Peter Forsskål

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Peter Forsskål (1732–1763)

Peter Forsskål , also Pehr Forsskål , Peter Forskaol , Petrus Forskål or Pehr Forsskåhl , (born  January 11, 1732 in Helsinki , † July 11, 1763 in Jerim in Yemen ) was a Swedish / Finnish naturalist and orientalist. Its official botanical author's abbreviation is “ Forssk. ".


He studied at the University of Uppsala / Sweden and was a student of Linné , then in Göttingen of Johann David Michaelis . In 1756 he was elected a corresponding member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences .

From 1761 he took part in the Arabia expedition financed by the Danish king, together with Carsten Niebuhr and other scientists. In Egypt and Yemen he collected and described a variety of plants and animals. There he died of malaria in 1763 .

In 1767 Carsten Niebuhr returned to Copenhagen as the only survivor of the expedition and published the data and documents collected from the expedition. This included Forsskål's works, which appeared in 1775 as Descriptiones Animalium - Avium, amphiborum, insectorum, vermium quæ in itinere orientali observavit Petrus Forskål . In the same year a directory of the plants of Yemen and Lower Egypt was published : Flora Ægyptiaco-Arabica sive descriptiones plantarum quas per Ægyptum Inferiorem et Arabiam felicem detexit, illustravit Petrus Forskål .

Taxa named after Forsskål

The plant genus Forsskaolea L. from the nettle family (Urticaceae) was named after him, as was the species Sansevieria forskaliana (Schult.f.) Hepper & JRIWood .


  • Resa till Lyklige Arabia . 1950.
  • Thoughts on Citizenship [Swedish 1759], in: Yearbook for Finnish-German Literature Relations, 2006: 35–39 (German)
  • Tankar om borgerliga friheten. 1759, p. 8 ( ).
  • Carsten Niebuhr (ed.): Flora ægyptiaco-arabica: Sive Descriptiones plantarum, quas per Egyptum inferiorem et Arabiam felicem detexit, illustravit Petrus Forskål ... Post mortem auctoris edidit Carsten Niebuhr. Accedit tabula Arabiae felicis geographico-botanica . Ex officina Mölleri, 1775, p. 219 ( digitized version in the Google book search).
  • Carsten Niebuhr (Ed.): Icones rerum naturalium . Ex officina Mölleri, 1776 ( digitized in the Google book search).
  • Carsten Niebuhr (Ed.): Descriptiones animalium: avium, amphibiorum, piscium, insectorum, vermium . Ex officina Mölleri, 1776, p. 183 ( digitized version in the Google book search).


  • Vesa Oittinen: Peter Forsskål - a radical enlightener . In: Yearbook for Finnish-German literary relations . 2006, ISSN  0781-3619 , p. 25-34 .
  • Tobias Mörike: Botanical Explorations by Frederik Hasselquist (1749–1752) and Peter Forsskål (1761–1763) Linné's Apostles in the Holy Land. In: Ašceric-Todd, Ines / Knees, Sabina / Starkey, Janet / Starkey Paul (eds.), Travelers in Ottoman Lands: The Botanical Legacy, Oxford 2018, pp. 109–121.

Web links

Commons : Peter Forsskål  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Holger Krahnke: The members of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen 1751-2001 (= Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class. Volume 3, Vol. 246 = Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Mathematical-Physical Class. Episode 3, vol. 50). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-82516-1 , p. 83.
  2. Robert Zander : Zander hand dictionary of plant names . Ed .: Fritz Encke , Günther Buchheim, Siegmund Seybold . 13th, revised and expanded edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-8001-5042-5 .
  3. Lotte Burkhardt: Directory of eponymous plant names . Extended Edition. Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, Free University Berlin Berlin 2018. [1]