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kingdomregnum (lat.); Reich (ger.)

  • 1) Each of three great divisions of the natural world, comprising animals, vegetables (plants), and minerals, respectively; the members of such a division collectively. (OED 2017)
    15th Century
    animal kingdom […] vegetable kingdom […] mineral kingdom […] These three kingdoms do not, indeed, differ in their virtue

    Ripley, G., The Stone of the Philosophers. Embracing the First Matter and the Dual Process for the Vegetable and Metallic Tinctures (Collectanea Chemica, ed. A.E. Waite, London 1893, 55-120): 86f.

    Suntque mineralia, vegetabilia & animalia. Hæc enim sunt tria veluti regna, in quæ dividuntur omnia elementa perfectè mixta.
    Alsted, J.H. (1613). Theologia naturalis: 395; cf. id. (1613). Metaphysica: 253.
    [Non plura, non pauciora reperiuntur, & sunt, Mineralia, Vegetabilia, & Animalia. In hisce tribus natura suum sibi imperium vendicat in iis agit, operatur & mouetur, neque extra ea quicquam molitur.
    Rhenanus, J. (1613). Solis e puteo emergentis sive dissertationis chymio-technicae libri tres, liber II: 7.]
    Metalla, vegetabilia, & animalia tria constituunt inter se distincta regna
    Nolle, H. (1619). Naturae Sanctuarium, quod est, Physica Hermetica: 652.

    If you will bee but pleased, by this occasion, to cast your eyes vpon that triumphant Chariot, wherein Nature rideth through her Minerall and vnder-earth kingdome

    Flamel, N. (1624). Nicolas Flamel, His Exposition of the Hieroglyphicall Figures (transl. E. Orandus): A3v.

    c. 1630
    Tria, ut Hermetici loquuntur, physices regna sunt: Regnum mineralium sive fossilium sive mistorum inanimatorum, regnum vegetalium sive stirpium, et regnum animalium.
    Jungius, J. (c. 1630). Praelectiones physicae (ed. C. Meinel, Göttingen 1982): 90; cf. id., Praecipuae opiniones Physicae (1679): I, 2, 2, C1, Def. 24.
    tria regna creaturatum, nempe animalium vegetabilium & mineralium
    Fludd, R. (1631). Integrum morborum mysterium sive Medicina catholica: 202.
    in tria regna Minerale, Vegetale et Animale certo inter se ordine gradibusque distincta
    Descartes, R. [1639]. [Letter to Mersenne or Hogelande?]. Correspondance, ed. C. Adam & G. Milhaud, vol. III, Paris 1941: 312.
    Mundi regnum vegetabilium […] Mundi regnum animalium […] Mundi regnum mineralium
    Faust von Aschaffenburg, M. (1641). Consilia pro ærario civili, ecclesiastico, et militari, publico atque privato: [Register].
    Pharmacologiæ specialis partes sunt, Macrocosmologia, Phytologia, & Zoologia. Tot enim numerantur Mundi universa regna: Macrocosmicum scil. vegetabile & animale
    Schröder, J. (1641). Pharmacopoeia medico-chymica sive Thesaurus pharmacologicus: lib. III, 1.
    e regno vegetabili, animali, et minerali
    Besler, M.R. (1641). Gazophylacium rerum naturalium, e regno vegetabili, animali, et minerali depromptarum: [title].
    Systema naturae sive regna tria naturae systematice proposita per classes, ordines, genera et species
    Linné, C. von (1735). Systema naturae: [title].

    Men usually consider the productions of Nature as forming three distinct parts, called the Animal, the Vegetable and the Fossil or Mineral Kingdom

    Withering, W. (1776). A Botanical Arrangement of All the Vegetables Naturally Growing in Great Britain, vol. I: xxiii.

    fourth kingdom of nature
    Hogg, J. (1861). On the distinctions of a plant and an animal, and on a fourth kingdom of nature. Edinburgh New Philos. J. (N.S.) 12, 216-225: [title].
  • 2) Each of several high-ranking and broadly inclusive taxa comprising living organisms grouped according to their basic system of cellular and genetic organization, and subdivided into a number of phyla (of animals, fungi, and protoctists) or divisions (of plants and bacteria). (OED 2017)  

    The Animal and Vegetable Kingdoms, are so nearly join’d

    Locke, J. (1689/1700). An Essay Concerning Human Understanding: 213.


    Thier-Reich Menschen-Reich Pflanzen-Reich

    Bronn, H. & Roemer, F. (1856). Lethaea geognostica oder Abbildung und Beschreibung der für die Gebirgsformationen bezeichnendsten Versteinerungen, Atlas: Frontispice.


    [Wir verteilen die] verschiedenen, ganz von einander unabhängigen Phylen auf die drei Hauptgruppen oder Reiche der Thiere, Protisten und Pflanzen

    Haeckel, E. (1866). Generelle Morphologie der Organismen, 2 vols.: I, 203.


    organisms can be arranged, naturally and more conveniently than in the past, in four kingdoms, as follows: 1. Monera (Haeckel). [...] 2. Protista, Haeckel. [...] 3. Plantae, Linnaeus. [...] 4. Animalia, Linnaeus.

    Copeland, H.F. (1938). The kingdoms of organisms. Quart. Rev. Biol. 13, 383-420: 416.


    It is […] appropriate to conceive the broad relations of the living world in terms of three modes of nutrition and directions of evolution rather than two–the photosynthetic of the green plants, the ingestive of the animals, and the absorptive of the bacteria and fungi. These three directions of evolution appear on three major levels of organization–the Monera, or bacteria and blue-green algae, which lack nuclear membranes; the Eunucleata, or unicellular organisms with nuclear membranes; and the multicellular and multinucleate higher plants, animals, and fungi. On this basis four kingdoms are here proposed: the Protista, or unicellular organisms; the Plantae, or multicellular plants; the Fungi; and the Animalia, or multicellular animals.

    Whittaker, R.H. (1959). On the broad classification of organisms. Quart. Rev. Biol. 34, 210-26: 210.


    A five kingdom system is proposed here, based both on levels of organization and on types of organization as evolved in relation to three principal means of nutrition–photosynthesis, absorption, and ingestion. The kingdoms are the Monera, Protista (unicellular eucaryotic organisms), Plantae (multicellular green plants and higher algae), Fungi (multinucleate higher fungi), and Animalia (multicellular animals).

    Whittaker, R.H. (1969). New concepts of kingdoms of organisms. Science 163, 150-60: 158.


    Prokaryotic kingdoms are not comparable to eukaryotic ones. This should be recognized by an appropriate terminology. The highest phylogenetic unit in the prokaryotic domain we think should be called an “urkingdom”–or perhaps “primary kingdom.” This would recognize the qualitative distinction between prokaryotic and eukaryotic kingdoms and emphasize that the former have primary evolutionary status.

    Woese, C.R. & Fox, G.E. (1977). Phylogenetic structure of the prokaryotic domain: the primary kingdoms. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 74, 5088-90: 5088.


    kingdom The highest category in the hierarchy of classification; the five kingdom classification of living organisms proposed by Whittaker and currently widely used is, Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia.

    Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 136. 


    A revised six-kingdom system of life is presented, down to the level of infraphylum. As in my 1983 system Bacteria are treated as a single kingdom, and eukaryotes are divided into only five kingdoms: Protozoa, Animalia, Fungi, Plantae and Chromista.

    Cavalier-Smith, T. (1998). A revised six-kingdom system of life. Biol. Rev. 73, 203-66: 203.

Génermont, J. (1997). Sur la notion de règne en général et sur celle de règne animal en particulier. Bull. soc. zool. 122, 331-340.