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Link: • Carl Linnaeus to Johan Ernst Gunnerus, 1 December 1766 n.s.
Dated 1766 d: 1 Decembris. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Trondheim (Norway). Written in Swedish & Latin.


Linnaeus has learnt from Johan Ernst GunnerusísGunnerus, 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
(1766-1776). Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
young disciples [Jens Finne BorchgrevinkBorchgrevink, Jens Finne
(1737-1819). Norwegian. Botanist and
clergyman. One of Linnaeusís private
pupils. Assistant to Johan Ernst
Gunnerus. Son of Leonhard Christian
Borchgrevink. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
and Henrik TonningTonning, Henrik (1732-1796).
Danish. Physician and explorer,
Trondheim. Linnaeusís student 1766-1768.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] that Gunnerus has sent him natural history specimens via Copenhagen. The specimens had arrived to Stockholm two weeks previously and that day to Uppsala.

Linnaeus thanks Gunnerus for his Flora NorvegicaGunnerus, Johan Ernst Flora
Norvegica, observationibus praesertim
aeconomicis panosque Norvegici
(Trondheim &
Copenhagen, 1766-1772), 2 vols.
, which is a very erudite work.

Gunnerusís Fucus is Linnaeusís Ulva latissima.

Among the corals there are:

1. Millepora muricata; if Gunnerus calls it Madrepora, Linnaeus will not protest.
2. The little piece of coral is Luigi Ferdinando MarsigliísMarsigli, Luigi Ferdinando
(1658-1730). Italian. Count. Soldier
and naturalist.
Cellepora pumicosa in his Histoire physique de la merMarsigli, Luigi Ferdinando
Histoire physique de la mer
(Amsterdam, 1725).
, etc.; the variety might be found in John EllisísEllis, John (1711-1776).
British. Merchant and naturalist, expert
on zoophytes. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, Essai sur lí histoire naturelle des corallinesEllis, John Essai sur lí
histoire naturelle des corallines, et dí
autres productions marines du même
genre, quíon trouve communément
sur les côtes de la
Grande-Bretagne et díIrlande; auquel on
a joint une description díun grand
polype de mer, pris auprès du
Pole arctique, par des pêcheurs de
Baleine, pendant líété de
(The Hague 1756).
, etc.
3. The white coral in a stone is the beginning of a Madrepora virginea, i.e. Gunnerusís no. 5.
4. The coral which very much resembles the previous one is Marsigliís Millepora aspera, in his Histoire physique de la mer and Nicola GualtieriísGualtieri, Nicola (1688-1744).
Italian. Doctor of medicine, physician
at Pisa.
, Index testarum conchyliorumGualtieri, Nicola Index
testarum conchyliorum, quae adservantur
in museo Nicolai Gualtieri
], etc.
5. The coral, which very much resembles the previous ones, is the same as no. 3 or Gunnerusís no. 5.
6.The coral of which lime is made is Isis in Flora LapponicaLinnaeus, Carl Flora
Lapponica exhibens plantas per Lapponiam
crescentes, secundum systema sexuale
collectas in itinere [...] Additis
synonymis, & locis natalibus omnium,
descriptionibus & figuris rariorum,
viribus medicatis & oeconomicis
(Amsterdam, 1737).
Soulsby no. 279.
, i.e. Millepora polymorpha. Linnaeus refers to Ellisís, Essai sur lí histoire naturelle des corallines, Albert SebaísSeba, Albert (1665-1736).
Dutch. Pharmacist and collector of
natural history specimens, Amsterdam.
, Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri accurata descriptioSeba, Albert Locupletissimi
rerum naturalium thesauri accurata
descriptio, et iconibus
artificiosissimis expressio, per
universam physices historiam. Opus, cui,
in hoc rerum genere, nullum par
exstitit. Ex toto terrarum orbe
collegit, digessit, descripsit, et
depingendum curavit Albertus Seba
I-IV (Amsterdam 1734-1765).
], Filippo BuonanniísBuonanni, Filippo (1638-1725).
Italian. Jesuit.
, Musaeum KircherianumBuonanni, Filippo Musaeum
Kircherianum, sive Musaeum à P.
Athanasio Kirchero in Collegio Romano
Societatis Jesu jampridem incaeptum,
nuper restitutum, auctum, descriptum,
& iconibus illustratum [...] a P. P.
(Rome, 1709).
, Basilius BeslerísBesler, Basilius (1561-1629).
German. Apothecary and botanist,
Nuremberg. In charge of the gardens of
Prince Bishop of Eichstatt. Author of
the Hortus Eystettensis (1613).
, Rariora Musei BeslerianiBesler, Basilius Rariora
Musei Besleriani quae olim Basilius et
Michael Rupertus Besleri collegerunt,
aeneisque tabulis ad vivum incisa
evulgarunt : nunc commentariolo
illustrata a Johanne Henrico Lochnero,
ut virtuti toy makaritoy exstaret
monumentum, denuo luci publicae commisit
et laudationem ejus funebrem adjecit
maestissimus parens Michael Fridericus
(Nuremberg, 1716).
, Hans SloaneísSloane, Hans (1660-1753).
British. Physician, naturalist and
collector. Secretary of the Royal
Society in 1693, president in 1727.
Sloaneís collections of natural history
objects were donated to the English
nation and were one of cornerstones of
the British Museum (1759). Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
, Catalogus plantarum quae in insula Jamaica sponte proveniuntSloane, Hans Catalogus
plantarum quae in insula Jamaica sponte
proveniunt, vel vulgò coluntur :
cum earundem synomymis & locis
natalibus; adjectis aliis quibusdam
quæ in insulis Maderæ,
Barbados, Nieves, & Sancti
Christophori nascuntur. Seu Prodromi
historiæ naturalis Jamaicae pars
(London, [1696]).
7. Gunnerusís Causia is Serpula penis veneris.
8. Isis Hippuris is known.

