Jean Sylvain BaillyBailly, Jean Sylvain
(1736-1793). French. Astronomer.
President of the first National
Assembly, mayor of Paris. Correspondent
of Linnaeus. who has published a work on ancient astronomy [Historie de l’astronomie ancienneBailly, Jean Sylvain Historie
de l’astronomie ancienne (Paris,
1775). ], contacts Linnaeus to get further informed on a botanical fact published in a dissertation published under Linnaeus’s professorship. Since Bailly had found that ancient astronomy was far more advanced than that of later ages, he was eager to find traces of a very ancient tribe with a very advanced culture. He had found that a probable region for that population was Siberia. In one of Linnaeus’s dissertations [Dissertatio academica demonstrans necessitatem promovendae historiae naturalis in RossiaLinnaeus, Carl Dissertatio
academica demonstrans necessitatem
promovendae historiae naturalis in
Rossia, diss., resp. A. M.
Karamyschew (Upsala 1766). Soulsby no.
2323. ] , quoted in August Ludwig von Schlözer’sSchlözer, August Ludwig von
(1735-1809). German. Historian,
professor in Göttingen. , Probe Russischer AnnalenSchlözer, August Ludwig von
Probe Russischer Annalen (Bremen
& Göttingen, 1768). , wheat and barley are said to grow spontaneously in Siberia, which might support the theory that that region was the origin of a great migration.
Bailly has met opposition to this theory, and he writes to Linnaeus to ask if Linnaeus considers the assertion put forward in the dissertation to be properly defined and reliable. Bailly, who also refers to Voltaire’sVoltaire, (1694-1778).
French. Philosopher, historian. One of
the leading advocates of the French
enlightenment. , Lettres sur l’ origine des sciencesVoltaire, Lettres sur l’
origine des sciences , et sur celle des
peoples de l’Asie (London &
Paris, 1777). , needs the support of a botanical authority, and there is no one more suitable for that than Linnaeus.
P.S. von Schlözer says that the dissertation, printed in 1764, was published in 1768. As far as Bailly knows, it has not appeared in Paris.