was shot in a palm tree. He did not know that this bird could be found on these latitudes. He also saw European woodcocks. Probably they moved here over the winter.

Among fishes he has described a Scomber not mentioned by PeterArtediArtedi, Peter (1705-1735).
Swedish. Ichtyologist. Close friend of
, and a Sparus, a new species, as well. In Smyrna he is being taken care of by Consul Anders RydeliusRydelius, Anders Swedish.
Swedish consul at Smyrna, where he met
Fredrik Hasselquist. Correspondent of
. He also sees the French Consul Monsieur Peisonel [Charles de PeyssonelPeyssonel, Charles de French.
French consul, Smyrna.
], the Dutch Count HochpiedHochpied, Dutch. Count,
, and some Greek families.

The Collegium Medicum of this city consists of five Greek doctors who treat Hasselquist respectfully and invite him to discussions. Smyrna is an ideal place for a naturalist, rich as it is in birds, plants and marine life. The consul’s servants and horses are at his disposal, and he lives comfortably in a house where his needs are provided for.

Hasselquist is impressed by the large number of edible cockles here; he has seen about ten species. One, called pina by the Greeks, is rather big, half an ell. If an octopus tries to find shelter inside, it is eaten by the cockle, whereas a prawn lives in symbiosis with it and warns it of dangers. This has been confirmed by the Commission Secretary JustiJusti, ?. Secretary at the
Swedish consulate, Smyrna.
. Hasselquist has saved specimens of these creatures. He encloses a description of Fulica to be followed by more as soon as possible.

Hasselquist will not go to Constantinople and then to Syria as he first planned. It is easier to get a ship in Smyrna, and he hopes to go in the company of a visiting Armenian patriarch of Jerusalem. His constant problem is his shortage of money. If he could hire a servant to be his interpreter, it would be much easier to get information in places outside Smyrna, where European languages are not spoken.

Hasselquist entreats Linnaeus to do his utmost and use his influence to help him financiallly. The Archbishop [Henric BenzeliusBenzelius, Henric (1689-1758).
Swedish. Archbishop 1747-1758.
] has promised him a scholarship. He hopes to return home with an impressive collection of both living and dead specimens.

Rydelius has given him living Persian pheasants, incredibly beautiful Francolinus L, not mentioned in Systema naturae [Hasselquist refers presumably to the sixth edition, Systema naturae, 6th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
6th edition (Stockholm,
1748). Soulsby no. 51.
], and turtle doves and a stuffed Onocratulus. He can also acquire Gazella Africana, lots of fishes, birds and plants.

Letters to Hasselquist are taken care of by Gustaf CelsingCelsing, Gustaf (1723-1789).
Swedish. Envoy at the Sultan in
Constantinople. Chief of the National
Board of Trade [Kommerskollegium].
. He sends his regards to the 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
, Petrus EkermanEkerman, Petrus (1696-1783).
Swedish. Eloquentiae professor, Uppsala.
and Lars HydrénHydrén, Lars
(1694-1789). Swedish. Professor of
poetry 1744 and of theology 1753,
Uppsala. Dean at the Uppsala cathedral
1764. Father of Anna Catharina Waldius
and father-in-law of Erik Waldius.


a. (LS, VI, 313-316). [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]