Linnaeus the student

Studies in Lund and in Uppsala

First Linnaeus studied for a year at Lund University but he moved to Uppsala in 1728. When he arrived there, he found that the medical teaching was not up to much. Of the roughly 500 university students only about ten studied medicine.

Important meetings

Linnaeus was a poor student who spent a lot of time in the neglected Botanical Garden of Uppsala. However he did not give up. During a vistit to the garden Linnaeus met the Dean of the Cathedral who had a keen interest in botany. He offered Linnaeus free board and lodging in his home. 

Linnaeus stands in for the professor

The young Linnaeus, pencil
drawing by professor Lars
Roberg, Uppsala University,
around 1730.

Linnaeus expressed his gratitude by dedicating to Olof Celsius his paper Praeludia Sponsaliorum Plantarum, written in 1729. Many scientists were shocked by his ideas as to the sexual life of plants.Olof Rubeck Jr (the son of the founder of the Botanical Garden) was impressed, though and soom he made the young man from Småland "demonstrator" of the Botanical Garden.

Travelling in the service of science

In 1732 Linnaeus was sent to Lappland by the Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala. The Swedish balance of trade was very poor and it was in the country's interest to send a competent natural scientist to search for new commercially exploitable resources.

Back in Uppsala Linnaeus could afford a room of his own, a room that soon turned into a natural cabinet.

Exploring the province of Dalarna and finding love

A few years later Linnaeus came to explore the province of Dalarna and its natural resources, including its young ladies! He was particularly interested in a young beauty from Falun – Sara Lisa Moraea. Before he could marry her he had to take his doctor's degree and start earning money.

In Sweden at this time it was not possible to take the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Linnaeus had to go to Holland.

Last modified: 2021-12-08