1.01 Braccini 1632

Cesare Braccini, Dell’incendio fattosi nel Vesuvio a’ XVI di dicembre M.DC.XXXI, Naples 1632

Be 4015-2320 raro III

This is one of several accounts of the 1631 eruption of Vesuvius, a published volume that was very widely circulated in the Kingdom of Naples. The abbot from Lucca, who witnessed the catastrophe during a stay in Campania, reports what he saw and heard first-hand. The narrative begins with three chapters dedicated to the description of Vesuvius, and the eruptions that preceded the present one, through the quotation of numerous ancient sources. The evident erudite intent is also present in the chapters dedicated to the disaster of 1631 (chapters IV to VIII), although less space is progressively devoted to them than to the abbot’s account. In a per diem structure, it reveals an interest above all in the damage caused by the eruption, and in the miraculous events that occurred on that occasion (e.g. pp. 32, 38, 42, 48). The most interesting chapter of the work is the seventh, devoted to the damage caused by Vesuvius; however, this is also the section that shows the most material damage (faded letters, ink stains, pen corrections). The volume closes with a table of chapters (p. 101), followed by a ‘table of the most notable things’ (pp. 102-104). [AP]

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