Linnaeus apostles

Linnaeus – his apostles

Carl Linnaeus, also known as Carl von Linné, wearing traditional Sami clothes.

Linnaeus called his students his apostles and inspired 17 of them to travel to distant corners of the world to document natural and cultural histories and to take. It was an imperial mission. “All the treasures of nature . . . seem intended by the Creator for the sake of man.” Oeconomy of Nature (1749). His apostles were charged with economy- but their labours had little effect. He loved them, they often hated him. He was delusional and came to think that his student’s work was his.


1746    Christopher Tärnström, tropical disease, Pulo-Condore, Vietnam
Tärnström’s widow was angry with Linnaeus for making her children fatherless.
After this incident, Linnaeus sent only unmarried men.

1752    Fredrik Hasselquist, probably TB, The English churchyard, Smyrna, Turkey. (Originally his grave was at the English churchyard in Buca, but it is has been lost).

1753    Olof Torén, tropical disease, buried Näsinge churchyard, Bohuslän,Sweden. (His grave has been lost).

1756    Pehr Lofling, malaria, Guayana. Grae at Las ruinas de Las Misiones del Caroni, Ciudad Guayana, Bolivar, Venezuela.

1761    Carl Fredrik Adler, tropical disease, Java. Grave not recorded.

1763    Peter Forsskål, malaria, Yemen. Linnaeus named the common nettle Forsscolia. [i]

1773    Andreas Berlin, drowned, Isles de Los, Guinea.

1774    Johan Peter Falck, suicide, Kazan, Russia.

1785    Anton Rolandsson Martin (Roland Martin). His Arctic expedition 1758-60 was useless; returned home became a private tutor, lost a leg and became a lone eccentric obsessed with temperature observations.Turku [Åbo], Finland.

1793    Daniel Rolander, escaped disease ridden Surinam in 1754, brought back nothing; became a delusional beggar. Rolander was buried north of the cathedral church in Lund on the burial ground for the poor, grave lost.


[i] The etymology of the name is generally stated at the end of the paper and is usually derives from the name of its discoverer or classifier; the location where it was found; a distinctive morphological features; or in honour of an individual who has contributed to the field.

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