Memoire sur les tremblemens de terre de la Calabre Pendant l’année 1783…

Rome, Antonio Fulgoni, 1784 8° (192x123 mm). 70 pp. Contemporary marbled boards backed in leather. Spine ruled and lettered in gilt. Red sprinkled edges. Corners and margins of both covers light torn, lettering piece slightly chipped. An excellent copy. The celebrated geologist of the Alps, who in 1781 had climbed Mount Etna and visited the Aelion archipleago, travelled in February and March 1784 in the area affected by the desastrous earthquake of 1783. His attention focuses on aspects neglected in the numerous pamphlets and chronicles published on this event, and he explains scientifically the exceptional effects of the violent shocks on the landscape and the nature of the country. “The scientific methodology of Dolomieu, expressed through his researches on Italian volcanoes, adopted the essential elements of the late 18th century geology: the scientific travel and detailed fieldwork; the mineralogical skills and the practical knowledge of mining; the comparative study of mountains and volcanoes […] The perception of the great complexity, number and variety of geological phenomena had moved Dolomieu away from the general theories of the Earth. He searched for the solution to the geological problems through travelling. This is the reason why, instead of referring to general theoretical models, he constantly introduced questions about problems that emerged from the fieldwork” (E. Vaccari, “Volcanic Travels“, p. 42). Baratta, p. 885; L. Zanzi, Dolomieu. Un avventuriero nella storia della natura, Milano 2003; J. Gaudant (ed.), Dolomieu et la géologie de son temps, Paris 2005; M. Pinault-Sørensen, Images du désastre de Messine, 1783 in A. M. Mercier Faivre-C. Thomas (eds.), L’invention de la catastrophe au xviiie siècle. Du chatîment divin au désastre natural, Genève 2008, p. 360-366; E. Vaccari, “Volcanic Travels“ and the Development of Volcanology in 18th Century Europe, “Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences“, 59 (2008), Suppl. i, pp. 37-50.
€ 1.700