On this day, the village of Råshult in Southern Sweden, a boy was born in Pastor Linnaeus’ family, who was given the royal name Carl. The son soon became a great disappointment to his father when he was almost excluded from the gymnasium because he could not comprehend the basics of Latin.
But classmates prophetically nicknamed Carl a botanist – of all the subjects he was diligently engaged only in science of plants. There were well-intentioned people among the teachers of the gymnasium – and instead of a Latin grammar, Linnaeus got the works of the Roman polymath and natural scientist Pliny the Elder. He mastered Latin easily, and so well that now it is learned by all botanists. The childhood fascination glorified Linnaeus, made him a nobleman, a famous scholar and the first president of the Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Carl Linnaeus sincerely believed that he was chosen by the Providence in order to correctly interpret the plan of Creation, to explain the interconnections of phenomena and to present most of the works of the Creator in the form of a clear chain. And so he did: Carl Linnaeus is now honored as the man who systematized the God’s world. He classified everything alive and growing, including the man for whom no place could have been found in the living nature before. At the same time he enriched the scientific language – it was his idea that the name of an ancient Roman goddess, the patron of living creatures, should become a scientific term designating the kingdom of animals. Linnaeus is also known as a designer of clocks that only work in sunny weather, are slowed by clouds and do not work when it rains. He planted chicory and rosehips, dandelion and potatoes, calendula and something else on his flower bed and got a flower watch. The “Prince of botany” won acclaim during his life and was given his final resting place in a mausoleum of kings in the Uppsala cathedral. Every Swede knows him by face – Linnaeus's portrait is printed the 100 kronor banknote.