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LINNAEUS, CAROLUS (1707-1778)

Carolus Linnaeus was a famous botanist in eighteenth century. His keen interest in observing plants and animals earned him a nick" little botanist" in his early years. He started his career as a lecturer of botany at the university of Uppasala. He was an extradinary scientific personality with devout faith in Christian philosophy and religion. He contributed immensely to science and his major achievement was the orderly arrangement of plant species which represented a tree of life. This work, later, inspired Darwin to develop his theory of evolution of species.

Early Years

Carolus Linnaeus was born at Rāshult, Smaland, on May 23, 1707. He was the son of a pastor, who wanted his son to be a physician. Linnaeus was rather dull as a child and unwilling to take up medicine. But despite his objection, he was sent to the medical school in Lund and then at Uppasala. Fortunately for him, he stood the test of hard work and study and did well scholastically. But financially, he came close to disaster and if it had not been for Celsius, then teaching at Uppasala, who took him into his home, his life would perhaps have taken a different turn. Linnaeus had always been interested in plants even at the age of eight, and he was fondly nicknamed as little botanist because of this characteristic. This interest continued to grow in college and he studied parts of plants and flowers with unusual curiosity.

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