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Diploma, 1756

Draft of a diploma making Peter Forsskål a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences, Göttingen, drawn up by Georg Christoph Hamberger, the official Secretary of the Academy.

Source: Archive of the Academy of Sciences, Göttingen

During his time at the University of Göttingen, Peter Forsskål not only worked on the preparation of his thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, he also continued the study of oriental languages and scientific work on natural history, specialising in the study of insects. Following the award of his doctorate and the publication of his thesis Dubia de principiis philosophiae recentioris in 1756, the Royal Academy of Sciences in Göttingen elected him to be a Corresponding Member. The draft of the diploma making this award has been discovered in the archives of the Academy.


The full images and texts are now available on the web site of the Forsskål Project.

Transcription and English translation by David Shaw

 Petrus Forskål


Philosophiae doctor, et artium magister, qui civis academiae Georgiae Augustae per aliquot annos cum laude inter nos versatus est, non solum linguarum et rerum orientalium dificilem [sic] cognitionem eximia diligentia coluit, sed etiam universae naturae studium ita amplexus eamque in primis historiae animalis partem, quae insectorum innumerabilibus paene generibus constituitur, adeo indefessa opera scrutatus est, et scrutatur, ut inter spectatos his in scientiis doctores locum aliquando inventurus videatur : eas ob res Societas regiae Scientiarum Gottingensis

Petrum Forskål


philosophiae doctorem, et artium magistrum,

amici et familiaris nomine salutat, commercioque literarum iunctum sibi esse cupit, ipsum hortata, ut quas adhuc suam voluptatem, et naturam, et patrium morem sequutus ornare coepit scientias, suis inventis porro augeat, atque perficiat, eorumque inventorum partem etiam cum Societate Regiae communicet, eoque in eam semper sit animo, qui earundem scientiarum amore captum, et uero amici nomine compellatum decet. Gottingae, die       Maii 1756.  [in margin:] Junii


English translation:

Peter Forskål


Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts, who has lived among us at the Georg-August University for several years with merit, has not only devoted himself to the difficult knowledge of oriental languages and culture, but also has embraced the study of the whole of nature and especially that part of the history of animals which consists of the almost innumerable species of insects and has studied them and continues to study them with such unwearying labour thatit seems that he will find a place among the respected doctors in these sciences: for these reasons the Royal Society of Sciences of Göttingen welcomes

Peter Forskål


Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts,

with the title of friend and colleague, and desires him to be a member through the exchange of letters [corresponding member] so that he might henceforth increase and perfect his discoveries in those areas of knowledge which he has already begun to distinguish, as a result of his own enjoyment, his personality, and his innate character, and that he might also share some of his discoveries with the Royal Society, and that he should always keep the Society in his thoughts as someone gripped by the love of those same sciences, and fittingly addressed as a true friend.

Göttingen, the       day of May [June] 1756.