Peter Forsskal: Thoughts on Civil Liberty
  Northern Declarations of Freedom of the Press: The Relative Importance of Philosophical Ideas and of Local Politics
  Jonas Nordin, John Christian Laursen
  Journal of the History of Ideas, Volume 81, April 2020, pp 217-237 (Article)
  Published by the University of Pennsylvania Press
  Click here for article.
  "The cause of mankind - The American Revolution changed the world, and it isn’t finished yet".
  Sean Collins
  Spiked, Oct 2017
  "When freedom of expression became holier than God' 
  by Jonas Nordin
  Svenska Dagbladet, Dec 2019
  Our colleague, Professor Jonas Nordin, published an article,  När yttrandefriheten blev heligare än Gud in the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, see
  He has supplied an English translation  - which is accessible here.
  Clear and Present Danger (Episode 30 - Northern Lights, The Scandinavian Press Freedom Breakthrough)
  Edited by Jacob Mchangama
  Aug 2019
  The ambitious project “Clear and Present Danger”, a podcast about the history of the freedom of speech, is edited by the Danish lawyer Jacob Mchangama. In Episode 30 (featured below) he covers Sweden and Denmark in the 18th century. Team Forsskål's very own Jonas Nordin was a consultant to that episode, and Peter Forsskål is of course mentioned:
  Click here for podcast
  Unlimited Freedom of the Written Word, Nov 2018
  David Goldberg
  Click here for article.
  Commemorative medal for Forsskål.
  Struck by the Svenska Akademien in 1922.

The medal was issued by Svenska Akademien as part of the policy to publish a medal annually for one important historical Swedish person: in 1922, this was Peter Forsskål.  It was published during the academy´s annual general meeting in December. 

A commemorative speech was delivered by Henrick Schück. The text is published in the Academy´s Handlingar-series (see Svenska Akademiens handlingar 34 (1922).

The engraving was done by Erik Lindberg, a well-known engraver in Sweden. (He also designed the Nobel-medals). As his model, Lindberg used another engraving, a stippling (punktgravyr) by Johan Fredrik Martin from 1781.

About the medal itself: Front: Forsskål´s portrait, name and birthdate 1732 accompanied with the motto so fit for him: ”LIBERTATE LIBERTAS TUENDA ” Liberty must be preserved by liberty” - in Forsskål´s own words. Reverse: a burial mound with a cross and palm tree in a desert landscape. Text: INVESTIGATOR ARABIAE IUVENIS MORTE ABREPTUS MDCCLXIII, indicating his early sudden death in 1763 on an expedition to Arabia.

The total number of medals stamped in silver was 150. For this and other details see: Ulla Ehrensvärd, Medaljgravören Erik Lindberg 1873-1966, part 2 (1988): Katalog över medaljer och mynt, p. 123-124. The National Board of Antiquities in Finland has two medals, in silver. For Ehrensvard’s obituary, see

There are various publications where this medal is listed. The newest might be an elegant book by Bo Svensén: Ärans ooh minnets valuta, Svenska Akademiens minnespenningar 1786-2009, published in 2010 by Svenska Akademien, with one double-page spread for every year/person/medal.

(Thanks to Marjatta Rautiala)

Jonas Nordin has translated Svensen's entry - please click here to view this.

