-Search for letters
-Search in texts






Link: • Ferdinando Bassi to Carl Linnaeus, 15 March 1763 n.s.
Dated Idibus Martii An: 1763. Sent from Bologna (Italia) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.


Ferdinando BassiBassi, Ferdinando
(c.1710-1774). Italian. Director of the
botanical garden of Bologna.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
is very grateful to Linnaeus for his benevolence, and especially for having accepted Bassi’s definition of the new genus Ambrosina. Linnaeus had given Bassi his opinion in a letter dated December 1762 [this letter has not come down to us]. However, Bassi admits that he has learnt all he knows from Linnaeus, and he is sorry that such a great distance separates them. So, for example, it takes time for Linnaeus’s new works to reach Bassi, although he did receive the second edition of Species plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Species
(Stockholm 1762-1763).
Soulsby no. 500.
a few months earlier.

Bassi is very eager to study these new books, but he has many other tasks. He has to perform chemical analysis of springs around Bologna, he has undertaken to arrange the museum of natural history at Bologna in a better way and to attribute name tags to everything, and he has been put in charge of the new garden of rare medical plants. The time he has left is used for the study of the works he has received from Linnaeus.

Bassi has received several seeds from America and from the Middle East, which friends had happened to collect more or less at random. He will grow them in his medical garden and hopes to be able to define them all. If he comes across some that he considers new and that he thinks Linnaeus should see, he will be glad to send them to Linnaeus.

After a short presentation of the contents of Acta Bononiensia [the Commentarii published by the Academy of Sciences of the Institute of Bologna, Accademia delle Scienze dell’Istituto di BolognaAccademia delle Scienze dell’Istituto
di Bologna,
Italian. The Academy
of Sciences of the Institute of Bologna.
Founded in 1714. Published its first
serial publication, De Bononiensi
scientiarum et artium instituto atque
academia commentarii
(1731 to 1791).
], which covers all parts of natural history, Bassi gives a detailed note on Lamium orvala on which there had been some discussion.

Bassi admits that one cannot define a new species of plant without a lot of work and access to many books. Otherwise, the number of alleged species would grow out of control. Linnaeus had once declared that the number of species was not so large as one would be tempted to think. Bassi had then been of another opinion, but now, with more experience and guidance from Linnaeus, he has changed his mind and agrees with Linnaeus.


a. (LS, I, 432-433). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1916), vol. II:1, p. 227-228   p.227  p.228.