Short History of Classification System - Home of Knowledge

Short History of Classification System

History of classification systems: The earliest known system of classification of organisms comes from the Greek philosopher Aristotle. He classified all living organisms known at that time as either in the group ‘plantae’ or in ‘animalia’.

In 700s, Abu-Usman Umer Aljahiz described the characteristics of 350 species of animals in his book. He wrote a lot about the life of ants. In 1172, Ibn Rushd (Averroes)translated Aristotle’s book “de Anima (On the Soul)” in Arabic. In the end of 15th century, many biologists had started work on classification methods.

Biologists prefer such a system that can provide maximum information about the basic differences and similarities among different organisms. According to earlier classification system, organisms were classified into two kingdoms but now taxonomists agree on five-kingdom classification system.

Andrea Caesalpino

(1519-1603 AD)

Divided plants into fifteen groups and called them “genera“.

John Ray

(1627-1705 AD)

Published important works on plants classification.

Augustus Rivinus

(1652-1723 AD)

Introduced the taxon of “order“.


(1656-1708 AD)

Introduced the taxa of “class“ and “species“.



Carolus Linnaeus

(1707-1778 AD)

Grouped species according to similar physical characteristics.


Carolus Linnaeus divided nature into three kingdoms: mineral, vegetable and animal. Linnaeus used five ranks in classification: class, order, genus, species, and variety. Linnaeus is best known for his introduction of the method still used to formulate the scientific name of every species.

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