  En svensk filosof i lyckliga Arabien*
  by Torgny Nordin
  *A Swedish philosopher in Happy Arabia
  Popular History - 1996, vol 5 p 28 
  Peter Forsskal: Goettingen prodigy and author of one of the least known jewels of Enlightenment literature
  David Goldberg
  Dokumentenserver der  Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen
  'Press Freedom 250 Years Freedom of the Press and Public Access to Official Documents in Sweden and Finland – a living heritage from 1766' has now been published in English. Chapter 2 is entitled 'Peter Forsskål – the freedom to write and the Principle of Public Access to Official Documents, by Ere Nokkala; chapters 1 and 12 are by members of Project Forsskal, Jonas Nordin and Helena Jaderblom.
  Luonnon Tutkija (the membership-publication of the Societas Biological Fennica Vanamo ) 2017:2 - pages 64-73:
  Rautiala, M. 2017: Petter Forsskålin kirjat - tienviitat tutkijantaipaleella. - Luonnon Tutkija 121: 64-73., translated freely as ‘Peter Forsskål’s books - beacons on his scientific journey.’
  Peter Forsskål - Genius of the Swedish Enlightenment
  Censur och liknande ingrepp mot tryckta skrifter
  Carl Gustaf Spangenberg
  UNESCO event initiates a book exploring 250 years history of Freedom of Information law
  The Legacy of Peter Forsskål - 250 Years of Freedom of Expression (Nordicom 2017)
  Editors: Ulla Carlsson, David Goldberg
  Based on a presentation given at the OSCE Round table on Free Press, Vienna, 2016
  Dr. Hamdan Dammag, "Peter Forsskal: The Combative Young Scientist and the Undiscovered Pioneer of Civil Rights"
  Arrafid, Issue 244, April 2016, pp: 124-130. 
  Click here (PDF File)
  Finnish Broadcasting Company - Interview with Ere Nokkala and Marjatta Rautiala
  The point was to argue that in Finland Forsskål has been undeservedly left in the shadow of Chydenius while abroad he is getting more and more attention.
  To explain the title: "Hopefully the same does not happen to Peter Forsskål as happened to Kimmo Timonen"
Harri Alanne draws a parallel between Forsskål and Ice hockey player Kimmo Timonen. Timonen (40) retired last year after having won the Stanley cup with Chicago Blackhawks. Timonen got no official recognition in Finland. About a week ago Timonen was invited with his team to the White House, where Barack Obama praised him as "an unsung hero" of the team.
  Stadtarchiv Göttingen - Peter Forsskål (1732 - 1763)
  (Click on "F" for Forsskål)
  Peter Forsskål Commemorative Stamp
  Forsskal Stamp 1979
  Commemorative postage stamp issued by the Finnish Post Office with Forsskål's portrait and the title page of the
  Tankar om borgerliga friheten.
  There is a Forsskålsgatan (Forsskål Street) in Stockholm:
Forsskålsgatan Forsskålsgatan Forsskålsgatan Forsskal Map
      Find it on Google Maps    
  "Peter Forsskål, Natural Scientist and Messenger of the Enlightenment" - article by Prof. Petter Portin, published in the periodical "Tieteessä tapahtuu" ( title in English: Science now), in January 2014, on pages 16-19.
  "Peter Forsskal, explorer, Linneus apostle, natural scientist and advocate of freedom of expression" - David Goldberg article,, 30/01/2012

Family background of Peter Forsskål: Linnean Disciple born in Finland (extract from The Linnean, Vol 27, No. 1, March 2011)

  Differences between the original manuscript of Forsskål's Tankar om borgerliga friheten and the printed editions of 1759 and 1792
  The first edition of Peter Forsskål's Tankar om borgerliga friheten (1759) - David J. Shaw
  The second edition of Peter Forsskål's Tankar om borgerliga friheten 1792 (Who published it?)

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

  Peter Forsskål - kansalaisvapauden puolustaja ja hattuvallan kriitikko - Etusivu > Nro 5 (2012) > Nokkala
Letters which refer to the banning of Forsskal's Thoughts on Civil Liberty:
Links by kind permission of the Swedish Linnaeus Society
Sten Hedberg, PhD (Latin); participant in the Linnaean Correspondence project as editor and translator; assistant director (retired) Uppsala University Library
For all Forsskal's letters to Linneaus see here:
The process for accessing the letters is:
Go to
Click on "Letters"
Go to "Written by"
Scroll down for Forsskal Peter
Highlight the name and click on Submit.Search
This brings up the 28 letters
The editorial team at the Linnaean Correspondence at the Centre for the History of Science at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
The University Library at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel, Germany, holds documents from the archive of the German scholar Carsten Niebuhr.
Manuscript Cod.M.S. KB 314 contains documents relating to the Danish expedition to Arabia Felix during which Peter Forsskål died. Niebuhr was the only survivor of the expedition. The manuscripts have been digitised as
This link gives access to a contents list for the eleven sets of contents of the archive.
The sections relating to Forsskål also have individual links:
Section 8a is a fair copy of the original Swedish version of Forsskål's travel diary (78 folio pages). This was published as Resa till lycklige Arabien: Petrus Forsskåls dagbok 1761-1763, Uppsala, 1950.
Section 8b comprises nine letters and other documents relating to the expedition, mostly in Forsskål's hand.
Section 9 is a Danish translation of Forsskål's travel diary (256 quarto pages).
Section 10 is a German translation of Forsskål's travel diary (147 folio pages), together with a letter by the translator to Niebuhr dated 1776.