This week I browsed through an interesting biography of Olof Rudbeck, a seventeenth-century physician in Sweden. He was undoubtedly a brilliant man and one of the discoverers of the existence of the lymphatic system. The book focuses on his forays into archaeology and ancient history. He became convinced that the area of Old Uppsala was the location of the fabled Atlantis.
Between 1679 and 1702, Rudbeck dedicated himself to contributions in historical-linguistics patriotism, writing a 3,000-page treatise in four volumes called Atlantica (Atland eller Manheim in Swedish) where he purported to prove that Sweden was Atlantis, the cradle of civilization, and Swedish the original language of Adam from which Latin and Hebrew had evolved. His work was criticized by several Scandinavian authors, including the Danish professor Ludvig Holberg, and the Swedish author and physician Andreas Kempe, both of whom wrote satires based on Rudbeck's writings. His work was later used by Denis Diderot in the article "Etymologie" in Encyclopédie as a cautionary example of deceptive linking of etymology with mythical history.It is an interesting book. I have not flagged it for inclusion in TYWKIWDBI's subcategory of recommended books, but it would probably be an enjoyable read for those with a prior interest in archaeology, history, or Sweden.
Rudbeck has, however, left us one lasting legacy. Linnaeus applied the name Rudbeckia to a genus of sunflowers, in honor of his botany teacher at Uppsala (Olof's son). Here are some black-eyed Susans photographed during a butterfly hike last summer.