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Encyclopedia > Peter Forsskål

Peter Forsskål (sometimes also Pehr Forsskål, Peter Forskaol, Petrus Forskål or Pehr Forsskåhl) (born in Helsinki, 11 January 1732, died in Yemen, 11 July 1763), Swedish explorer, orientalist and naturalist. Location within Finland Helsinki (pronounced with the stress on the first syllable in Finnish: ), or Helsingfors in Swedish  listen, is the capital of Finland. ... January 11 is the 11th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Events February 23 - First performance of Handels Orlando, in London June 9 - James Oglethorpe is granted a royal charter for the colony of Georgia. ... July 11 is the 192nd day (193rd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 173 days remaining. ... 1763 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Exploration is the act of searching or traveling for the purpose of discovery, e. ... Orientalism is the study of Near and Far Eastern societies and cultures, by Westerners. ... Natural history is an umbrella term for what are now usually viewed as a number of distinct scientific disciplines. ...

Forrsskål was born in Helsinki in Finland where his father, Johannes Forsskål, served as a clergyman at the time, but came to Sweden in 1741 when the father received the parish of Tegelsmora in Uplandia (and the archdiocese of Uppsala). As was not uncommon at the time, he enrolled at Uppsala University at a young age in 1742, but returned home for some time and, after studies on his own, rematriculated in Uppsala there in 1751, where he completed a theological degree the same year. In Uppsala he was one of the students of Linnaeus, but apparently also studied with the orientalist Carl Aurivillius, whose contacts with the Göttingen orientalist Johann David Michaelis are likely to be seen as the reason Forsskål travelled to the University of Göttingen in 1753; he studied Oriental languages and Philosophy and completed a doctorate there with a dissertation entitled Dubia de principiis philosophiae recentioris (1756). Location within Finland Helsinki (pronounced with the stress on the first syllable in Finnish: ), or Helsingfors in Swedish  listen, is the capital of Finland. ... Events April 10 – Austrian army attack troops of Frederick the Great at Mollwitz December 19 – Vitus Bering dies in his expedition east of Siberia December 25 – Anders Celsius develops his own thermometer scale Celsius William Browning invents mineral water Elizabeth of Russia became czarina. ... Uplandia, or Uppland, is a historical Province or Landskap on the eastern coast of Sweden. ... Uppsala Cathedral seen from the other side of the river. ... Uppsala University Uppsala University (Swedish Uppsala universitet) is a public university in Uppsala, Sweden. ... Events January 24 - Charles VII Albert becomes Holy Roman Emperor. ... Theology is literally rational discourse concerning God (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, rational discourse). By extension, it also refers to the study of other religious topics. ... A painting of Carolus Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné  listen, and who wrote under the Latinized name Carolus Linnaeus (May 23, 1707 – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish scientist who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of taxonomy. ... Johann David Michaelis (1717-1791), German biblical scholar and teacher, was a member of a family which had the chief part in maintaining that solid discipline in Hebrew and the cognate languages which distinguished the university of Halle in the period of Pietism. ... The Georg-August University of Göttingen (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, often called the Georgia Augusta) was founded in 1734 by George II, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover, and opened in 1737. ...

Returning to Uppsala in 1756, he wanted to pursue studies in Economics, but his 1759 dissertation De libertate civili ("On civil freedom"), advocating complete freedom of print, was censored by the "Hat" government and caused him to be warned by the Royal Chancellery. The Hats is the name given to a political faction during the Age of Liberty (1719-1772) in Sweden. ...

On Michaelis' recommendation, and with Linnaeus approval, Forsskål the next year (1760) was appointed by king Frederick V of Denmark to join the orientalist and mathematician Carsten Niebuhr's expedition to Arabia. The journey first went to Egypt where they stayed for about a year, with Forsskål pursuing studies in Arabic dialects, and arrived in South Arabia (Yemen or "Arabia Felix") at the end of December 1762. Forsskål worked hard on collecting Botanical and Zoological specimens, but fell ill in Malaria and died in July 1763. Statue of Frederick V in the center of Amalienborg Frederick V (March 31, 1723 - January 13, 1766) was king of Denmark and Norway from 1746, son of Christian VI of Denmark and Sophie Magdelena, Markgravin of Brandenburg-Kalmbach-Bayreuth. ... Carsten Niebuhr (March 17, 1733 - April 26, 1815) was a German traveller. ... The term the Middle East sometimes applies to the peninsula alone, but usually refers to the Arabian Peninsula plus the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Iran. ... A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος) is a variety of a language used by people from a particular geographic area. ... The Republic of Yemen is a country in the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia, and is a part of the Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia. ...

His companion Niebuhr, who was the only one of the participants to survive the expedition, was entrusted with the care of editing his manuscripts, and published in 1775 Descriptiones Animalium - Avium, amphiborum, insectorum, vermium quæ in itinere orientali observavit Petrus Forskål. In the same year appeared also his account of the plants of Yemen and of lower Egypt, under the title of Flora Ægyptiaco-Arabica sive descriptiones plantarum quas per Ægyptum Inferiorem et Arabiam felicem detexit, illustravit Petrus Forskål. Most of his specimens were lost in transport or deteriorated due to bad storage in Copenhagen; his herbarium was reconstructed some 150 years after his death by the botanist Carl Christensen. City nickname: none Location in Denmark Area  - Total  - Water 526 km² xxx km² xx% Population  - City (2004)  - Metropolitan  - Density 502,204 1,116,979 954/km&sup2 [including water] xxx/km&sup2 [land only] Time zone Eastern: UTC+1 Latitude Longitude 55°43 N 12°34 W Copenhagen (Danish: K... In Botany, a herbarium is a collection of preserved plants or plant parts, mainly in a dried form. ...

External links

  • Biography of Forsskål (http://baheyeldin.com/linguistics/forsskaal-arabic-species-names-fish-taxonomy.html) with links to other web sites on him, and includes how he used Arabic names for species names.
  • Royal Library in Copenhagen, Dep. of Manuscripts (http://www.kb.dk/elib/mss/arab/fors.htm), mainly on Forsskål's contributions to the knowledge of Arabian pharmacognosy


  • Bengt Hildebrand & Eero Mattinolli, "Peter Forsskål", Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, Vol. 16, pp. 359–362.



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