Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Linné, Karl von

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

LINNÉ (lin'nā), KARL VON, commonly Linnæus, the greatest botanist of his age; born in Rashult, Sweden, May 13, 1707. He was the son of a clergyman; educated at the grammar school of Wexiö. He entered the University of Lund, where his botanical tastes were encouraged; and removed to Upsala in 1728, where he undertook the supervision of the botanic garden, and became assistant to the botanist Rudbeck. Aided by the Academy of Sciences at Upsala Linné made a journey through Lapland, the result of his travels was “Flora Lapponica,” published in 1735. In this year he went to the University of Harderwyk in Holland and took an M. D. degree; afterward visited Leyden, where he published the first sketch of his “Systema Naturæ” and “Fundamenta Botanica.” In 1736 he visited England, went to Paris in 1738, and afterward settled in Stockholm as a physician. He became Professor of Medicine at Upsala in 1741, and then of botany and natural history; was made a Knight of the Polar Star with the rank of nobility. The great merit of Linné as a botanist was that he arranged plants on a simple system of sexual relationship and prepared the way for the more natural and satisfactory classification which has superseded the Linnæan system. Among his works are “Genera Plantarum” (1737); “Classes Plantarum” (1738); “Flora Suecica” (1745); “Fauna Suecica” (1746); “Philosophia Botanica” (1751); and the “Species Plantarum” (1753). He died in Upsala, Jan. 10, 1778.