A year in Lund

Linnaeus studied in Lund at first and lived
behind the house with the stepped gable.
Watercolour by P. Sommar.

In August 1727 Linnaeus, now 20 years old, arrived in the university city of Lund in order to study medicine. He rented a room at the home of the physician Kilian Stobaeus. At first Stobaeus did not care much for him but Linnaeus tried to get into his good graces by attending his lectures on conchology.

Kilian Stobaeus had a large collection of animals and plants, which Linnaeus now had the opportunity of studying. He also wanted to read all the fantastic books in his host's library but this Stobaeus did not permit! However there was another lodger, a German medical student, who had the key to the library.

If Linnaeus promised to tutor him in physiology, he would let him borrow books from the library but it had to be at night so that nobody would find out! However one night Linnaeus was discovered secretly reading natural history books in his room. Stobaeus felt sorry for Linnaeus and gave him a key of his own to the library. In fact he liked Linnaeus so well that from now on he gave him his meals free and he was even allowed to attend Stobaeus' lectures free of charge. Linnaeus also accompanied Stobaeus on his rounds as a doctor.

During his year in Lund, Linnaeus explored nature in the province of Skåne by going on expeditions in the environs of Lund. One day Dr Rothman, Linnaeus’ teacher in Växjö, visited him. He considered that Linnaeus should study medicine at Uppsala University instead. Rothman was convinced that Uppsala had better teachers, a better library and a well-stocked garden.

Last modified: 2021-11-05