Re: Linnaeus/Linné

Michael Schmitt m.schmitt at UNI-BONN.DE
Wed Jan 4 15:03:40 CST 2006

Dear Richard E. Petit, dear colleagues,

At 14:29 04.01.2006, you wrote:
>On another server there has been a discussion about whether to credit
>authorship of a taxon to Linnaeus (if described in the 10th ed.) or to Linné
>(if described in the 12th ed.).
>Most malacologists now use Linnaeus regardless of date, a position I have
>long adopted.  However, I would like to know how his name is handled in
>other fields.

As Thomas G. Lammers correctly states, Carl 
Linnaeus was ennobled (in 1761, but antedated 
1757) and took the name Carl von Linné. 
Since/when he published in Latin, he latinised 
his first name to Carolus. How to cite him is 
mostly a matter of taste but could easily grow 
into a heated argument.  At the time he wrote the 
10th edition of Systema Naturae, his name was 
clearly Carl Linnaeus. After 1761, i.e. when the 
12th edition appeared, he called himself Carl von 
Linné (in Latin Carolus a Linné). In order to 
avoid citing the same person under two different 
names, one can, of course, decide only to use one 
of the two versions exclusively.

Historically, in Germany the "ennobled" version 
is in prevalent use, maybe because Germans found 
(find?) it so attractive and important to get 
ennobled. Also in Sweden, at least in Uppsala, 
the ennobled version is used throughout, possibly 
because the Swedes are so proud of Linnaeus in 
general and perhaps likewise of his ennoblement. 
Nevertheless, I prefer the form "Linnaeus", for 
two reasons: (1) this is his original name, and 
he wrote the majority of nomenclatural works 
under this name (if we put aside the antedating 
of his ennoblement), and (2) in most parts of the 
world outside Germany and Sweden and in most 
taxonomic sources - as far as I see - this form is used.

                                 Best regards

* Prof.Dr. Michael Schmitt (Zoologischer Anzeiger, Editor-in-   *
* Chief; Bonner zoologische Beitraege, Editor-in-Chief)         *
* Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig                *
* Adenauerallee 160, D-53113 Bonn, Germany                      *
* Phone/Fax: +49 228-9122 286, e-mail: m.schmitt at    *
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