1.02 Recupito 1632

Giulio Cesare Recupito, De Vesuviano incendio nuntius, Naples 1632

Be 4015-2321 raro III

Among the numerous informative and scientific writings inspired by the Vesuvian eruption of 1631, the treatise in Latin by the Jesuit Giulio Cesare Recupito (1581-1647) was among the most widespread and influential. The author was an esteemed preacher and lecturer in philosophy and theology. The first edition of De Vesuviano incendio nuntius was printed in Naples by Egidio Longo in 1632 in 4° and in 1633 in 8°; other editions were published in Leuven in 1639 and in Rome in 1644 and 1670 (a copy of this edition is present in this exhibition). Moreover, to meet the vast demand for information, the same author prepared an Italian version, with the title Avviso dell’incendio del Vesuvio (Naples 1635). The volume describes the effects of the disastrous eruption of Vesuvius that began on December 16, illustrates the precedents and investigates the causes. The first part of the treatise dwells on the phenomena observed and their effects on the population; the second part investigates the causes of the phenomenon: the author links the empirical observations to Aristotle’s explanations of volcanic and telluric phenomena, but finally refers to the supernatural level, tracing the event to divine causes. [DC]

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