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Anders Jahan Retzius

Anders Jahan Retzius (October 3, 1742 - October 6, 1821) was a Swedish chemist, botanist and entomologist born in Kristianstad on October 3, 1742. He matriculated at Lund University in 1758, where he graduated as a filosofie magister in 1766. He also trained as an apothecary apprentice. He reveived the position of docent of chemistry at Lund in 1766, of natural history in 1767. He became extraordinary professor of natural history in 1777, and thereafter held various chairs of natural history, economy and chemistry until his retitrement in 1812. He died in Stockholm on October 6, 1821.

He described many new species of insects and did fundamental work on their classification.

He was the father of Anders Retzius and grandfather of Gustaf Retzius. Disciples of Anders Jahan Retzius include the botanist Carl Adolph Agardh, the zoologist and archaeologist Sven Nilsson, the botanist and entomologist Carl Fredrik Fallén, and the entomologist Johan Wilhelm Zetterstedt. He was also an influence on the botanist Elias Fries who arrived in Lund by the time Retzius was already an old man.

Principal Works

  • Inledning till djur-riket : efter herr archiatern och riddaren Carl von Linnés lärogrunder (Stockholm 1772)
  • Observationes botanicae (Lipsiæ 1778-91)
  • Floræ Scandinaviæ prodromus; enumerans: plantas Sveciae, Lapponiae, Finlandiae, Pomeraniae, Daniae, Norvegiae, Holsatiae, Islandiae & Groenlandiae (Holmiæ 1779; 2nd edition Lipsiæ 1795)
  • (edited and revised:) Charles De Geer, Genera et species insectorum, e generosissimi auctoris scriptis extraxit, digessit, quoad portem reddidit, et terminologiam insectorum Linneanam addidit (Lipsiæ 1783)
  • Lectiones publicæ de vermibus intestinalibus (Holmiæ 1784)
  • Försök til mineral-rikets upställning. (Lund 1795; German translation Versuch einer Aufstellung des Mineralreichs, Leipzig 1798)
  • (edited and revised:) Carolus Linnaeus, Faunae Svecicae a C à Linné inchoatae pars prima sistens mammalia, aves, amphibia et pisces Sueciae quam recognovit, emendavit et auxit (Lipsiæ 1800).
  • Försök til en Flora Oeconomica Sveciae, eller swenska wäxters nytta och skada i hushållningen (Lund 1806-07)


  • Gunnar Eriksson, "Retzius, Anders Jahan", Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, vol. 30 (1998-2000).

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Anders_Jahan_Retzius". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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