"Systema Naturae" - Carolus Linnaeus


Carolus Linnaeus was born on May 23, 1707 in Råshult, Sweden. Carolus, as a child, he did not like to go to school. He was nevertheless extraordinarily intelligent. He was very much interested in nature. This is why he studied medicine at the University of Uppsala. In those days medecines were made of plants. This explains why he had so much knowledge about herbs. Linnaeus started a successful doctor practice in Stockholm. He married Sara E. Moraea and together they had seven children of whom two died very young.


Carolus Linnaeus


He worked in the Netherlands for a wealthy manager, starting in 1735. This man, also very interested in plants and animals, had a large collection books about herbaria and rare plants. Linnaeus discovered that plants had male and female organisms and that they sexually, by means of fecundation, reproduced themselves. This was shocking among the people in those days. Linnaeus stayed three years in the Netherlands and worked meanwhile on his plans to categorise plants into a neat system. During his life, he classified 7000 species of plants. This resulted in a book, with the title “Systema Naturae”. Plants were systematically classified in this book by order of class, genus and species. Each plant received an appropriate Latin name. He developed a system of Latin names for animals and minerals. This system is still being used by biologists worldwide. In technical terms, this is called “nomenclature”. Today, over 250,000 species of wild plants are known, and every year new plants are discovered. Books of plants are still write L. behind their names – the “L.” standing for Linnaeus. He is also known as Carl von Linné, after being elevated to nobility.

Linnaeus died on 10 January 1778, leaving humanity an impressive heritage which made him the most famous Swedish scientist of all times.


Linnaeus, as the son of a minister, was convinced of a designer or inventor, who created everything in nature. That is why he honoured God by using a Bible text on the titlepage of his book. He wrote Psalm 104 verse 24:

"How manifold are thy works, O Jehovah!
Iin wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches."

- Darby Translation




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