This HTML Version

This is the original Latin text of the Philosophia. For an English translation, see Freer (2003). Stafleu (1971) also translates and paraphrases much of the work.

My copy of a 1770 Vienna edition of the Philosophia is the base of this electronic version. Soulsby (1933) lists this edition as no. 444 in his catalog of Linnaean works, with this description:

[Another edition.] pp. [ii.] 364 : 11 pls. : 1 port. 8o. Typis Joannis Thomae nob. de Trattnern : Vindobonae, 1770.
The text seems identical to that of the original Stockholm edition of 1751, but it has been reset and several typographical errors have been introduced. The most notable of these is TERMINORUN on the title page. The illustrations are copies by “Gütl” of the originals by I. G. Hallman. My copy lacks the portrait of Linnaeus.

I typed the text of my copy of the Philosophia into HTML files using text-editing programs, first NoteTab Standard on Windows 98 and later Emacs on Debian GNU/Linux. I began the sporadic work in December 2000 and completed it in September 2002.

I have taken care to reproduce the text and aspects of its layout as exactly as possible, including the indentation of paragraphs, the spacing between paragraphs, italics and small capitals, and typographical errors. I have not, however, wrapped long lists into two or more columns, so texts such as this list of botanists form a single long column.

Cascading style sheets control most of the layout. Readers using a web browser later than Netscape 4 and allowing the use of cascading style sheets will be able to see the layout, but the text should be readable without style sheets.

I have included the entire text except for the original page numbers; the original page headers; and the indexes. I plan to add the indexes as I have time. I have added the general table of contents and the 13 tables of contents that begin each section. I include scans of the title page and of all the plates. My thanks go to Maynard Sweeley of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for these. The plates are image maps: Clicking on a figure will take the reader to the text that discusses the figure.

Greek Text

Greek words in this text, as well as the rest of the text, are encoded in UTF-8 (Unicode). (I entered the Greek words in Unicode text editors—SC UniPad on Windows and yudit on Linux.) To see the characters properly, readers need (1) an operating system that supports Unicode, (2) a web browser that can display Unicode characters, and (3) fonts encoded in Unicode that include the characters in the “Greek Extended” range. For more information, see Alan Wood’s Unicode Resources.

The Greek font in the original book includes several ligatures, which I have not attempted to reproduce. For help in interpreting these ligatures I am indebted to Paul Halsall’s Byzantine Palaeography web pages and to Haralambous (1999).

Quality Control

After typing each aphorism, I have proofread it in a web browser. However, no one else has examined these files yet, so they may contain errors other than the errors in the original text. I welcome corrections.


The Latin text of the Philosophia may be searched from the sidebar above or from the Search Page. The search script will attempt to match any string of characters entered. With this simple tool I have already learned that Linnaeus used Americae twice for the genitive singular of America, but used the Greek form Americes three times. Fascinating!