Constantine Samuel Rafinesque

French naturalist (1783-1840)

Constantine Samuel Rafinesque-Schmaltz (October 22, 1783 – September 18, 1840) was a French nineteenth-century polymath. He contributed to botany, zoology, the study of prehistoric earthworks in North America and Mesoamerican ancient linguistics.

Constantine Samuel Rafinesque
Constantine Samuel Rafinesque
BornOctober 22, 1783
DiedSeptember 18, 1840(1840-09-18) (aged 56)
Scientific career
Author abbrev. (botany)Raf.

Rafinesque was eccentric. People often say he was an "erratic genius".[1] He was an autodidact. He was successful in many things. He was good as a zoologist, botanist, writer and polyglot. He wrote prolifically on such diverse topics as anthropology, biology, geology, and linguistics. Today, scholars say that he was far ahead of his time in many of these fields.[2][3]

References change

  1. Flannery 1998
  2. Long 2005
  3. Gilbert 1999