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Link: • Pieter Boddaert to Carl Linnaeus, 5 February 1768 n.s.
Dated nonis Febr. 1768. Sent from Utrecht (Netherlands) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.


For a long time Pieter BoddaertBoddaert, Pieter (1730?-?).
Dutch. Naturalist and physician. Friend
of Albert Schlosser, whose cabinet of
natural history objects he described.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
has hesitated to approach Linnaeus, whom he does not know in person. But he has been so impressed by Linnaeusís works that he is now wholly occupied with natural history. He has read and re-read Linnaeus, and now he wants to indicate something in the latest edition of Systema naturae [Boddaert refers to Systema naturae, 12th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 12th edition (Stockholm
1766-1768). Soulsby no. 62.
] that he does not agree with. In addition, he wants to consult Linnaeus on his efforts in zoology. Boddaert stresses, however, that he is not an uninformed critic and that he dislikes the way Jean-Louis Leclerc, comte de BuffonBuffon, Jean-Louis Leclerc, comte de
(1707-1788). French.
has treated Linnaeus, 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.
and Albert SebaSeba, Albert (1665-1736).
Dutch. Pharmacist and collector of
natural history specimens, Amsterdam.

Boddaert has studied several editions of Systema naturae and noticed that Linnaeus, like Mathurin Jacques BrissonBrisson, Mathurin Jacques
(1723-1806). French. Physicist and
geologist, professor in Paris.
, has made a number of fundamental classifications of animals according to their teeth [Boddaert refers to the Regnum animaleBrisson, Mathurin Jacques
Regnum animale in classes IX
distributum, etc.
(Paris 1756).
]. However, since these animals were studied as specimens that were living or dead, stuffed or prepared, or from skeletons or pictures, it was either dangerous or difficult to study the teeth in the necessary detail, and Boddaert mentions some examples where this had led to strange results. In this context he mentions Peter Simon PallasíPallas, Peter Simon
(1741-1811). German. Naturalist and
explorer. Pallas studied at the
universities of Göttingen and
Leiden. In 1768 he was called to Russia
to take part in an expedition to
Siberia, the aim of which was to study
the passage of Venus. Pallas remained in
Russia for the greater part of his life.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
Spicilegia zoologicaPallas, Peter Simon
Spicilegia zoologica quibus novae
imprimis et obscurae animalium species :
iconibus, descriptionibus atque
commentariis illustrantur
. Instead of the basic classification according to teeth, Boddaert suggests one with three orders, based on the absence or length of the tail, and after a subdivision based on fur, feet, head and neck he defines 42 genera in all. He is aware that it may be difficult to apply this system throughout, but he is ready to have it tested.

Boddaert has also tried to modify Linnaeusís classification of amphibians and serpents, which was done according to the scales. Boddaert sees Linnaeusís genera as orders and has found criteria in the heads of serpents that have helped him to make a subdivision.

Boddaert has translated Peter Simon Pallasí work on zoophytes [Boddaert refers to the Lyst der Plant-DierenPallas, Peter Simon & Pieter
Lyst der Plant-Dieren,
bevattende de algemeene schetzen der
Geslachten en korte beschryvingen der
bekende zoorten met de bygevoegde naamen
der schryveren, in het Latyn
beschreeven, door P. S. Pallas vertaald,
en met Aanmerkingen en Afbeeldingen
voorzien door P. Boddaert
, translation of Elenchus zoophytorumPallas, Peter Simon Elenchus
zoophytorum sistens generum
adumbrationes [... ] et specierum [...]
descriptiones cum selectis auctorum
(The Hague, 1766).
] and another one into Flemish and had them published. He will ask a bookseller in Leiden to send Linnaeus copies of them.

P. S. The letter ends with Boddaertís address in Utrecht.


a. (LS, II, 79-80). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1916), vol. II:1, p. 287-289   p.287  p.288  p.289.