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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L3383 • Carl Linnaeus to Johan Ernst Gunnerus, 12 March 1764 n.s.
Dated 1764 d. 12 Martii. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Trondheim (Norway). Written in Latin.

upSUMMARY

Linnaeus thanks Gunnerus Johan Ernst GunnerusGunnerus, Johan Ernst
(1718-1773). Norwegian. Bishop of
Trondheim. Together with Gerhard
Schøning and Peter Friederich
Suhm he founded in 1760 Det Kongelige
Norske Videnskabers Selskab [The Royal
Norwegian Society of Sciences and
Letters]. Author of Flora
Norvegica
(1766-1776). Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
for the second volume of the Skrifter. [Linnaeus refers to the publications of The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters , Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers SelskabDet Kongelige Norske Videnskabers
Selskab, The Royal Norwegian Society of
Sciences and Letters
Norwegian.
Founded in 1760 by Johan Ernst Gunnerus,
Gerhard Schøning Peter Friederich
Suhm as the Trondhiemske Selskab (the
Trondheim Society). It received Royal
affirmation of its statues in 1767 and
became the Kongelige Norske Videnskabers
Selskab (the Royal Norwegian Society of
Sciences and Letters). Its publications
are Det Trondhiemske Selskabs
Skrifter
, 1-3 (1761-1765) and Det
Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs
Skrifter
, 4-5 (1768-1774).
, Det Trondhiemske Selskabs SkrifterDet Kongelige Norske Videnskabers
Selskab, The Royal Norwegian Society of
Sciences and Letters
Det
Trondhiemske Selskabs Skrifter
, 1-3
(1761-1765).
].

Having read and reread Peter Friederich Suhm’sSuhm, Peter Friederich
(1728-1798). Danish. Historian and
book-collector. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
essay on the character of the present century ["Naervaerende 18de seculi character"Suhm, Peter Friederich
”Naerwaerande 18de seculi character,
udkastet. Andet stykke”, Det
Trondhiemske Selskabs Skrifter
, 2
(1763), 17-94.
], Linnaeus is impressed by the work. The only errors he can find are those regarding himself. All Linnaeus’s colleagues among the professors have read the work with great admiration.

Linnaeus greatly praises Gunnerus’s works.

The Norwegian ”Haae-gaelen” has now become quite distinct to Linnaeus and cannot be confused with another animal [Linnaeus refers to Gunnerus’s, "Om haae-gaelen"Gunnerus, Johan Ernst "Om
haae-gaelen", Det Trondhiemske
Selskabs Skrifter
, 2 (1763),
235-249.
].

Linnaeus finds Gunnerus’s description and illustration of ”Sleep-marken” very satisfactory [Linnaeus refers to Gunnerus’s, "Om sleep-marken"Gunnerus, Johan Ernst "Om
sleep-marken", Det Trondhiemske
Selskabs Skrifter
, 2 (1763),
250-257.
].

”Nisen” has likewise given Linnaeus much pleasure [Linnaeus refers to Gunnerus’s, "Om nisen"Gunnerus, Johan Ernst "Om
nisen", Det Trondhiemske
Selskabs Skrifter
, 2 (1763),
258-269.
].

Gunnerus has described ”Hav-katte” in an excellent way [Linnaeus refers to Gunnerus’s "Om hav-katten"Gunnerus, Johan Ernst "Om
hav-katten", Det Trondhiemske
Selskabs Skrifter
, 2 (1763),
270-312.
]; it was previously a paradox.

Linnaeus has received a splendid copy of Gorgonia resediformis from Gunnerus. He has never seen anything like it among the zoophytes.

Gunnerus has described ”Haa-Skierding” scientifically correctly [Linnaeus refers to Gunnerus’s "Om haa-skierdingen"Gunnerus, Johan Ernst "Om
haa-skierdingen", Det
Trondhiemske Selskabs Skrifter
, 2
(1763), 330-339.
].

Linnaeus will use Gunnerus’s descriptions in his Systema naturae. It will perhaps be printed prior to the end of the year [Linnaeus refers to the forthcoming, Systema naturae, 12th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae
, 12th edition (Stockholm
1766-1768). Soulsby no. 62.
].

If Gunnerus does not get tired of describing the animals of the north, they will shortly be described by him.

Gunnerus is outstanding as a Bishop. He alone acknowledges the two Books of God, i.e. the Revealed one and that of Nature. Gunnerus commands his theologians to read the Book of Nature, which people in Sweden hate more than worms and dogs. He wishes that Gunnerus were the Archbishop of Uppsala. Gunnerus is the most brilliant of all the Bishops in Europe.

Linnaeus is not convinced that Gunnerus really knows what the Halices live of.

Linnaeus wonders what can be expected from Gunnerus in the field of natural history.

Linnaeus is now publishing Museum Reginae [Linnaeus refers to his forthcoming, Museum s:ae m:tis Ludovicae Ulricae reginaeLinnaeus, Carl Museum s:ae
m:tis Ludovicae Ulricae reginae

(Stockholm 1764). Soulsby no. 1095a.
] with descriptions of Indian insects and Conchylia.

Linnaeus has, as perhaps the first one in Europe, received a live and growing Tea bush.

P.S. 1. Linnaeus sees Gunnerus as a new comet that will enlighten the dark North. Regarding Gunnerus it can truly be said that the people living in darkness have seen a great light, which enlightens the whole world.

P.S. 2. Linnaeus eagerly awaits the description of Encrinus in the Skrifter.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (Norges teknisk-naturvetenskapliga universitetsbiblioteket, Trondheim, Priv. arch. 277. Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Arkiv ).

upEDITIONS

1. Biskop Gunnerus' virksomhed fornemmelig som botaniker (1897), vol. III, p. 424-425 .
2. Det kongelige norske videnskabers selskabs historie 1760-1960 (1960), vol. IV, p. 51 .
3. Brevveksling (1976), p. 27-30 .