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Linnaeus´ Journeys

Northern Sweden
In May 1732 Linnaeus started a journey by horse to Lapland, which he had described in his application for funds as very different from the rest of Sweden. He was 25 years old and inexperienced, but this was outweighed by his decisiveness and sense of curiosity. Journeys were not easy during the 18th century - Linnaeus faced many difficulties in Lapland, but the journey led to many new discoveries. The book he published describing the journey, Iter Lapponicum, describes, among other things, customs of the Sami people, whom he admires for their adaptation to the barren land.
The next journey took place in 1734, commissioned by Reuterholm, County Governor in Dalarna. The journey took in not only Dalarna but also Femunden, which at that time was part of Sweden (it is now part of Norway). Linnaeus travelled in a party of ten, all with different backgrounds and roles. This journey is described in Iter Darlecarlicum.

Into Europe
Linnaeus obtained a Sami traditional costume and a shaman´s drum while he was in Lapland, and these were useful objects of interest during his journey to Holland, where he took his doctorate. He lived and worked for three years in Holland, France and England, returning to Sweden in 1738. Linnaeus married on his return from the European journey. In 1739 he founded, together with other young men who had experience of travelling abroad and who appreciated the significance of the natural sciences for industry, the Swedish Academy of Sciences. He was appointed as Professor in Uppsala in 1741.

Southern Sweden
Before he could take up his professorship, however, he was commissioned to travel to Öland and Gotland. The purpose of this journey, as the one to Lapland, was to investigate what was used and what could be used to benefit the rest of Sweden. It was planned that Linnaeus would travel to Västergötland on the same mission soon after, but the newly appointed professor became involved with other duties, and the results from the journey to Öland and Gotland were not published until 1745.
Linnaeus was able to journey to Västergötland, Bohuslän and Dalsland the following year. Locations visited included the Västgöta mountains, and the results of the journey were published in 1747. Linnaeus´ final major journey was to Skåne in 1749, and this journey again was funded by the government. Linnaeus was by now well-established, and could enjoy the benefits of a horse and carriage while travelling. The results of the journey to Skåne were published in 1751, and form what is probably the most detailed description of one of Linnaeus´ journeys, together with description of the journey to Lapland.

Linnaeus´ Apostles
After the journey to Skåne, Linnaeus travelled only to Stockholm to visit the Academy of Sciences and his friend Abraham Bäck. Instead, he sent many of his disciples, also known as “apostles", to all parts of the globe to carry out the same tasks as he had carried out on the journeys within Sweden.

All information on this web site is from the Linnaeus Tercentenary year of 2007 and has not been updated since. If using texts from this web site, please refer to Linnaeus2007 as the source.
Use of pictures from sit web site is not allowed.

 

Photographer: Sören Hallgren
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