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His father, Nils Ingemarsson Linnaeus, was both an avid gardener and a Lutheran pastor, and Carl showed a deep love of plants and a fascination with their names from a very early age.

At the time he referred to humanity as Homo diurnis, or "man of the day".

Click on the image to see an enlargement.) Linnaeus was also deeply involved with ways to make the Swedish economy more self-sufficient and less dependent on foreign trade, either by acclimatizing valuable plants to grow in Sweden, or by finding native substitutes.

Another student, Pehr Kalm, traveled in the northeastern American colonies for three years studying American plants.

Yet another, Carl Peter Thunberg, was the first Western naturalist to visit Japan in over a century; he not only studied the flora of Japan, but taught Western medicine to Japanese practicioners.

His ideas on classification have influenced generations of biologists during and after his own lifetime, even those opposed to the philosophical and theological roots of his work.

He was born on May 23, 1707, at Stenbrohult, in the province of Småland in southern Sweden.

When Carl the Younger died five years later with no heirs, his mother and sisters sold the elder Linnaeus's library, manuscripts, and natural history collections to the English natural historian Sir James Edward Smith, who founded the Linnean Society of London to take care of them.

Linnaeus loved nature deeply, and always retained a sense of wonder at the world of living things.

Still others of his students traveled to South America, southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Linnaeus continued to revise his Systema Naturae, which grew from a slim pamphlet to a multivolume work, as his concepts were modified and as more and more plant and animal specimens were sent to him from every corner of the globe.

(The image at right shows his scientific description of the human species from the ninth edition of Systema Naturae.

Despite being in hard financial straits, Linnaeus mounted a botanical and ethnographical expedition to Lapland in 1731 (the portrait above shows Linnaeus as a young man, wearing a version of the traditional Lapp costume and holding a shaman's drum).