[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Linnaeus --> von Linne (was RE: Albisaurus)

Nick Pharris wrote:

>The Swedes of the time had an odd penchant for adding things like accents and Latinoid -us endings to their names, along with weird (for Swedish) letters like z and (soft) c. Hence names like Celsius, or that of chemist Jöns Berzelius.<

The custom of latinizing names was quite common in Europe in the Middle Ages and up to the eighteenth century. In Sweden by Linnaeus' time it was largely restricted to families with clerical/academic backgrounds. Such names could be either latinized forms of extant names or created _de novo_. In Linnaeus' case the latter is true. His father coined the name from a large lime tree (Swedish 'Lind') on the ancestral farm in Småland. When Linnaeus was ennobled he chose the name von Linné. The "von" is of course a german preposition meaning "of, from", in names this was originally followed by the name of feudal seat of a noble family, however by Linnaeus' time it had simply come to indicate noble status ("de" has the same function in french).

So, Linnaeus' name was originally "Linnaeus" and later "von Linné". He was never at any time named just "Linné".