Rudbeck, Olaus

, son of the preceding, was born at Upsal in 1660, and under his father’s direction studied | medicine, botany, and antiquities. He took his doctor’s degree at Utrecht, in 1690, publishing on that occasion an able dissertation, “De fundamental! Plantarum Notiti-3. rite acquirenda.” In this he asserts the necessity of arranging and distinguishing the genera of plants by their fructification alone, and prefers such leading principles as are derived from the fruit, rather than from the corolla. He rejects habit, colour, sensible qualities, time of flowering, &c. on which so much stress has been laid by superficial observers; while, on the other hand, he declines being implicitly led by the more abstruse principles of certain more philosophical botanists. He had previously, at Upsal, in 1686, defended a thesis “De Propagatione Plantarum, 1 * which is less original, though highly creditable as a school exercise. In 1695, he set out from Upsal on a tour to Lapland, accompanied by two sons of count Gyllenborg, After his return he prepared a very ample account of his journey, having made a number of drawings for the pur* pose. The first part, published in 1701, in Latin and Swedish, is dedicated to king Charles XII. in a Latin, as well as Swedish, poem, and ornamented with a magnificent wood-cut of the Pedicularis Sceptrum-Carolinum. But this volume, a thin 4to, goes no further than the province of Upland. The rest of the materials, except a collection of drawings of plants, which still exist, and perhaps rather belong to theCampi Elysii,“seem to have perished in the fire of Upsal. Such indeed was the fate of most of the copies of the work just mentioned, entitled” Laponia illusr trata," which is therefore an extremely scarce book.

In 1720 Rudbeck, in conjunction with Benzelius, after* wards archbishop of Upsal, founded the Swedish academy of sciences, as it was then called, though subsequently, when other similar establishments arose at Stockholm, Lund, &c. the original one was entitled the Royal Academy of Upsal. This institution still flourishes, and ha* produced several volumes of Transactions in Latin. In the first, printed in 1720, is a catalogue of plants, observed by lludbeck in Lapland. He published several curious dissertations from time to time, which evince his deep erudition, though he betrays, like his father, somewhat of a paradoxical turn. He was particularly skilled in oriental literature, and was hence led to undertake the explanation of some of the most obscure subjects of natural history hi the sacred scriptures. He contends that Borith, mentioned | by some of the prophets, is neither an herb, nor any kind of soap, but a purple dye. He also undertook to demonstrate that the Dudaim were raspberries. The two dissertations which contain these opinions appeared in 1733, in 4to, but the author had previously given to the world three others, the inaugural essays of some of his pupils, on Hedera, in 1707, 4to on Mandragora, in 1702; and on the Rubus arcticus of Linnæus, in 1716, both in 8vo, with good cuts. His most elaborate and eccentric performance of all, perhaps, is a dissertation on the bird Sclav, which our translation of the Bible renders a quail. Some have thought it a locust, but Rudbeck will have it a flying-fish. He intended to publish a great philological work entitled “Lexicon Harmonicum,” when death arrested his career, March 23, 1740. In his latter days, finding himself unable to leave home and lecture as usual, he fixed his choice, as an assistant, on Linnæus, then in his twenty-third year, who first supplied Rudbeck' s place in 1730, with much approbation. 1

1

Rees’s Cyclopædia.—Haller Bibl. Bot.—Stoever’s Linnæus, p. 24.