Carolo Linnaeo

Steven R. Hill srhill at INHS.UIUC.EDU
Wed Feb 18 13:26:32 CST 2004

Just as a note for anyone still uncertain, as seen on p. 72 of Stearn's
Botanical Latin, 3rd edition revised, Carolus Linnaeus is declined as a
simple second declension noun in Latin.  Therefore, Carolo Linnaeo is
simply written to indicate either the dative case "to or for Carl Linnaeus"
or "by, with, or from Carl Linnaeus".  This is typically used to either
note a dedication to a person or to indicate authorship, depending upon

--Steve Hill

At 05:39 PM 2/17/2004 -0700, you wrote:

>Further to Petit's comments, I add:
>When Linnaeus and Clerck were alive, the international social language was
>French, hence Linne (letter "e" with an acute accent).  The international
>scientific language then and for many, especially in Europe, was Latin.
>I have just looked at my copies of the following books:
>The title page of the 10th Edition of Systema Naturae reads: CAROLI LINNAEI.
>The 1753 edition (volume I) of Species Plantarum reads: CAROLI LINNAEI
>Just for the hell of it, I checked in Charles Clerck's (=Carl Clerck in
>Swedish, and Caroli Clerck in Latin) 1757 book on spiders titled "Svenska
>Spindlar/Aranei Svecici", and Clerck, last page of text, wrote CARL
>LINNAEUS at the upper half of the page (in Swedish), and CAROLO LINNAEO in
>the bottom half of the page (in Latin).  With tongue in cheek, I comment
>that perhaps Clerck was giving Linnaeus an Italian name.
>The name "Linnaei" is genitive, and when it moves to the nominative case,
>it becomes "Linnaeus".
>The problem about which of the above names to use can be solved if one
>reverts to the capital letter "L." with a period following.  When this is
>done, and Linnaeus is the only one for whom "L." can be written, it solves
>all the nationalistic and emotional situations.
>Hope this helps, Soowon.
>Robin Leech

Dr. Steven R. Hill (Plant Systematics)
Center for Wildlife and Plant Ecology (WPE)
Illinois Natural History Survey
607 East Peabody Drive
Champaign, Illinois 61820, U.S.A.

Phone: (217) 244-8452
Fax: (217) 333-4949
srhill at

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