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Link: • Johan Ernst Gunnerus to Carl Linnaeus, 5 October 1771 n.s.
Dated 5 Oct. 1771. Sent from København (Denmark) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Danish.


Linnaeus will receive the present letter through Johan Andreas MurrayMurray, Johan Andreas
(1740-1791). Swedish. Professor of
medicine and botany, Göttingen. Son
of Andreas Murray and brother of Adolph
Murray and Gustaf Murray. Half-brother
of Johann Philipp Murray. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
, who has honoured 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
(1766-1776). Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
with a visit. Gunnerus has nothing interesting in the field of natural history to tell Linnaeus. He only writes to say that he is in Copenhagen. It is his intention to die in Norway, if not in Trondheim at least in Christiania. Gunnerus has already stayed four weeks in Copenhagen. He has been at the Court and spoken with the King [Christian VII, King of DenmarkChristian VII, King of Denmark
(1749-1808). Danish. Reigned 1766-1808.
] and Queen [Caroline Mathilde, Queen of DenmarkCaroline Mathilde,
(1751-1775). Danish. Queen of Denmark,
wife of King Christian VII
] and also had dinner at the Court. The King gave Gunnerus a royal order to come to Copenhagen when he was in Dalene. Gunnerus is now involved with the improvement of Copenhagen University. He believes that they will keep him at the University. However, an honest man cannot avoid hatred.

Gunnerus complains that not a single sheet of the second volume of his Flora [Gunnerus refers to his Flora NorvegicaGunnerus, Johan Ernst Flora
Norvegica, observationibus praesertim
aeconomicis panosque Norvegici
(Trondheim &
Copenhagen, 1766-1772), 2 vols.
] has been published yet. Only one sheet has been published of the Norwegian ”Acta” [Gunnerus 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
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
, 1-3 (1761-1765) and Det
Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs
, 4-5 (1768-1774).
, Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs SkrifterDet Kongelige Norske Videnskabers
Selskab, The Royal Norwegian Society of
Sciences and Letters
Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs
, 4-5 (1768-1774).

Gunnerus wishes that Linnaeus had written a few words about the minerals that Gunnerus sent him [Gunnerus to Linnaeus, 13 July 1771Letter L5959]. Gunnerus wonders whether Arenaria norvegica has grown in Linnaeus’s garden [the Uppsala University Botanical Garden, LinnéträdgårdenLinnéträdgården,
Swedish. The Uppsala University
Botanical Garden was founded by Olof
Rudbeck the Elder in 1655.
]. If it has, he would like to know whether it is a new species or a balearica. It did not grow at the top of the mountain at Stegen or the vicarage of Stegen in Nordland, but on the side of the mountain towards the sun in the sand, but all the same in the cold zone which begins at Helgeland. Perhaps Linnaeus has already answered Gunnerus’s letter and his letter has gone to Trondheim, where he will probably receive it. The reason why he wants to know Linnaeus’s opinion of Arenaria norvegica is that he is going through his manuscript of Flora Norvegica, II, again and improving everything.

Gunnerus has seen some cabinets, but only hastily. It had been easier for him to gain insight in natural history, if he had been in Copenhagen when he started in the field. He does not dare to form an opinion of Uppsala. He would very much have liked to have visited Linnaeus, but his time-table was too tight. Gunnerus’s travel was long enough because of the bad weather, the rain, and the wind. He rested some days in Christiania, Fredrikshall and Gothenburg. In Gothenburg he met Ekbom [Olof Andreae EkebomEkebom, Olof Andreae
(1716-1784). Swedish. Dean in
], Johan RosénRosén, Johan
(1726-1773). Swedish. Lector of latin,
, Bejer [Gabriel Andersson BeyerBeyer, Gabriel Andersson
(1721-1779). Swedish. Lector of greek,
] and Wallenstråla [Mårten Göran WallenstråleWallenstråle, Mårten
(1735-1807). Swedish.
Court chaplain from 1761, lector of
history, Gothenburg. From 1789 bishop,
]. In Halmstad he met Lars MontinMontin, Lars (1723-1785).
Swedish. Physician and botanist. Studied
medicine in Uppsala under Linnaeus and
Nils Rosén von Rosenstein.
Provincial physician of the province of
Halland. Correspondent of Linnaeus.

Gunnerus will now see to it that Peter Forsskål’sForsskål, Peter
(1732-1763). Swedish. Naturalist and
explorer. Linnaeus’s student, professor
in Denmark in 1759. Joined a Danish
expedition to Egypt and Arabia in 1761.
Died at Jerîm, Arabia.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
narrative of his journey, observations and discoveries come into good hands and can finally be published. He has not yet seen the work but only talked to Johan Christian FabriciusFabricius, Johan Christian
(1745-1808). Danish. Professor of
economy and natural history in
Copenhagen. Linnaeus’s pupil 1762-1764.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
about it. [Carsten NiebuhrNiebuhr, Carsten (1733-1815).
Danish. Explorer of Arabia. In 1761 he
visited Egypt and the Arabian peninsula.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
published in Copenhagen Forsskål’s main works, Flora aegyptica-arabicaForsskål, Peter Flora
aegyptica-arabica sive descriptiones
plantarum, quas per Aegyptum inferiorem
et Arabiam felicem detexit, illustravit
Petrus Forskål
, ed. Carsten
Niebuhr (Copenhagen, 1775).
, Descriptiones animalium, avium, amphibiorum, piscium, insectorum, vermiumForsskål, Peter
Descriptiones animalium, avium,
amphibiorum, piscium, insectorum,
vermium [...] quae in itinere orientali
observavit Petrus Forskål post
mortem auctoris edidit Carsten Niebuhr
adjuncta est materia medica kahirina
atque tabula maris Rubri geographica

(Copenhagen, 1775).
and Icones rerum naturalium, quas in itinere Orientali depingi / curavit Petrus ForskålForsskål, Peter Icones
rerum naturalium, quas in itinere
Orientali depingi / curavit Petrus
Forskål ; post mortem auctoris ad
Regis mandatum aeri incisas edidit
Carsten Niebuhr
(Copenhagen, 1776).


a. (LS, VI, 73-74). [1] [2] [3]


1. “Af Linnés brevvexling” (1871), p. 500   p.500.
2. Brevveksling (1976), p. 135-136 .