Constantine Samuel Rafinesque
|Born||October 22, 1783|
|Died||September 18, 1840 (aged 56)|
|Author abbrev. (botany)||Raf.|
Constantine Samuel Rafinesque-Schmaltz (October 22, 1783 – September 18, 1840) was a nineteenth-century polymath. He contributed to botany, zoology, the study of prehistoric earthworks in North America and Mesoamerican ancient linguistics.
Rafinesque was eccentric. People often say he was an "erratic genius". 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.
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