Linnaeus is of the opinion that Gunnerusís Spongia, no. 5, is no doubt a variety of Spongia dichotoma.

Linnaeus has a Chiton from Iceland, which he calls Chiton albus, etc.

Gunnerusís Nereis norvegica is totally unknown to Linnaeus; it is different from Linnaeusís Nereis caerulea.

Holothurium tremulum is probably the same as Johann Baptist BohadschísBohadsch, Johann Baptist
(1724-1768). ?. Professor of botany
and pharmacology, Prague.
Hydra, fig. 6. In reality it is a Holothuria.

Medusa togata is Linnaeusís Priapus senilis.

At the same time as Gunnerusís plants arrived Linnaeus also received a Squalus centrine. However, he does not know whether it comes from Gunnerus.

Linnaeus is not responsible for the fact that Gunnerus has become a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences [Kungliga Svenska VetenskapsakademienKungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademien,
Swedish. The Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Founded
in 1739.
] so late. He has worked two years to achieve it [on this matter, see Linnaeus to the Academy of Sciences, in Spring 1766Letter L3847].

For some time Linnaeus has received such a multitude of plants, seeds, stones and animals that he can hardly cope with them all.

Borchgrevink and Tonning send their regards. They are well.

P.S. 1. Linnaeus believes that Gunnerusís Norwegian students no doubt have written about the Ēlive and runningĒ seeds that they have seen at Linnaeusís.

Linnaeus cannot say whether Ēthe little devilĒ which came at the same time as the things from Gunnerus really was among these; it is formed of ray, though.

The printer continues the publication of Linnaeusís Systema naturae, 12th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 12th edition (Stockholm
1766-1768). Soulsby no. 62.
] but he has not yet finished the insects. Linnaeus eagerly awaits the finishing of the printing.

P.S. 2. Having just sealed his letter, Linnaeus received a letter from Gunnerus dated 8 November [1766]Letter L3825.

Linnaeus considers Causia most certainly to be Serpula penis veneris.

Linnaeus brings both Millepora muricata and Millepora damicornis to the Madreporae in his new edition of Systema [naturae].

Linnaeus separates the Celleporae in a new genus from the Milleporae.

Linnaeus is pleased that the species of Cetes will be described and depicted. Many species of Squalus have been too obscure.

The Academy of Sciences will be pleased to receive a contribution from Gunnerus.

Linnaeus understands that Gunnerus can get tired of an unfruitful science. Linnaeus quotes a poem about the misery of human life [written by Gustaf Fredrik Gyllenborg]Gyllenborg, Gustaf Fredrik
(1731-1808). Swedish. Count, courtier,
author, member of the Swedish Academy.


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


1. Biskop Gunnerus' virksomhed fornemmelig som botaniker (1903), vol. IV, p. 36-39 .
2. Brevveksling (1976), p. 62-66 .